I’ve just been back from a fabulous 4 day trip to Can Tho Vietnam and it was awesome!
Located in the south west of Vietnam, Can Tho offers plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages. From exploring its many orchards to taking a leisurely boat ride through the Mekong Delta, there is something for everyone in Can Tho.
During my trip, I was lucky to meet up with some locals who gave me the best tips to explore this exciting city. While there are many things to see and do in Can Tho, below is these locals’ curated list of the top 28 to add to your list. Let’s get started.
Where is Can Tho in Vietnam?
Can Tho is also called Tay Do – the capital of southwest Vietnam. The largest city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, Can Tho is well known for its bustling markets, unique cuisine, and scenic waterways.
For more tips such as how to get to Can Tho, the best time to visit Can Tho, hotels in Can Tho, and so on, check out my comprehensive Can Tho Travel Guide.
Things to do in Can Tho – The Ultimate List
1. Go for a stroll at Ninh Kieu Wharf
Ninh Kieu Wharf is a favorite gathering point for locals and tourists alike. It’s also a great place to relax and take in the sights and sounds of Can Tho.
The best time to visit the wharf is in the late afternoon when it’s not too crowded and you can feel the soothing winds from the river.
Come here and go for a leisurely stroll, you’ll see boats of all sizes entering and leaving, locals taking their dogs on a walk, children playing games, and couples enjoying the view.
2. Get up early for Cai Rang Floating Market Can Tho
As per its name, Cai Rang Floating Market takes place on the Hau river. Every morning, hundreds of buyers and sellers gather their boats at the market to trade.
The market is huge and you can find everything from fresh produce to souvenirs floating by on boats. You can also order breakfast from one of the vendors and enjoy it right on your boats.
Some Cai Rang Floating Market tours also include a visit to a hu tieu (a type of rice noodle soup) factory. Here you can taste unique dishes such as pizza hu tieu and watch the locals make hu tieu from scratch.
Gordon Ramsay paid a visit to Cai Rang Floating Market during one of his TV shows. The world-renowned chef hilariously tried to replace a local vendor to make and serve breakfast dishes from her boat.
He later admitted that her version of hu tieu and bun rieu (a Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup) was one of the best dishes he had tasted in all his journeys. The dish was even introduced as a challenge to contestants in one of Master Chef US’s episodes.
Tip from locals: Cai Rang Floating Market’s most vibrant time is in the early morning (5-6 am). After 7 am half of the market will have dispersed. Make sure to be there early enough!
3. Wander around a night market in Can Tho
Can Tho offers four bustling night markets for you to explore:
- Ninh Kieu Night Market: Central location – situated right next to Ninh Kieu Wharf. It’s a bit small though.
- Tran Phu Night Market: Come here for the yummy street food
- Bai Cat Night Market: Apart from the street food you can also find options for more upscale dining around here
- Tay Do Night Market: Best known for selling a wide range of merchandise such as clothes, shoes, souvenirs, etc.
4. Learn how to make chocolate at Muoi Cuong Cacao Farm Can Tho
Upon visiting this farm, you will be warmly welcomed by the owner, Muoi Cuong, who is more than happy to show you around. The entrance fee is VND 50,000 per person, including a free tasting of his cocoa drink, handmade dark chocolate, cocoa wine, and cacao nibs.
You will start by taking a leisurely walk through Muoi Cuong’s organic cacao farm. After that, come back to the main yard and have a sip of his locally famous cocoa wine.
Muoi Cuong will then share with you how his father started this farm in the 1960s, how he accidentally found a French chocolate book and developed his handicraft accordingly to create various products from his cocoa trees.
Visiting Muoi Cuong Cacao Farm, you will have a rare opportunity to see how cacao trees are grown and how chocolate is made in the old-fashioned way. Don’t forget to purchase some of these unique chocolate products to take home.
Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the experience of being on a real working farm and savor the delicious taste of freshly made chocolate!
Tip from locals: The opening hours of Muoi Cuong Cacao Farm is from 7 am to midday. If you can’t make it in the morning, call him at 0939 427 589 to schedule an afternoon visit. He does speak English so no worries! 🙂
5. Take a short river boat trip
If you’re up too late for the floating market, why not take a short river boat trip to make up for it?
Can Tho is well-known for its extensive network of canals. Taking a boat ride is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and get some fresh air.
Come to Ninh Kieu Wharf and you’ll be approached by many locals who offer a 40-minute private boat trip, which sails around nearby islets. The price we paid was VND 200,000 (for up to 4 people) and it was really worth it.
Tips from locals: It’s best to do this in the late afternoon when it’s not too hot anymore. Remember to wear a life jacket while sitting on the boat!
