Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

Wednesday, 29/05/2019, 13:45 GMT+7

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

Our car rental company includes driver in Ho Chi Minh offers a private tour and car rental service from Ho Chi Minh to Cantho & getting around this area.

If you have spent any time exploring the backwaters of the Mekong region you may see the Cantho Vietnam experience travel as a local people of the Mekong.

Can Tho is the economic, cultural, and political centre of the delta, sprawling for miles from its waterfront promenade out to the surrounding rice paddies and jungle. With this in mind it is the perfect starting point for anyone hoping to see what South Vietnam has to offer.

Most people travel here with the main aim of visiting the famous floating markets but the city itself is well worth a few days of your time. With its vibrant student population, varied cuisine and walk-able city centre it is hard not to justify staying just that little bit longer.

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

The budget accomodation at Cantho Vietnam
Hotel Xoai
93 Mau Than, Xuan Khanh, Ninh Kieu

Located on the edge of the city centre, Hotel Xoai is a colourful and clean place to stay with friendly, English speaking staff. Not only is it an eco-friendly place (the hot water is all heated by solar power), it has plenty of amenities for backpackers; free to use computers in reception, Wifi, free toiletries, and a library of movies. As well as this there is the hammock strewn roof terrace with views across the city.

It is also worth mentioning that the incredible Cantho street food tour are run our of this hotel. I would recommend that any visitors to the city take part in one of these nightly tours to get a feel for the local cuisine.

Single room – £8 per night
Double room – £11 per night

Kim Lan Hotel
138A Nguyen An Ninh

A fairly basic but clean mini hotel located just 5 minutes walk from the waterfront promenade and night market. The rooms are quirky and if you are willing to pay for one of the pricier suites, you will even get a hot tub on your balcony. Some of the cheaper rooms are windowless but are still absolutely fine. I payed for the basic double room but as the VIP suites were empty, I was upgraded at no extra cost (I understand this is fairly common at Kim Lan Hotel).

Basic double room – £18 per night

Green Garden Homestay
229 Vanh Dai Phi Truong, An Thoi, Binh Thuy

If you’re looking for something a little more peaceful but still close to the city, then Green Garden Homestay is the place for you.

The owners, Ha and Tho, have carved out their own little oasis within the city by transforming his vast courtyard in to a lush garden and pond surrounded by basic but comfortable cabanas.

There is no AC but each cabin is spacious and comes complete with fans, mosquito nets, a fridge and a private bathroom.

Tho, a retired colonel and journalist, Ha and their two adult children will make you feel incredibly welcome.

Tho offers tours to the floating markets or along the backwaters of the Mekong as well as having dozens of bikes available for guests to take for free.

I spent a wonderful afternoon cycling along the smaller channels of the river through tiny villages near the home stay, catching a glimpse of the delta’s local life.

Standard Cabin with garden view – £19 per night

Nguyen Shack
185C Ong Tim Bridge, Thanh My Area

Even further in to the countryside surrounding Can Tho is Nguyen Shack, marketing itself as a riverside resort but in reality it is a hostel/hotel of bamboo bungalows nestled in a tiny village by the Ong Tim River.  Each bungalow comes with a hammock strewn balcony so that you can relax and take in the sights and sounds of the river.

It’s worth noting that Nguyen Shack is 3 miles from the city itself so you will require a taxi to visit some of the main attractions in the centre. However, if you are after a slice of local life, then this is the perfect place for you.

Single bed in a dorm – £7
Basic room with shared bathroom – £19 per night
Waterfront bungalow (for 3 people) – £42 per night

The best Vietnamese local food at Cantho.

Can Tho is the perfect place to try southern Vietnam’s famous cuisine and some of the stranger delicacies of the Mekong Delta region.

Many visitors to the city only stay for one or two days to give them the opportunity to see the floating markets and if you only have one night in Can Tho, I highly recommend joining the free street food tour run by Mekong Tours at Hotel Xoai.

The tour departs nightly at 6.30pm and runs on a ‘pay for what you eat’ basis. Your guide will walk you through the city centre, stopping at various street food spots to try some of the regions most popular dishes.

Not only will it be the perfect chance to try the best foods that Can Tho has to offer, the food is cheap, delicious and you will finish feeling full.

