Can Tho is famous for its floating markets in which tourists can explore Vietnamese culture and food at its finest. There are also a great many museums, pagodas, and Buddhist temples to visit in the surrounding area, which attracts many international visitors.
These Venetian-like markets located on small canals are a great place to bargain for souvenirs and try local Vietnamese food.
This 19th-century Buddhist and Confucian temple faces the river and is popular for its brightly colored facade.
This museum housing over 5,000 artifacts and replicas telling the history of Vietnam is located in the city center and is free of charge for visitors.
This downtown green space is a popular meeting point and hosts many activities including picnics, informal sports games, and concerts.
Relax at sunset on this bridge with great views overlooking the city and the Hậu River.
Built facing the Can Tho River, close to its meeting with the Hau, the Ong Temple is a Buddhist treasure. But the first thing you notice about the place is the scent created by its continuously burning incense coils. Built in the 19th century in a Chinese style, it commemorates a god known as Kuang Kung, who represents stout virtues like justice and honor. And it does so in style, featuring lavish screens and golden ornaments throughout its interior.
The Can Tho area is packed with floating markets, where traders converge from up and down the Hau's river banks. Unlike anything in the West, these markets are spellbinding places to see, but none are as big or welcoming as Cai Rang. Located just south of the city center, the market isn't really a place to shop for souvenirs (it caters mainly for wholesalers), but it's fascinating to be there and watch the trading take place. Boat tours can be joined from central Can Tho, or you can take it all in from the quay.
If you follow the road around 20 miles north of Can Tho along the Hau, you'll come to Bang Lang - and nature lovers will be in paradise. Bang Lang only occupies 1.3 hectares of the delta, but it packs in some incredible local residents, in the form of snowy egrets and storks, who nest here in their thousands. The locals tend to arrive in the sanctuary every night during nesting season around dusk, so if you are going to visit, that's the best time to go. Wear a hat (to avoid any unfortunate dive-bombing incidents), and you'll be treated to a magical avian scene.
Can Tho's historic core is its most rewarding area to wander around and soak up some authentic Vietnamese street life. Xuan Khanh Market is a highlight, and a great place to pick up a banh mi sandwich and some exotic fruits, as is the Student Quarter, which is packed with churches and temples. It's also home to a street called "Hot Pot Alley" which, as the name suggests, is the number one place in town to grab some typical Can Tho Hot Pot, complete with spiced fish caught straight from the river. There's no better place to feel immersed in the town's everyday life.
Located in Xuan Khanh, the Quang Duc Pagoda is its spiritual core, and a treat to visit. Built in a Khmer style and recently given a fresh lick of paint, Quang Duc is very much alive with religious energy, with a large community of working monks. But despite the hustle and bustle, the locals are always happy to welcome visitors, showing them around the tapestries, decorations, and explaining their religious significance.
The best time to visit is between February to April when there is little rainfall and temperatures are modest and consistently sunny.
Can Tho International Airport (VCA) has daily flights to Asia and other international cities. Most visitors will then transfer by private taxi to their hotel in the city center, which generally costs ₫25,000.
Travel along the QL1A highway from Ho Chi Minh City to reach Can Tho in 3.5 hours.
Thanh Buoi, Phuong Trang, and Mai Linh buses leave every 1-2 hours from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho and cost ₫100,000. The journey takes 3-4 hours.
Water-facing rooms at the luxurious Victoria Can Tho cost ₫5 million. Kim Lan Hotel is cheaper, with breakfast included and rooms facing a busier main street.
Quang Duc Pagoda - this area is home to one of the biggest Buddhist pagodas with monks still living on the premises.
Xuan Khanh - the historical center of the city is characterized by the Mau Than shopping street and student population.
Cái Khế - here you will find many restaurants and hotels as well as the the Cái Khế Market, selling fresh fruits and textiles along the river.
Cyclos or shared motorbikes are popular in Vietnam, with a standard ride costing around ₫20,000 - 60,000.
Mai Linh and Happy Taxi are the two main taxi companies, with tariffs starting at ₫8,000. A typical ride in the city center costs ₫15,000.
There are many companies with daily rental options. Motorbike rentals start at ₫220,000 and are a great way to quickly travel around the city.
The floating markets are a great place to pick up traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.
Most food shopping is done at the floating markets or at LOTTE Mart Cần Thơ. A dozen eggs costs ₫29,000.
Browse among the many food stalls on Hot Pot Alley (between Mau Than Street and Hem 1 Ly Tu Trong), named after the signature "hot pot" Vietnamese dish. Meals generally cost around ₫130,000.