What to See & Do in Can Tho: A 3D2N Guide

What to See & Do in Can Tho: A 3D2N Guide

These are the things you can’t miss in Mekong Delta’s largest city!

Can Tho (Cần Thơ) may not be a familiar name for many, but it’s a notable Vietnamese city — the largest in the Mekong Delta region! Its reputation as an important economic and cultural hub, as well as its location in the Mekong Delta, the “rice bowl of Vietnam”, makes it a worthwhile place to stop by when you’re exploring Vietnam.

Getting to Can Tho

A reason why Can Tho might fly under the radar of travellers is that getting there can be a bit tricky, if you aren’t willing to sit through a three-hour bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City.

Otherwise, you can get to Can Tho International Airport by flying from Hanoi or Da Nang.

However, new international flights from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok are slated to begin operating in 2019. Looks like it’s high time to visit the fourth largest city in Vietnam!

Day 1 – Cai Rang Floating Market & Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary

can tho

Image credit: Marco Verch

Even though it’s probably not as popular a destination as Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, Can Tho appeals to many visitors because it’s one of the best access points to start exploring the Mekong Delta.

Also read: How to Explore the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City

Contributing to more than half of the nation’s rice production (and a significant portion of its fish supply), the “rice bowl of Vietnam” is extremely vital to life in Can Tho. And there’s no better introduction to the Mekong than to explore the Cai Rang Floating Market!

Cai Rang Floating Market

The Cai Rang Floating Market is certainly the highlight of Can Tho. Start your day off early at the market, as it’s best visited when the canals come alive from 5am to 7am.

can tho

Image credit: Isderion

There’ll be sampan-fuls of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from, or you can grab your morning coffee or breakfast from vendors selling cooked food! As life revolves around the river, you’ll get a glimpse of boats that also serve as people’s homes.

Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary

In the afternoon, make the trip to Bang Lang — about 60km from Can Tho City — to visit one of the largest bird sanctuaries found on the Mekong Delta. Previously a rice field surrounded by bamboo plants, storks had flocked to the now 12,500m² large garden in 1992. Today the garden is well-maintained by its owner Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Thuyen, who feeds and takes care of the birds too.

The two species of birds that populate the sanctuary are storks and egrets, both majestically possessing white coats of feathers. You can differentiate them by noticing the long-legs of the storks, or orange beaks of the egrets.

Be sure to witness the flocks of birds covering the red skies as they return to the garden at dusk — a sight that’s simply breathtaking.

Day 2 –  Can Tho Museum & Ninh Kieu Wharf

Can Tho Museum

Image credit: Daaé

Learn all about Khmer and Chinese contributions to the Mekong Delta’s development at the Can Tho Museum, which holds over 5,000 objects and historical relics.

With incredible displays and lifelike reproductions of pagodas and teahouses, you’ll gain detailed insight into the history of Can Tho, including the resistance against foreign rule. You’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for the city and its culture.

Ninh Kieu Wharf

Although you would’ve visited the Ninh Kieu Wharf to head to the Cai Rang Floating Market, it’ll be a whole other experience in the evenings.

Image credit: Christina & Boris

Catch the sunset overlooking the Hau River before you immerse in the bustling atmosphere at the wharf as it gets deeper into the night. Although it can get pretty busy at the city’s main trading area, you’ll still be keeping cool feeling the breeze of the Hau River.

Image credit: Maman Voyage

Listen to the music and watch performances as you take a stroll along the river bank, and enjoy delicious street food at the night market.

Day 3 – Ong Temple

Before you leave the city, be sure to visit the vibrant Ong Temple, a Chinese temple located in the Guangzhou Assembly Hall. This is where you’ll really see the city’s Chinese influences; it’s a famous hub for religious and cultural activities in downtown Can Tho.

Admire the imposing centrepiece in the temple that’s dedicated to Kuang Kung, the Chinese God of War, along with other monuments that resemble other Chinese divinities.

Visit Can Tho soon!

The next time you’re in Vietnam, make a stop in Can Tho to get a glimpse of life in the Mekong Delta. Filled with interesting elements of Khmer and Chinese influence, you’ll get much out of this culturally and historically rich city. And with more international flights heading over to this area, visiting Can Tho will be easier than ever.

Also read: 7 Places in Vietnam for Outdoor Adventures

About Author

Sharifah Nur Afiqah
Sharifah Nur Afiqah

Always going from one extreme to the next, Sharifah’s constantly agonising over what to order off the menu, yet she tends to jump head-first into the major things, on the basis of intuition. Catch her at her loudest when she’s on a roller-coaster, cable car, or any other thrill-inducing contraption.


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