Can Tho street

Mekong’s ‘capital’ with lovely waterfront & floating markets

Worth It? For the road links with anywhere south of the Hau River; the famous floating markets can be arranged easily here for $6 to $8
What to Do Arrange boat trip of floating market or take sunset cruise; dine at Mekong’s most atmospheric restaurants
Best Time to Go October to March
How Long? A day or two
Gateway Bus/ferry to Vinh Long or Saigon to north; buses head from Can Tho around southern Mekong, to Chau Doc and Rach Gia
Fact Can Tho fell to the North Vietnamese troops on May 1, 1975 (a day after Saigon), making it the last city ‘liberated’ in Vietnam


Can Tho ferryGood food and steady flow of package tourists coming in from the floating markets and bike paths for the night ensures that the Mekong’s biggest city bustles at night on its lit-up riverside promenade. Stick around a day and you’ll find there’s not a lot more to the town than its base locale. Things may change after 2008, when a bridge crossing the Hau River (the southern tributary of the Mekong) finally connects Can Tho with the ‘mainland’ to the north.

Perhaps it’s that insulatory, bridge-less river, but Can Tho has been a little more locked in the old communist ways when it comes to foreign investment. Travelers may not notice any of that – other than the ‘Tin Man’ statue of Uncle Ho by the river – particularly with the rampant ‘free-market supreme’ tactics of boat drivers looking to take you on $2 sunset cruises or longer day trips to floating markets.