Every day, lots of boats and rafts in the delta gather here to trade and do business. Although the market is often open all day, the liveliest time is at sunrise. Some sellers visit the market to purchase products from the merchant. Then, these will be brought back the markets on land for sale.
Foreigners who never heard floating markets before are highly advised to set foot in Cai Be once in their trip to Vietnam. Floating market is a huge marketplace where both sellers and buyers make deals or purchases on the boats. The truth is that this kind of market is very common in the Mekong Delta region where the people’ lives are also closely attached to the waterway. There are lots of the tourist agencies that introduce Cai Be floating market tour for nature lovers and adventurous visitors. All you must do is simply to sign up for a package tour as well as have yourself ready to get up early in the morning.
In general, the market is split into 2 distinguishing parts, called buying places and selling places. At that time, boats and sampans packed with vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural goods from other provinces, such as sweet potatoes (Vinh Long) and pumpkins (Hau Giang), will be anchored along the banks of the Tien River for kilometers. Similar to Cai Rang Market, the sample of the merchandise is also hung on a long pole in front of each boat to attract and help customers realize more easily. This seems to be a common and unique sign you only find in the floating markets in Mekong Delta.
You are able to hire a motorboat to sail along the river as well as experience how animated and vibrant a floating market is. From the 3:00 AM in the early morning, boats and sampans are busy and crowded since Cai Be is considered one of the largest wholesale markets in the region. Spending their lifetime on the river, traders also use their boats as “mobile houses” from generation to generation. The water is likely to become an inseparable part of their daily lives. They eat, sleep, hang out, and do other jobs on water. On the deck of one boat, it is easy to catch the images of kids studying or playing with dogs.
In addition, you may also gain practical experience by accompanying with the locals to know how they catch fish. After sailing on the river, visitors may enjoy homestay atmosphere, wander around the fruit gardens, sample local cuisine and immerse in the old stories. If departing for the journey on a nice day without rain, you should not let this interesting tourist attraction slip out of your itinerary.
3. Dong Tam Snake Farm
Situated about 9 km west of My Tho City, Dong Tam Snake Farm in Binh Duc Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang Province is the largest centre for snake rearing and snakebite treatment in the Cuu Long River Delta. It has long been an interesting tourist site for domestic and foreign visitors.
The farm has the tasks of doing scientific research, rearing and conserving precious species of snakes, medicinal plants and animals, producing traditional medicines and providing first aids and treatment for people who are bitten by poisonous snakes in the region. Dong Tam Snake Farm has become a scientific center with great achievements in curing people.
The farm covers 12 ha. It has separated areas to rear precious species of snakes, such as the king cobras, burrowing cobras and ringhals, another to grow medicinal plants, a hospital for snakebite treatment, a research department, an animal reserve and a snake museum.
On average, each year, the centre receives over 1,000 victims of poisonous snakes. In 2005 it received over 10 billion VND from the State, ministries and sectors to build an emergency ward with facilities, machines and equipment for snakebites treatment.
Since March, 2006, the patients here have been treated free of charge. Over the past decades the centre has saved the lives of thousands of people bitten by venomous snakes.
It has a team of experts and qualified physicians with experience in snakebite treatment. The centre also extracts the venom of the king cobras and vipers to produce medicines and serums for snakebite treatment and it also grows Vietnamese medicinal plants. It has hundreds of categories of medicines for different diseases, from influenza and headache to heart, liver and stomach diseases.
Dong Tam Snake Farm is a unique site in the My Tho - Thoi Son Island - Dong Tam Snake Farm tour. At the farm the tour guide will help visitors learn about each species of snakes, their characteristics and physiology, how to distinguish venomous and non-venomous snakes so that they can survive when bitten by the snakes. Here, visitors seem to be lost in a kingdom of hundreds of species of snakes.
