Famed for its floating markets and charming canals, Can Tho is listed as the fourth largest city in Vietnam. Given its close proximity to Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho is nicknamed Tay Do or the “western capital” with a population of more than 1.2 million.
The city is a living testament of how urbanization and rural tradition can coexist wonderfully. With just a 2-hour flight from Hanoi and 4-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, one can enjoy the magic of Cai Rang Floating Market, exotic Vietnamese dishes, and authentic goods shopping at Tay Do Night Market. You can also explore Orchard Gardens and feast on fruits you’ve never even seen before! Rice fields, quiet rivers, industrial parks, bustling ports. Old but new – that is the beauty of a vibrant city like Can Tho.
Can Tho began to progress when it came under the Phong Phuc district, which was notable for its peace and prosperity. Settlers began arriving in Can Tho via the Mekong River through boats that started the concept of floating markets, which is still one of its main attractions today.
When the French left Can Tho in 1945, its name was changed to Phong Dinh under the South Vietnam government. Then, on Vietnam’s reunification in 1975, the city’s name was changed back to Can Tho.
The city is considered an independent municipality and in 2004, Can Tho was split into two units named the Can Tho City and the Hau Giang Province. Ninh Kieu, which is part of the urban district, is deemed the wealthiest and most populated in all of the city districts.
This exciting destination is full of things to do and see. Below is just a preview of some of the top tourist attractions in Can Tho.
Quang Duc Pagoda – Can Tho has many pagodas but this one in particular is regarded as the most active and biggest Buddhist temple in the area. Tourists can get a glimpse of the monks that live in the temple. It welcomes visitors every day but it’s advisable to go in the afternoons and the evenings when there are fewer people.
Phong Dien Floating Market – This floating market is 20 km southwest of Can Tho. It has less tourists compared to other markets like Cai Rang, so it is a little less busy, allowing guests to really roam around the area. There are many stand up rowing boats filled with local products, which gives Phong Dien a more “authentic” vibe.
Can Tho Temple – This Chinese temple is nearby the Can Tho River and built inside the Guangzhou Assembly Hall. It was constructed in the 19th century to worship the deity Kuang Kung who symbolize honor, intelligence, courage, loyalty, and justice.
Bin Thuy Ancient House – This picturesque old house features French colonial architecture. It’s open 24 hours every day and is a popular tourist spot for photo and video shooting.
Can Tho Bridge – Can Tho bridge is a majestic bridge lying in the heart of the city of Can Tho. It is a cable stayed bridge over the Hau River with a length of 2.75 km, it has a carriage way of 76 feet in width and is composed of 4 lanes for traffic and 2 lanes for bicycle and motorcycles.
The bridge was inaugurated on the 24th of August 2010. However, before it got this big and before it was built into its whole majesty, the bridge, like many other great people and buildings, also had its down fall.
On 2007, the great Can Tho bridge collapsed which injured dozens of people. It was described as the most catastrophic tragedy in Vietnam. But this tragedy only proved the greatness of the city because despite the casualties, they still continued building the bridge, which has now became one of the most visited tourist spots in the country.
This region is able to accommodate a range of budgets and flavors. More upscale travelers will find a couple of top luxury hotels in Can Tho.
Southern Folk Cake Festival – This event aims to promote the traditional cakes in the southern region. This is also a good opportunity for the locals to advertise their businesses.
Can Tho Tourism Festival – It’s focused on developing the “urban river” tourism in Ninh Kieu District. Visitors will get to see large flower lanterns floating on the river and enjoy many activities like boat racing, music performances and folk games.