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Ninh Kieu Pier is one of the most famous Can Tho attractions. This berth is well-known for beautiful landscapes and exciting atmosphere in Ninh Kieu Night Market which is open to meet the need of tourists and promulgate tourism in Can Tho.
The history of Ninh Kieu Pier has not been recorded clearly in text. According to several researchers, this pier has existed from the empire of Gia Long in Nguyen Dynasty. At that time, Ninh Kieu used to be a berth of Can Tho Market. Since 1876, when the French occupied Tran Giang of Nguyen Dynasty, Ninh Kieu Pier became busier with boats and trading activities. Along this pier, many populus trees are planted, which is the reason why Ninh Kieu Pier has another name – “Hang Duong Pier”. The daily trade became more prosperous; Hang Duong Pier, therefore, was expanded and renovated. Then, it gradually became one of tourist attractions in Can Tho. This pier was named Quai de Commerce. Local people often call this pier Hang Duong or Le Loi (as a street along Hau River is Le Loi Street).
Around 1957 under the Republic of Vietnam, Hang Duong Pier was renamed Ninh Kieu Pier associated with an action of Mr. Do Van Chuoc, that he proposed a suggestion of naming the park and pier as Ninh Kieu to Ngo Dinh Diem. This is based on a historical event and a historical site in which Lam Son rebel led by Le Loi defeated Ming army. On August 4, 1958, Mr. Lam Le Trinh, the minister of Ministry of Home Affairs under the Republic of Vietnam attended the ribbon cutting ceremony, and read the decree on naming Ninh Kieu Park and Ninh Kieu Pier. Today, surrounding area of this pier belongs Ninh Kieu District of Can Tho City. Le Loi Street along the bank of this river is changed into Hai Ba Trung Street. This street is planned to become a pedestrian street and the first night market area in Can Tho City.
Currently, Ninh Kieu Pier is a tourist park of Can Tho; besides, Can Tho Port was built modernly with a capability of 5,000 tons. Near Ninh Kieu Pier, there is Can Tho Market, a large trading center in Southwestern Vietnam. On the waterfront, it is always crowded with boats up and down carrying a large number of Mekong River Delta products. From Ninh Kieu Pier, you can see the largest cable-stayed bridge in Southeast Asia – Can Tho Bridge, also Xom Chai – a fishing village, and Con Au (Au Island). You will see a green isle strip. Moreover, standing from the fishing village, you can enjoy the panoramic view of street in Ninh Kieu. Currently, this pier is surrounded by floating restaurants, markets with specialty dishes … About 50 km from Ninh Kieu Pier there is another attraction in Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market.
Ninh Kieu Pier is built in a relatively large-scale investment to become a tourist park with an area of over 7,000 sq. meters. In the park, in addition to precious manicured plants, there is a green grass creeping under cement ground. At night, the lighting system of the park makes this place more beautiful. Ninh Kieu Park is upgraded, restored with embankments along the river. At night, this place is crowded with people who come here to go sightseeing, walk, and play… In this park, there is an over 7-meter copper statue of Ho Chi Minh President set on a basement of over 3 meters high.
Today, Ninh Kieu Night Market is open and formed with walking area, street food, and night market to bring the beauty of this market into play with “shimmering red lanterns”. Can Tho City attracts more domestic and international tourists annually. This market is open from 6 pm to 4 am of the next day at Tan An Ward in Ninh Kieu District. However, most households in this market close their stalls at about 12. Ninh Kieu Night Market features characteristics of river area. Just every about 100m, there is a long running street, each of which has stalls selling different items from clothes, vegetarian food, fruits, ans so on. Here is also the place where romantic scenes of couples take place. Also at Ninh Kieu Pier, apart from activities of tourism, culture, here is the place of bustling trade, livelihood of poor workers with diversified operations such as carrying tourists and local people passing the river, loading at the dock, or selling lottery tickets in floating market area.