A visit to the Phung Hiep Floating Market is a great way to experience the local population using the river canals for transportation and commerce. Can Tho City is located in the Cuu Long(Mekong) Delta region. The city is the area’s agriculture industry hub.
The fertile region’s various agriculture products are sold in the floating market. Sampans with overflowing bushel baskets weave and dart in the water. Farm families bring produce to sell to large companies who resales it in Can Tho City or further north in Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon).
This is not a tourist trap. The floating market is a commercial site, totally for the locals’ benefit. The families’ livelihood depends on the money earned. Sharp bargaining voices fill the morning air. The farmers’ vegetables, rice, sugar cane and fruit are exchanged when the price is settled. Fish, and chickens and pigs are sold as well.
The family farm goods sold, the second market starts. Now it is time for the farmers to do their shopping. They are the buyers and now must bargain for low prices. Remember earlier they demanded high selling prices. There is food, cloth, household items, even gasoline for sale.
The market is active from 5:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. It is located 30km from Can Tho City. There are other floating markets closer to the city, but Phung Hiep is by far the largest and worth traveling the distance. Sampans and long-tail boats leave from the Ninh Kieu Wharf in Can Tho City. The wharf itself is worth a separate visit.
Enjoy the riverside scenery to and from the market. Many homes line the banks of the vast network of canals. Areca palms and other greenery line the banks. On the return trip, little children play on the banks. Many will stop and wave.
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