What to eat before leaving the floating markets in the Mekong Delta – the melting food pot of Vietnam


The Mekong Delta, the farthest area of Vietnam and at the downstream of Mekong River, is a flooded world of floating markets. Thus, it is no surprise that floating markets are very popular here. They offer a wider abundance of fresh produce than wet markets, often at a lower price and give you a chance to immerse yourself in the natural wilderness. Especially, it is a good introduction to the multi-ethnic face of the Mekong Delta with the very best traditional and ethnic dishes.

This is why a lot of not only Vietnamese but also foreign travelers do their groceries there on a daily basis and on their Mekong Delta tour. If food is one of the many reasons why you are so fond of the floating market tour, so what are you waiting? Discover which are the best foods in the Mekong Delta and decide which one to eat!

Fresh tropical fruits


Fresh fruit in the Mekong Delta

Specializing in locally grown produce and fruits, the floating markets like Cai Rang, Cai Be, Nga Nam, or Nga Bay are the suppliers of choice for the whole region. The markets stock a fantastic variety of fresh tropical fruits such as coconut, jackfruit, durian, mangoes, watermelon, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, green grapefruits, bananas, pineapples, pomelo, and longans. As you might know, the longer any fruit or vegetable is picked and goes from orchards, gardens, or farms to table, the more vitamins are lost along the way. So, what can be better than offered a tray of delicious local fruits right where they are grown, especially on a hot day?

Imagine sipping on a refreshing coconut drink and enjoying your own punnet of delicious and ripe fruit (some kinds are served with a spicy salt condiment) as you slowly glide along the river. Such an amazing way to get closer to nature, helping yourselves learn where your food comes from as well as supporting the lovely local farmers in the Mekong Delta. Can’t get any more relaxing than that!

Hủ tiếu (Southern Vietnamese clear rice noodle soup)


Hu tieu in floating markets

Apart from selling piles of fruits, vegetables, and other local produce on bustling clusters of boats to take home, these bustling, friendly markets also have a great choice of casual stalls to eat at, fresher and more reasonably priced than most of the surrounding restaurants. They are also a good introduction to the multi-ethnic face of the Mekong Delta.

The cheapest way to fill your tummy on your floating market food tour is always a bowl of hu tieu. Pop into one of the best boats selling rice noodle soup and order a bowl of the Mekong Delta’s specialty for around VND 15,000. Cooked with a medium temperature, hủ tiếu is a delicious, fragrant, and yummy soup, dense with stretchy rice noodles and topped with succulent locally farmed shrimp, sliced lean meat, ground lean meat, and meatballs, etc. Just imagining slurping down a bowl of piping hot noodles decorated with Vietnamese onion, coriander and cabbage can make you hungry!

Bún nước lèo (Fermented fish soup with vermicelli rice noodle)


What to eat in floating markets in the Mekong Delta?

Because of different methods of preparation and use of materials and ingredients, there are over a thousand types of noodle soups from all over Vietnam with local characteristics.

Made from slowly boiled fish stock and mắm cá linh or mắm cá sặc (fermented fish sauce), bún nước lèo – a noodle dish with Khmer origins – is famous for its very strong aroma or smell.

Along with the noodles and broth, bún nước lèo cannot be perfect without a few different types of pickled fish along with a huge collection of seafood like fresh fish and whole shrimp, roasted pork, pork crackling as well as a heap of fresh herbs, shredded banana blossom, chives, eggplant, and crunchy soybeans, arranged on top.

Bánh canh (soup cake)

Fresh and delicious products are essential for creating the best Mekong Delta cuisine, and what better place to find them than in the floating markets? Made of rice flour, broad and white in color, and typically chewy, bánh canh is typical of Southern Vietnamese cuisine and has gradually spread to other regions throughout our country. For an even more rewarding, authentic Mekong Delta experience, don’t miss to try soup cake!