6. Visit My Khanh Tourist Village
My Khanh Tourist Village is basically a Mekong Delta theme park with lots of activities for the whole family. You can spend up to the whole day here getting busy with:
- Visiting orchards and flower gardens
- Experience making rice papers
- Participating in folk games
- Catching fish
- Watching performances of folk music
- Trying local delicacies
- Rowing on the local boats
7. Find peace and tranquility at Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen Monastery
If you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax and rejuvenate, Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen Monastery is definitely worth a visit.
Located 12 km from Can Tho’s city center, this monastery is home to a community of monks who live a simple life of prayer and contemplation. Here you can tour the monastery grounds and admire its impressive architecture. Visitors are also welcome to participate in meditation sessions and learn about Buddhist principles here.
8. Admire the architecture of Binh Thuy Ancient House
Binh Thuy Ancient House is a beautiful example of French colonial architecture, with a touch of Eastern influence.
Built in 1870, it remains one of the best preserved old houses in southern Vietnam. The interior is decorated with impressive and valuable furniture, including pieces from the 15th century that were imported from China and France.
Binh Thuy Ancient House was used as a filming location for the movie L’amant (The Lover) starring Jane March and Tony Leung Ka-fai, and it’s easy to see why. The house is truly well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.
9. Have an active day out at Con Son Islet
Con Son is a community-based tourism area featuring a variety of things to do. It’s a great place to visit if you want to have an active day out while experiencing the southwestern Vietnamese’s famous hospitality.
Popular activities in Con Son include:
- Taking a walk around their many orchards
- Watch snakeheads jump from the water to catch their food
- Enjoy a southern-Vietnamese style lunch with local delicacies
- Learn to make and sample traditional cakes
- Row a boat along a shaded cannel
Tip from locals: Con Son is packed with tourist groups on the weekend. Try to schedule a weekday visit if you can to avoid the crowds!
10. Watch the city lights at Can Tho Pedestrian Bridge (Love Bridge)
Wait until the lights are on at Can Tho Pedestrian Bridge and you’ll see how lovely it is. It’s a great place to take a walk and enjoy fresh air from the river.
11. Go kayaking at Can Tho Beach
Albeit not a seaside town, Can Tho also offers a decent artificial beach where locals gather to enjoy seafood, take a swim during hot summer days, and kayak for fun. Why not join the locals here if you’re keen on some sea, sand and sun?
12. Learn to make Banh hoi at Ut Dzach
Ut Dzach is an ecotourism area where its owners have been selling bánh hỏi (fine rice vermicelli) for generations. One of their must-try dishes is the hammock-shaped bánh hỏi, which is served with Vietnamese grilled pork sausages (nem nướng), vegetables, and fish sauce.
Visiting Ut Dzach, you will also have the chance to learn how to make bánh hỏi the traditional way. Visitors can also walk around their shaded gardens and relax before it’s time for a delicious lunch.
13. Take photos with street murals
Running for 800 meters, Tran Quoc Toan Street features street murals depicting landscapes of the Mekong Delta from the past and in the present.
The murals are to me not so impressive, but the street is still a nice place to visit and take some photos of.
14. Visit the best orchards in Can Tho
Can Tho is famous for its many orchards offering year-round tropical fruits such as durians, rambutans, longans, mangosteens, dragon fruits, and guavas. Some notable orchards in Can Tho are 9 Hong, Ba Hiep and My Khanh.
The entrance fee is around VND 50,000, which includes a complimentary set of seasonal fruits. For a higher ticket price, you can pick fruits from the trees and eat all you can.
Other activities at these orchards include rowing in their canals, learning to make traditional cakes, and enjoying a heartful home-cooked lunch.
15. Explore the Tarot Museum Can Tho
Address: 44 Nguyen Khuyen Street
Founded by one of the first Vietnamese pioneers who introduced the tarot to Vietnam more than 10 years ago, this unique Tarot Museum Can Tho features collections of tarot and oracle cards from all over the world. It’s also a famous gathering place for tarot enthusiasts in Vietnam.
16. Dine at the best restaurants in Can Tho
After a long day exploring the city, it’s time to treat yourself with a sumptuous dinner at one of the best restaurants in Can Tho.
I personally would highly recommend Lua Nep – an expansive restaurant featuring lush green gardens and overlooking the serene Hau River. You can find a wide variety of local and international cuisines from their menu at very reasonable prices.
Address: Khu bãi bồi, Song Hau Street, Ninh Kieu District
17. Try tasty local food
Check out my full list of what to eat in Can Tho in this comprehensive Can Tho Travel Guide.
