Cai Be is one of the various well-known floating markets in the western region of southern Vietnam formed in the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. The Cai Be Floating Market is always busy, bearing all the characteristics of the locals’ life in the western region. This floating market lies in the Tien River, adjacent to three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre – Mekong delta. It has attracted a lot of people come to buy sell and exchange goods.
In the early morning, hundreds of people poured into the market, revitalizing the river reach. With its advantage of diverse fruit trees, Tien Giang province has brought to the market with the famous delicious fruits such as orange, mango, etc. It is opened from 5am to 5pm. It is best to go early in the morning. Wholesalers on big boats moor here, each specialising in one or a few types of fruit or vegetable. Customers cruise the market in smaller boats and can easily find what they’re looking for, as the larger boats hang samples of their goods from tall wooden poles. One interesting thing you won’t see at other floating markets is the huge Catholic cathedral on the riverside – a popular and fantastic backdrop for photographs.
A very special thing is that on each boat, goods are hung on poles that are called dialectically “cay beo”. Hundreds of such poles point the sky wards. Boats also operate like “taxis,” very convenient for tourists around the region.
The Cai Be Floating Market becomes more sparkling at night by the lights from the boats on the river. When the “floating city” lights up, the lights are reflected through the river water like thousands of stars falling down. To increase the charm for “city” at night, many of the boat heads are hung with lovely lanterns like lighting eye.
Take a boat trip to Cai Be floating market, tourists are attracted by the painting of real life of people here with the looming streets under the coconut trees along the river, gourd groves swaying in the wind. All create agreeable scenery for travelers to enjoy. Linking gardens, connecting rivers and interleaving canals – the pure beauty of the countryside has become an ideal destination for those who wish to escape from the busy cities.
It takes about an hour to reach the market from Vinh Long, but most peopie make detours on the way there or back to see the canals or visit orchards.
Cai Be floating market alone is a unique cultural characteristic of this waters region. With the line of people and boats going in a rush, with all means of transport by waterways, the market is line a miniature city on the river. The market is busy all the day long, with a wide range of items trades here from fruits, households items to clothing, etc. Visiting Cai Be Floating Market, tourists can also find for themselves many kinds of special food and drink on the boats, or even enjoy a cup of coffee for a relaxing morning.