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Please click on the countries below to read more about your desired destinations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. These pages provide first-hand local travel information regarding transportation, accommodation, attractions, food & drink, entertainment ... together with some suggestions on ready-made tours to and from those places.
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is frenetic Asian city of markets, street clogged with scooters, street side food stalls, as well as foreig…
The name Nha Trang is a Vietnamese pronunciation of a Cham word Eatran or Yjatan. Ea or Yja means river, and tran means reed. According to the loca…
This is one of the best laid-back getaways in Vietnam. The town of Phan Thiet itself is a bustling little fishing port -- quite picturesque and goo…
120km (75 miles) W (over sea) from Rach Gia (Rach Gia is 250km/155 miles S of Saigon by road). The same size as Singapore, the island of Phu Quoc l…
Hanoi is relatively small and runs at quite an unhurried pace for a capital city. Resting in the Red River delta region, the centre is a mixed of t…
Taking a cruise on Ha Long Bay -- or the Bay of the Descending Dragon -- for many represents the pinnacle of their experience in Vietnam. eas…
The ancient town of Hoi An is located 30 km south of Da Nang on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Occupied by early western traders, Hoi An was one o…
Siem Reap Siem Reap is a cluster of villages with a French colonial centre, and the gateway to the Temples of Angkor. These majestic temples in…
A small market town that has been a gathering spot for many local hilltribes for nearly 200 years. Hmong and Dao people, among others, still come h…
Vietiane With a troubled recent history, Laos has only recently openned to the outsite world and is one of the most untouched countries in Asi…
Set on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue was the capital of Vietnam between 1802 and 1945 under the Nguyen Emperors, and later French colon…
The fourth-largest city in Vietnam, is one of the most important seaports in the central region, and the current booming Vietnamese economy has see…
Located 173 kilometres from Saigon, Can Tho is considered as the heart of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. The city, regarded as "Western cap…
Known as "Le Petit Paris" by the early builders and residents of this hillside resort town, Dalat is still a luxury retreat for city dwel…
Vang Vieng is a tourism-oriented town in Laos, located in Vientiane Province about four hours bus ride north of the capital. The town lies on the N…
Luang Prabang Luang Prabang is regarded by many as the most attactive cities (or town would be more accurate description) in Asia, if not the …
Setting in a green valley, Mai Chau is a wonderful collection of farms, villages and stilt houses surrounded by verdant rice paddies against a back…
Located at one of the many branches of the Mekong river and about Vinh Long is the gateway to river islands and some worthwhile sites, includ…
Extremely mountainous, Dien Bien is one of the newest provinces in Vietnam, having been split off from Lai Chau further to the north. The province …
Phong Nha - Ke Bang is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site which is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves…
Phom Penh Cambodia’s capital city is awakening from a turbulent recent past to become a busy and fernetic Asian city of Southeast Asia. …
Situated 250 km west of Ho Chi Minh City, Chau Doc is a district and town in An Giang province, bordering Cambodia, in the Mekong Delta region of V…
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels situated in the Củ Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vi…
Built on both sides of Highway 1 and the railroad connecting Hanoi with Ho Chi Minh City, Ninh Binh is a fairly uneventful place with only a few mi…
Sihanoukville is all about the ocean, located on the Gulf of Thailand. The pristine beaches, the sparkling clear water, the cooling sea breeze, the…
Located 173 kilometres from Saigon, Can Tho is considered as the heart of Vietnam's Mekong Delta. The city, regarded as "Western capital", with an estimated population of 1,121,000 as of 2004, is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta. The city is located on the south bank of the Hậu River, the bigger branch of the Mekong River
By road, allow about 1.5 hours from Sóc Trăng, about 3 hours from Châu Đốc, about 3.5 hours from Rạch Giá (80,000 Dong in sept 2011), less than 4 hours from Ho Chi Minh City (170 km, 90,000 dong), about 6 hours from Cà Mau and about 1.5 hours from Long Xuyen.
If you arrive to Ho Chi Minh late, you can take a taxi or hire a private car. It is possible to rent a car for US$120-150 for a one-way trip (or return trip in the same day) for 2-3 passengers from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho;[YourLocalBooking] provide car rental online or move by local minibus, which offer better and better services; for about US$5-8, and departing every half hour or so, 24/7 from the Ho Chi Minh City western bus station (Bến Xe Miền Tây, Xa Cảng). Other, more local buses from Sai Gon to Can Tho leave in the morning.
There are many buses and minibuses plying the route. Phuong Trang Company is offering a more comfortable service providing a large coach with room for luggage and waiting lounge in the bus station. Price is a bit lower than "express" minibuses that are only few minutes faster indeed. They too depart either way about every half hour, all day and night.
