Ben Tre Mekong Delta
Ben Tre, a Mekong Delta province, is the destination of simple charm and tranquility. It is usually referred to as a picturesque little place where nature and humans live in harmony together, develop a different way of how life goes on every day. Green spaces, sweet folks, and delicious candies are some of the things that you should never miss on coming here. Besides, many others are waiting to be explored. Here is an overview for those who are interested.
The land of the Mekong Delta is divided into many parts by the Mekong River and its tributaries. Ben Tre is one of those. Lying downstream, the province is bordered by two branches of the Tien River, which itself is also one of the two main branches of the Mekong.
Also, the entire of Ben Tre is crisscrossed with a network of smaller rivers and canals; thus be divided into nine different parts: a small island with green lushes, coconut gardens, and orchards. These partly contribute to the tranquillity of the province itself. That’s why on coming here, you may easily find green spaces to relax and refresh yourself.
From Ho Chi Minh City to Ben Tre, the route is about 80.6 km long. It is even a bridge from other Mekong Delta provinces like Vinh Long, Ben Tre, and Tra Vinh. This makes the province the ideal getaway spot for everyone from the surrounding area.
Ben Tre’s history
Ben Tre was a part of the Hoang Tran Town, which was built in 1803, renamed Vinh Tran a year later, and Vinh Thanh in 1808. The province then belonged to Tan An commune, lying right in the town
Having undergone many changes throughout centuries, the province was officially recognized by the governor-general of Indochina in 1899. At that time, Ben Tre consisted of four districts: Ba Tri, Soc Sao, Mo Cay, Thanh Phu and covered an area of 1501 km2. The population was about 339.000. Now the province has five more districts and over 600.000 people settling in there.
Though many things have changed, Ben Tre was once one of the most important spots in the war seems to remain. The province was well-known for the Dong Khoi Movement against the American imperialists and the mighty long-haired army that was led by brave Vietnamese women.
Therefore, coming here, you can explore many things, besides the sweet coconuts.
Coconut Garden in Ben Tre
Weather and climate
Ben Tre features warm weather with temperatures ranging from 20°C to over 30°C, very convenient for tourism activities like many Mekong Delta provinces.
The province itself experiences two seasons in a year: the dry season setting in from December to April and the wet or rainy season from May to November.
In particular, the dry season features more heat and usually reaches its peak in April at nearly 40°C. Rain is rare, which sometimes causes drought in some areas. Whereas, in the wet season, more rain makes it pretty cool and comfortable. The temperature in this time remains around 20°C, and there are on average 20 rainy days a month.
Besides temperature and rainfall, the number of sunny hours and humidity stays the same throughout the year.
As the climate is warm and sunny all year round, it is very convenient for tourists to come and spend their vacation. You can travel to Ben Tre any time you want.
Every year, the period from May to July is the best time to visit the province. This time in the season of many fruits such as Mangosteen, durian, rambutan, guava, jackfruit, breast milk, sapodilla, apple, papaya, etc. Besides taking photos, you can enjoy these delicious early-season fruits and admire the beautiful natural scenery.
Sunny day in Ben Tre
How to get there
Ben Tre is not so far from Ho Chi Minh city, and the route is convenient. Therefore, there will be many options to get to the province if you are in Saigon. Among them, a bus can be the best choice due to its low cost and flexibility,
Every day, over 10 buses depart from the Ho Chi Minh bus terminal to get to Ben Tre. From 6 am to 7 pm, there are one every 15 minutes, so you don’t have t worry about being late or missing your bus. Usually, a Saigon to Ben Tre bus will take you about 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. Therefore, you will not get tired after the trip. The bus ticket price is also very affordable, ranging from $3 to $5 depending on the type of seat and bus operator. On special occasions, the price may increase slightly to $7 but it’s not significant. To get bus tickets, you can go to the Western bus terminal and buy them directly or book them online through bus operators. Alternatively, you can have a travel agency help you with this if you don’t know how to book the ticket.
Besides buses, taxis and private cars are available at about $48 for a 4-seat. This way is convenient and private but will cost you much for an equal travel duration to buses.
From other provinces in the Mekong Delta, you may need to travel by motorbike to get to Ben Tre. Alternatively, you can make it one of the destinations of your boat trip.
In Ben Tre, you can hire a car or motorbike based on the number of your group or your demand
- Car: A good option if you go in groups. Prices range from 800.000 VND to 1.500.000 VND/ 8 hours. Some carriers will surcharges on weekends or run over the specified number of kilometres.
