Located on a tributary of Vietnam's Mekong River, Cai Be gained "fame" for its bustling floating market, where hundreds of traders once bought and sold a variety of goods from stationary boats. The market dates back to the 17th century, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for the locals), the improvement of Vietnam's infrastructure means the market is no longer a necessity for those looking to buy and sell wares. The government keeps the market afloat for the benefit of tourists through incentives for traders and local farmers, but what was once bustling would now be better described as sleepy.
But you'll still get a glimpse of life along the Mekong as you sail on small wooden boats called sampans past homes situated right on the water. Along the way, you'll stop at tourist attractions that include artisan workshops and homes of wealthy merchants.
Sampans are the only way to not only get around Cai Be but also get from your riverboat to points of interest, as your ship will moor in the river. Your river cruise operator will arrange all tours and transport; there is no opportunity for independent exploration.