Ultimate Travel Checklist: Things to Do in Can Tho

Posted On: 10/05/2024

Can Tho is often referred to as the "Capital of the West" in Vietnam. This vibrant city is renowned for its bustling floating markets, intricate network of canals, and lush orchards, all of which reflect a deeply rooted riverine culture. Can Tho's charm is further enhanced by its warm and welcoming locals, making it a must-visit for those seeking an authentic Vietnamese experience. Whether you're navigating the waterways or exploring the rich agricultural landscape, Can Tho offers a glimpse into the lifeblood of the delta.

1. Exploring Can Tho

Things to do in Can Tho Exploring Can Tho

1.1. Mekong Delta

Cai Rang Floating Market: One of the must-visit attractions in Can Tho is the Cai Rang Floating Market. This bustling marketplace is the largest of its kind in the Mekong Delta and provides a vivid snapshot of local commerce on water. As you navigate through a maze of boats laden with vibrant fruits, vegetables, and goods, you’ll experience a unique blend of sounds, sights, and smells.

Other Floating Markets: For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle, consider visiting the Phong Dien floating market, which is smaller and less crowded compared to Cai Rang. Located just a few kilometers from the city center, Phong Dien offers a more intimate and authentic shopping experience. 

Boat Tours: Taking a boat tour through the intricate network of canals in the Mekong Delta is an excellent way to explore the region's enchanting natural beauty. These tours allow you to witness the lush landscapes and rich biodiversity of the delta up close. 

1.2. Immerse in Nature

Verdant Islets: The area around Can Tho is dotted with numerous small islets, offering a perfect escape for nature lovers. One of the highlights is My Khanh Tourist Village, where you can explore a plethora of outdoor activities. Enjoy a leisurely bike tour, wander through lush fruit orchards, and visit traditional villages where artisans craft local specialties like rice paper. 

Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary: Another gem is the Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary, a serene haven for bird watchers. This sanctuary is home to thousands of storks and other birds, which can be seen nesting and soaring over the treetops. 

1.3. Can Tho City

Ninh Kieu Wharf: A visit to Can Tho would not be complete without a stroll along Ninh Kieu Wharf. This bustling riverfront area offers spectacular views of the Can Tho Bridge, floating restaurants, and the shimmering waters of the Hau River.

History and Architecture: Can Tho is rich in history and architecture, as evidenced by the Binh Thuy Ancient House. This house exemplifies French colonial architecture and provides a glimpse into the past life of a wealthy landowning family. Nearby, Ong Pagoda offers another architectural marvel, renowned for its intricate decorations and religious significance.

Can Tho Museum: For those interested in the history and culture of the region, the Can Tho Museum is an invaluable resource. The museum houses extensive exhibits on the Mekong Delta's cultural heritage, local customs, and historical events, offering visitors a deeper understanding of this vibrant community.

2. Culinary Delights

Things to do in Can Tho Culinary Delights

Exploring Can Tho, the heart of the Mekong Delta, offers not only a visual feast with its lush landscapes and vibrant market life but also a plethora of culinary delights that cater to every palate. Here’s a guide to what your taste buds can anticipate in this rich cultural tapestry.

2.1. Mekong Delta’s Bounty

Can Tho is a treasure trove of fresh seafood and local specialties that are as rich in flavor as they are in culture. Two dishes you must try are:

  • Banh Canh - This comforting rice noodle soup is a staple in Can Tho and varies from one cook to the next. It’s typically thickened with tapioca flour and can be found brimming with succulent fish or tender pork, making it a hearty choice any time of day.

  • Banh Xeo - These crispy rice pancakes are an irresistible treat. Filled with savory ingredients like shrimp, bean sprouts, and pork, they’re folded in half and served hot, often with a side of fresh herbs and fish sauce for dipping.

Sampling these dishes provides a direct connection to the region’s culinary traditions and local ingredients, highlighting the simplicity and freshness that define the Delta’s food culture.

