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That first night in Cần Thơ I went to the tenth floor of our hotel to photograph the night scene. The city had grown a lot since 1969, with many tall buildings in the Ninh Kiều district, where we stayed, and in the neighboring areas. Pop music and singing could be heard from several spots. The district was popular with foreign tourists who dined, walked around, and some even danced here and there.

Cần Thơ downtown at night. The long string of lights in the upper half of the image are from the new Japanese bridge.

Cần Thơ downtown at night. The long string of lights in the upper half of the image are from the new Japanese bridge.

Cần Thơ at night.

Cần Thơ at night.

At 6 AM the following morning, I took a small boat to go to the famous Cái Răng floating market about half an hour away. The hotel arranged for a boat, a driver, and a guide who came along with a new guide in training. The two guides and I sat on the cushioned seats, while the driver stood and drove the boat with a small outboard motor called a “shrimp tail”.

Boats to take tourists to the Cái Răng floating market.

Boats to take tourists to the Cái Răng floating market.

The photo below gives a general view of the floating market which only catered to wholesale customers. The larger boats were loaded with fruit or vegetables, with samples tied to long poles sticking out of each boat to advertise their goods. Smaller boats would approach the boats that had what they wanted to buy, did their haggling and then transferred what they negotiated into their boats.

Floating market seen from some distance.

Floating market seen from some distance.

These two poles advertised sweet potatoes, white and red.

These two poles advertised red and white sweet potatoes.

We weaved our way around all the boats several times to allow me to shoot as many pictures as I wanted.

Several smaller boats surrounding wholesaler boats loaded with weet potatoes.

Several smaller boats surrounding wholesaler boats loaded with sweet potatoes.

Wholesaler throwing pineapples to buyer on smaller boat.

Wholesaler tossing pineapples to buyer on another boat.

Peeling outer leaves from cabbage before sale.

Peeling outer leaves from cabbage before sale.

Buying and selling jicama.

Buying and selling jicama.

There were smaller boats selling drinks or something hot for breakfast.

There were smaller boats offering drinks or hot soup for breakfast.

Done with his shopping a boat driver walked toward his outboard shrimp tail.

Done with his shopping a boat driver walked toward his outboard shrimp tail.

Taking fruiot and vegetables back to another market on land, or perhaps to a restaurant.

Taking fruit and vegetables back to another market on land, or perhaps to a restaurant.

Woman with a load of watermelons driving her boat as she sat on the motor.

Her shopping done, a woman with a load of watermelons drove her boat home as she sat on the motor.

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