On the second day of our Mekong Delta boat tour, we cruised over to the Cai Rang floating market to check out all of the hustle and bustle and commotion taking place in Can Tho, Vietnam. This was excursion would be the centerpiece activity of our tour for the day.
Not long after we started cruising down the Mekong Delta, our boat stopped at a floating gas station to fill up. While gas was be pumped into our boat I couldn’t help but notice two sleeping dogs; they looked extremely docile and I instantly wondered how/if they received enough exercise.
As we continued on our boat journey, we noticed ladies wearing conical hats paddling simple crafts all the way to large vessels with a crew; these waters were certainly anything but calm.
As we approached the actual floating market the pace of activity and exchange really started to pick up. The majority of trade appeared to be involving the exchange of tropical fruits – especially pineapples- being tossed in the air from one boat to another. It was fascinating watching the contrast between those who were sleeping and taking it easy on their boats versus the very productive workers who at times were scooping water out of their boat or hauling or tossing multiple items from one craft to another.
A small boat pulled up alongside powered by a Vietnamese lady and a very determined and somewhat overzealous little hustling son. With enthusiasm and charm this little Vietnamese boy was able to sell skewered pineapple sticks and iced coffee to a large percentage of the tourists on our boat – including both of us. They must have made a small fortune; good for them
Overall, the market offered a glimpse of what life is like at a floating market although we did find it a bit touristy – with many parts seemingly more catered towards selling to tourists rather than locals.