Located in the heart of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is known as a typical “metropolis of river area”. Over the recent past, the city has been investing heavily in its typical products to distinguish itself from other regional localities. One of the products defined in this work is river-borne tourism with famous names like Ninh Kieu wharf, Cai Rang floating market and Phong Dien floating market.
Its 55-km stretch along the Hau River is a favourable condition for developing river-borne tourism. Famous for not only Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho is also known far and wide for many places like Phong Dien floating market, Ninh Kieu wharf, Can Tho ancient market, southern Truc Lam Zen monastery, Binh Thuy communal house, Can Tho bridge, Ong pagoda, tomb of top laureate Bui Huu Nghia, etc. Along the river are many eco gardens like the My Khanh tourism village, Son islet and Chuoi canal where visitors can call on and enjoy many kinds of fresh fruits. All those create favourable conditions for Can Tho to develop typical products to attract tourists with its unique characteristics.
Deputy Director of the Can Tho Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Minh Tuan said the city has been commercialising the river tourism lines starting from Ninh Kieu wharf to sites of interest and orchards, the most popular are the Ninh Kieu – Cai Rang – Phong Dien route and the Ninh Kieu – Binh Thuy one.
In the evening of December 11, the Victoria Mekong Cruises joint venture inaugurated the Victoria Mekong cruise ship at Cai Cui port in Cai Rang district, Can Tho city. This is one of the first four-star cruises starting from Can Tho to bring tourists to Phnom Penh of Cambodia in 3- to 4-night trips.
A representative of the company said on board the ship, tourists can join classes on gastronomy, enjoy performances of the Khmer and folk music of the Mekong Delta. On the land, they can visit famous places like Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho city and traditional craft villages on Ong Ho islet; have an insight of the convergence of the Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer and Cham civilisations in An Giang; and enjoy interesting stories of locals on the history of the region.
The selection of Can Tho as the home port for the Victoria Mekong cruise instead of Cai Be in Tien Giang province like many other operators lies within the long-term strategy of the Victoria Mekong Cruises of developing Can Tho into a river-borne tourism centre, connecting the Mekong Delta with Cambodia. Most of the tourists using the ship will be foreigners.
In 2015, Can Tho was honoured by the Mysterious World as one of the most beautiful cities with canals in the world. In November 2018, it was selected by the Earthworld, a magazine specialised in sharing information on natural scenic beauties around the globe, as one of the 10 most beautiful cities with canals in the world. In August 2019, Can Tho was once again included in the list of the 15 most beautiful cities with canals in the world by the Getty Images, along with Venice of Italy, St. Petersburg of Russia, Amsterdam of the Netherlands, and Birmingham of the UK.
Currently, the accommodation time by tourists in Can Tho is from one to two days, while the number of those who spend from three days there is very small, as a result of the absence of night activities. This requires the tourism authorities of Can Tho to roll out diverse activities to lengthen tourists’ stay. That is why Can Tho authorities are prioritising the development of the two typical tourist products, namely the river-borne tourism and MICE, through the implementation of a project on the building and developing of typical tourism products of Can Tho city for the 2018-2020 period, with a vision to 2030.