Known as “a river delta city”, Can Tho is well-known for its poetic beauty of the waterways, its culture of great value and the unique local cuisine. If you want to immerse yourself in nature and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Can Tho is a perfect destination. Don’t hesitate to read the information below and make plans for a trip to Can Tho, Vietnam!
1. About Can Tho, Vietnam
Nestled in the verdant embrace of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho beckons travelers with a symphony of sights, sounds, and flavors that epitomize the essence of Vietnam. This enchanting city is a gateway to the region's rich cultural heritage and timeless traditions. The iconic floating market stands as a testament to the city's vibrant trading history, where boats laden with fresh fruits, vegetables, and handicrafts create a lively tapestry on the water. Beyond the market's bustling energy, Can Tho offers a serene escape into the countryside, where emerald rice paddies, charming villages, and ancient pagodas await exploration. From savoring the nuances of local cuisine to traversing the intricate network of canals, every moment in Can Tho unfolds as a captivating chapter in the story of Vietnam's captivating soul.
2. How is Can Tho's weather? The best time to visit Can Tho
Can Tho is typical of a tropical climate with 2 seasons: the dry season from December to April and the wet season from May to November. With an average temperature of 28°C, the weather is warm and humid during the year. The city has a unique beauty in every season, thus visitors can travel to Can Tho at any time during the year.
- The season of fruit ripening: Fruit is mostly ripe from June to August. If you travel to Can Tho during this time, you will have an opportunity to enjoy many kinds of ripe fruits right at the garden.
- The season of flooding water: The flooding season is from September to November. Water floods the rice paddy fields and weaves through canals and rivers, drawing a beautiful scenery. This is also the best time to visit Can Tho and the Southwest of Vietnam.
- The season of flowers: The period from December to January marks the coming of the Lunar New Year. Hence, Can Tho is overwhelmed with many brilliant colors of flowers during this time.
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3. Must-visit tourist attractions in Can Tho, Vietnam
3.1. Cai Rang Floating Market
Location: downstream of Can Tho River, 46 Hai Ba Trung, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho ,Vietnam.
With a history of almost 100 years, Cai Rang Floating Market is one of the oldest cultural spots in the Mekong Delta region. It is also the most famous and largest floating market in Vietnam and the only Southeast Asian representative featuring in the world’s 19 must-visit food hubs.
The market is only open in the early morning from 5 – 9 a.m. Hundreds of traders in their boats gather to buy fresh vegetables and fruits, breakfast, handicrafts and daily essential household goods, creating a bustling and joyful atmosphere. If you want to see the market, you can rent a sightseeing boat which costs around 300,000 – 500,000 VND.
3.2. Phong Dien Floating Market
- Location: Provincial Road 923, Nhon Loc Hamlet, Nhon Ai Commune, Phong Dien District
Situated at a confluence and 17 kilometers away from the center of Can Tho City, Phong Dien Floating Market is a smaller and more local-style market. The market is most crowded from 5.30 – 7.30 a.m and offers a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, household goods, working equipment, etc. When you come to this market, don’t forget to try many delicious local dishes being sold right on the boats such as noodle soup, rice soup and coffee.
3.3. Ninh Kieu Wharf
- Location: Hai Ba Trung Street, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City
Located on the right bank of Hau River, at the confluence of Hau River and Can Tho River, Ninh Kieu Wharf is a tourist attraction and a symbol of Can Tho City. Established in the 19th century, it has long been developed into Ninh Kieu Park with an area of 7000 square meters.
Inside the park, trees are trimmed carefully and green grass grows under the white bricks. Sitting in the park, you can enjoy the pure air and fresh breeze that bring a sense of refreshment. The park is even more stunning and charming at night because of the lighting system.
3.4. Fruit Garden
The land of Can Tho is bestowed with fertile soil, making it suitable for local people to plant and grow fruit gardens during the year. If you visit Can Tho during the season of fruit ripening, you can enjoy many fresh fruits right at the orchards. Below are some popular orchards recommended for you.
- Phong Dien Orchard: Phong Dien District, Can Tho City
- My Khanh Orchard: 335 Lo Vong Cung, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District
- Rach Ke Orchard: 396A My Nhon, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District
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3.5. Can Tho Bridge
Can Tho Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia and one of the ten longest bridges in the world. Crossing Hau River and connecting Can Tho and Vinh Long Province, the bridge is 15,850 meters long and 23 meters wide.