One of the greatest ways to dive into a destination and most charming aspects of taking a floating market tour in the Mekong Delta is the free time that you have to simply enjoy the traditional food. However, when you are in this mighty region in Southern Vietnam, it might be difficult to decide what to eat without spending a fortune. Well, you can find the solution to your problems following this guide to the best food to try before leaving the Mekong Delta’s floating markets!

Cruise along Mekong River, Vietnam


Mekong Delta is the largest delta in Vietnam, considered as “Rice bowl”, an agricultural miracle that pumps out more than a third of the country’s annual food crop. To the Vietnamese, the region is known as Cuu Long, “Nine Dragons”, a reference to the nine tributaries of the Mekong River, which dovetail across plains fashioned by millennia of flood-borne alluvial sediment.

Travel to Vietnam, Mekong Delta is a must-visit, because it brings you lots of interesting and special experiences. One of those is taking a cruise along Cuu Long river, and visit different destinations along the trip. It is advisable to contact the tour operator to arrange for a tailor-made Mekong delta tour. Along the Cuu Long river, you will have a chance to taste the most delicious food on a boat in floating market or visit immense fruit orchard or stock sanctuary with diverse species of stocks.

Cuu Long River

Cuu Long river (Source: Internet)

1. A cruise in floating markets

Mekong Delta has left a deep impression on tourists by its attractive lifestyle on the river and delicious breakfast dishes. Thus, it is quite exceptional and awesome to take a floating market tour along Mekong River and enjoy everything here.

Floating markets are gathering places where the locals can buy goods, but nowadays it is also an attractive destination for tourist. Every day, it is crowded with hundreds of boats with various kinds of products. Tropical fruits (coconut, rambutan, banana, grapefruit, watermelon…) or even domestic products (bowl, cooker…) are sold most commonly in the market. Along with goods and items, some small sampans also serve as café shops or food stores. It is quite possible to stop by one and then enjoy an iced cup of coffee, soft drinks or a noodle soup for breakfast.

Generally, the best time to visit floating markets is in the early morning, because everything in this moment is very vigorous and colorful: fresh atmosphere, the flavor of delicious hot dishes, peaceful of local life on the river. All are very special.

Skewer and rice noodle soup are selling on a boat

Skewers and rice noodle soup selling boat (Source: Internet)

2. A cruise in fruit orchards

Mekong Delta is not only famous for immense rice field but also is the main supply for fruit for the country. It is missing if you do not add fruit orchards in your Mekong Delta adventure. Mekong Delta offers visitor various kinds of fruits all round year.

Here, visitors can take a stroll around fruit gardens and taste fresh delicious fruit right under fruit trees. If you want to stay overnight here, then there are small resorts located under the shadow of green trees, with affordable price.

A fruit orchard

A fruit orchard (Source: Internet)

In addition to fruit orchards, many regions also offer interesting eco-tours to rice paddies, flower growers, and riverbeds. Imagine you are on a boat bobbing along the river under shades of green trees and breathe in fresh air or landing on somewhere and have lunch there. Lunch dishes are typical for the western regions of Vietnam.

mekongreviews is sure that you hardly find an adventure like Mekong Delta adventure. In some eco-tours like My Khanh ecotourism, Can Tho Province, tourist can have a chance to experience country life of local people such as fish catching, tasting grilled fish right on rice fields or boat racing…

A cruise on fruite orchard

A cruise on fruit orchard (Source: Internet)

Mekong Delta adventure will be probably a memorable experience for you. Clearwater with breath-taking landscape around, friendly and hospitable local people altogether will satisfy you.

3. A cruise in stock sanctuaries

Can Tho Province

A stock sanctuary in Can Tho Province (Source: Internet)

Mekong Delta is also famous for diverse stock sanctuaries. To enter these gardens, visitors must travel by boat. Here you have a chance to enjoy peaceful landscapes with lotus or bang lang flowers, cool water and especially numerous stocks and other species of birds also gathering here. The best time for watching storks is in the early morning when stork fly away for food or in the late afternoon when they return to home after the whole day seeking food from other places. Thousands of storks perching on rice field or bamboo trees create a vigorous picture of nature. The garden is now a popular destination for both domestic and international visitors.