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Can Tho


Tel: 071 + Pop 330100

Cantho, capital of Cantho province, is the political, economic, cultural and transportation centre of the Mekong Delta, as well as the largest city in the region. Rice – husking mills provide a major local industry.

This friendly, bustling city is connected to most other population centres in the Mekong Delta by a system of revers and canals. These waterways and the colourful “ floating markets’ around the city are the major tourist drawncard in Cantho – travellers come here to do economical boat trips.


Money: Foreign – currency exchange can be done at Vietcombank ( Ngan hang ngoai thuong vietnam Tel: 820445, 7 Dl Hoa Binh), as well as at Indovina Bank ( D 30 Thang 4 & D Chau Can Liem)

Emergency: Try the local hospital for any medical emergencies. ( Chau Van Liem str. & DL Hoa Binh)

Munirangsyaram Pagoda.

The ornamentation of Munirangsyaram Pagoda ( 36 Hoa Binh str) is typical of Khmer Hinayana Buddhist pagoda; It dowsn’t have any of the Multiple Bodhisattvas and Taoist spirits common in Vietnamese Mahayana Pagodas. In the upstairs sanctuary, A 1.5m high respresentation of Siddhartha Gautama, The historical Buddha, sits serenely under a Bodhi tree.

Built in 1946 the Munirangsyaram Pagoda seves the Khmer community of Can Tho, which numbers about 2000. The Khmer monks bold daily praers here.

Contanese Congregation Pagoda.

This small Chinese pagoda ( Quan Cong Hoi Quaan; Hai Ba trung str) was built by the Cantonese Congregation. The original one was constructed on a different site about 70 years ago. The current pagoda was built with funds donated by overseas Chinese more recently was built with funds donated by overseas Chinese more recently.

Can Tho used to have a large ethnic-Chinese population, But most of them fled after the anti- Chinese persecutions ( 1978-79)

The Pagoda occupies a spledid location facing the Cantho River

Central Market

This market is strung out along Hai Ba Trung str. Mnay local farmers and wholesalers arrive here by boat to buy and sell. The fruit section, near the intersection of Hai Ba Trung str, and Ngo Quyen Str. is particularly colourful and stays open until late evening.

Ho Chi Minh Museum         

This is the only museum ( tel 814764, 6 Hoa Binh str. Admission free: open 8am – 11am & 2pm – 4h30pm Tues-sat) in the Mekong Dalta devoted to Ho Chi Min,h and it’s a bit of a noverlook that small sticking point, there is no reason not to visit this large museum. It’s inside a gated courtyard near the main post office.

CanTho Museum

The enormous Can Tho Museum ( Tel: 813890, Phan Dinh Phuong ) is easy to spot – It’s located opposite the main post office.

Boat Tours

The most interesting thing to do in Can Tho is take a boat ride through the canals and visit a floating market. The cost for this varies but is around US$3 per hour for a small paddle boat, which can carry two or three passengers. You won’t have to look hard for the boats – They will be looking for you, Just wander by the riverside near the market and you’ll have plenty of offers. There is of course the option of booking through Cantho Tourist. but this leaves little room for negotiation. Most of the boats are operated by women.

Bring your camera, but keep it in a plastic bag when it’s not in use because it’s easy to get splashed by the wake of motorised boats. The paddle boats only go on the smaller canals ( Which are actually more interesting) because the current is weaker.

Larger motor boats can go further afield, and it;s worth considering hiring one to make a tour of the Mekong River itself. Check the going rates at Cantho tourist, and then see what;s on affer at the pier by the Ninh Kieu Hotel. For a three-hour tour of the canals and Cai Rang floating market expect to pay around 150,000d for a larger one ( five to 12 people). The coast of a five hour boat trip to the Phong Dien Floating Market expect to pay around 150.000 for a small boat ( 1 or 2 people) is around 250.000d. The name of the game is negotiate.

For more on the area’s floating markets, see the Around Can Tho section.

Place to stay

Can Tho Boatsts the Best range of accommodation in the Mekong Delta

Place to stay – Bugdet

Hien Guesthouse ( Tel: 812718, email; 118/10 Phan Dinh Phung str ( single/Double with fan US$8/10, doubles with air-con US$8) is a bona fide travellers’s place. Family-run and friendly, it’s tucked down a narrow ( and quite) alley a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. The owner is a local shool teacher and an excellent source of local travel information. Dependable motorbikes can be rented here for around US$ 10 a day. Basic but clean rooms come with floor-leval mattresses, though proper beds were planned for the new rooms under construction when we last visited.

Huy Hoang Hotel ( tel: 825833, 35 Ngo Duc Ke str, Rooms with fan/air con, 150 000d/200000d) is another trendy sport for the packpacker crowd,

Hotel- Restaurant 31 ( tel 825287, 31 Ngo Duc Ke, twins with fac 120.000d, with aircon 180.000d), also popular, is near Huy Hoang. The restaurant here is recomened, especially their beef dishes.

Phan Trung Hotel ( tel 824477, No 9 Le Thanh Ton str, fan rooms withour bath 100.000d, air-con rooms 180000-220000d is another choice in the budget realm.

Phong Nha Hotel ( tel: 821617, No 75 Chau Van Liem str, rooms with fan/aircon 120.000 – 180.000d) is cheap and ther eis a photo processing shop right next door, but it is on a noisy street with many motorbikes.

Ngan Ha Hotel ( Tel 821024, fax 823396; 39-41 Ngo Quyen, room US$ 18-22) is a private hotel in a convenient but noisy location. All rooms have air-con and hot bath, and rates include breakfast.

