Coconut palms – symbol of Ben Tre

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Coconut palms - symbol of Ben Tre
Coconut palms – symbol of Ben Tre

Visitors to the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre now have the chance to enjoy its famous fruit, traditional craft products and folk culture.They can travel in a small along the rivers or canals in the shade of coconut trees and stop on the way to relax in fruit orchards and coconut gardens.

Ben Tre is the capital of eponymous Ben Tre Province in southern Vietnam. Although only a 20 min ferry-ride away from bustling My Tho, this seems to be barrier enough to give the town a genuine backwater feeling. Tourists are still a scarce species and locals are open and friendly.

Ben Tre Province provides some of the most beautiful scenery in the Mekong delta. The milk coffee colored waters wind their way along small channels lined with water palms, thatch and bamboo houses are nestled in the lush orchards. The famous Vietnamese poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu was born in Ben Tre Province, but until now this fact hasn’t spawned touristic exploitation.

Ben Tre is located in the lowest part of the Mekong River basin, some 85km south of Ho Chi Minh City. It has three main islands wedged between the Tien Giang River to the north and the Co Chien River to the south, with the Ham Luong River running straight down the middle. All of these rivers are offshoots of the Mekong as it splits out into many fingers before flowing into the South Asian Sea.

The province is famous for its rice and fruit cultivation, but its traditional life has changed little over time, with tourists wandering through the markets, sipping coffee, taking boat trips and visiting local museums.

Ben Tre coconut
Ben Tre coconut

Coconut palms have become the symbol of Ben Tre since land was first reclaimed in the southern part of the country. During the war, coconuts were used to make coconut oil, which served as a viable substitute for kerosene. The province now has nearly 36,000 hectares of coconut plantations that have survived through protracted wars and remain dear to the hearts of local people.

Travelling to Ben Tre itself is a road paved with coconuts as one passes through shades of coconut trees, fruit orchards and coconut gardens along the way. Ben Tre can be found in the lowest part of the Mekong River basin, about 85 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City. It is composed of three primary islands: Ten Giang River to the north; Co Chien River to the south; Ham Luong River in the middle. The three rivers are “offshoots” of the Mekong as it separates into several channels before flowing into the South Asian Sea.

Ben Tre has always prided itself in its cultivation of rice and fruits. And although visitors started to discover the place and explored other things like wandering through the markets, drinking coffee in cafes, taking boat trips and visiting local museums, the province has been able to retain its slow and traditional life.

How coconuts became a symbol of Ben Tre traces back to the time of war wherein the southern part of the country was the first to reclaim its land. During that time, coconuts were used to make coconut oil as a substitute for kerosene. Wars are economically difficult times, among others, and the people of Ben Tre then had to cut down coconut trees to be able to survive. But over time, they replanted the trees since coconut was their main source of living and to date, the province has almost 36,000 hectares of coconut plantations, producing about 242 million coconuts every year.

Aside from the fruit itself, coconut can be transformed into handicrafts such as baskets, furniture, dolls, sandals, bed lamps, vases, among others. Coconut candy is especially popular among tourists who have the privilege of visiting the local coconut candy factories, actually see the confectionary being made, and take it home as souvenir or gift to family and friends.

As if being a coconut paradise is not enough, Ben Tre is also known as the “king” of specialty fruit with 41,000 hectares of orchards producing 375,000 tons of fruit annually. Out of these fruits, the province offer their own brand of delicacies such as milky yellow-fleshed and stoneless durians, green-skinned pomelos, Cai Mon mangosteens, high-qulaity “Four Season” mangoes, and one-of-a-kind oranges.

There was a time when many people in Ben Tre felled coconut trees for some economic reasons, but now they have replanted them, producing around 242 million coconuts each year.
Many handicrafts are made buy clomid online without prescription from coconut materials including sandals, dolls, small baskets, bed lamps and vases. Tourists can visit local coconut candy factories to watch the candy being made and also buy some to take home as special gifts for their family and friends.

In addition to coconuts, Ben Tre is also known as the “king” of specialty fruit, with 41,000 hectares of orchards yielding 375,000 tonnes of fruit a year. Some of the province’s unique specialties include milky yellow-fleshed and stoneless durians, green-skinned pomelos, Cai Mon mangosteens, high-yield “Four Season” mangos, and special Mo Cay oranges.

Coconut paradise. Fruit haven. Ben Tre is definitely blessed by nature.