Can Tho - Mekong Delta - Vietnam
Can Tho, Vietnam one of the largest cities of the country, is practically considered the ‘capital’ of Mekong Delta. Being the gateway to the paradise of Mekong Delta, Vietnam, practically no other urban city in Vietnam can match Can Tho in terms of its spectacular landscape. Bustling with life and color, Can Tho is like a painter’s stroke on the canvas of Vietnam. You must visit this place, one of the most frequented of the Vietnam popular destinations and that too with lots of time in hand.
The city of Can Tho, Vietnam is located exactly on the Southern Bank of Hau Giang, a tributary of the Mekong River. It is immediately behind Danang and is about 160 kilometers away from the Ho Chi Minh City. Can Tho’s busy city life can be credited to the fact that this province produces some of the largest amount of rice, vegetables, fruits in the whole country. They also have a flourishing fish production unit. Its sea port, being able to house some large ships from foreign countries is also a centre of lot of activity.
In spite of being a prime urban area, Can Tho’s picturesque location in the midst of meandering rivers, is what makes it a haven for tourism. Canal tours, the floating markets, the nearby villages, parks and other prominent attractions, the city offers plenty.
Apart from overnight boat cruises for tourists, there are not anymore regular boat transportation services to Can Tho. This is due to the fact that the time for driving to Can Tho has been reduced to less than 4 hours with the opening of the Can Tho bridge in 2011 and the finalization of the motorway around HCMC.
Trà Nóc Airport now has a vast international terminal with convenient facilities. As of 2011, the airport is connected to Hanoi, Phu Quoc with flights on Vietnam Airlines and Con Dao with flights on Mekong Air.
Mailinh and Happy Taxi are the two main taxi operators of the city. The frequency of taxi cars is much lower than in Saigon as there are less big companies using the taxi fleet in Can Tho. Only a few drivers speak English. Best is to ask your hotel to call a taxi for you and ask them to tell the destination to the driver.
On the river
There are ferries to surrounding areas available from two stations at Ninh Kieu quay. If you want to travel on the river, you can rent a private boat at Ninh Kieu pier. Rates vary and depend on your negotiation skills. Refer to the paragraph about floating markets for more details
The floating markets are a very lively scene, accommodating much of the goods exchange throughout the area. And, the canal system around Can Tho is a fascinating travel network, much more relaxing than the bustling roads. Longer tours on a private boat to the floating markets usually include traveling through the canals as well. Make sure the boat you book is a small boat that can take you through the small canals that the larger tour boats cannot navigate.
Can Tho is famous for its delicate cuisine and extra-fresh fruit and vegetables, and a good place to try and eat unknown fruits. Among the local produce, you may like to try the different varieties of mangoes, oranges, jackfruit, pomeloes, grapefruit, but also custard apple, corossol, longans or even durian. A place where the locals buy fruits are the markets like Xuan Khanh Market.
Vietnamese typically enjoy a coffee (strong, with lots of condensed milk and ice), fresh coconut juice, and fruit drinks (lemonade, orange juice, etc.) in one of the many small stalls along the streets or in the markets. Sugarcane with ice is also very popular. There are sugarcane machines along the roads everywhere in the city. If you want to spend a couple of hours like a Vietnamese, some nice cafes are located in Mau Than street or at Ninh Kieu pier.
Geography Cantho City is located in the center of the Mekong Delta. It is contiguous to 5 provinces: An Giang on the north, Dong Thap on the north-east, Hau Giang on the south, Kien Giang on the west, and Vinh Long on the east. Cantho has a complex of rivers and canals such as Hau, and Can Tho rivers, Thot Not, O Mon canals. Among them, the Hau Riveris considered a benefactor of this region, since yearly floods deposit large quantities of alluvia to the rice fields.
Transportation Cantho is 34km from Vinh Long, 62km from Long Xuyen, 63km from Soc Trang, 104km from My Tho, 116km from Rach Gia, 117km from Chau Doc, 169km from Ho Chi Minh City and 179km from Camau.Road: Cantho has National Highway No.1A, 91, 80 linking to An Giang, Kien Giang provinces. Waterway: Cantho has Cai Cui international seaport. The city is the centre of waterway network of Mekong Delta. There are daily hydrofoils between Ho Chi Minh City and Cantho City. Airline: There is Tra Noc Airport.
Some of the major tourist attractions in Cantho, Vietnam are:
Floating Markets in Cantho: These are one of the distinctive features of this district and are of great interest to the tourists. Some of the most frequented floating markets in this area are Cai Be, Cai Rang, Phung Hiep, Phong Dien, Nga Nam and Long Xuyen. Of these the Cai Rang Floating Market is the most popular one. Apart from providing a lovely view of the busting activities, these markets are a great place to hangout as they have lots of floating restaurants also.
Tourist Gardens in Cantho: There are several riverside gardens all over Can Tho like My khanh, San Duong, Ba lang and Tan Binh. These gardens give a closer view of the flora and fauna of this place.
Ong Pagoda in Cantho: Situated right at the centre of the city, on Hai Ba Trung Road, near the Ninh Kieu Wharf, the Ong Pagoda is the place for all Chinese cultural and religious activities in Cantho, Vietnam. Its colorful Chinese architecture is of special interest.
Ninh Kieu Wharf: This is the heart of all industrial activities in Cantho. Positioned on the bank of Hau River, it has a number of floating restaurants. Cantho City Museum: Situated on Phan Dinh Phung Street in Can Tho this museum provides an overview of the native history, culture, customs and traditions.
Army Museum: Situated on Hoa Binh just opposite to the City Museum, this Museum exhibits weapons, maps, photographs and other items from the Vietnamese War. It gives an idea of Vietnam’s long fight to freedom.
Cantho in Vietnam is a fabulous place offering everything required for a charming vacation. Getting here is quite easy as it is linked to the other main cities of Vietnam, like Ho Chi Minh City and My Tho by efficient bus services. The Cantho bus stop is just 2 km north-west to the heart of the city.
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