Looking for more off-the-beaten places to visit in Vietnam's Mekong Delta?
Head to Hau Giang Province and visit the Vi Thanh Squatting Market, one of the most colorful and authentic markets we've discovered in Mekong.
Away from the touristic areas in Mekong, Vi Thanh market is bustling with local vendors and buyers. Providing you with a more authentic experience and a glimpse of Mekong's local way of life.
Read along as we share our experience visiting the market so you know what to expect and why we think it is one of the most authentic places to visit in Vietnam. We've also included helpful information on how to visit the market, the best time to visit, how to get there, and many of our insider tips.
About Vi Thanh Squatting Market
While colorful markets can be found all over Vietnam, the Vi Thanh market in Hau Giang Province is different.
It is also known as “chồm hổm” by the locals, which means “squatting market” because the vendors only squat or sit on small chairs on an open area to sell their products.
Though it may not be as popular as the Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho, the Vi Thanh market provides a more authentic local experience in the Mekong Delta.
The vendors at this market are genuine farmers who grow their own crops in the Mekong. That’s why the produce is priced cheaper than other markets in Vi Thanh.
In this open market, you will find mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood.
The vendors arrive early in the morning and lay out their produce meticulously in rectangular slots, which makes the scene of the market from above spectacular. Farmers reserve these slots up front for 10,000 VND per day.
Drone alert - Be careful flying above the market. Don’t get too close and watch out for other drone enthusiasts in the area. Be considerate and share the sky with fellow photographers.
Where is Vi Thanh’s Squatting Market
The squatting market is located in Vi Thanh City of Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. What makes the market unique is that it has stayed authentic despite being set among the city's busiest streets. Find the exact location on Google Maps here!
Our Experience in Vi Thanh Market
During one of our visits to Can Tho, we took a day to drive to Vi Thanh Market and explored the countryside of the Mekong Delta.
We started driving at dawn around 5am and it took us about 1.5 hours to get to the market. We left Can Tho in the dark and we shared the road mainly with trucks, so be extra cautious if you’re on a motorbike.
When we were met by the first sun rays of the day,, we were surrounded by endless rice fields for as far our eyes could see. The countryside was breathtakingly peaceful in the early morning light. We passed by local farmers tending to their fields and we stopped to take some photos along the way.
Once we reached the market, we parked next to the river where men had gathered around for a cockfight, an age-old tradition in these parts of Vietnam.
The market was already bustling by the time we got there but the weather was a bit cloudy. We found that the best time to fly the drone was when the sun started to shine, creating a magical scene as the sun rays hit the colorful market.
We spent hours wandering through the market, taking in the vibrant atmosphere. To our surprise, the sellers were not only open to our presence but also eager to smile for our photographs, while others even requested one in return.
Respect the locals - The heart of any market lies in its people, so always ask for permission before taking photos. It's a simple gesture, but it shows respect for the vendors and their space.
But beyond the market, we believe that the journey itself is worth the drive to Vi Thanh Market in Hau Giang. The landscapes, the culture, and the warmth of the people make every moment spent exploring this Mekong Delta's charm an absolute pleasure.
Looking for more authentic markets in Vietnam? Read about the Pho Cao Tribal Market in Ha Giang.
When to Visit Vi Thanh Market
While you can visit the market all year round, the best time is during the dry season from December to April.
The market opens daily from 2am to 10am but the busiest time is from 6am to 8am when locals come and buy the freshest produce for the day.
How to Get to Vi Thanh Market
It’s about 48km from Can Tho City and it takes about 1.5 hours to get there. Here are some ways for you to reach the Vi Thanh market from Can Tho.
Car: We recommend hiring a private car from Can Tho since it's a long drive and you'll need to leave while it's still dark if you want to arrive during peak hours. Book a driver at your accommodation.
Motorbike: If you decide to drive a bike, consider renting a bigger motorbike with at least 150cc. This will make your journey more comfortable. Make sure you have a driver’s license so you can rent with your accommodation.
Parking: When you arrive at the market, parking is hassle-free. You can park by the river or in the market square for free.
Where to Stay
You may also choose to stay near the market in Vi Thanh. Here are some of the few hotels available in the area.
Things to Do: Exploring Beyond the Outdoor Market
Vi Thanh Market isn't just about its bustling outdoor scene. Here’s some of the things we recommend for you to experience while you’re exploring the Hau Giang province.
1. Indoor market: Beside the outdoor market, you can also find a big indoor market on the side that sells other produce.
2. Food court: The food court is next to the outdoor market where you can taste some of the region’s local delicacies. From mouth watering noodles, to flavorful soups and cakes.
3. Local farmers: As you drive around, keep an eye out for the local farms that are working in the fields. It's a chance to witness the dedication and skill that goes into cultivating the region's staple crops.
4. Lotus harvest: For a unique and picturesque sight, also watch out for locals harvesting lotus flowers in the river.
And that’s the guide to visiting the Vi Thanh Market in Hau Giang!
As more and more people discover Vi Thanh Market's authentic charm, we recommend visiting sooner rather than later so you can still immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and interact with the local vendors before it changes.
If you’re looking for more authentic experiences like this, read our 4-Day Mekong Delta Motorbike Itinerary that will take you to some of the Mekong’s hidden gems!
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.
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