Besides Vinh Trang Pagoda and Thoi Son Island, Cai Be floating market is another tourist attraction in Tien Giang Province. The floating market is held on the Tien River, adjacent to three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long, and Ben Tre. It takes about 2 hours to reach the market from Ho Chi Minh city. Coming here, visitors will not only have a chance to witness the bustling vibe and chaotic atmosphere of the market in the morning but also explore one of the biggest fruit-producing areas throughout Vietnam.
The market was formed by local people who cultivated and settled down the delta during the XVII – XVIII centuries. During its heyday, Cai Be floating market known as the unsleeping market. Every day, lots of boats and rafts gathered here from 3.00 – 5.00 am until late in the afternoon. They have been sold from fabrics, seafood to appliances, drinks…but the most outstanding was fruits. Currently, agricultural products and foods are being offered for tourists and local people in this market. Although the market is often open all day, the busiest time is at sunrise.
Retailers in the market have a unique way to sell their products. They hang on merchandise on a pole in front of the boat to attract customers. Besides paddle boats, there are many big ferries that piled up a lot of fruits or vegetables. Some retailers usually come to these ferries to purchase products from the merchant then bring it to land markets to re-sale. From generation to generation, they have been using their boats as a “mobile house”. Most of their daily activities would not separate from the boat and water.
Unfortunately, the Cai Be floating market is getting smaller every year since trade is shifting more and more into modern central markets. Another reason is the development of infrastructure which benefits the local traders more than using boat to transport and retail their goods on the river. Up until now, the number of boats working at Cai Be floating market decease seriously to only about 150 – 200 boats available from early in the morning until midday.
However, fewer boats do not mean Cai Be lost its attractiveness for tourists. Besides the floating markets, visitors should come to Tan Phong Island which is famous for growing large and succulent rambutans and longans. Wandering orchards and enjoy fresh fruits or cycling around the local village is another thing that you should not miss.
Furthermore, there are numerous small canals in Cai Be, which invite to a discovery tour by sampan. And if you want to stay overnight in Cai Be, homestay is indeed a memorable experience.
After all, Viet Dream Travel is organizing some daily tours and private tours to visit Cai Be floating market. Let us know if want to book it.
Viet Dream team