All that is asked is that you pay for each dish that you eat and tip the guide when the tour is over. If a tour is not for you, I’ve listed some of the restaurants from the tour (and what to eat in each) below:

Restaurant Nem Nuong Anh 
12/21/19 Nguyen Viet Hong

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

A fairly nondescript looking restaurant with not a great deal of atmosphere but you will find it full of locals stuffing their faces with delicious Nem Nuong – spring rolls filled with pineapple, noodles and barbecued pork. Try the free iced tea while you are there.

Bánh Cong Cô Út
86 Lý Tự Trọng

Bánh Cong is a savoury muffin made from made from a mixture of green beans, little shrimp and minced pork, which is steamed and then deep fried in a flour dough to give a crispy pie texture.

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

At the entrance to the restaurant two women stood over smoking woks of hot oil and let us watch as they set about making their signature dish. One by one they would fill a ladle with meat, fry it, and then cover the cooked filling with batter. 

Two shrimps would be pressed into the top and the whole thing would be fried again to make a little parcel of joy.

Bia Lanh 74 ( Beer of cold 74 Cantho)

A short walk from the Bánh Cong is Bia Lanh 74, essentially just a set of plastic tables and chairs scattered on the pavement. It is known for serving that staple of South East Asian cuisine, the hot pot. Hot pots are a large bubbling dishes of meat, veg or tofu served on a gas cooker directly on your table.

Bia Lanh 74 specialises in tofu and ginger dishes. However, if you’re feeling a little brave, you may be tempted by one of the menus stranger items; grilled field mouse. This used to be a fairly common dish for farmers on the delta until the wide use of pesticides made them scarce.

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

It is now a local delicacy and doesn’t come cheap (by street food standards) but it is surprisingly tasty.

Hot pot Cantho Vietnam

If you want to sample more of this speciality, then you can head over to Hẻm Vit Nau Chao, or Hot Pot Alley, where you will find dozens of restaurants serving this dish with a multitude of different recipes ranging from duck, Mekong river fish or pork to vegetarian options such as tofu. It is always best to go for the busiest restaurant as this usually indicates quality.

The alley is very popular with locals and students but don’t be shocked to find that you are the only tourist there; at the moment it seems to be a bit of a hidden gem but it is fast become popular with everyone.

The menus tend to be entirely in Vietnamese so the best thing to do is see what others are eating and ask the staff for the same. Chances are that someone in the restaurant will speak English and be happy to help you order.

The alley is located just off Ly Tu Trong Street near to Luu Huu Phuoc Park. If you need more precise directions, check out the location on Google Maps.

FREE THINGS TO DO
Although it is a fairly populous city, the centre of Can Tho is relatively compact and easily walkable. Other than the obvious tours there is not a great deal to see or do. However, among the ornate pagodas, delicious street food, and vibrant night markets there is plenty to fill a few days in the city.

Chùa Munirensay Temple
36 ÐL Hoa Binh (8am-5pm)

Originally built in the 1940s to serve Can Tho’s Khmer community. Although not as ornate as some of the city’s other places of worship, it is worth a quick visit to see the sort of temple that is typical of of Khmer Buddhist pagodas.

Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong

As you enter you will be met by monks relaxing in the doorways of the ground floor buildings and colourful banners strewn above you. I found that I was the only person in the temple when I visited so I was able to spend half an hour wandering around the stupa in relative peace.

Ong Temple

32 Hai Bà Trưng (6am-8pm)

Opposite the waterfront you will find the brightly coloured Guangzhou Assembly Hall, built in the 19th century by  the Chinese to worship Kuang Kung, and still perfectly preserved today.  The inside is decorated with colourful paintings, intricate statues and various religious deities. Huge coils of incense fill the ceiling, wafting their sweet smelling smoke throughout the room.

Can Tho Museum
1 Hòa Bình

A large museum featuring exhibitions about the history of the region, its resistance during foreign rule and the culture of the Mekong delta. There is is a heavy focus on both Khmer and Chinese culture as well as recreations of a Chinese pagoda and a traditional teahouse.

2. Binh Thuy ancient house with its Eastern charm.

Binh Thuy Ancient House was first built in 1870 to worship Duong Family and was restored in the early 20th century. The imposing house is located on Bui Huu Nghia St, Binh Thuy, Can Tho. Crossing the concrete fence made of concrete and steel, you will see a meticulous construction in East Asia architecture with 4 round pillars and the board in front with the name: “Phuoc An Hieu”.
 
