Recommended 4-Day Itinerary in Can Tho from Kuala Lumpur

Can Tho, the central city of the Mekong Delta, is considered to be the 2nd biggest city in the South of Vietnam, after Ho Chi Minh city. With similar population to Kuala Lumpur of around 1,5 million but the area of 4 times bigger (1.400 km2 of area compared to 240 km2), Can Tho city is still a tranquil place, almost covered with rivers and agricultural area. On the other hand, as the central city of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is like a transportation hub to other provinces and areas within the South of Vietnam such as An Giang, Con Dao Island, Phu Quoc Island… and even to Cambodia, with easy air, land and water transportation.

Besides the most famous Cai Rang floating market, Can Tho is also well-known for green and fruitful orchards, a magnificent river and channel system, romantic Ninh Kieu wharf, historical Binh Thuy ancient house and temple… and delighted by the friendly smiles of the locals. Additionally, from Can Tho, you can visit other attractions of the Mekong Delta like Tra Su cajuput forest, Cham village, floating fish farm, bird sanctuaries, Khmer pagodas, Bac Lieu wind farm, the Southernmost point of Vietnam… within just 1-2 days.

More details are at https://mekongsmiletour.com/complete-guide-to-can-tho-city/

From Malaysia to Can Tho, here is good news for travellers: Air Asia opened direct flight to Can Tho from Kuala Lumpur from April 2019 onwards, with 4 flights a week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. Moreover, the price could be as low as 250 MYR for a round-trip flight. With this flight schedule and price, it’s ideally convenient for any Malaysian traveller who wants to explore Can Tho city and nearby areas around the Mekong Delta with small budget.

Flight schedule:

Flight route Flight no. Departure time Arrival time  
Kuala Lumpur – Can Tho AK 575 07:55 08:50 Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri
Can Tho – Kuala Lumpur AK 576 09:20 12:15 Sun, Mon, Wed, Fri

In order to discover the beautiful scenery and distinctive culture of Can Tho and the Mekong Delta, a trip from Sunday to Wednesday (4 days 3 nights) would be enough for a perfect journey.

For those who are still confused about what to do and where to go in Can Tho, we suggest a comfortable 4-day schedule for Malaysian groups or families.

Day 1:

Morning: Arrive at Can Tho at 8h50, hotel check-in.

Afternoon: Binh Thuy ancient house and Son Islet.

Visit one of the most famous ancient houses in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam with the history along the development of the South Vietnam.

Binh Thuy ancient house

After that, you can get on a boat and start the trip crossing the Mekong River to Son islet, an isolated place from the busy city. There you will stop at a floating fish farm and learn about the typical way of farming in the South of Vietnam. At the farm, you will see how the farmer grow fish and aquatic species that are common in the Mekong river like featherback fish, red tail catfish, fire eel, tiger fish, Koi fish, giant fresh water shrimp, etc…

Floating fish farm

Stepping on the islet, you will take some walk on the rural paths shaded by green canopies while seeing how local people live their daily life. Feel the fresh air and tranquil atmosphere to get away from the busy and noisy city life.

On the walking path, you will stop and visit fruit gardens, enjoy seasonal tropical fruits like mangosteen, dragon fruit, mango, pomelo, longan, ramputan… right at the garden.

Green path on the islet

Then, you can stop at a local house to try making traditional cakes (sweet cakes in Southern Vietnam) and try your own products. The exceptional part here is the cake buffet with over 4 kinds Southern traditional cakes, which can satisfy any food-lover. In addition, unlimited drink made from local trees and leaves will be served as a treat from the house owner.

Cake buffet

If you want a lunch with local food while enjoying the fresh air on the islet, the people on the islet can offer great choice for eating.

See more information about Son islet here: https://mekongsmiletour.com/son-islet-the-isolated-gem/

Day 2:

Cai Rang floating market, Hủ tiếu (Southern rice noodle) factory, Fruit garden, lunch at Ut Dzach rice noodle.

Cai Rang floating market is the most famous market in the Mekong Delta. Considered as one of the ten most impressive markets in the world, this market is full of Mekong lifestyle and culture, where you can feel the real beat of the life on the fertile Mekong River.

Cai Rang floating market

Wake up early in the morning and start the boat excursion from 06:00 AM, you will go along the Mekong River in about 30 minutes before arriving at Cai Rang floating market. Take a look at how people live, eat, buy and sell local produce on their boats, you can understand why this is a special market and a must-see spot for any tourist coming to Can Tho.

A breakfast with cơm tấm (broken rice with grilled pork), hủ tiếu (rice noodle with hot broth), bún riêu (crab noodle soup) or bánh mì (Vietnamese bread) on an unbalanced floating boat would be an unforgettable experience at the market.

Biggest floating market in Mekong Delta
Dessert at the floating market

Then a little dessert with some fruits (pineapple is the most common here) and Vietnamese café on a boat of fruit would add to a remarkable visit.

More to see about this special market at https://mekongsmiletour.com/floating-market-real-life-of-local-people/

After the floating market, the boat driver can take you to a home making factory of Hủ tiếu, what you may have just had for breakfast at the floating market. Hủ tiếu is a traditional type of rice noodle in the South of Vietnam. The noodle can be made in different colors from original white to red or green, depending on the ingredients. Here you will learn all the steps of producing one the most common parts for Southern meals.

