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12 October 2019 / leggypeggy

Join me at a floating market in the Mekong Delta

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

No way I could paddle through the market this way

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Watermelons for sale

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A larger market boat that is also a home

If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know I have a weakness for food markets. In fact, Poor John has resigned himself to shadowing me through markets in all parts of the world. I guess my kids know this too.

We recently visited second daughter, Petra, who works in the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She was super busy during our stay (couldn’t even take a day off), but she did organise a weekend for all of us to visit the Mekong Delta.

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A houseboat with canoe

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Eyes painted on the front of the boat represent a crocodile

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A lineup of buoys

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A local ferry in the background

Not only did she book us into rather deluxe accommodation (we usually stay in tents), but she also booked us on a morning boat trip to the Cai Rang floating market, about 45 minutes up/down the Can Tho river.

Cai Rang is a wholesale market (I think you need to buy 10 kilos of produce at a time) and one of the oldest floating markets in the Mekong Delta. Every day, there are about 350 boats selling a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. The bigger boats display their main wares from a long pole.

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

A boat displays the produce that’s on sale

fetching water, Vietnam

Fetching water from the river

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Plenty of traffic on the river

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Another floating home and workplace

The market starts early—about 5am—and is it at its busiest about an hour later. Of course, we chugged along much later, but there was still plenty of action.

Tourists flock to this market—there are up to 700 tourists each day. Breakfast is served on some boats, but we’d already had breakfast at our deluxe accommodation.

 

In addition to cruising through the floating market, we also saw riverside housing and industry. Given that some people live exclusively on the larger boats, it’s not surprising that there is a riverside petrol station. I thought I had a pic of that, but I can’t find it.

The tour included two land stops. We visited a lush garden with exotic fruits (bowls of some sliced fruits were brought back to our boat, but I forgot to photograph them), a noodle factory with food stalls, and a shop selling unusual liqueurs and dried goods (anyone want dried frogs?). The noodle factory reminded me of the sesame cracker factory we saw the first time we visited Vietnam.

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Frying noodles

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Cutting dried noodles

 

You’ll notice the sky is quite bleak. We were in Vietnam during the monsoon. There was only light rain while we were on the tour, but the rain bucketed down later in the day.

P.S. I had a terrible time trying to limit the number of pics on this post.

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Life on the river

Cai Rang Market, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Boatload of produce with a dog on the roof

 

 

 

87 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Oz's Travels / Oct 12 2019 7:23 pm

    How far from HCMC was this place? Why limit the photos? Plenty of room….

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 7:26 pm

      In the end, I didn’t limit much. Just avoided posting too many photos that looked so similar. It was about a four-hour drive. We hired a car and driver each way.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oz's Travels / Oct 13 2019 1:10 am

        Thanks, sounds like a side trip to add to a work visit.. Glad you shared 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Derrick / Oct 12 2019 7:26 pm

    I saw lots of dried amphibians, I just can’t imagine what they could be used for, the floating markets are very much like those in Thailand

    It’s not so good visiting in the monsoon season, we stayed at hotel and they spent 3 days cleaning it up for our arrival, one of the girls showed me a video of the hotel, the water has to have been 3 feet deep, which I found incredible and the reception and foyer were 4 feet about street level, the street mush have been like a river

    But you have to give credit where it’s due, everyone did a fantastic job of cleaning it up, we were the only ones staying there, 8 of us

    Me and Anne were really impressed with their efforts cleaning up, they could have just closed the hotel, but they said they didn’t want to disappoint us

    I don’t know if it was right or correct but we gave them a decent tip (by English standards, not Vietnamese standards, which is just a few dongs, there was big smiles all round)

    My time in Ho Chi Minh was really good, one day I am going to return

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 7:36 pm

      Hi Derrick, I know the monsoon isn’t the best time to visit, but It was the best time for us this year. We hope to return next year to better weather. How cool that your hotel made your visit so memorable for all the right reasons.

