Cai Be Floating Market


ll the goods are transported to the market by rafts and boats. The floating market lies in the Tien River, adjacent to three provinces of Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre.

The market is divided into two parts: buying and selling places. Rafts and boats are anchored along the two sides of the river for kilometres. From the floating market, goods are shifted for selling at inland markets or small boats take them for delivery along canals in the Plain of Reeds.

From three 3am in the early morning, rafts and boats are crowded because Cai Be is one of the biggest wholesale markets in the region. Traders live on the river and some link their lives with boats like their mobile house for generations. Cai Be seems to be an inseparable part of their daily lives.

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.

Along the criss crossing canals, people in the Plain of Reeds take not only goods of each countryside to the Cai Be Floating Market but also their unique cultural characteristics, creating such a beautiful river painting.

Cai Be is a charming small town, which is not very far away from Saigon (approx. 2 hours by car). There are lots of colorful fruit and vegetable gardens, traditional crafts, a French church from 1935 and an impressive traditional house, which can be visited. Unfortunately the floating market of Cai Be is getting smaller every year, since trade is shifting more and more into modern central markets. The Catholic cathedral in the background of the floating market is an awesome motive for photos.Cai Be Floating Market


There are numerous small canals in the area of Cai Be, which invite to a discovery tour by sampan. You can explore the area very well by bicycle riding on narrow roads along small side canals. Many of the small shady canals, which branch off from the larger riverarms, are hard to spot, because they are overgrown by lush greenery. On an exploration tour you will often think that you landed in a dead end, but after an overgrown bend it still goes on.

 

This small town attracts many day trippers from Saigon. Besides a handfull of simple homestays some more sophisticated accommodation places slowly emerge.

Cai Be Floating Market

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