Ben Tre has long been famous as a land of coconut whose greenness is ever. If you’re keen on a one-day eco-tour in the Mekong Delta region in the southern Vietnam, then invest your days and nights just in Ben Tre!
About Ben Tre in Vietnam
Ben Tre Province is in the Mekong Delta area in the south of Vietnam. It shares the borders with Tien Giang Province to the north, Vinh Long Province to the west, and Tra Vinh Province to the south. This green destination is around 85km from Ho Chi Minh City to the southeast. The city also has a connection to the other Mekong Delta provinces via the Rach Mieu Bridge built in 2009, which helps eliminate the isolation of Ben Tre in the case of road transport. Know that Ben Tre is located on Bao Island, in the triangular layout! It is Tien River that divides Ben Tre and My Tho City. Together with agriculture and fishing, the coconut brings the regular income to the local people. Be the symbol of the land for decades, the coconut trees are planted in almost every corner, making the green landscape.
The Coconut in Ben Tre
That said, Ben Tre in Vietnam is a land of coconut, and the local life cannot lack this particular tree. The soil here is ideal for planting this symbolic tree. In fact, the coconut features lots of usages. People can use the coconut trunk to build houses, the leaves to cook, the shells to create handicrafts, and the flesh to produce oil. Unmistakably, every part of the coconut brings benefit to the residents. Nowadays, the travelers to Ben Tre can find plenty of coconut handicraft souvenirs, coconut oil and cosmetics, and coconut candies to purchase. Also keep in mind that this evergreen land owns many other fruits like durians, bananas, sugarcanes, etc., but coconut seems to take the lead.
What to See in Ben Tre
Phoenix Island (Con Phung)
That is a little island between My Tho and Ben Tre Provinces. The other name of Phoenix Island is “Coconut Monk” Island because it used to be a place for a monk who only had coconut for food. Today, there is a house on the island to restore the coconut monk’s documents and objects. About the landscape, Phoenix Island features lots of canals, coconut trees, and water palms. Every trait contributes to the greenness of Ben Tre that only a few provinces can compare. In fact, Phoenix Island is always included in the tour packages to either My Tho or Ben Tre. The short stay at Phoenix Island lets you see the examples of how the coconut candies are processed. Also, you find numerous coconut-based products in the little workshops to purchase. What’s more, the travel to this island might offer the activity of horse riding that leaves the great photographs of the quiet and green countryside landscape.
Ben Tre Orchards
As the fertile flatlands with the vast waterways and the lush orchards almost everywhere, Ben Tre encourages the travelers to visit its variable orchards. If you come in the right seasons, expect to savor a variety of fruits, from durian to rambutan. As usual, the visitors can walk around the orchards, take pictures of them, and try them out. Moreover, the garden exploration might involve the performance of folk-songs. What could be greater than listening to the beautiful Vietnamese folk-songs while tasting the fresh fruits? You surely love the experience. A good recommendation is Cai Mon Fruit Garden.
Tuyen Linh Pagoda
The construction of this pagoda finished in 1861. In the wartime, this was one of the revolutionary bases for many local patriotic intellectuals. Remarkably, Tuyen Linh Pagoda was the place where Nguyen Sinh Sac – the father of President Ho Chi Minh – sheltered for a while. Be sacred, historical, and significant, the pagoda has been listed as National Historic and Cultural Relic. You might not want to ignore this national relic in Ben Tre!
Rice Paper Villages
The best addresses to find the rice paper villages in Ben Tre are My Long and Son Doc, Giong Trom District. The local rice paper is famous for the fine taste. The local people tend to keep their know-how secretive to the outsiders. Coming to these villages, you’ll first surprise at the big pictures of plenty rice papers extended on the ground to be dried by the sun. The visit might interest some souls.
Vam Ho Bird Sanctuary
This is a submerged area in Ba Tri, Ben Tre, around 120km south of Ho Chi Minh City, and is famous for the rich ecology. The area covers the wild forests with the rich flora and fauna. Especially, Vam Ho is a place for birds; there are around 84 bird species in 35 categories. For the best stork watching, April to October is the time to go! Also, after 5 PM is a fascinating time to watch them. The flocks of thousands of storks look absorbing at sunset. They might together compose the enchanting song of the jungle. That song is powerful enough to awake every sleepy soul and make the silent night exciting. A boat trip would be preferable so that you break through the submerged forests and watch the wildlife freely. In Vam Ho Bird Sanctuary, you breathe the pure air, rest under the shadow of the primeval forests, witness the war relics, and enjoy stork watching. This well-preserved wetland is worthy!
How to Get to Ben Tre
Driving seems to be the best way to visit Ben Tre as it is only 85km from Ho Chi Minh City. As Ben Tre has a connection to My Tho via Rach Mieu Bridge, most tours to Ben Tre includes the stopover in My Tho. The road trip is as convenient and fast as you can think. It is easy to grasp the coach/bus tickets to Ben Tre in the coach/bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, or My Tho. Otherwise, you can ask the trustworthy travel agents to assist.
If wanting to see the local life on the water and along the banks of Mekong River, then a boat tour from Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre might fit you well. Besides, the Mekong River Cruises to Ben Tre are run every day to serve the affordable passengers. Both the boats and cruises are in the standard conditions to ensure your safety and comfort. Remember to keep the life-jackets on hand!
When to Visit Ben Tre
Though many individuals say you can visit Ben Tre in Vietnam all year round, it’s critical to identify the two distinct seasons here.
- May to October: These months might belong to the rainy season. The rain interrupts the boat trip. Fortunately, this can be the ideal time to stop by the lush orchards in which abundant tropical fruits are ready to serve. The periods between June and August are the time to taste fruits, but the cruise journey may be less exciting.
- November to April: The weather turns to the spring time when it is pleasant with lots of warm sunshine. Also, this is the festive time when to see Phu Le Pagoda Festival or Nghinh Ong Rite in Ben Tre. Therefore, due to your preference, any time would be the best time to visit this Mekong Delta destination! But, the best recommendations are from February to August.