Floating market – unique culture of the Mekong Delta

The ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta is a landscape carpeted in a dizzying variety of greens and slashed with mighty waterways. It is a water world where boats, houses, restaurants and even markets float upon the innumerable rivers, canals and streams that flow through the region like arteries. At times you can quite simply lose sight of land.

Floating market
Floating market

There are hundreds of floating markets all over the Mekong Delta and the tradition of selling agriculture products from one boat to another one lies back for over 100 years. Mekong delta tours Vietnam

The floating markets belong to the highlights of the Mekong delta. These markets are central markets in the delta, where people can buy fruit and vegetables from local production. The goods are sold directly from the boats – the owners hang the available products on long poles, so that people can see what is on offer from far away.  Farmers from the region bring their goods, fruits and vegetables mainly, to the markets and sell them to local dealers. These dealers sell the products to shops in the neighboring towns and to wholesale dealers from the big towns. Wholesalers trade from the larger boats by hanging their produce from a pole. This way, buyers on the smaller boats can easily see where they have to go to purchase the goods they need.

Tourists at floating market
Tourists at floating market

A good time to visit any of the floating markets is early in the morning, when they are very lively and colourful. They are best explored on a small sampan with a local guide. You can also visit the merchant ships and taste the fresh fruits. Travel Indochina Vietnam

Once you finally reach the market, it is an impressive site. A stretch of boats selling all variety of goods lines the river. Not really a place for souvenirs, people come here instead to buy large quantities of goods, mostly foodstuffs, and you will get an idea of what water commerce in the Delta looks like.

Tropical fruits
Tropical fruits

On the floating markets you do not only find people buying and selling goods, you also find floating restaurants, floating bars, floating gas stations, and many other floating shops. It is a floating market but services are available, foods and drinks on small boats twist and turn to serve hungry sellers and buyers. Signal to buy is only a whistling or waving band. Canals in the area are simply the easiest and fastest means of transportation.

If you have never witnessed Mekong Delta’s floating markets, you are missing a colorful cultural experience that ranks very high on our list.

Asia Travel.

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