The house owner is Mr. Duong Chan Ky – an affluent intellectual merchant and also an artsy landowner. He is interested in looking for new things from prevailing western trends, especially in architecture. Thus, tourists can see the harmony between the East and the West cultures in the house. 
 Cantho Vietnam Experience Travel As A Local People Of The Mekong
The house is surrounded with lots of trees and flowers blooming all the time that make the space ancient but vivid and fresh. To enter the house, tourists need to go through a staircase in bow shape with decoration patterns which is the connection between the house and the large yard. 

3.The Night Market

On a weekend, two blocks in the centre of the city come alive as people head out for an evening at the night market. Along the waterfront promenade is the Cho Can Tho, a covered market hawking all manners of touristy trinkets and souvenirs.

It is overpriced and to be honest, not all that interesting but may be worth browsing if you’re looking to take home a memento of your time in Vietnam.

Around the corner on Vo Van Tan market stalls are set up selling clothing and other useful items. It caters to the Student population with generic market stall wares such as trainers, mobile phone covers and the like but you will find items that could be useful to you if you area long term traveller.

For food,  Phan Chu Trinh is the place to be. Street food vendors setup shop here selling a huge variety of Vietnamese cuisine. Look for the busiest places in order to find the best dishes.

4.Floating Markets of Cantho Vietnam

Most travellers come to Can Tho city to visit the nearby floating markets; Cai Rang being the main draw but some of the smaller markets such as Phong Dien can give a better, more intimate experience.

Just 45 minutes by boat from Can Tho’s promenade, Cai Rang is a frenetic, fast paced wholesale affair, with large barges piled high with produce as their owners call out to the armada of smaller boats weaving their way between them hoping to get a good deal. It is very touristy with almost as many tourist boats as actual vendors but it is busy for a reason;

The floating market is a fast dying tradition and people want to see it before its gone forever.  If you are a photographer this is an opportunity not to be missed.

cantho-vietnam-experience-travel-as-a-local-people-of-the-mekong

The market starts at around 5am and is in full swing between 6 and 7am so make sure that you take an early tour to see it at its best and miss the late coming crowds.

5.Phong Dien floating market is much smaller but a lot of people would argue a better experience than Cai Rang. There are no barges or motorised craft, just a few dozen sampans trading goods as the local vendors gossip and shop. I found that there were fewer tourists here meaning that we could navigate our boat through the market, getting up close and personal with the traders who were happy to chat, sell us fruit and share a laugh. Again, it is worth getting to Phong Dien early – between 5am and 7am to see the market at its best.

6.Bike Tours

Can Tho is surrounded by beautiful countryside, rice paddies and quaint villages and the best way to see it all is by taking a cycling tour of the local area. These range from a few hours to half a day, depending on how much of the region you would like to see.

It’s worth noting that many hostels offer free bike rentals so it is possible to do a DIY tour as I did from  Green Garden Homestay. Armed with my camera, google maps and a free bicycle, I had a great afternoon cycling the banks of the canals and through villages.

7.Flight ticket fare into and out of Cantho Vietnam

Can Tho has its own international airport in Tra Noc Airport that has direct flights from Ho Chi Minh airport, Phu Quoc, Da Nang and Hanoi. Flights to Phu Quoc do not depart all that regularly but journeys to Da Nang are cheap and plentiful (expect to pay between £20 and £60 on Vietjet Air). Direct flights to Hanoi leave approximately three times a day and will cost around £50 for the two hour journey with Vietjet Air.

Transfers from Ho Chi Minh City to Cantho Vietnam

Many travellers make their way down to the delta after a short stay in Ho Chi Minh City meaning that bus operators travelling this route are plentiful, leaving every one to two hours a the Western Bus Station ( Ben xe mien tay). but there are a lots of priivate taxi Ho Chi Minh airport transfers to Cantho Vietnam.

Website:( https://vietnambudgetcartransfers.com/)

8.From Phu Quoc To Cantho Vietnam

From Phu Quoc you have two options; flying with Vietnam Airlines in to Tra Noc Airport or taking a longer journey by boat and bus. The hilariously named Superdong hydrofoil leaves the port at 8 am each morning for Rach Gia and takes around 2 and a half hours. If you purchase a ticket from your hostel or hotel to Can Tho the price will include a transfer to the port and the onward taxi from Rach Gia to Cantho which you will be herded onto as you disembark the boat. Tickets cost between £20 and £25 depending on which agency you buy them for you.

See how to avoid the taxi scam while travel to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam here

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