18. Learn some history at Kham Lon Can Tho – Prison Provinciale
A trip to Kham Lon Can Tho aka Prison Provinciale is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The prison was built in 1886 and used by the French colonists to imprison Vietnamese rebels. During the Vietnam War with Americans, it was again used by the Republic of Vietnam against the Viet Cong.
Since the end of the war in 1975, Kham Lon Can Tho has been labelled as a historical site and now open to all visitors. Beside historical artefacts, there are also figures depicting the prisoners and their harsh living conditions here during the wars.
19. Visit Ba Bo Flower Village Can Tho
Although Ba Bo Flower Village is open all year round, the best time to visit this place is around the Tet holiday (Jan-Feb) when most flowers bloom beautifully under the sun. It’s a lovely place to take some photos and watch how locals take care of hundreds of types of flowers here.
20. Have a sip at the best rooftop bars in Can Tho
For some chill time in the late evening, why not drop by these rooftop bars to enjoy a cold drink while admiring the beautiful city view?
- Iris Sky Bar – 224, 30/4 Street, Ninh Kiều District
- Bar Club Muong Thanh – Muong Thanh Hotel, Cai Khe Islet
- Ninh Kieu Sky Bar – 2 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ninh Kieu District
- Sunset Lounge Pool Bar – Vinpearl Hotel, 209, 30/4 Street, Ninh Kieu District
21. Experience a local homestay in Can Tho
One of the best ways to experience the charms of Can Tho is by staying in a homestay.
Can Tho homestays offer an authentic experience that you won’t find in a hotel. You’ll be welcomed by your hospitable hosts, and you’ll get to know the local culture firsthand.
Most homestays in Can Tho are surrounded by lush green gardens and luxuriant orchards, so you can also commune with nature as much as you want.
Some Can Tho homestays that we would recommend:
22. Shop ’til you drop at the best shopping malls in Can Tho
The three most visited shopping malls in Can Tho are Vincom Xuan Khanh, Vincom Hung Vuong and Sense City.
Albeit smaller in size compared to other big cities’, shopping malls in Can Tho can still accommodate your splurge with various local and international brands.
23. Buy local gifts and specialties in Can Tho
Drop by Can Tho Market on Hai Ba Trung Street and you’ll find lots of souvenirs and gifts to bring home for your loved ones. The most popular souvenirs are conical hats, bookmarks made from bamboo toothpicks, bà ba (traditional loose shirt from south Vietnam), postcards and T-shirts.
24. Visit Buddhist temples in Can Tho
Can Tho is home to a number of Buddhist temples, each featuring a different style of architecture. Here are some of the most notable Buddhist temples in Can Tho to visit.
- Chùa Ông: 32 Hai Ba Trung Street (a colorful Chinese Buddhist temple)
- Munir Ansay Pagoda: 36 Hoa Binh Street (a typical Khmer Buddhist temple)
- Phat Hoc Pagoda: 11 Hoa Binh Road (a 70-year-old Vietnamese Buddhist temple)
25. Explore the best coffee shops in Can Tho
I always want to visit a local coffee shop anywhere I get to travel to. To me it’s a great way to observe the local life as well as have some much needed me-time during my trips.
If you’re also of the same mind, check out some lovely coffee shops in Can Tho below.
- La Rose Coffee: Y58, No. 10 Street, Cai Rang District
- Hoa Yen Coffee: 131 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ninh Kieu District
- Lego Coffee: 4, No. 4 Street, Ninh Kieu District
- Khoanh Khac Coffee: 51/19 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ninh Kieu District
26. Go out for dinner at Can Tho Yatch Restaurant
Du thuyền Cần Thơ (Can Tho Yatch Restaurant) is a floating restaurant hosted on a wooden boat. It is docked at Ninh Kieu Wharf right in the city center.
Dinner on board comes with a wide variety of local delicacies and musical performances. A romantic date with your significant other maybe?
27. Relax at a fancy resort in Can Tho
If you feel the urge to splurge, spend a night or two at one of the fancy resorts in Can Tho. Most of these resorts offer upscale rooms with large swimming pools, surrounded by lush green gardens and far away from the bustling city center.
Some resorts in Can Tho that we highly recommend:
28. Take a day trip from Can Tho
Once you’re done exploring Can Tho, head to Soc Trang where impressive Buddhist pagodas with a Khmer influence will charm you right away. A bus trip to Soc Trang only takes 1h40m, making it a great day trip from Can Tho.
Phew, thanks for viewing my list of 28 ultimate things to do in Can Tho
I hope you have found this article helpful. Feel free to comment below on what you think of this list. If you have any other suggestions, do not hesitate to let me know as well!
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