Arriving directly in Cai Be is a great way to visit the floating market. Small boats (2-3 people) are easily rented out to locals out of the tourism industry for 40 000 VND an hour. It cuts out an hour of unneccessary boat transport and lets you with the nice bits.
#1 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14
Be sure to arrive in plenty of time to see these markets - like the night B4. The floating markets start about 5AM I believe.
#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,113
Hmm... Markets in South Vietnam usually start before way sunrise and tend to be very active until at least 0900hrs. I arrived in Cai Be at 0700hrs and didn't seem miss out on anything.
It is important to note that floating markets do not have stalls and the wares are therefore both protected from climatic conditions and available to buyers *all day long*. The climax seems to be between 0600hrs and 0800hrs but again, these are *boats* and the merchants live on board all day long... Most trade happens between wholesalers so I would expect visitors to get to see something at any time of the day.
#3 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14
Btw, tourist boats in Vinh Long belong to a state monopoly of some sorts. Proceeding to visit from Cai Be has many advantages I can think of:
- it enables locals to get their share of the tourist dollars
- you spend less
- it saves more than one hour transport time
- (consequence 1: you can sleep more)
- (consequence 2: less pollution due to less transport)
- the local boats are smaller
- (consequence 1: you get to navigate around the market with much more ease)
- (consequence 2: you don't need to rent a full 20-seater if you travel independently or with only a few people)
- (consequence 3: the boats are usually much more silent -and will usually navigate around the centre of the market with their engine stopped-)
- (consequence 4: less pollution due to smaller engines).
Oh, and bringing a gas mask is a good idea. Cai Be market doesn't even compare with a HCMC crossroads but boats engines can smell s*** and you will see fumes...
#4 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14