A very successful fieldtrip to Mỹ Tho – Bến Tre took place on July 18th, 2015. Joining Vietnamese Language Studies on that day were more than 15 Vietnamese participants who are learning Vietnamese at VLS and wanted to know more about Western Vietnam life and culture. On this fieldtrip, we had an opportunity to get better acquainted with the land of rivers. We started our fieldtrip at 08:00 with some short self-introductions from participants and organizers on the bus.
Around 09:30, we stopped at Mekong Rest Stop, so everyone could have some free time before we headed deeper into Bến Tre. Here, we could see some local structures that were built to demonstrate the lifestyle of local people, such as monkey and coconut bridges, lotus and traditional houses.
After finding out about the history of Bến Tre – Mỹ Tho and how the area was discovered and developed, we started the main part of the fieldtrip by boarding our own boat and travelling to 4 different islands: Long (Dragon), Lân (Kylin), Quy (Turtle), and Phụng (Pheonix).
Our tour guide demonstrated how to properly treat the coconut, as well as the process of making coconut candy.
Before we went on a wagon, we tried coconut ice-cream.
There is a canal running from the place we had lunch, to the Mekong River, so we decided to give it a try.
Trying water coconut.
The Coconut religion is one of the special things about Ben Tre. It’s quite well-known to Ben Tre people and it once had a huge impact on local people.
A monkey bridge is a local type of bridge that is commonly used by local people to cross canals. It’s quite difficult to walk on, especially when it rains, when the bridge becomes very slippy.
Enjoying honey tea made at a local bee farm. Some of participants, with help from local farmers, are trying to get pure honey directly from the hive.
This python is 2 years old, about 1,5 meters long, friendly and won’t bite.
Listening to Cải Lương and trying the local fruit
Our last destination is Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda, one of the biggest pagodas in Bến Tre. It has the 2 biggest Buddha statues in western Vietnam.