2.2. Fresh Fruits Directly from the Orchards

A visit to Can Tho is incomplete without tasting the fresh fruits directly from the local orchards. The region is famous for its diversity of fruits, including dragon fruit, mango, and the uniquely flavored durian. Many orchards offer tours where you can pick and sample fruits right from the tree. This experience not only allows you to appreciate the natural sweetness and freshness of the produce but also gives you insight into the agricultural methods of the Delta.

2.3. Local Street Food

For an authentic taste of Can Tho’s culinary scene, delve into its street food culture, particularly at the vibrant night markets. These markets are not only a feast for the eyes but also the stomach. They offer an array of affordable and delicious options, such as:

  • Grilled seafood - Fresh from the river and grilled to perfection, seasoned with local herbs and spices.

  • Hu Tieu - A flavorful noodle soup that is a close cousin to Pho but has its unique southern charm.

  • Che - A sweet, pudding-like dessert made from local fruits, beans, and coconut milk, perfect for a sweet end to your night.

Exploring Can Tho’s night markets allows you to interact with locals and experience the city’s dynamic atmosphere, making it a must-do for any visitor looking to experience the genuine local culture.

3. Essential Tips for Visiting Can Tho

Things to do in Can Tho Travel Tips

Can Tho, a vibrant city in the heart of Vietnam's Mekong Delta, offers a myriad of activities and experiences that are best enjoyed with a little local know-how. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your visit:

3.1. Early Mornings

One of the quintessential experiences in Can Tho is visiting its bustling floating markets, and the key to catching them in full swing is to get there early. Markets like Cai Rang and Phong Dien start as early as 5:00 AM. Being there at sunrise not only helps you beat the heat but also gives you a chance to see the markets at their liveliest, with locals bargaining and trading fresh produce and goods on their boats.

3.2. Negotiate with a Smile

Bargaining is not just a necessity; it's part of the culture in Can Tho's markets. Whether you're buying souvenirs, fruits, or sampling local snacks, always negotiate with a smile. Friendly haggling is expected and can make the purchasing process enjoyable. Remember, the goal is to agree on a price that feels fair to both you and the vendor, creating a positive exchange.

3.3. Dress Comfortably

When packing for Can Tho, prioritize comfort. The weather can be quite warm, so light, breathable clothing will ensure you stay cool as you explore. Comfortable walking shoes are essential, as you'll likely spend a lot of time on your feet, whether you're wandering through market stalls or exploring the city's charming streets.

3.4. Embrace the Outdoors

With its rich natural landscapes and outdoor markets, Can Tho is a city that invites you to embrace the outdoors. Be prepared for sunny days by packing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. These items will protect you from the strong sun and enhance your comfort, allowing you to enjoy the scenic views and vibrant life along the Mekong River without any discomfort.

4. Discover the Heart of Can Tho

Things to do in Can Tho Discover the heart of Can Tho

As we conclude our exploration of Can Tho, it’s clear that this vibrant city is not just a destination but a gateway to experiencing the rich tapestry of culture, nature, and culinary delights. Can Tho offers a unique blend of cultural immersion through its floating markets, traditional music, and colorful festivals that provide a deep dive into the local way of life. The natural beauty of the region is unmistakable, with lush waterways and verdant rice paddies that paint a serene landscape, inviting visitors to slow down and soak in the tranquility.

Moreover, Can Tho is a haven for food lovers, offering a plethora of dishes that are as rich in flavor as they are in history. From the sweet and savory bánh xèo to the fresh and vibrant flavors of a bowl of bún cá, each meal is a celebration of the Mekong Delta’s abundant resources and culinary traditions.

We encourage tourists from all walks of life to visit Can Tho and discover for themselves the warmth and hospitality of the Mekong Delta and its people. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a new taste experience, Can Tho is a place that welcomes all with open arms and promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Vietnam. Come and see why Can Tho is not just a place to visit, but a place to remember.

Loved the vibrancy of Can Tho? Experience the full diversity of Vietnam, from bustling cities to floating markets, with our Bests of Vietnam tour. Explore the essence of Vietnam through our tailored tour packages. Each private tour is carefully designed to match your individual tastes, providing a unique and personal journey through Vietnam's secret wonders and cultural riches.



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