      Like

      • Derrick / Oct 12 2019 7:52 pm

        I just don’t know where all the water went, the water must have been 6-7 feet deep and flowing like a river

        The shops or stalls got swept away I would imagine, but you wouldn’t have thought when we arrived

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 8:29 pm

        So many places in Vietnam are well equipped for floods. We visited a place in Hoi An where they just moved all the possessions upstairs before the flood arrives. Must be harder for hotels to manage.

        Like

  3. derrickjknight / Oct 12 2019 7:31 pm

    A marvellous environment with excellent photographs so well framed. I would have been happy with more, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beetleypete / Oct 12 2019 7:58 pm

    Certainly one of the best ways to experience daily life for the people, Peggy.
    I hope that lady isn’t going to drink the water she is getting from the river though. It must be terribly polluted in the vicinity of all those boats and floating homes. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 8:24 pm

      Thanks Pete. I hope she didn’t drink the water. We didn’t see weird stuff floating in the river, but you never know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beth / Oct 12 2019 9:17 pm

    I love that you included all of these, gives me a flavor of the what the delta is like. I’ve never been anywhere like this before and am intrigued

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lynette d'Arty-Cross / Oct 12 2019 9:55 pm

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gigglingfattie / Oct 12 2019 10:56 pm

    You did an excellent job with your photo selection! In fact, I would say you totally could have put in more LOL Throw up a “gallery” and put them all in, I say!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 11:12 pm

      Like I said earlier, I didn’t show so many photos with grey boats. But I really could add more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie / Oct 12 2019 11:15 pm

        hehe I love all your photos! I know we only get to see a small selection of them, but I’d love to see all of them lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 12 2019 11:17 pm

        We’ll be back in Vietnam next year and I promise to bombard you with more floating market pics.

        Like

  8. Eliza Ayres / Oct 12 2019 11:29 pm

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Thank you for another fantastic photo tour, Peggy! Love the photos and your amazing adventures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 10:05 am

      Thanks so much for the reblog. Always appreciated.

      Like

  9. pvcann / Oct 13 2019 1:10 am

    How wonderful to see these photos Peggy, glad you have shared them, if there were more – well, another post maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Endless Weekend / Oct 13 2019 2:33 am

    Thank you for sharing the great variety of sights! Can you please share some about the sounds and smells? To me they’ve always been intertwined with the market experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 12:39 pm

      A floating market is different to a land market. Most of the sounds come from the boat motors. The sellers don’t call out because they display (often suspended from poles) what they have to sell. It’s similar with smells. Unless you pull alongside a boat, you can’t really smell the produce. But I agree that the sounds and smells are a big part of a land market.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. fragglerocking / Oct 13 2019 3:36 am

    Amazing to see it even in photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mike Darbro / Oct 13 2019 4:14 am

    Cool photos of the river. I can only imagine what the sounds and smells would be to go along with your pics.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 11:49 am

      Oh gosh, I should have done a video with smell-o-vision.

      Like

  13. Phyllis Gaetz / Oct 13 2019 6:04 am

    Wonderful! You caught the spirit..audio would have been great with all those vendors calling out to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Maggie and Richard / Oct 13 2019 6:51 am

    Isn’t this an incredible market? I found it a little over whelming.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. paolsoren / Oct 13 2019 7:20 am

    I get a bit sad when I see these pictures. Why did we try so hard to destroy these people? I taught so many of them 30 odd years ago. They were such a happy lot. And they had been through so much. There is something wrong about ‘us versus them’.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sy S. / Oct 13 2019 12:16 pm

    Hello Photo Gal,

    The pictures are great, you really get a feel of real life on Asian rivers. So much activity, a few things stood out; the pole with food being sold, dry frogs, crocodile eyes, a buck of water from the river… noodle machine… dog on the boat, people living on the boats.

    Next time smell-a-vision, sounds.. a video would be neat… and sunny weather.

    Sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 12:59 pm

      We plan to visit Vietnam again next year and will try to miss the monsoon. I’ll also try to remember to use the camera’s movie function. 🙂

      Like

  17. Vicki / Oct 13 2019 1:02 pm

    Well, I, for one, am glad you didn’t limit the number of photos. It’s a fascinating view into the lives of these river dwellers and I enjoyed every image.

