Many tourists flock to Can Tho each year to witness its wonderful cultural heritage such as: traditional folk music, floating markets, ancient houses, beautifully designed temples and vibrant festivals.
The charming city of Can Tho is located in the Mekong river Delta region of Southern Vietnam and is an advocate of its proud variety of intangible cultural heritage – a perfect destination for your Mekong Delta group tours.
Let us give you a taste of some cultural heritage so you can get a small sense of the wonder you can experience in Can Tho - Mekong Delta group tours.
Many tourists flock to Can Tho to witness its wonderful cultural heritage (Source: Internet)
Don Ca Tai Tu singing (amateur) or Hò singing (folk singing)
Don Ca Tai Tu is sometimes referred to as ‘amateur’ music, meaning the musicians play this music for the love of it and for the enjoyment of others, rather than for monetary gain.
The unique music performance is comprised of musicians playing some interesting instruments such as bamboo flute, pear-shaped and moon-shaped lutes, monochord, 16-string zither, two-string fiddle, percussion, and of course, a talented singer.
Don Ca Tai Tu musicians playing some interesting instruments (Source: Internet)
Don Ca Tai Tu songs represent the Southern Vietnamese people’s lifestyle of living off the land and waterways of the region. It gives the people a way to express themselves and their courageousness as individuals and brings people together as a community.
The folk music is even more special knowing it has thrived since the late 19th century and it was influenced from cultural heritage like traditional folk songs, classical theatre and ceremonial music. There’s no wonder Don Ca Tai Tu appears at most special occasions like weddings, funerals and parties; it holds a big place in the hearts and traditions of the Southern Vietnamese people.
Another traditional genre of folk music in the Mekong Delta region, among Vietnam’s diverse range of folk music forms, is hò singing (folk singing). This style of folk singing is often sung as an improvised dialogue between two “lovers”.
Another traditional genre of folk music - hò singing (Source: Internet)
When you visit Can Tho, or any place in your Mekong Delta group tours, then you will very likely become witness to the local people’s passionate Don Ca Tai Tu or hò singing.
Cai Rang floating market
You haven’t visited Mekong Delta Vietnam until you’ve experienced the lively culture of Cai Rang floating market! You may have even heard of Cai Rang before learning where Can Tho is; it’s one of the regions most visited and respected cultural heritage.
The colourful market is just 6km from Can Tho but it is a whole different life for people in Cai Rang. From daybreak until noon the market extends 500 metres down river, abundant with tropical fruits, vegetables, and an array of services and products which are sold on the river too.
Cai Rang floating market is just 6km from Can Tho (Source: Internet)
Visitors from Mekong Delta tour can get a chartered boat to take through the market, however, prices differ depending on the kind of boat. Enjoy a local breakfast here, ideally between 6am-8am, to get the true experience of the Cai Rang floating market culture.
Binh Thuy Ancient House
Binh Thuy Ancient House is on the must-see list for most visitors to Can Tho. This house is not just a house, it’s a legacy for the region’s cultural heritage; it’s carefully adorned with both Vietnamese and European intricacies and has been passed down six generations of the Duong family who built the house in 1870.
Binh Thuy Ancient House was built in 1870 (Source: Internet)
The house took years to construct but visitors can appreciate how much devotion went into creating such an exquisite piece of architecture which combines the strengths of Western and Eastern design.
Can Tho temples and pagodas
There are too many temples and pagodas for one to see in Mekong Delta group tours so just make sure these two places are on your list during your exploration of the city’s cultural heritage!
Across the road from Ninh Kieu Park is Ong Temple, one of the most distinctive structures of the city. You can’t miss the bright exterior and amazing detailing before moving inside for a truly sensory experience.
There are many coils of incense hanging down from the ceiling of the temple and through the scents and sights you’ll witness the intricate work the Chinese put into creating Ong Temple in the late 19th century.
Ong Temple is one of the most distinctive structures of Can Tho (Source: Internet)
A short distance from Can Tho centre you’ll find an exquisite example of an authentic Buddhist pagoda - it’s none other than Quang Duc Pagoda.
You won’t be lost of what to look at this very picturesque pagoda as there are so many amazing sculptures and artworks to appreciate including the statue of Buddha surrounded by flowers.
Quang Duc Pagoda is an exquisite example of an authentic Buddhist pagoda (Source: Internet)
Can Tho’s vibrant festivals
An important part of Can Tho’s cultural heritage is its festivals which bring communities together to celebrate their traditions.
Leading up to Lunar New Year (Tet), locals and tourists of Can Tho get amongst the spirit of Tet celebrations by enjoying the festival of parades and fireworks. Tet is celebrated by all of Vietnam usually during late January to early February.
Tet Festival is celebrated in Vietnam usually during late January to early February
The Khmer community of Can Tho also have a special festival for the new year which is called Chol Chnam Thmay Festival and is usually celebrated mid-April. Over three days there are various rituals performed and people get together with their families to enjoy feasts in celebration.
Another important festival throughout the country, but mostly for the fishing provinces like Mekong Delta region, is Lang Ca Ong. This festival is held to give thanks to whales; people pray and make special offerings to show their appreciation for keeping them safe while on the water. Like many Vietnamese festivals, the dates of Lang Ca Ong go by the Lunar calendar and is celebrated on the third lunar month.
As you can tell, the city of Can Tho is rich in cultural heritage and is an ode to the eclectic melting pot of the country’s history and traditions.
It’s true that Can Tho is one of the smaller cities, with a population of just over one million, but the city’s abundance of some of Vietnam’s most wonderful cultural heritage is concentrated in this area. This makes Can Tho a necessary stop for anyone wanting a real taste of Southern Vietnam!