Places to Stay – Mid Rang

Doan 30 Can Tho Hotel ( tel: 823 623, 80A Nguyen Trai Str. rooms with fan/aircon US$ 15/20, deluxe US$ 25-30) is an army owned place at the northern end of town. It has some rooms with balconies and river views. There is an outdoor Cafe on the rier side. and the hotel’s private boat langding is convenient for boat trips. Rates include a simple breakfast.

Asia Hotel ( Khach San Chau A: Tel 812 800,fax 812 779 email:; 91 Chau Van Liem. rooms US$25-30) is a nice place with large balconies. Rats are includesive of breakfast, There is a similar standard at the Cantho Hotel.

Tay Do Hotel ( Tel: 827009 Fax 827008, email: 12 Hai Ba Trung str. rooms US$ 30/50) is starting to show its age, but it has the advantage of being on the river. The expensive suites have an excellent view of he river. But the budget rooms are pretty bleak and not really morth the price.

Saigon – Cantho Hotel ( Tel: 825831, Fax 823288; 55 Phan Dinh Phung str. Singles US$ 35-45, double US$ 45-59) is a three strar place with an in-house restaurant, a massage service, a souna and karaoke, Rates include breakfast.

Hoa Binh Hotel: ( Tel: 820059, Fax: 810217, email:, Dl 5 Hoa Binh, rooms US$ 25-40, suite US$ 60) was renovated back in 1999 and sort of earns its three stars. Rooms have air-con, IDD phones and satellite TV.

Victoria Can Tho Hotel ( Tel: 810111, fax, 829259, email; rooms US$120-220, internet room rates US$90-160) , a lovely place, is Cantho’s creme dela creme and is located right on the river front. There are rooms with garden or river views and eight spacious suites; rates include tax and service. Facilities include two fine restaurants, an open – air bar, tennis courts and a swimming pool; even if you’re not staying at the resort, it is worth coughting up US$ 10 for day use of the pool. The shuttle boat across the river is free. The hotel offers high priced boat trips which link the Victoria Cantho and Chau Doc resorts in 2 ½ hours ( US$60 per person) stopover can be arrangerd en route/

Golf Hotel Can Tho ( Tel 812210, Fax 812282, emai: Hai Ba Trung str. Rooms US$70-90, suite US$ 140-190) is an enormous and glitzy new riverside high rise near the Ninh Kieu pier. Tastefully decorated rooms are furnished to a “T” and there are incredible views from the upper-floor balconies. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool. a health club and a beauty salon and room rates include tax and services.

Place to Eat.

Along the Cantho River waterfront there are several cafe-restaurants, most seving Mekong specialities such as fish, frog and turtle, as well as standard backpacker fare.

Nam Bo ( tel: 823908, 50 Hai Ba Trung str, main 35000-80000d open 9am to 11 pm) offers exellent European and Vietnamese cuisin in a delightful atmostphere. It is housed in a thoughtfully restored, classic French villa, and the view of the local fruit market from the 2nd-storey terreace can’t be beat. If you can’t decide what to order, the pizzas are recommended

You’ll find several other popular easteries along the river-fron strip, across from the huge silver Uncle Ho statue.

Always packed are Mekong (Tel: 821646; 38 Hai Ba Trung, main 25.000d-40,000d open 6am – 2am) and Phuong Nam (Tel: 812077, 48 Jao Na Trimg. <pst ,aoms 35.000d open 9am – 11pm) both of which serve good Vietnamese food.

The speciality of the house at Thien Hoa ( tel: 821942, 26 Hai Ba Trung, Main 35,000d-65,000d, open 9am – 11pm. are delicious Hue-style spring rolls.

Restaurant Alley ( D. Nam Ky Khoi Nghia) is an appropriate name for this place, a good spot to eacape the tourist scene on the river front. Situated in an alley between Dien Bien Phu and Phan Dinh Phung, There are about a dozen Local restaurants scattered on both sides of the street/

Thanh Thuy ( tel: 840207, 149 Road 30 thang 4; main 40.000d-60.000open 10 am – 10pm is a goat meat speciality restaurant run by a Frenchman named Christian – Formerly a chef in Toulouse. Try the Christian – Formerly a chef in Toulouse. Try the curried goat, or if you’re feeling brave, the goat scrotum hotpot. They also do good standard Vietnamese fare. The Restaurant is a few kilometres out of town. Just beyond the local university. Look for the sign on your left, just beyond the junction with Tran Hoang Na. You can easily reach it by bicycle or an a xe loi, for about 10.000per person.

Getting there and Away.

Air: Vietname airlines has had on again off-again flights between Cantho and HCMC. at the time of writing, flights were off again. Bus there are buses leaving HCMC from Mien Tay

Bus station in An Lac ( 5 hours) Express minibuses make the same trip in about the same time.

The main bus station in Can tho is about a kilometre north of town at the interesection of Nguyen Trai and Tran Phu, There is another Short Houl Bus depot about 300m south of the intersection of Road 20 thang 4 and Mau Than str. which is good for getting to/from Soc Trang and the Phung HIep floating market.

Car & Motorbike Whether you travel by car or motorbike, the ride from HCMC to Cantho along National Hwy 1 takes about four hours. There is one ferry crossing at Binh Minh ( in Cantho). The Cantho ferry runs from 4am to 2 am.

To get from Dl Hoa Binh in Cantho to the Bridge, go along Nguyen Trai to the main bus station and turn right onto Tran Phu str.

Getting Around

Xe Loi: Unique to the Mekong Delta, there makeshift vehicles are the main form of transport around Cantho. A xeloi is essentially a two wheeled wagon attached to th e rear of a motorbike, creating what resembles a motoriesd cycle, but with four wheels teuching the ground rather than two. Fares around town should be about 6000d or sometimes more. a bit higher for trips to outlying areas.

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