The bridge is designed with an inverted Y-shaped pillar structure containing 216 strands of cables. If you look at the bridge from afar, it has a tranquil and romantic beauty, and it is even more shimmering at night when the lighting system runs the length of the bridge.
3.6. Bang Lang Stock Sanctuary
- Location: Thoi Binh 1, Thuan An Ward, Thot Not District, Can Tho
Situated 60 kilometers away from the city center, Bang Lang Stock Sanctuary is a destination where you can contemplate the diversity of birds. The sanctuary is home to 20 different species of stocks and a total of 300,000 stocks. It has an area of 16,500 square meters, serving tourism needs and protecting biodiversity.
3.7. Binh Thuy Ancient House
- Location: 144 Bui Huu Nghia Street, Binh Thuy Ward, Binh Thuy District, Can Tho City
Built in 1870, Binh Thuy Ancient House is one of the most beautiful old houses in the Mekong Delta region. With modern French architecture, the house is a harmonious combination of Eastern and Western culture, creating a classical and traditional beauty.
The highlight of Binh Thuy Ancient House is the collection of artifacts that have been preserved for generations such as the Louis 15 French-style woven cloth, the 15th century white lanterns, the teacups from the Ming-Thanh dynasty, etc. Due to its unique architecture and historical value, it was designated as a National Architectural and artistic monument in 2009.
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3.8. Ong Pagoda
- Location: 32 Hai Ba Trung, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City
Ong Pagoda, which was built in 1894, was originally called Quang Trieu Hoi Quan. With a history of over 120 years, the pagoda still preserves the beauty of its colorful Chinese-style architecture. Its structure resembles the letter “Quoc”, while the exterior is painted with sophisticated decorations. As a famous spiritual site, Ong Pagoda was recognized as a National Historic – Cultural Heritage Site in 1993.
3.9. My Khanh Tourist Village
- Location: 335 Lo Vong Cung, Nhon My Hamlet, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District, Can Tho City
With an area of over 50,000 square meters, My Khanh Tourist Village is home to an orchard with more than 20 species of plants, many fish ponds and canals. Besides, a prominent feature of the village is the 100-year-old ancient houses with traditional Vietnamese-style architecture. Visiting this place, visitors can savor many local specialties, watch Don Ca Tai Tu performances and animal races or taste fresh fruits.
4. What to eat in Can Tho, Vietnam?
Traveling to Can Tho, you should not miss out on many delicious local specialties. Below are some famous dishes suggested for you.
- Phong Dien Fine Rice Vermicelli (Banh hoi Phong Dien)
Phong Dien Fine Rice Vermicelli consists of rice vermicelli woven into intricate bundles, topped with chopped scallions and wrapped with grilled pork and fresh vegetables. The flavor of the dish is even more excellent when you dip the wrap in fish sauce. Coming to Can Tho, you should try this dish at Ut Dzach Fine Rice Vermicelli, 509 Provincial Road 61B, Nhon Binh Hamlet, Nhon Ai Commune, Phong Dien District at a price of 20,000 – 50,000 VND.
- Fish sauce hot pot
Fish sauce hot pot is a unique dish in the Southwest of Vietnam with more than 40 kinds of vegetables, fresh seafood and meat as ingredients. The sauce is made from fish sauce, creating a rich and alluring flavor. Traveling to Can Tho, you can enjoy this dish at Da Ly Fish Sauce Hot Pot, 89 3/2 Street, Ninh Kieu District. The price is around 100,000 – 220,000 VND.
- Can Tho pancake
Inside the golden crispy and greasy crust is full of meat and shrimps. The pancake will be wrapped with raw vegetables and dipped in fish sauce, creating an unforgettable flavor for visitors. Muoi Xiem Pancake at 13/3 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Tra Noc Ward, Binh Thuy is a recommended shop for you with the price varying from 40,000 – 150,000 VND.
- Grilled Snakehead Fish
The cook will use a skewer to spear the fish’s mouth, then stick it in the ground, cover it with straw and burn it until the straw is burned out. When the fish is well done, it is put on a banana leaf and has all the burnt parts removed. You will enjoy the fish with onion fat, peanuts, rice paper, fresh vegetables and fish sauce. Coc Son, a tourist destination, is famous for its delicious grilled snakehead fish, thus you can come and try this dish there.
