Experience a different kind of start to the day at Phong Dien, a floating market in Can Tho City.
Phong Dien lies 17 km from Can Tho’s center to the southeast. One of two floating markets in the Mekong Delta city, Phong Dien is more rustic while better-known Cai Rang is more bustling.
From the early morning, traders gather to buy fresh vegetables and fruit to resell elsewhere. The most crowded time is from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. when many boats clog the waterway.
In the past, Phong Dien floating market was located at an intersection on Phong Dien River but has since moved 800 m to Nhon Ai Commune. Its new location helps the market attract more customers, traders and tourists with its great scenery and peaceful waterway ambiance.
Visitors can ask traders to take them around the market while enjoying dishes like noodle soup. A tour costs about VND80,000 ($3.5) to VND100,000 per person.
From a boat, tourists could enjoy a close-up experience of Mekong Delta market life while listening to stories told by traders.
A bowl of noodle soup at the market costs from VND20,000 and beverages from VND10,000 a pop. It is a great experience to have breakfast and coffee when visiting Phong Dien.
Tourists are often surprised to see traders transport fish sauce, dishwashing soap, stockings, gloves, fruits etc. all on one small boat, similar to a mini convenience store.
Around 7 p.m., when the market gets less crowded, traders begin to move to small canals in Phong Dien to continue selling their stock.
In Phong Dien, you can find almost every product of the Mekong Delta. Whether you are a local or a tourist, the price remains the same.
Can Tho is considered the heart of Mekong Delta – Vietnam’s rice basket. The southern city is well-known for its floating markets, Ninh Kieu Wharf, picturesque rural canals, and abundant fruit gardens.