Can Tho

Cantho is over its 200 years as the main town, once known as Tay Do and now one city of Vietnam. All of economic, culture activities closely relate to river and canals which like the 'street'

Can Tho, the name comes from ‘cam thi giang’ – river of poems, is a city in Vietnam. The city, regarded as ‘Western capital’, with an estimated population of 1,121,000 as of 2004, is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta. The city is located on the south bank of the Hau River, the bigger branch of the Mekong River. It is 169 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city.

Can Tho

Hau River

Can Tho (or Cantho) is a relatively large city in the heart of the Mekong Delta, in Vietnam.

Geography in Can Tho

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.

Can Tho

Can tho City

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. Thank to that Cantho becomes “the green lungs of the Mekong Delta”.The climate is harmonized with few of storms. It is hot, humid all year. Rainy season lasts from May to November, and dry season lasts from December to April. The annual average temperature is 27ºC.

Tourism in Can Tho

Cantho is over its 200 years as the main town, once known as Tay Do and now one city of Vietnam. All of economic, culture activities closely relate to river and canals which like the ‘street’. Cantho has simple, poetic beauty with well-off villages under shade of coconut trees.It is wonderful to take a boat trip along the riverbanks on fine weather days. On the east bank of Hau River is Ninh Kieu Wharf, which is well known for its beautiful location. Other interesting places are Bang Lang Stock Sanctuary, Cantho and My Khanh Tourist gardens and Cantho Market.

Can Tho

Ninh Kieu Wharf

Climate in Can tho

Can Tho’s climate is tropical and monsoonal with two seasons: rainy, from May to November; and dry, from December to April. Average annual humidity is 83%, rainfall 1,635 mm and temperature 27 °C.

Transportation in Can Tho

Can Tho is connected to the rest of the country by National Road 1A and Can Tho Airport. The Can Tho Bridge which is now completed, is the longest cable-stayed bridge in South East Asia . The 6-lane Saigon-Can Tho Exressway is being built in parts from Ho Chi Minh City to Trung Luong of My Tho. The hydrofoil express boat links this city with Saigon.


Can Tho

Can Tho bridge

Tourism in Can Tho

The Mekong Delta is considered to be the “rice basket of Vietnam,” contributing more than 50% of the nation’s rice production.
Can Tho is famous for its floating markets, Cai Rang and Phung Hiep, where people sell and buy things on the river, its bird gardens (Bang Lang), and Ninh Kieu port. The city offers a wide range of tropical fruits such as pomelo, longan, jackfruit, mango and durian.

Get in

By road: allow about 1.5 hours from Soc Trang, about 3 hours from Chau Doc, about 3.5 hours from Rach Gia, less than 4 hours from Ho Chi Minh City, about 6 hours from Ca Mau and about 1.5 hours from Long Xuyen.

By boat: Apart from cruises (with night onboard) by the Bassac boats or Mekong Eyes cruise…As the time necessary for a car trip from Ho Chi Minh as been reduced to less than 4 hours with the opening of the Can Tho bridge and the motorway around Ho Chi Minh, there is no reason for a speed boat service anymore.



The Khmer pagoda of Munirangsyaram, on Hoa Binh street, where you will always be welcome.

Can Tho

Khmer pagoda

Local markets

The main market of Can Tho used to be an open market located on Ninh Kieu pier. Today, the only original building left is the beautiful old market hall, now surrounded with a garden along the river.
New markets on Cai Khe peninsula and further upstream the Can Tho river have been built to host the increasing activity.


Floating markets

The floating markets are a very lively scene, accommodating much of the goods exchange throughout the area, and can be quite freely visited on board. You may take a tour from the Ninh Kieu pier, in front of Nam Bo restaurant, where the “boat ladies” are charmingly eager to welcome you aboard.
Cai Rang floating market is the main wholesale floating market near Can Tho. Go there early (as early as 06:00), and come back through the small tributaries to Can Tho river; about 3-4 hours. The Mystic sampans offer higher-end breakfast cruises to Cai Rang floating market.

Can Tho

cai rang floating market

Phong Dien is further upstream the Can Tho river, and worth seeing as it is a retail market. It is very active at dawn, but slows down early too, so you may want to go there by land. The arroyos back to Can Tho are also very much worth a ride on a small boat.

Phung Hiep is much farther away, in the neighboring Hau Giang province, but deserves a trip if you are going to stay more than a few days, as it is always bustling with activity.

Tra On in Vinh Long province, is just over an hour downstream the Bassac (the lower Mekong branch, also called Hau Giang or Song Hau). It is a small floating village’s market anchored near the clouds’ island.

Can Tho

Phong Dien


The canal system around Can Tho is a fascinating travel network, much more relaxed than the bustling roads. Hire a small row boat (probably with a small diesel motor as well) that can take you through the small canals that the larger tour boats can’t navigate. Tours from 6am to 2pm, including two floating markets and various sites along the canals.



Can Tho is famous for delicate cuisine and extra-fresh fruit and vegetables, and a good place to try and eat the fruit you would not usually like: you may well find they are very tasty and enjoyable.
Among the local produce, you may like to try mangoes, oranges, jackfruit, pomeloes, grapefruit, but also custard apple, corossol, longans or even durian.


Vietnamese people 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.

Can Tho

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