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Ben Tre

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Southern Vietnam : Ben Tre
Revision as of 12:22, 22 September 2011 by Juju22b (Talk | contribs)

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Ben Tre [1] is the capital of eponymous Ben Tre Province in southern Vietnam. Although only a 20 min ferry-ride away from bustling My Tho, this seems to be barrier enough to give the town a genuine backwater feeling. Tourists are still a scarce species and locals are open and friendly.

Ben Tre Province provides some of the most beautiful scenery in the Mekong delta. The milk coffee colored waters wind their way along small channels lined with water palms, thatch and bamboo houses are nestled in the lush orchards. The famous Vietnamese poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu was born in Ben Tre Province, but until now this fact hasn't spawned touristic exploitation.

Get in

By Boat

Ferries from Rach Mieu in My Tho (20 min/24h) arrive some 10 km north of Ben Tre, so you might want to hire a Xe Om to take you to the town center.

There is also a ferry from Vinh Long Province to the north-western part of the island, again you may want to hire some sort of transport to cover the remaining distance to Ben Tre town. There is also bus 8 from ferry pier to Ben Tree. It seems frequent, costs about 25,000 Dong for 2h trip. You will need a taxi (moto ~ 20,000 Dong for 10min ride). Pay attention when arriving in Ben Tre as the bus goes to outer bus station. Best seems to stop at the roundabout after the two big bridge and Mat Kinh Dien Bien Phu optic shop and take a taxi (moto ~ 15-20k Dong) to the town center.

By Bus

Direct (mini-)bus services from Ho Chi Minh City are to be found at Cholon and Minh Thai bus station. A new bridge, constructed in 2009, now connects the city to My Tho so the bus ride is direct, without a ferry.

Get around

The town is stretched along the river, so a bicycle or a motorbike seem to be the best way, especially if you are planning to take it to the orchards on the far side of the river.

See

There are no real sights in their own right, but you could have a look at the unspoiled market or visit the rice wine factory on the south bank, 0.5 km west from the old bridge. You can also visit the inevitable coconut candy factory here. It's a must if you haven't been to one yet, since in this "factory" basically everything is done by hand.

Do

Trung Tam Dieu / Ben Tree tour operation center (closed during lunch) has some tours by boat (US$ 25/30 for 1/2 persons 3-4h), by bike or cart and homestay addresses. It also gives some information on the city.

  • Explore the Delta. boat trips are one of the nicest ways to negotiate the network of channels, but the land in between the waters is just as fascinating. It's fun to follow some of the small trails along the channels, crossing sidearms on very basic bridges and walking by fruit and coconut orchards.
  • Coconut candy factory. there is one supposed to be at walking distance of the park, said Ben Tre tourist operation center (not found).
  • Market on riverside.
  • Go in north park 'Cong Vien Dong Khoi' to see school children around 14y doing fitness and have a nice hello with them.


Buy

There is a big coopmart with low Air conditioning (food, department store, game center) near 'Cong Vien Dong Khoi' park and north of lake/pond

Eat

The usual food stalls are found around the market. Be warned that one of the favourite soups in the Delta, Hu Tieu, contains boiled intestines and liver, so choose wisely. There is also a floating restaurant near the old bridge.

  • Nam Song, Phan Ngoc Tong. Attention extra 2,000 Dong if you use the wet tissu. prices from 25k (com ga) to 250k (tom xao).

Drink

Sleep

  • Trade Union Hotel, 50 Hai Ba Trung, 825082.
  • Government Guesthouse, 148 Hung Vuong, 826134.
  • Ben Tre Hotel, 8/2 Tran Quoc Tuan, 822223.
  • Forever Green Resort, Ben Tre, [2].
  • Ham Luong Hotel, 200 Nguyen Van Tu, 5th Ward, (+84-75)818 595, [3]. One of the best hotels in Ben Tre and fancy for a three star hotel with outside swimming pool, steambath and sauna. Buffet breakfast is a mix between asian and western food. All rooms have cable internet, TV with English channels and so on. Next to Ben Tre tourist. Rooms between 17 - 39 dollars.
  • Khach San Phuong Hoang, 28, Hai Ba Trung, Phuong 2, TP. Ben Tre (town center, north of ho truc giang lake/pond), 0753.57.53.77. Cold shower (some hot ?), Fan or Air condition, Free wifi, Limited english-speaking staff between 120-180,000 Dong for a single room.
  • gia phong, Hai Ba Trung, Phuong 2, TP. Ben Tre (town center, north of ho truc giang lake/pond). seems closed/in renovation in sept 2011 100-250k Dong for single.
  • Khach San Dong Khoi / Dong Khoi Hotel, 16, Hai Ba Trung, Phuong 2, TP. Ben Tre (town center, north of ho truc giang lake/pond), 075.3822501 - 075.3822632 (, fax: 075.3822240). hot water except cheapest rooms, free wifi, restaurant, karaoke, massage single 150-240k, strangely prices dropped if checkin after 4pm 100-120k.
  • Nha Nghi 99, 73, Phan Ngoc Tong, Phuong 2, TP. Ben Tre (town center, street south of ho truc giang lake/pond), 075.3831234, 075.3811233. Air condition, no wifi, limited english-speaking staff. single 150k Dong.
  • Oasis hotel, 151 My Thanh An, Ben Tre 1234, Vietnam. Internet, swimming-pool


Get out

Either go to the outer bus station, but you can get minibus to My Tho or Ho Chi Minh City inside town

  • to Ho Chi Minh City: 70k Dong, on tran quoc tuan street north of the lake/pond.
  • to My Tho: ~20k, on dong khoi street, bus stop near school




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