Well worth the wander
By the time most travellers begin to rub sleep from their eyes, the vendors at My Tho’s central market (Cho My Tho) are already going full swing. An enthralling walk through the market is a good way to fill the time in a city thin on things for tourists to do.
My Tho market is in the eastern side of the My Tho’s city centre, at Vo Thanh and Trung Trac St, abutting Bao Dinh canal. The wet market is mainly outdoors, running along Trung Trac St. While it’s not necessary to be there when it’s dark or at the crack of dawn, you should aim to be there reasonably early, let’s say before 08:00, in order to see the market busy with activity.
Fish of all shapes and sizes splosh around in big tubs as one by one, they meet their executioners who expertly gut, scale and clean them to order. Seafood is abundant in the Mekong Delta, and it takes a lot of work to prepare. Watch people remove the ink sack from squids, tie up crab claws and scrub cockles before laying it all out in a neat display.
Along with seafood, the Mekong Delta also is well known for its agricultural prowess. There’s just about every kind of tropical fruit and vegetable imaginable, tableaus that are a photographer’s dream—who knew root veg could be so photogenic?
Some of the fruits can be cut up for you and eaten on the spot, so look for tasty jackfruit, coconut water, papayas, pineapples and mangos, just to name a few.
Typical of markets in Vietnam, the shops in and around the central building sell one type of things, sometimes wonderfully niche. Do peruse the stands in there are well. Need a bird cage? Well, go to the bird cage shop.
The vendors at the market seemed receptive of photos and were even amused. They won’t mind your presence so long as you don’t get in the way of transactions or touch their wares. In taking photos of people, before you try for a close up, engage with the subject or ask permission. They’ll certainly be happy if you buy something beforehand too.
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.