Floating Markets: Cai Rang & Phong Dien


As I told you in the previous post "Can Tho Countryside by Motorbike", we relied on Mrs. Miss Thuy Nga (Tel: 0913184967 e-mail: ttnga6777@yahoo.com) to visit the floating markets, the main feature of Can Tho. Being a village built on the delta of the river, Can Tho is crossed by numerous channels which is nice to visit by boat. So we woke up at 5 to go to Cai Rang and Phong Dien, the two main floating markets.

Cai Rang runs from 5 am to about 17 pm, and the best time to go it's from 6 am to 9 am, because it is more crowded and lively. Sellers are on large vessels, while the small pagodas like ours, represent the buyers. Sellers have a bamboo pole on top, on which they hang a sample of the products they sell. In this way, the buyers can understand the type of goods sold avoiding misunderstandings due to the persistent noise that characterizes this market in the morning. If, in addition to the bamboo pole, there is also a coconut leaf, then it means that they want to cease the activity and sell the boat. It is impressive to see the amount of fruits and vegetables loaded on boats and know that every day they sell about 6/7 tons per boat. This floating market is the largest, and therefore more tourist than the following one.

On the way we stop at a company noodle, where we see the whole process. They use 50% tapioca flour and 50% of rice flour, then spread out large rounded sheets and put them to dry in the sun for 2-5 hours before cutting them. With 3 layers you get 1kilo of rice noodles and every day they produce about 800kilos.

The following market is Phon Deng. It runs from 4 am to 11 am and it?۪s very small, less tourist and sells also clothing, meat and fish (not only vegetables and fruits). Here we've bought pineapples and they've taught us to cut them in a very special way as they do here. We then tasted strange fruits including jambean, lotus flower's seeds and pomelo (less harsh and juicy than grapefruit).

Before coming back, we visited an orchard and we stopped for lunch at a restaurant along the river where there was a wedding party! We've been involved for some dancing and we were amazed by the euphoria of these people and by the strange music they were dancing. The return lasted about one hour and a half, passing through the canals and beautiful landscapes of the Mekong area.

Can Tho By Bike & Blind Massage


Tramite l'hotel??abbiamo affittato le bici per fare un giro di 10km fra le risaie, le piantagioni di patate dolci e gli alberi di banana. Se riuscite a organizzare questo giro da soli o con agenzie locali, ̬ molto meglio! Tornassi indietro non seguirei pi?_ l'itinerario dell'hotel.Il paesaggio si rivela per?_ bellissimo: piccole stradine e vicoli uniti da ponticelli di bamb?_. Ci siamo anche fermati a visitare una tipica fabbrica di mattoni.

We rented the bikes from the hotel for a 10km ride between rice fields, sweet potatoes plantations and banana trees. If you can organize this ride by yourself or with local agencies, it is much better! (Hotels always charge you a higher price). If I could do it again, I would not follow the route suggested by the hotel! However, the landscape turns out to be beautiful: narrow streets and alleys connected by bamboo bridges. We also stopped to visit a typical brick factory.

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Nel tardo pomeriggio, dopo un po' di meritato relax in albergo siamo andati a provare il massaggio fatto dai ciechi. Avevo gi?? provato quest'esperienza in Malesia (clicca qui) e devo dire che si ̬ riconfermata come positiva nonostante l'ambiente poco curato e che inizialmente pu?_ non ispirare per nulla! Bisogna fidarsi e provare... Sono molto sensibili e riescono a massaggiare in modo corretto ed energico. Vi lascio il nome dell'insegna che si trova all'entrata, "Phong Ch̢n Tri Y Hoc C̫ Truy̻n Massage , Nh̢t T̢n", cos?? nel caso potete farvi portare da un tassista!

In the late afternoon, after a little and well-deserved relax in the hotel, we went to try the blind massage. I had already tried this experience in Malaysia (click here) and I have to say that it was once again a positive event, despite the uncared location that initially may not inspire you at all! Just trust me and try... Blind people are very sensitive and can massage energetically the proper areas of your body/back/shoulders. The name of the signboard at the entrance is "Phong Ch̢n Tri Y Hoc Co Truyen Massage, Nh̢t T̢n" , so you can give it to the taxi driver!