There are many snakes winding themselves around the branches. Visitors also have an opportunity to see many rare and precious species of amphibians, such as pythons, crocodiles and turtles which are in danger of extinction in Vietnam. Dong Tam Snake Farm has a museum with over 40 specimens of snakes which have been listed in Vietnam’s record book. This is the first snake museum in Vietnam.
Besides learning about the snakes, visitors will enjoy the quiet atmosphere of the fruit gardens which are reminiscent of a peaceful countryside. Every year, about 30,000-40,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit this area.
4. Thoi Son Island
Thoi Son Island is one of famous attractions in Mekong River Delta. This island fascinates visitors by its beautiful landscapes, ancient houses, unique traditional Vietnamese folk music – Don Ca Tai Tu, and special cuisine.
Thoi Son Island is also known as Con Lan Island or Unicorn Island. This island is administrated by Thoi Son Commune in My Tho City (Tien Giang Province). This is the largest of 4 islands in My Tho River, a part of Tien River. Thoi Son Island has an area of about 1,200 hectares with crisscrossed canals and ditches. In spite of its position in the same river (My Tho River), Dragon Island or Con Long Island and Thoi Son Island belong to My Tho City of Tien Giang Province, while Con Quy Island and Con Phung Island belongs to Tan Thach Commune, Chau Thanh District of Ben Tre Province. Residents in Thoi Son Island make their earn living mainly by growing fruit trees such as longan and sapoche, or bee keeping, fishing and aquaculture. Visiting the island, you will have an opportunity to discover many interesting things and have unforgettable moments.
Thoi Son Island has a length of about 11 km, and a width of 1 km. This island is not just a well-known attraction in Mekong River Delta, but also a famous growing fruit area with the population of about 6,000 people. The island receives alluvial from Tien River. From afar, this island looks like a fortress explored 300 years ago. In 1990, Thoi Son Island tourism started to develop.
After 30 minutes of enjoying landscapes by boats, tourists will reach Thoi Son Island. It is really interesting when sightseeing in this island by boats. Owing to the rich alluvial, trees are green all year round. And, the atmosphere here is fresh and cool. Here, tourists will enjoy the comfort in lush green gardens, laying in a hammock or sit on rocking chairs and enjoy the cool breeze and juicy fruits. Thoi Son Island is always full of seasonal fruit trees, from longan, rambutan, to durian, etc. Popping into orchards of these fruits trees will bring you interesting experiences.
Another attraction in this island is ancient houses. There are many spacious and cool houses with Southern architectural characteristics. The front yard of these houses is the place of bonsai pots with various strange and interesting shapes. Houses in this island remain their ancient and untouched beauty. Mr. Tam's house is a famous attraction in this island. This house is a typical model of southwestern houses. The house is furnished with ancient styles of pearl-carved altar, delicate tables and couches, along with other antique things. The house is surrounded by beautiful and strange bonsai.
Apart from discovering specialties as delicious traditional food, facilities of making candy and other products, you have a chance to enjoy sweet melodies of Don Ca Tai Tu – a traditional music of Southern Vietnam in particular and of Vietnam in general. Beautiful vocals with unique melodies of Don Ca Tai Tu will bring a special Vietnamese cultural space to tourists.
Discovering cuisine in this island is one of indispensable things. Tourists can enjoy dishes of fish, shrimp, especially Tai Tuong fried fish dish. You will have the opportunity to get familiar with all funny and hospitable gardeners. They will invite you to taste honey with its own special flavor going with tea and coconut candies. Once dropping by Thoi Son Island, you should not miss to visit some small facilities of producing coconut candy and other products made of coconut. The scents of these specialties appeal visitors to taste, admire and buy as gifts for family and friends. Coming here, visitors can see the process of making coconut candy by the manual method, buy crafts, and utensils made from coconut trees. In addition, currently, in this island, there is an area for sightseeing and restaurant chain with ancient architecture invested and built to meet the need of tourists. You will have the feeling of luxury, coziness and comfort.
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VIETNAM CHARM TRAVEL
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