All photography by Christian Berg
The best way to get a feel for Can Tho is to see it from the water. Climb into a boat at first light and you’ll be treated to the sight of morning in Can Tho. Cruise past stilt houses and barges, see birds swooping over the palms, and boats heading to market heavy with fruit. Cai Rang is Can Tho’s largest floating market and an essential stop for a bowl of hot hu tieu noodles. Make sure to also visit a smaller floating market, for a close-up look at this Mekong Delta tradition.
The healthy goodness of fresh fruit is an everyday part of life in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Many families grow juicy rambutans, guavas, mangoes and countless other tropical fruits on plots behind their homes. Come afternoon, the lady of the house will gather a few ripe fruits to be served with green tea. Any time you are invited into a home in Can Tho, a plate of fruit is sure to appear on the table. Feel free to sample as much as you like!
Being near the water in Can Tho is a tonic for travellers looking to reconnect with nature and themselves. In Can Tho, luxury resorts such as Azerai Can Tho are the perfect place to escape with someone special. In lush lanes outside the city, you’ll find charming homestays where the hosts will welcome you like one of the family. Families will appreciate the pools and gardens at four-star favourite Victoria Can Tho. Wherever you go, soothing lotus ponds and gently flowing rivers are never far away.
Mealtimes are a highlight of any trip to Can Tho. Locals use freshwater fish and shrimp, just-picked vegetables, and Vietnamese cooking techniques to make mouthwatering dishes you won’t forget. Lunch might be a simple array of fresh spring rolls with herbs, grilled pork and rice noodles dipped in fish sauce, or an abundant spread with dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, mango and shrimp salad and claypot fish making an appearance with rice and soup on the side. Our best advice is to trust the local tastes and give new flavours a shot.
Can Tho may be the fourth-largest city in Vietnam, but just a few minutes away from downtown, you can hop on a ferry and enter an entirely different world. On the islets, time moves more slowly, lanes are shaded with fruit-bearing trees, and long meals and tea are shared outdoors. Take a bicycle to explore the islets, stopping at noodle-making villages and fruit farms; or book a community-based tour for more insight into local culture in and around Can Tho.