BEN TRE, IN THE SHADE OF THE COCONUT TREES
On foot, by bike or by boat, discover this little corner of paradise in the Mekong Delta where a simple and quiet life in the shade of the coconut palms can be enjoyed. The "tree of life" is the emblem of this province and draws some of the most bewitching landscapes of the Mekong Delta. Ben Tre is still a confidential destination that will awaken your senses and maybe even reveal a sixth one to you.
The coconut tree, emblem of the Ben Tre province
Ben Tre is known throughout Vietnam as the land of coconut trees. The coconut tree grows absolutely everywhere in this province of the Mekong delta and draws languorous landscapes of the tropics. It is especially for the local population "the tree of life" because it is an inexhaustible resource for many families who live from the cultivation and processing of the coconut tree. Nothing is thrown into the coconut tree, everything is usable and transformable. To realize this, you have to go to one of the many family factories and observe how the locals value the coconut tree from the roots to the leaves.
The large leaves of the coconut palm are used to make mats, hats or bags. The trunk will make beautiful frames or can be used in the manufacture of furniture. The fruits of the tree, the coconuts, have many uses. One can quench one's thirst with its refreshing and healthy water. The extracted milk is used to flavor the local cuisine. It can also be used in cosmetics as well as the oil extracted from the fruit. It is also used to make tasty coconut sweets, made in front of you using the grated flesh of the nut. The shell of the coconut is also processed into a bowl, cup or various kitchen utensils. The fibres can be transformed into doormats or ropes. And even the roots of the tree are used as an infusion in traditional Vietnamese medicine. This is an incredible resource for the population and 100% environmentally friendly!
Ben Tre, a land of activities
On land as well as on water, this suspended corner of the Mekong Delta has so many surprises to offer its visitors.
+ Bike rides in the enchanted labyrinth of this little corner of paradise, in the shade of coconut palms. Numerous charming little paths to discover the countryside and the local life turned towards the Mekong.
+ Feast on tropical fruits by visiting the numerous orchards. Fill up on vitamins and flavors with mangosteen, dragon fruit, papaya and other longans.
+ Boat trip in the maze of arroyos and on the arms of the Mekong river in the heart of a luxuriant nature. A beautiful way to discover the river life and the small sleepy hamlets on the banks.
+ Visit the Vam Ho Bird Garden, a natural bird sanctuary home to many species of birds and rare animals about 30 km south-east of Ben Tre.
+ Discover the local handicrafts: traditional brick kilns, wafer and rice noodle factories in particular.
+ Explore the local gastronomy such as banh xeo, the typical Vietnamese pancake from the Mekong Delta, or the shrimps and fish from the river.
+ Discover the local markets, saturated with colors and scents, vibrant with picturesque commercial activities.
+ Visit religious buildings such as pagodas, temples, catholic churches or, more surprisingly, those of the caodaists.
Take advantage of your stay in Ben Tre to encourage ecotourism by sleeping in a local house, a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. In contact with a Vietnamese family you will immerse yourself in local traditions and discover another facet of Vietnam, more endearing, where exchanges, sharing and conviviality prevail over comfort.
Best season: To stay in the province of Ben Tre in the best conditions, we advise you to go there between November and April during the dry season. However, be aware that the rainy season is not a prohibitive time to travel to Ben Tre. The rains are brief and rather refreshing.