​Cambodian cows for sale: A special market in southern Vietnam

Cambodian sellers tow their cows across Vinh Te Canal, which lies between Vietnam and Cambodia, to reach Ta Ngao Cow Market in An Giang Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Whenever one has the chance to visit An Giang Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, they should spend time visiting a special market dedicated to the sale of Cambodian cows.

The cow market often becomes bustling during Cambodia’s annual flooding season, from May to November.

Several parts of Cambodia are often flooded at this time of the year, forcing local farmers to sell their cows to their Vietnamese counterparts.

The cow market is named Ta Ngao, which has been open for decades in An Phu Commune, Tinh Bien District.

Cows are carried on a raft from Cambodia to Vietnam’s An Giang Province.
Cows are carried on a raft from Cambodia to Vietnam’s An Giang Province.

Buyers of these cattle continue to raise them or slaughter them for meat.

A cow at Ta Ngao Market sells for VND5 million (US$220) to VND30 million ($1,319), which is much cheaper than the average price at other markets.

The main currency used at the place is Cambodian riel ($1 = KHR4,054).

The venue is open daily from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The market becomes bustling early in the morning.
The market becomes bustling early in the morning.

During other times of the year, only a few dozen cows are sold. However, the number reaches up to 300 during the flooding season in Cambodia.

All sellers are required to pay an amount of tax to be able to enter the market.

According to Nguyen Van Dong, deputy head of Ta Ngao Market’s managing board, all animals sold at the venue have undergone a thorough vaccination and quarantine process.

Buyers browse for the cattle.
Buyers look at the cattle before making a purchase.
Cambodia sellers wait for their customers at Ta Ngao Cow Market.
Cambodian sellers wait for their customers at Ta Ngao Cow Market.
Some local residents of Tinh Bien District, An Giang, also sell their cows at the market.
Some local residents of Tinh Bien District, An Giang, also sell their cows at the market.
A buyer selects his favorite cow and states the price.
A buyer selects his favorite cow and states the price.
A deal has been made.
A deal has been made.
Vietnamese buyers lead a cow onto their truck.
Vietnamese buyers lead a cow onto their truck.

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