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Travel, Teach, Live in Asia

Floating market in Vietnam
By:Thinh Nguyen Phuc

Southern Vietnam is the home to interlacing rivers, canals. Crowded boats and long-standing residents by rivers' banks have created a typical culture - floating market.

These floating markets have made contribution to cultural exchange, waterway economic development. Boats are used as offices, shops or houses which are one of reasons for open-mindedness of Southern people.

Southern floating markets have still kept their typical features of a center of agricultural products and local fruits. Goods delivery and receipt are seen as the most interesting activity at the markets and people throwing and catching goods are considered as artists with their performances on the rivers making peaceful countrysides bustling.

In the Southern, some floating markets are known as 100 year old ones: Cai Be (Tien Giang province), Cai Rang, Phong Dien, Phung Hiep (Can Tho) etc...

These markets open very early in the morning when some are still sleeping and end in the late afternoon. Hundreds of small and large boats join the markets.

Unlike shops, the most typical feature of goods display is to hang what it offers. Customers can easily decide what and where to buy. Almost goods are found at this market but agricultural products, fruits, rice, dried shrimp etc...which are produced or delivered from surrounding areas are mainly offered. Floating markets also the biggest store for export products in the region.

Unlike floating markets in Thailand, floating markets in Vietnam are shaped naturally after long time of gathering. Thus, they are not markets only but bring with them features of traditional culture.

By Nguyen Phuc Thinh


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