Dopo il massaggio siamo andati a cena da Nam Bo, lungo il fiume. Ci sono pochi ristoranti a Can Tho e questo ̬ uno di quelli che consiglierei. Sempre cucina vietnamita ovviamente. Un'altra opzione ̬ Hoa Su, un ristorante carinissimo strutturato in modo particolare: ogni tavolo ̬ collocato su una palafitta a s̩ stante, tutte collegate da piccoli ponticelli in legno.

After the massage we went to dine at Nam Bo, along the river. There are few restaurants in Can Tho and this is the one I would recommend. Vietnamese cuisine, of course. Another option is Hoa Su, a nice restaurant structured in a very particular way: each table is placed on a separate stilt house and they are all connected by small wooden bridges.

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Can Tho Countryside by Motorbike


Proseguiamo con la prossima avvenutra!Partenza all'alba in pullman da Ho Chi Minh verso Can Tho, sul delta del fiume Mekong. L'agenzia con cui abbiamo prenotato il transfer ̬ la stessa che abbiamo utilizzato per il tour a Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Adventure Tours in Ly Tu Trong Street al 123 . Dopo ore di viaggio finalmente arriviamo in albergo, super consigliato, il??Victoria Can Tho Resort.

Let's continue with the next adventure! Departing at dawn by bus from Ho Chi Minh, destination Can Tho, on the Mekong River delta. The agency we used to book the transfer is the same as we used for the tour in Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnam Adventure Tours in 123 Ly Tu Trong Street. After hours we finally reach our hotel, which is super super recommended, the Victoria Can Tho Resort.

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Dopo aver pranzato in albergo decidiamo di affittare le moto ed avventurarci fra le campagne vietnamite senza una guida n̬ meta! ?? stata la giornata pi?_ bella fino ad ora e consiglio a tutti di provare quest'avventura! Siamo arrivati fino al paesino di Tra On, passando per villaggi locali, templi e paesaggi stupendi lungo il fiume. Questo giro ̬ stato diverso dal solito perch̬ non si ̬ trattato di un tour turistico, perch̬ eravamo gli unici occidentali e perch̬ le persone che incontravamo lungo il percorso erano molto solari, sorridenti e non sembravano abituate a vedere turisti come succede in molti altri paesi. Abbiamo affittato le moto da una signora super affidabile, che ci ha organizzato anche un giro previsto per i prossimi giorni. La signora ̬ Miss Thuy Nga, vi lascio i contatti nel caso vi servissero" Tel: 0913184967 e-mail: ttnga6777@yahoo.com

After a relaxing lunch by the hotel pool, we decided to rent motorbikes and venture among the Vietnamese countryside without neither a guide nor a destination! =) It was the best day so far and I highly recommend to everyone to try this kind of adventure! We reached Tra On village, passing through local villages, temples and beautiful landscapes along the river. What made this trip different is that it wasn?۪t a sightseeing touristic tour; we were the only westerners and the people we met along the way were smiling, cheerful and were not used to see tourists. We rented the motorbikes from a super reliable lady, that organized also a tour for us for the coming days. Her name is Miss Thuy Nga. I leave you her contact in case you need it: "Tel: 0913184967 e-mail: ttnga6777@yahoo.com

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Can Tho ̬ una cittadina che, a mio parere, non ha nulla di speciale ma ̬ comoda da utilizzare come base per le varie escursioni da fare nella zona del Mekong! Bisogna esplorare le campagne come abbiamo fatto oggi e poi visitare i mercati galleggianti e le piantagioni di riso e altri prodotti locali! Abbiamo poi cenato da Sao Hom nel centro di Can Tho, buono ma niente di eccezionale...

Can Tho is a small town and, in my opinion, has nothing special; it is convenient as a base for tours in the Mekong area! You have to explore the countryside, as we did today, and visit the floating markets and the plantations of rice and other local products! During the evening we had dinner at Sao Hom in the center of Can Tho, good but not great...