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Ben Tre

19 bytes added, 18:27, 13 September 2006
tweak Mekong Delta / {{stub}} -> {{outline}}
'''Ben Tre''' [] is the capital of eponymous Ben Tre Province in the [[Mekong Delta]] in South (Vietnam)|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 touristical 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 have to hire some sort of transport to cover the remaining distance to Ben Tre town.
===By Bus===
Direct (mini-)bus services from [[Ho Chi Minh City]] are to be found at ''Cholon'' and ''Minh Thai'' bus station. When the bus reaches the ferry passenger have to walk on and off the boat, so be sure to remember your vehicle. In many cases it might be easier to first catch transport to [[My Tho]] and then continue by ferry and motorbike. A new bridge is being constructed at the moment and scheduled to be finished in 2006, which will allow vehicles to bypass the 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.
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.
 * '''Explore the Delta''' Boat - 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. Arrangements can be made with one of these tour operators:
**'''Trade Union tourist company''',''36 Hai Ba Trung Street, T: (84) 75 825082, Fx: (84) 75 813017''
**'''Ben Tre Tourist''',''16 Hai Ba Trung Street, T: (84) 75-822197; 829633; 821075; 825815, Fx: (84) 75-822440; 826242''
**'''Tours Operating Centre''',''T: (84) 75 829618, Fx: (84) 75 814426''
**'''Liem''' ''(T:091-8516626)'' is a local resident who can arrange boat trips that are refreshingly different from the big company schemes. He will assist you in setting up your personalized tour program, sometimes including overnight stay in basic accommodations in the delta. His English is very good and he is happy to explain the things you might see on your trip.
 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. 
* '''Dong Khoi Hotel''',''16 Hai Ba Trung, T: 822240''
* '''Trade Union Hotel''',''50 Hai Ba Trung, T: 825082''
* '''Government Guesthouse''',''148 Hung Vuong, T: 826134''
* '''Ben Tre Hotel''',''8/2 Tran Quoc Tuan, T: 822223''
==Get out==
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