Can Tho is formerly known as Tay Do, the capital of southwestern Vietnam. Around 170 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho is located in the most fertile and verdant area of Mekong Delta where the Mekong River builds up extensive deposits before flowing into Southeast Asia Sea. With more than 1 million inhabitants, Can Tho also accounts for a large population of the region. Most of them are Khmer people who are well known for their straightforwardness and friendliness.
Sights & attractions
Ninh Kieu Wharf
The poetic Ninh Kieu Wharf, nicely associated with the images of girls in graceful “ba ba” shirts, is the greatest landmark in Can Tho. The wharf is formerly the station for all boats from other southwestern provinces coming to trade in Can Tho Market. Now, there is a new harbor nearby with capacity to accommodate 5000-ton ships, but Ninh Kieu is still very bustling. This is also the most scenic site in the city. Here, you may savor a stunning sunset over the water, enjoy panoramic views of the verdant islands and indulge in river breeze.
Binh Thuy Old Village
This 300-year-old village, around 6km from the centre of Can Tho, is an appealing destination. It retains historic charm, a great manifestation of cross culture in South Vietnam. There are dozens of elegant old houses in original architecture, a perfect blend of Vietnamese and European styles. The most beautiful one is Vuon Lan house, where the film L'Amant was staged in 1990. The house belonged to Duongs, one of the richest families in the region during the 1870s. It was built on a large and exquisite plot, featuring full garden, yard and gate. All its rooms are meticulously designed according to the Chinese Yin-Yang principle and luxuriously furnished with classic wooden furniture. Several kinds of materials and interiors are also imported from French, added to its lavish style. The house is especially known for its valuable collection of antiques originated from China and French.
Can Tho Old Market
Can Tho Market is a bustling trading centre in southwestern Vietnam. It is right behind the Ninh Kieu wharf on the poetic bank of Hau River, so you cannot afford to ignore. Can Tho Market was built in the same period and owned some architectural similarities to Ben Thanh Market in Saigon, albeit much smaller in scale. You may pick up fresh produce here, ranging from rice, fish and vegetables to all kinds of fruit. This is also the right place to collect some lovely traditional crafts for souvenirs.
Cai Rang Floating Market
Floating market is one of the greatest surprises the Mekong Delta has to offer. You may already visit this type of market in Thailand or elsewhere, but these ones are uniquely Vietnamese. They are not organized for the tourist mass, but a local way of life. There are many floating markets in Mekong Delta in which Cai Rang is the closest one to Can Tho. From 5.am, the market becomes bustling with activities. Hundreds of big and small boats from near and far gather here to trade their fresh produce that are not stored in any warehouse but brought directly from the orchards and farms in the region. Every boat has one bamboo pole attached with sample products to indicate what are being sold. When bargains are settled, goods will be transferred in baskets boat-to-boat or hand to hand over the air like the juggling game. This is a truly memorable scene of the local way of life.