    The noodle-making process was of particular interest to me.

    I’ve had frogs legs in France, but I think I’ll leave the ‘dried frog’ to be a subject of your photo tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 1:36 pm

      I could have added another 20 pics, but realised there were a lot of similar shots. I thought the noodle making was fascinating too. I wonder if dried frog would be good added to soups?

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Emma Cownie / Oct 13 2019 7:41 pm

    Hectic and fascinating. I loved looking at the stages of noodle production (I had no idea)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 8:44 pm

      The noodle making is fascinating and labour intensive, using basic tools.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma Cownie / Oct 14 2019 6:02 pm

        I am quite intrigued by the circular shape, presumably beacuse its made in a circular pan, unlike pasta that’s rolled out and often a rectangular shape. I say that and I’ve never made either from scratch!

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 14 2019 6:08 pm

        Interesting point. I hadn’t thought about the difference in shapes. But your comment reminds me of watching noodles being handmade in China, with the dough being repeatedly stretched and twisted. I have made pasta and egg noodles from scratch and they get rolled out into whatever shape I can manage.

        Like

  19. Murray Foote / Oct 13 2019 8:38 pm

    Wonderful, colourful and vibrant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 13 2019 8:46 pm

      Thanks Murray. So glad Petra organised it for us.

      Like

  20. Chris Riley / Oct 13 2019 9:21 pm

    I’m pleased you didn’t limit your pictures to much. The ones you’ve posted provide great insight. Loved the one showing the making of the noodles, amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Gilda Baxter / Oct 14 2019 1:30 am

    Great post and photos. Brian and I are planning to visit Vietnam in January or February 2020, so I am keen to learn as much as possible about this area. I think a boat trip on the Mekong Delta will be on our wish list. Do you recommend an overnight boat trip?

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 14 2019 8:01 am

      The Delta is quite crowded. I suggest you do an overnight (or two) boat trip in Halong Bay, out of Hanoi.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Alison and Don / Oct 14 2019 6:41 am

    This brought back some great memories Peggy. We were at this market a few years ago, from 5-7am, and found it to be absolutely amazing. An experience that will always stand out in my memory. We also went to a noodle factory – fascinating.
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • leggypeggy / Oct 14 2019 8:01 am

      You were good to be there at 5am. And yes, we loved seeing the noodles being made.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. indianeskitchen / Oct 14 2019 7:20 am

    I would love to see this. Thank you so much for the pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. thewonderer86 / Oct 14 2019 9:17 pm

    I loved the delta area. This post bought back lots of great memories. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. jeanleesworld / Oct 14 2019 9:21 pm

    Wow, Peggy! Honestly, moments like this remind me how hard it is not to be taking pictures every second–you don’t want to miss capturing at all! I can see what you mean about the sky; Wisconsin’s felt like this some days, the perpetually wet days only getting wetter. But I love the hum of life here, how boats of every size weave in and out, so familiar with this dance on the water’s surface. xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 14 2019 9:35 pm

      Oh Jean, what perfect description. The boats really do a dance on water. How they miss one another is impossible to explain.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Brenda / Oct 15 2019 2:25 am

    Food market AND boats–not much gets better than that. Your photos really caught the vibrancy and variety of what must have been quite a crush of boats. Of course, I loved the last photo of the dog, who looked as if he was navigating.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Curt Mekemson / Oct 16 2019 1:36 am

    Great post, Peggy. It looks like a fascinating trip. Dried frogs? No thanks, but I ate plenty of frog legs growing up. Quite tasty. Looking at the buoys photo, I couldn’t help thinking ‘Bouys belly up to the bar.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 16 2019 7:51 am

      Oh Curt, that’s funny. It does look like they’ve got together for a reason.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Dreamtemples / Oct 17 2019 1:52 am

    Loved the virtual tour of the floating market, Peggy.It was very interesting and thank you so much for the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 17 2019 8:01 am

      You are most welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Appreciate your company.

