Can Tho is the city where you can visit the Mekong delta and where most people go just because of it. The truth is that the city itself isn’t that big or has much more to offer to visitors. Still, I have spent 4 days in Can Tho that was too much, but you clearly have things to visit here that will fill at least 2 days. As I like slow travels, I stayed a lot more and enjoyed almost everything Can Tho has to offer. I explored the city mostly walking and with extreme calmness. This way, I didn’t get bored because I was appreciating each attraction much slower and enjoying life.
Anyway, Can Tho has some nice temples to explore. But besides that, Can Tho offers relaxing riverside walks and extremely beautiful boat rides. I clearly remember not seeing many tourists and people welcoming me with ravishing smiles. During those 4 days, I have seen as many westerners as fingers in my hands…
Here are some of the temples I have visited:
Chua Pitu Khosa Rangsay
This is a very beautiful temple laying in the middle of the houses and surrounded by Vietnamese neighborhoods. Very quiet and pleasant.
This is a very pretty temple! Very quiet too. I found some monks inside the complex that were very curious about my presence. As usual in Vietnam, one approached to practice his English. He made me a tour of the temple and we had a conversation about his life and mine too. He was super gentle and caring. Therefore, I spent a lot of time in this temple and learned a bit more about Vietnamese. This temple is a reflex of Khmer architecture being very similar to temples in Cambodia.
Phat Hoc Pagoda
Almost in front of Munirensay temple is Phat Hoc Pagoda, a very tall and magnificent pagoda in Can Tho. This pagoda is huge and has a nice view of Munirensay temple. It had no one else visiting it and as the heat was excruciating outside, I sat at the very top for very long minutes enjoying the breeze and the silence that the place had to offer. The architecture of this temple actually doesn’t resemble one, so I was doubting it was a temple at first…
This is the busiest of all the mentioned temples besides being the smallest one. It resembles Chinese temples and is very beautiful. It was the first temple I visited where I could enter with shoes. This is due to all the ashes falling from the ceiling as there are so many incenses burning above the visitor’s heads. For this reason, the floor was very dirty and full of ashes that made it understandable why to wear shoes in. It is a very particular temple and very colorful. Worth a visit too.
Binh Thuy ancient house
A little further from the center and too far for a walk there is Binh Thuy ancient house. For that reason, I took a bus to get closer and then walked from the bus station. The nearest bus station is 15/9 Cửa Hàng Tạp Hóa Truemilk Lê Hồng Phong on the main street and from there to Binh Thuy ancient house is a 10 minutes’ walk. The place couldn’t be more genuine with street sellers occupying almost all the sidewalk and people staring at me for walking those streets.
Binh Thuy ancient house is a very unique and beautiful house from colonial times. The architecture reminds of French buildings and the facade is really beautiful, being the place where all Asian tourists gather to take pictures. This place has loads of Asian tourists. I think this is a particular house and the owner decided to open it to the public. There is an entrance fee. The house has beautiful Asian inspired decorations inside, besides the facade being colonial. I’m sure there is an interesting story behind it, but I have no idea about it. It is just a very beautiful and photogenic place with loads of plants. Next door is a small coffee shop where I stopped for a while. The house itself isn’t very big so I didn’t spend much time there. I tried to book a Grab back to town, but no motorbikes were nearby so I walked again to the main street and called the Grab motorbike from there.
Binh Thuy temple
Just next to the bus station where I left to go to Binh Thuy ancient house is the Binh Thuy Temple. A very cute and charming temple not so far from the river’s channels. This temple was very quiet and the few locals there looked very surprised by my presence. As the river is not so far, I went to its shores and sat enjoying all the silence of the surroundings. But I wasn’t completely alone and a youngster approached me and asked me to take a picture with him. He also asked for my Facebook (odd). This is proof of how non-touristy is Can Tho. Only in non-touristy places like this, local Vietnamese will ask for pictures as “white people” are a rare sight.
Evening riverside walk
Another cool thing to do while in Can Tho is to walk along the river as there are nice sidewalks. The best time to do so is at dusk when the weather is cooler and the place starts to fill with Vietnamese. This place has many more people than I was expecting to find. The walk here is very pleasant and you must visit Cau Ninh Kieu, a bridge with a lotus flower sculpture that lights at night and attracts huge crowds. This is where I saw the sunset. It is a good place to do so! The colorful flower seems like the center of the city and everyone here is very happy and excited. Again, I was asked several times to take pictures with the locals. I didn’t have this “celebrity feeling” anywhere else in Vietnam and I have been to many places already…
I walked from Ninh Kieu park to this abandoned huge hotel that actually looks very luxurious. Basically, I walked until Nha Hang Lua Nep restaurant where the sidewalks end.
The walk is just next to the river which makes it really pleasant. Here are some really awesome resorts with private jets and beautiful villas. I sat closer to the park itself and called much attention for being there, so I obviously had some companion. There was this 12-year-old girl that asked if she could have a conversation with me. I think we talked for about 1 hour! She was a self-taught English student with an accent way better than the average Vietnamese. I was actually very impressed with this girl as she learns English on youtube by herself and I could understand everything she said clearly, that’s why we could have such a long conversation. Usually, these casual conversations don’t last long because practisers don’t have a vast vocabulary. Once it was time to leave, she introduced me to her parents that didn’t speak English at all and they offered me some sweets they had in a bag as a thankful gesture. They even invited me to go with them but I said no. I should have said yes cause I’m sure it would be a different experience. Anyway, they were super nice. I love Vietnamese!
Can Tho night market
Can Tho night market is near the river and not far from Ninh Kieu Park. This is where everybody gathers at night as here are the most crowded streets of Can Tho. Life bursts at night here! The streets are filled with street shoppers and many restaurants and cafes are placed here too. The night market is not very big and doesn’t have that much food offer. The prices here are very cheap but I decided to have dinner in a super crowded place to eat Crab soup, a must in Can Tho. This soup was so delicious! You must try it!
Sampan boat tour
The most charming thing I did in Can Tho was this Sampan boat tour. It was expensive because I had the boat by myself, but if you have more friends this is actually not an expensive experience. I didn’t meet anyone in Can Tho, because I saw no travelers, so I had no option but to pay for the boat rental by myself. If you go by the river next to Ninh Kieu park, there are several ladies trying to sell you a boat ride along the smaller canals of the Mekong River. You have plenty of offers, so just choose your favorite one and see if the prices are similar in different places. The boat trip is so chilled, beautiful, and peaceful. I loved it. It is a motorboat, but not so loud. In some places, she stops the engine so we can enjoy the silence. It is a trip that shows how genuinely people live here. Their modest houses, how they shower in the river, and an amazing landscape that accompanies us all the way. I truly advise!
Mekong Delta floating market tour
And, of course, the total must in Can Tho is a visit to the Mekong Delta floating market. I did it on my own. Find out HERE!