Day Trip from Ho Chi Minh to Cai Be Floating Market

My husband and I are staying in Ho Chi Minh City for just two days and want to visit the Cai Be floating market very early in the morning. I've spent a few days researching the best way to do this on the web and have found many tour companies, but we'd rather not be herded in with a big group to see things set up just for tourists at a high price.

We thought we could do it ourselves by taking a public bus from Ho Chi Minh to Cai Be, leaving at 4 a.m., then go to Tan Phong Pier to hire a dinghy, since it's just the two of us. Is this a good idea? Or should we just give in to a small group tour, which is more expensive and seems to include extraneous things like seeing coconut candy being made (not our thing).

Another option would be to hire a private car so we can stop at some spots on the way back, like a temple or a market/village/restaurant that looks interesting. This would be a great option if we could find a reputable service that also speaks some English. Plus, how would we get back? Would the driver wait for us at the pier? We would pay for his meals of course.

Would so appreciate advice from those on this board, since you know the area well!

Thank you!
Anne from the U.S.

You could ask yourself what you prefer, the convenience or cheaper price but abit of homework and using your navigation skills plus public transport knowledge.
In my opinion, the convenience may suite you better especially if this is your first time in Vietnam and due to the very time you are there. It may cost you abit more, but you will get to your destination and return back with peace of mind.

Hope others from Vietnam may be able to give you more info on this as they may know Cai Be and the best way to approach :top:  your day trip.

Good luck

You can find drivers that will go and stay with you your entire trip no matter how long it is. We recently got a minibus for the entire day 40 600,000. Just negotiate the price that suits you.

My wife is from Cai Be. We have a friend from there that is from the area that hires out as a driver. He now lives in HCM. His name is Lua.  and his # is ***. His rates are reasonable and his knowledge of the area will help you enjoy your short stay. He speaks a little English.

Moderated by Bhavna 9 months ago
Reason : Please do not post contact details on the forum. You should exchange them through the private messaging system.Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

You are wise, definitely take the 'dingy' (longtail sampan). You don't want to be in those speedboat ferries with tour groups. The bus we took to Cần Thơ ("gung tuh") was Futa and their bus terminal is in the center of the city. From there you need to get to Ninh Kiều park on the waterfront. Here is my tip: when you arrive at the bus station, tell them you are going to Thanh Thuy Hotel, 68 Hai Bà Trưng street, at Ninh Kiều. They will take you there free, included in your bus ticket. (Don't attempt to pronounce anything, just write down names)

Directly across the street is the waterfront. About 20 yards south there is a gazebo at the street intersection.

Find an old lady who looks like she owns the place. She will probably find you if you walk up to the water and look lost. You should see sampans at the river bank. Tell the lady - her English is ok - where you want to go. You pay her, she keeps some and she pays the boat driver.  It is like an old rowboat, planks for seats, bring rain gear and waterproof bags for your camera in case of rain.

Beyond the floating market, they can take you down canals. We went to a cafe for breakfast, and then to an orchard. These places are a little touristy, but the 'getting there' was the best part. You can ask the lady about places to go. Tip on return if you like, the driver gets about $1/hour. It will be faster to take a taxi back to the bus station, I don't know about schedules.

I wrote about this twice before, see this post.

New topic