      Like

  29. chattykerry / Oct 17 2019 7:22 am

    It’s an alien world, Peggy, and one I would love to visit. Fabulous shots that bring the river to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 17 2019 8:02 am

      Thanks Kerry. I’m so glad Petra organised this side trip. Hope we can do it again.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. dfolstad58 / Oct 18 2019 10:29 am

    I have to admit one of the big draws to me going to Thailand, and Vietnam is food related. Which is awful to think about right now as I need to lose weight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 19 2019 8:03 am

      Vietnamese food is really quite light. Thailand is light but for the coconut milk.

      Like

  31. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Oct 19 2019 2:18 am

    I’m thinking about what you wrote regarding taking and posting photos. Sometimes I wonder how our experiences are reflected through cameras and if we miss the power of the moments because of being behind a camera. Yet because I rarely travel, and certainly not to the exotic places you and Poor John visit, I love getting to travel with you via your photos and commentary. This floating world is something I can’t imagine doing. I’d always be an outsider looking in on something I find unsettling as well as fascinating. Thank you for another wonderful tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 19 2019 8:05 am

      You make a great point, Sharon. A person can spend too much time behind a camera. I try hard to mix it up. I have a mind full of pics I didn’t take. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. shoestringdiary / Oct 19 2019 2:59 pm

    We’ve seen plenty of strange food stuff (and tried a few) in Vietnam – not that we don’t have any of the sort here in the Philippines – but we didn’t encounter dried frogs. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 19 2019 3:10 pm

      I’ve had frog legs in the past, but had never seen dried frogs. Maybe for soup?

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoestringdiary / Oct 19 2019 3:11 pm

        Maybe. Or have them deep fried like what they do for most dried items here in Asia.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 19 2019 3:15 pm

        I’ll see if my daughter can find out.

        Like

  33. CarolCooks2 / Oct 22 2019 12:26 am

    I love a floating market and as you know there are a few here…haha..dried frogs are popular here as are rats etc and either used in soups or put on the BBQ…They are planning 2 dams along the Mekong I am not sure of the exact locations I do hope they will not affect the floating markets…Some great images Peggy

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 22 2019 9:10 am

      Thanks Carol. I’ve been to some floating markets in Thailand, but this is the first wholesale one I’ve seen. Ah yes, dried rats. Popular in Africa too.

      Like

      • CarolCooks2 / Oct 22 2019 11:58 am

        Yes I heard about it but not been yet.. On my list.. Maybe next time when I head Vetianne way.. Frogs I have eaten .. Rats I draw the line at.. A step to far methinks….

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 22 2019 12:28 pm

        Too far for me too.

        Like

  34. barkinginthedark / Oct 26 2019 5:14 pm

    Peggy, your pics are always a treat your pics…but now I’m hungry again. continue…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. pam@ichoosethis / Oct 31 2019 2:41 pm

    Omg, this pictures in this post are amazing. I was with a group in Laos who went kayaking a few years ago on the Mekong (I got sick and couldn’t go). One of the couples toppled their kayak over…the guides wouldn’t jump in to help them get back in the boat! And they were stuck in an Eddy 😬. I love SE Asia so much!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 31 2019 2:53 pm

      Wow, that would have been a frightening experience. I love SE Asia too. We used to live in Burma.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pam@ichoosethis / Oct 31 2019 2:55 pm

        You’re kidding? Wow. Do you have posts about this experience? I’d love to read. Your blog is excellent!!

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Oct 31 2019 5:07 pm

        You inspire me. I’ll start doing some posts on Burma. We lived there in the mid to late 1980s. Give me some time. I’ll need to dig through prints. No digital pics back then.

        Like

  36. tony / Nov 19 2019 1:11 pm

    I’ve hundreds of very similar photos of the floating market and the Mekong Delta from my trip in 2008. It is endlessly interesting. I love the Delta — the energy of the people. Terrific photographs. Hard to know when to stop. One hopes they never build the dams on the lower Mekong. Those in China have ruined the river enough.

    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 19 2019 1:23 pm

      We loved the Delta too. I took too many photos but don’t regret it. And yes, dams on the lower Mekong would be a disaster.

      Like

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