The buzzing cultural and commercial centre of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho sits on the southern bank of the Hua River, one of the Mekong’s main distributaries as it flows out past endless paddy fields into the South China Sea.
At the heart of an incredibly fertile region known as the ‘rice basket of Vietnam’, Can Tho is famous for its floating markets where people trade all sorts of fresh produce from traditional sampan boats. A seemingly unchanged aspect of rural life down here, they are a fascinating contrast to the modern development of the city encapsulated by the vast Can Tho cable stay bridge which spans the river.
As well as the markets, which are found a short way outside of the city, the downtown area is well worth an explore. Offering a slightly more laid back and authentic insight into metropolitan life than nearby Ho Chi Minh City, its waterfront area is great place to try street food after the sun goes down when it attracts students, businesspeople, farmers and tourists alike. There are also a handful of historic temples in town while the beautiful countryside and quaint villages that surround Can Tho are best explored by bicycle.