Mai Linh Company is a good reputation as operators of buses and taxis. Mai Linh expresses buses - a little more expensive but they don't pack as many people in and they run on schedule with little complication. Take Taxi to Le Hong Phong st, D10 office to get Mai Linh coach tickets (tell Taxi driver, he knows) or go straight to Mien Tay bus station D 6. (Taxi from D1) cost US$8. From Here you can choose Mailinh or Phuong Trang bus both good services and see if any schedule is closer to your time. Get ticket 100,000 VND = 5bucks to go to can Tho bus station after 4hrs drive with one rest stop half way in Caibe. They are leaving every one or 02 hrs.
Practice the words "Can Tho" and you probably won't need more. Only keep an eye on your bus (the number especially) during the 1/2 hour pit stop half way, as you may have to find your bus among other identical buses.
When the bus arrive Can tho, the driver announced "Can Tho". The Can Tho bus station is quite large and should be easy to tell you're there and the ferry terminal is a close 2 minute walk. A good map is priceless. I would say a do it yourself trip is much better than being rushed from place to place with a group
It is also possible to rent a taxi for about almost the same price as a car for 1 way from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. Try hiring a Vinasun Taxi outside of the tourist areas (District 1) for this kind of traveling, you will be surprised about the rate differences a trip outside of district makes.
Apart from cruises (with night onboard) like the Bassac boats, there is no more regular boat transportation to Can Tho. As the time necessary for a car trip from HCMC as been reduced to less than 4 hours with the opening of the Can Tho bridge and the motorway around HCMC, there is no reason for a speed boat service anymore.
Trà Nóc Airport now has a vast international terminal with convenient facilities.
As of 2011, the airport is connected to Hanoi, Phu Quoc with flights on Vietnam Airlines and Con Dao with flights on Mekong Air.
Places to see
The main market of Can Tho used to be located on Ninh Kieu pier, and be mostly an open market. Today, the only original building left is the beautiful old market hall, now surrounded with a garden along the river. New markets have been built to host the increasing activity, on Cai Khe peninsula and further upstream the Can Tho river.
The floating markets are a very lively scene, accommodating much of the goods exchange throughout the area, and can be quite freely visited on board smaller boatst. Followings are some of the most visited floating market of the area.
Cai Rang floating market is the main wholesale floating market near Can Tho. It is better going there early (as early as 06:00), and come back through the small tributaries to Can Tho river; about 1 - 2 hours.
Phong Dien floating market is further upstream the Can Tho river, and worth seeing as it is a retail market. It is very active at dawn, but slows down early too, so you may want to go there by land. The arroyos back to Can Tho are also very much worth a ride on a small boat.
Phung Hiep is much farther away, in the neighboring Hau Giang province, but deserves a trip if you are going to stay more than a few days, as it is always bustling with activity.
Tra On in Vinh Long province, is just over an hour downstream the Bassac (the lower Mekong branch, also called Hau Giang or Sông Hau). It is a small floating village's market anchored near the clouds' island (Cu Lao May).
The canal system around Can Tho is a fascinating travel network, much more relaxed than the bustling roads. Taking a small row boat (probably with a small diesel motor as well) that can lead us through the small canals that the larger tour boats can't navigate.
Can Tho has a good range of accommodation, most of which is clustered along the river and the southern part of town. The area of town of interest to tourists and travellers is small and everything lies within walking distance. The most favourite hotels are;
Kim Tho: Hotel offers a 3 star accommodation close to the Ninh Kiêu peer which is the town center where are most of the restaurants, bars and tourstic places of interest. It is clean, cosy, recent and located in a quiet street (Ngô Gia Tự) not far from the speed boat peer.
Victoria Can Tho: Luxury resort on Cái Khế island, including a swimming pool, a spa, a ballroom, and a rice barge for a scenic breakfast, lunch or dinner. Rooms from US$108, river view suites from US$175.
Getting there and away
By road: Can Tho is about 1.5 hours from So Trang, about 3 hours from Châu Đoc, about 3.5 hours from Rạch Gia, less than 4 hours from Ho Chi Minh City.
It is also possible to rent a taxi for about almost the same price than a private car for 1 way from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho. Try hiring a Vina Taxi outside of the tourist areas (District 1) for this kind of traveling, you will be surprised about the rate differences a trip outside of district makes.
By boat: Apart from cruises (with night onboard) like the Bassac boats, there is no more regular boat transportation to Can Tho. As the time necessary for a car trip from HCMC as been reduced to less than 4 hours with the opening of the Can Tho bridge and the motorway around HCMC, there is no reason for a speed boat service anymore.
By air: Tra Noc Airport (Can Tho) is currently being expanded and upgraded to international status, with completion for international flights due in 2011. As of 2010, the airport is connected only to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, with flights on Vietnam Airlines.
Can Tho is a regional hub, so it is rather easy to get to and from all the surrounding area.
Food and drinks
Can Tho is famous for delicate cuisine and extra-fresh fruit and vegetables, and a good place to try and eat the fruit you would not usually like: you may well find they are very tasty and enjoyable.
Among the local produce, you may like to try mangoes, oranges, jackfruit, pomeloes, grapefruit, but also custard apple, corossol, longans or even durian.