Making Rice noodle in Mekong Delta
Rice noodle homemade

Detailed information about the noodle factory could be found at https://mekongsmiletour.com/hu-tieu-sau-hoai-traditional-rice-noodle-factory/

Continue deeper into the small canal and stop at a fruit garden, you will get a closer look at the actual life of a farmer in Mekong Delta. A walk around the garden can show you a great diversity of fruits and local plants, such as dragon fruit, papaya, lotus… and animals like chicken, duck, catfish, tilapia… The tour can give you a better understanding of how important and fertile the Mekong River is, which is the origin of the life and culture of the Mekong area. At the end of the garden tour, a small buffet of local fruits will be served with hot tea.

Continue the trip to a small homemaking house of Bánh hỏi. There you will learn about the making of another traditional Southern noodle, which is only served at special occasions like wedding and anniversaries. With very simple tools and skill, the house owner can make a delicious food to serve with grill pork. Take your time to do it by yourself and have lunch with the traditional dish of Bánh hỏi and grill pork by the small canal. This is the perfect ending place of a tour around Can Tho city.

Bánh hỏi (Southern traditional rice noodle)

Day 3:

Full day Tra Su forest.

The forest is in An Giang province, which takes about 3.5 hours from Can Tho city. This is among the most spectacular ecological sites in the Mekong Delta with 845 ha of cajuput trees, which turn the area into a green-paradised world.

Take a bus at 07:00 AM to depart for Tra Su forest, you can stop at a Palmyra palm field for a break, take some sweet drink and try the fleshy flesh from this special tree. A field of Palmyra palm would also be charming scenery under sunshine. In addition, you will learn about other products from the palm like jaggery, Bánh bò cake, sweet soup… and many other useful things for local life.

Rice fields
Palmyra plam fields

The next stop would be Tra Su cajuput forest, a typical flooded forest in the South of Vietnam. With over 70 bird species, 140 kinds of flora, 23 kinds of fish, the forest is one of the most attractive ecosystems in the Mekong Delta, which you can see on the way touring around the forest with motor boat and rowing boat. Ranging from 95.000 VND to 190.000 VND a person, the ticket price is quite reasonable, especially for big groups of 10 – 20 people.

The stunning green carpets of duckweed, the iconic image of the forest, would beat any visitor to this amazing place, especially in flooded season from August to November. Nature lovers would love the time on quietly slowly rowing boat into the breeding area and see various kinds of birds.

Motor-boat-in-the-forest
Tra Su forest

Then an overview from the top of the watchtower and a lunch full of local food are highlights that no one can forget after visiting the forest.

Some tips and info about the trip to Tra Su forest could be found at https://mekongsmiletour.com/tra-su-forest/

Leaving the forest, you can stop at one of the delightful markets in the Mekong Delta, Chau Doc market. This colorful market is full of typical food to this area, including dried fish and other seafood, fermented fish of all kinds as well as other street food like Cơm tấm, bún riêu, bánh bò… The busy and vibrant market life can submerge anyone in an atmosphere characterized with fully Southwestern culture. And don’t forget to try some bánh bò, bánh da lợn, chuối nướng… with less than half a dollar before leaving.

Local market in Chau Doc
Local market in Chau Doc

Day 4:

Flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Take a taxi or xe om (motorbike taxi) to Can Tho airport, which is only about 10 km from the city center. Note that Grab taxi and Grab bike is also available with almost half the price of the conventional ones. It could take about 30 minutes to reach the airport from the city center, so be sure to arrive at the airport before 7:00 AM.

Recommended itinerary

The above itinerary is a recommended  option for Malaysian small groups and families who want a relaxed journey in Can Tho. If you need a pre-arrangement and worry-free trip, Mekong Smile Tour are willing to help you enjoy the time in Can Tho with reasonable budget.

Here is our offer with the recommended itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Can Tho Morning: Can Tho airport pickup, hotel check-in
Afternoon: Binh Thuy ancient house, Son islet.
Day 2: Cai Rang floating market, Rice noodle factory, fruit garden Depart at 6:00 AM
Arrive at Cai Rang floating market, enjoy local breakfast and dessert (pineapple) at the market. Continue to Hủ tiếu factory, learn how to make hủ tiếu. Visit a fruit garden and have fruit buffet. Lunch at Ut Dzach rice noodle.
End of tour at 3:00 PM.  
Day 3: Full day at Tra Su forest. Depart at 7:00 AM
Arrive at the forest, take a motored and rowing boat around the forest. Take a walk and stop at the watchtower Have lunch with local food.
End of tour at 06:00 PM  
Day 4: Flight to Kuala Lumpur at 9h20.  

In addition to the mentioned places, you can look for other trips in www.mekongsmiletour.com or contact directly at [email protected].

In case you have still have more time out of the suggested tour, have a look at https://mekongsmiletour.com/top-ten-famous-places-in-can-tho/ and explore other attractions of the city by yourself.

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