- Fried Shrimp Cake
A fried shrimp cake is made by putting pork, shrimp and green peas in a crispy crust. The cake tastes better when you enjoy it with fresh vegetables and sweet fish sauce. Co Ut Fried Shrimp Cake, 86/38 Lu Trong Street, An Cu Ward, Ninh Kieu District is a shop suggested for you. The price is around 10,000 – 30,000 VND.
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5. How to get to Can Tho City, Vietnam?
As an important industrial center of the Mekong Delta region, Can Tho, Vietnam has a convenient system of transportation. Depending on your departure location, you can choose to travel to Can Tho by the following means of transportation:
- From Hanoi to Can Tho
Traveling by airplane is the best way to save time, since many of Vietnam's major airlines such as Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet or Bamboo Airways have direct flights from Hanoi to Can Tho. The airplane ticket price varies from 800,000 – 2,500,000 VND/person depending on your seat class and the airline. You should book the ticket as soon as possible to get a low price.
If you want to travel by train, it takes 30 hours to go from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, then you have to catch a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. Another option is traveling by express bus from Hanoi to Can Tho which costs around 800,000 – 1,000,000 VND/person, but it takes a lot of time.
- From Ho Chi Minh city to Can Tho
It takes an average of 3-4 hours to travel by express bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. You can buy a ticket at Mien Dong Bus Station which costs around 130,000 – 150,000 VND/person. Mai Linh, Hoang Long, Phuong Trang are some prestigious express buses recommended for you.
Can Tho is 165 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City, thus tourists can choose to travel by motorbike or private car. It takes 3.5 – 4 hours to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho, and you must check the route carefully before traveling.
6. Where to stay in Can Tho City?
Depending on preferences and budgets, visitors can choose to stay in a hotel, homestay or resort. When choosing, think about whether the accommodation has a favorable geographical position, making it convenient for you to get to many famous destinations such as Ninh Kieu Wharf, Ong Pagoda, Binh Thuy Ancient House, Cai Rang Floating Market, etc. Your chosen accommodation should also have diverse facilities, such as an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, yoga, gym, massage and treatment services, etc. Built-in restaurants serving local specialties such as pancake, fish sauce hot pot, etc., are also good to have.
7. What to buy as gifts for family and friends in Can Tho, Vietnam?
There are many unique and cheap specialties which are suitable to be bought as gifts for families and friends in Can Tho. You can refer to the following list:
- Fresh fruits
As Can Tho is well-known for a large number of lush orchards, fresh fruit is an ideal and healthy gift that anyone will love. You can buy fresh fruits in some floating markets and orchards, especially Phong Dien Orchard which is famous for its Ha Chau strawberries.
- Muoi Cuong Cocoa
Muoi Cuong Cocoa is not only a tourist destination but also the name of a famous local cocoa brand. Visitors can buy cocoa as gifts for families and friends or enjoy cocoa right at the garden. It is in My Ai Hamlet, My Khanh Commune. Phong Dien District, Can Tho Province.
- Sau Tia plum wine
It is called Sau Tia plum wine because after visiting his garden, a man called Mr. Sau felt that the aroma of the wine smelled like that of ripe plums. The wine is made manually without alcohol or chemicals, thus it is good for health and has a rich flavor. You can buy the wine at Mr. Sau’s house at Tan Loc Street, Tan Loc Ward, Thot Not District.
- Banh tet la cam – Can Tho’s special cylindric glutinous rice cake
Unlike other cylindric glutinous rice cakes, Can Tho’s cylindric glutinous rice cake has a purple color instead of green. The fillings are usually beans, bananas, sausages, meat and salted eggs. You can find this local gift at Binh Thuy Market, An Nghiep Market, Can Tho Market, etc.
- Thuan Hung rice paper
Thuan Hung rice paper has a unique flavor that could not be found anywhere else. The rice paper is made from the rice flour in Thot Not region which has a fragrant aroma and soft texture. There are 4 types of Thuan Hung rice paper: spring rolls, coconut cakes, savory cakes and flat cakes.
Can Tho, Vietnam is a magnificent and peaceful destination with white rice paddy fields, floating markets, orchards and a system of rivers and canals. Visiting this land, visitors will have an opportunity to discover the culture and history and learn more about the daily life of local people.