CAI BE, THE HIDDEN CHARM OF THE MEKONG DELTA
Cai Be is a discreet but endearing destination. Located in the heart of the Mekong Delta, the river town of Cai Be is a stopover to be cherished for the travellers wishing to discover a more confidential Mekong Delta. Cai Be has enough to awaken and stimulate your senses with its floating market and its superb walks and bike rides in its bewitching countryside.
The floating market of Cai Be
On the front branch of the Mekong River, on the Tien River, at the intersection of the three provinces of Tiên Giang, Vinh Long and Bên Tre, the floating market of Cai Be is held daily and has been in operation since the 19th century. The floating market of Cai Be is one of the most beautiful in the Mekong Delta. Every day, well before dawn, the river becomes the stage for a stunning spectacle where dozens and dozens of boats perform an extraordinary river ballet. Cai Be is a wholesale market. Small boats come to deliver or buy supplies from the larger ones, each of which specializes in selling or buying fruits or vegetables. To make yourself known, you hang the fruit or vegetable for sale on the end of a pole that you place at the front of the boat. We advise you to get there very early in the morning to enjoy the entertainment and why not have breakfast on the water with street vendors who, on rowing boats, come to support the traders.
The church of Cai Be
When you explore the floating market of Cai Be you can't miss the church of Cai Be whose high bell tower stands out from the small houses lined up along the river. This concrete church was built at the beginning of the 20th century in the Gothic architectural style by a German priest. The catholic church of Cai Be has the highest bell tower in the province of Tiên Giang and the bells were cast in France. The interior of the church has subtle and delicate decorations.
Let's go for adventure!
The countryside of Cai Be is an invitation to go hunting for small treasures, those offered both by nature and local life.
+ Boat trip in the zig zag of the arroyos to discover a generous, luxuriant nature that nourishes a rich and varied craft industry. With the vegetables we make a whole bunch of objects, from the hat to the kitchen utensil, from the basket to the table. We also make some beautiful delicacies such as coconut with which small family factories make coconut-based sweets but also puffed rice cakes and other similar foods.
+ Bike ride to get inland, to pedal along rice paddies and market gardening areas. Cycling through small bucolic paths to reach hamlets where the lives of people spoiled by fertile land, abundant water and omnipresent sunshine can be peacefully enjoyed.
+ Cycling makes one hungry, so a stop in an orchard will be welcome to taste the excellent tropical fruits. Rambutan, jackfruit, carambola, passion fruit etc. will leave you with unforgettable taste memories!
Sleeping at a local's house in Cai Be
Recently, ecotourism has been developing in Cai Be and some families welcome passing travelers in their homes. This is a formula that we encourage in order to boost the village economy but also so that travellers can be in direct contact with local life. A great way to immerse oneself in the local culture is by sharing the daily life of a Vietnamese family on the Mekong Delta. It is also an opportunity to taste some regional specialties shared with the family in a friendly and caring way.
To stay in Cai Be in the best conditions, we advise you to go there between November and April during the dry season. However, be aware that the rainy season is not prohibitive to get to Cai Be. The rains are brief and rather refreshing.