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Beyond Venice: 8 must-see canal cities

Can Tho floating market

Photo: Kyle Horner/flickr

8 of 10

Can Tho, Vietnam

Can Tho is not a city of man-made canals. The numerous waterways here are part of the vast Mekong River Delta. The main floating markets in Can Tho have as many tour boats as vendors, but they are still less crowded than their popular peers in Bangkok. A lot of locals have extensive knowledge of the backwaters, since they are still used for transportation and shipping, so chartering a local boat can lead to a cruise down less-crowded streams past rice paddies, fruit orchards, waterside villages and lush jungle scenery. 

Can Tho is a city of more than 1 million people, so there are plenty of diversions away from the river, including restaurants, modern shops and traditional markets. People who fall in love with the laid-back pace in this Mekong Delta hub can also stop in river cities like My Tho and Vinh Long for a similar experience.