If you want to experience big city life with small-town charms, Can Tho is most likely the destination you are looking for. This city is the fourth largest in Vietnam and despite its size, it retains its feature as the center of a rural area. The de facto capital of the Mekong Delta is a vibrant and bustling metropolis but outside the city limits is a setting of a tranquil river with peaceful canals, lush green rice paddies, and pastoral villages.
The city itself is very large but appeals to visitors because there is a compact central area where most of the hotels, restaurants, markets, and bars are located. Do note that most of the action, especially in the Hai Ba Trung Street, happens when the sun goes down. For religious sites, one can visit the Quang Duc Pagoda and the Tham Tuong Church. Two areas that are worth checking out are the Xuan Khanh Quarter, Hai Ba Trung Area, and local markets such as the Cai Khe Market, Xuan Khanh Market, and the Ninh Kieu Pier Tourist Market. The city is so beautifully designed that numerous bridges offer romantic views of the city such as Nguyen Trai and Ho Xang Thoi.
Outside the confines of the city, travelers should try the floating markets like the massive Cai Rang Floating Market and be amazed by this unique way of commerce. Other attractions are the Muoi Cuong Cacao Farm, Minh Kieu Quay, and the Historic Binh Thuy House. Buses from Ho Chi Minh City are the best way to get in but you can also access it via the Tra Noc Airport.