Ben Tre Province: Coconut paradise

06:00 | 31/08/2020 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - Located in the lowest part of the Mekong River basin, about 85km south of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre Province is the land of coconut trees, famous for its coconut deserts.  

Coconut palms have been the symbol of Ben Tre for decades, reflecting the tree-covered landscape.

Through years of fierce wars, coconut provided residents of the providence with a source of sustenance and fuel. In the 1970s and 80s war, for example, coconut trees were used to make oil, which was then used as a valuable substitute for kerosene.

At times, residents would fell the trees to use as lumber or clear land for cultivation, but many were replanted given the realization of their source for sustainable livelihoods.

About 500 products are made from coconut tree and fruit, with some examples including candies, oil, handicrafts, and coconut extract, among others, from which about 50 dishes can be made. Nowadays, this special kind of delicacy is sold nationwide.

Ben Tre is home to 163,000 households involved in farming 71,000ha of coconut trees, or half of Vietnam’s coconut-growing area. They produce 800 million coconuts and ship about US$200 million worth of coconut products annually to over 80 countries and territories worldwide.

Pham Tiep