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In photos: Mekong Delta’s biggest floating market quiet during social distancing

Thursday, August 19, 2021, 10:52 GMT+7
In photos: Mekong Delta’s biggest floating market quiet during social distancing

Usually a boisterous marketplace attracting boat-riding peddlers and eager visitors alike, Cai Rang Floating Market in the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho City is now eerily sedate since a social distancing mandate was imposed in the region to quell COVID-19 spread.

The wholesale market that floats on the Hau River, a branch of the Mekong River, can be found in every Can Tho tourism catalogue as a must-see for visitors. 

However, the exhilarating hubbub in the midst of a waterway, as promised by the brochures, is nowhere to be seen during the current COVID-19 restriction in Can Tho, with tourism activities shuttered and inter-provincial travel heavily monitored.

Those who pass by can still see the boats chock-full of tropical produce, but they sit idly, with barely any trading taking place. 

As customers are nowhere to be found, the pole in front of each vehicle, normally holding  a product sample to advertise what sellers have for the day, stands bare as the crew gaze into the distance.

The unique boat restaurants on the waterway were also moored to the riverbank, their seating along the docks completely empty. 

Several buyers can still be seen cruising through the market on their composite boats, but their search for essential items turns out to be in vain as many sellers have taken a break. 

A boat full of pineapples waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A boat full of pineapples waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A boat full of watermelons waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A boat full of watermelons waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam is significantly emptier during the social distancing period. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam is significantly emptier during the social distancing period. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Tourism boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Tourism boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Tourism boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Tourism boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Lightweight boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Lightweight boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

The screw propellers of a boat at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

The screw propellers of a boat at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Boats sit idle at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Buyers search for products at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Buyers search for products at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Buyers search for products at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Buyers search for products at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A sale is made at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Sparse trade takes place at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A sale is made at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

Sparse trade takes place at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A boat full of products waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

A boat full of products waits for customers at the Cai Rang Floating Market in Can Tho City, Vietnam, August 9, 2021. Photo: Tien Trinh / Tuoi Tre

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