Nam Bo (Nam Bộ), 1 Ngô Quyền (right in the middle of the Ninh Kiều pier, near the statue of Uncle Ho), ☎ 0710 382 3908 (email@example.com), . 06:00 - 23:00. Seated a classic building facing the river, the Nam Bộ serves very tasty Vietnamese as well as some Western cuisine such as pizza and spaghetti. The service is nice and efficient, and a surprising variety of languages is spoken there, from English to French to Dutch and even some Japanese. edit
Sao Hom (Sao Hôm), in the old market hall, facing the river (When on the Ninh Kiều pier, follow the pier with the river to your left hand, you cannot miss), ☎ 0710 381 5616 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 06:00 - 23:00. Located in the central market's hall, facing the Can Tho river, the Sao Hôm serves a large palette of Vietnamese cuisine, as well as some western food, too. The ambiance at night is unique. edit
l'Escale (the Port of Call), 1 Ngô Quyền, 4th floor (right in the middle of Ninh Kiều pier, on the top floor of the Nam Bộ Boutique Hotel), ☎ 0710 381 9139 (email@example.com), . 06:00 - 22:30. l'Escale is a fine restaurant with a view to the river and the bus boat wharf, with a bar and a wine cellar. edit
Phở Cali, Trần Văn Kéo Street (close to the central market in front of the Exhibition Centre and the Citimart supermarket). edit
Café Hợp Phố (Ngô Gia Tự, close to Nink Kiều peer) and Café Thủy Mộc (3/2 street, in front of the Foreign Languages Center at the Campus 2 of Can Tho univerisity) offer quiet places in a green and nature atmosphere. Lot of drinks and meals available at good prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Gony Spa Cafe Lounge, Nguyen (close to Ninh Kieu pier). Offers a variety of food including pizza, pasta, beefsteak as well as local food. It also offers different shakes, smoothies, coffee and ice cream. edit
Some restaurants more aimed at serving vietnamese guests but that can offers a more exotic and delightful experience to foreigners have recently appeared. The Alô 100 on CMT8 road not far from the ferry (Đường Cách Mạng Tháng 8) provide a nice environment, varied meals and affordable prices for a service that is still improving.
Goat Specialties (Lẩu Dê Thanh Thuý) is a little aside of the city, and run by a French person who settled in Can Tho who offers a variety of dishes revolving around savory goat meet.
There are also a variety of other restaurants, the quality and service of which spans the whole range from poor to great.
Dog meat (Thịt cầy Trần Văn Hoài).
Duck soup (Vịt nấu chao Hẻm 1).
Vietnamese people typically enjoy a coffee (strong, with lots of condensed milk and ice), fresh coconut juice, and fruit drinks (lemonade, orange juice, etc.) in one of the many small stalls along the streets or in the markets.
If you want to spend a few hours like a Vietnamese, the best places are located on the river, with the most famous ones near Ninh Kiều pier. Just in front of the three-star Ninh Kiều hotel is a popular and affordable place, which is sometime crowded, especially when students get out of school for the day.
A nice family owned and operated cafe, known as "Cafe Buu Dien" (Post Office Cafe) serves the best coffees and has an interesting atmosphere. The servers holler your orders to the back, and in a couple of minutes you get fresh coffee in a warm mug. Its extremely fast paced, but at the same time very relaxing. They have locations throughout Can Tho, but hop on any xich lo or taxi and just tell them to take you to a "Cafe Buu Dien" and they'll know where to go. My favorite location is the one in Cai Khe ward, known as "Cafe Bich Phuong".
The nightlife in Can Tho is not as vibrant as Ho Chi Minh City but it is not as "bottle service" centric as HCMC either. Can Tho clubs usually hire famouse Vietnamese singers to perform live in their venues and feature go go dancers on regular night. Drink price is usually 50,000 VND for a bottle of beer, around 1m for a bottle of cheap vodka and more for expensive cognac/whiskey such as Hennessy VSOP/XO.
The nightlife in Can Tho is not as vibrant as Ho Chi Minh City but it is not as "bottle service" centric as HCMC either. Can Tho clubs usually hire famouse Vietnamese singers to perform live in their venues and feature go go dancers on regular night.
Mot popular clubs in town are:
108B Tran Van Kheo St, Ninh Kieu District. Nice red-black decor with banging sound system but quite small therefore more secure and chill than other clubs.
Xe Loi Club, Hau Riverside Park, Bai Cat Zone, Cai Khe Ward, Ninh Kieu District. The place to be on weekend, spacious club, good lighting/sound system with laser to boost. Open 24/7 with the most fun happening from 11PM till 2 AM. Mixed youthful and energetic but can be quite sketchy crowd.
Gold Club, Gold Hotel near Ninh Kieu pier and the Central Bank. Quite upscale club with many business men prefering this place to chill out on the weekend.
Cafe Bar Eden, Le Loi St. Good for couples
Cafe Billard At Chuan, Le Loi St (Le Loi). Invovled MC and DJ.
Cafe Bar Black And White, Le Loi St. Same as Eden.
Wild Horse, Le Loi St. Classicism and Impressionism decor with good selection of wine.