Motorbike: Can be rented at the hotel or motel you stay in. Prices range from 100.000 VND – 150.000 VND / day.
What to see and things to do in Ben Tre
The area of Ben Tre Province is not too large, so it only takes 1 day or 2 days for you to visit all the tourist destinations in this province.
Festivals in Ben Tre: Every year, there are many special festivals in Ben Tre, such as Dong Khoi revolutionary traditional festival (17th January) in Dinh Thuy commune, Traditional cultural festival to celebrate the birthday of a famous poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu (1st July) in An Duc commune (Ba Tri district); Festival of delicious fruits - safety and agricultural products in Ben Tre (5th May in lunar calendar), Nghinh Ong Festival (15, 16th June in lunar calendar), etc. Coconut Festival has been raised to become a National Coconut Festival, held every 2 years on 30th April with a variety of activities, attracting a lot of domestic and foreign tourists to come to visit and attend the festival.
Con Phung tourism area: has Dua religion relics on an area of about 1,500m², it is preserved all the architecture built from the time of master Nguyen Thanh Nam: 9 dragons yard; Peace Tower (Cuu Trung tower) - where Dua master teaches sermons and spreads the religion. The tower has a strange architecture with dragon and phoenix sculptures carved with fragments of dishes and teapots. Nguyen Thanh Nam self-proclaimed "The ambassador of Peace", bringing peace to all religions, living by fruits (not eating other dishes). There are many souvenirs: red-green masks, picture frames, tricycles, to kitchen items such as cups, bowls, spoons, etc. made from coconut.
Con Phung Tourism in Ben Tre
Vam Ho bird sanctuary: Located in the communes of My Hoa and Tan Xuan, Ba Tri district, Vam Ho is home to nearly 500,000 storks, cauldron, and many other wild birds, along with abundant vegetation: guava, bean, custard apple, water coconut, mangrove, pistachio, sea spinach, etc. In the Vam Ho bird sanctuary, tourists can take a walk in the forest, floating in the mangrove forest, visiting the resistance center area, go through the bamboo bridges, leaning on a swinging hammock in the forest and enjoy the fresh air of Ba Lai river.
Con Quy: is located on Tien riverside and 23km from Ben Tre city center. This is one of the most famous destinations when it comes to Ben Tre because of the charming river and the folk music of the Southern region. Tourists can also enjoy many kinds of delicious fruits at local gardens: orange orchards, grapefruit gardens, etc. which is recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of humanity. Floating on a boat to immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of the Vietnam West is a wonderful experience that everyone wants to try once in their life.
Must-eat foods in Ben Tre
Ben Tre not only impresses tourists with stunning sceneries and ancient culture but also by excellent cuisine. On try some of these foods, you will fall in love with the city right away.
Coconut rice: As Ben Tre is famous for sweet coconuts, foods made from this fruit are really tasty. Coconut rice is one of those recommended. Rice cooked right in the coconut, with coconut water will have a good smell and taste. Once eaten with side dishes like roasted shrimps or stewed pork, it tastes sweet and salty at the same time, makes you want to eat more.
Coconut worm: If you are finding a new experience, coconut worm will be the best idea. This is the most popular dish for the locals. The worm is found in the coconut tree, then deep-fried, grilled, or even eaten alive with fish sauce. Its taste is pale and greasy, really interesting to try once in your life.
Fishes: Mainly covered by wetland and waters, Ben Tre is famous for its fish dishes. Coming here, you can try noodle soup with fermented fish, stew fish with coconut water, and fermented fish hotpots. The smell and taste will give you a really good experience
Coconut candy: Coconut candy is the speciality of Ben Tre. Featuring the sweet taste, it will be great to enjoy, especially for children. The candy can be also an ideal gift for your families and friends when you come back to your home country. Coconut candies are available everywhere in Ben Tre and cheap so you can buy them if you want.
- Tourists should not bring too much luggage and belongings because it will be difficult for transportation.
- Should choose easy-to-wear, comfortable shoes for easy moving on a boat.
- Remember to bring hats, sunscreen, and an umbrella to avoid sunlight.
- Should apply cream or mosquito repellent when visiting Ben Tre.
- Ben Tre has many sacred temples and shrines. Therefore, when travelling to these places, tourists need to dress elegantly and follow local principles.