A Day in Cai Be Floating Market
One of the most crowded floating markets in Mekong Delta is Cai Be. Taking a motorized boat to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Cai Be floating market with various fruits and good, you will have unforgettable experiences.
Once an unsleeping market
Cai Be was an unsleeping floating market
Cai Be was established in the Nguyen Dynasty in 19th century and lies in the Tien River and known as an unsleeping market. Despite the opening in early morning at 4.00 am, most of rafts and boats were crowded actually from 3.00 am. The first activity in early morning was transporting goods, fruits and food from the land to Cai Be floating market and then arranging them carefully. The way traders arranging their products was also an "art". For example, they usually arranged fruits into a pile, which looked like a small colorful mountain, to attract customers.
Crowded market in the morning
Approximately 400 to 500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables, and other products were anchored along the banks of river. For purchasing process, goods were shifted at inland markets or small boats took them then deliver along canals. The hustle and bustle atmosphere here was different from urban's. Voices of people bargaining mixed rowers' singing and sound of paddle boats, which made the daily life of local people became lively. Furthermore, various colors of fruits, flowers and goods combined with bright blue and white color of sky adorned the picturesque floating market.
“Not so crowded” floating market at present
Since 2017, Cai Be became less crowded than it used to be. It is told that the reason for the change of Cai Be floating market may because of the development of inland construction with new highway, new road and upgraded old road which benefits the local traders more than using boat to transport and retail their goods on river. Therefore, up until now, the number of boats working at Cai Be floating market decease seriously to only about 50 boats available here only for wholesaling purpose, and the retailing activities are only happened in the Cai Be “inland” market.
Less boats means Cai Be floating market also lose its attractiveness with tourists, there is not many travelers visit this market now. However, it is said that a plan to bring the bustle back to Cai Be floating market will be done soon so the tourists and locals can see this colorful market lively again.
Enjoy the taste of Mekong Delta
Before the hustle bustle Cai Be floating market comeback, there is another choice for tourists who keen on experiencing local Mekong Delta life on the river, Cai Rang floating market should be at the top of your checklist as it is still so crowded with traders and hundreds of boats working daily from the early morning, trading for food, fresh fruits, consumer goods, etc. Don’t worry, Cai Rang floating market is as glorious as the old day of Cai Be floating market and have not made any guest disappointed yet!
Cai Rang Floating Market
Image sources: Internet