Your trip of Mekong Delta cannot be completed without trying delicious coconut candy. Ben Tre province has vast areas of coconut trees and candy is the specialty of the place. You cannot only try the sweet and chewy candy but also watch the making of these candies. There is a variety of activities to do in the area. Most interesting thing is to explore the local coconut candy factory on a boat trip.
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Different canals are interconnected where there are countless coconut trees in the connected towns such as My Tho, Ben Tre, Vinh Long and Cai Be. More than 200,000 families grow coconuts in the area and many of them produce coconut candy, coconut wine, coconut rice and even dishes made of coconut worms gathered from the coconut tree trunk. People believe that coconut candy started in Mo Cay district. Different styles and types of candies were tried by people with the passage of time. They added peanuts, milk, Durian, chocolate, pineapple juice or eggs to make different flavors. Thanh Long factory was the first proper factory of coconut candy and there are more than 150 coconut factories in the province.
Process of Coconut Candy
Candies are mostly chewy and sweet. Ingredients are carefully chosen because they can change the taste of candy. Main ingredients which are used to make the candy are sugar, coconut milk and maltose. However, with a little variation flavor of candy changes. It is necessary that sugar must be of excellent quality and coconut milk should be extracted from white and chewy coconut.
Method of making Vietnamese coconut candy is:
– Extract coconut milk from brown coconut.
– If you want to add any fruit juice such as durian, pineapple, chocolate, egg etc. then add to the coconut milk.
– Cook the mix for about 30 minutes and continuous stirring is necessary to prevent it from turning hard.
– Some factories in the towns use machines to cook and stir until it become thick.
– After achieving right thickness, mixture is poured in the molds and covered with coconut oil, peanuts or durian.
– Thickened mix is cut into pieces and then wrapped in the rice paper.
– Factories pack the rice paper packed candies into their own packaging.
These candies are mostly enjoyed with green tea and visitors of Mekong Delta buy them as souvenirs.
Things to do in the local coconut candy factory areas
Guided tour of canals and villages
Have a memorable guided tour to different villages by boat. Traditional villages that produce candy are Cai Be, Vinh Long, Ben Tre and My Tho. Initially the candy was made to serve during the wedding season whereas due to the likeness, people started making them on a very large scale. Different candy manufacturers create various types of candy according to their own secret recipes and quantities of ingredients. Gift boxes and baskets are available on small candy shops.
Enjoy Sampan ride
It is a small wooden boat in which you can ride with the cone shaped Vietnamese hat on your head. Capture different photos as a memory of this beautiful part of the world. Must visit, Cai be floating market and try poprice cakes.
Visit brick and pottery factory
A variety of handicrafts are produced in Vietnam. You can visit different manufacturing units in the village especially traditional brick and pottery factories.
Enjoy traditional Vietnam
Villages of Vietnam still hold their ancient charms when it comes to promoting their culture. They are the best places to relax far from the city life and noise. Locals also like to share their culture and information with tourists.
Accommodation budget moderate and expensive near the local coconut candy factory
There are different types of accommodations in Ban Tre.
This amazing and comfortable place is located in Phu Hung near many tourist attractions. Hotel offers airport transfer, Free Wi-Fi, shuttle service, laundry service, coffee shop and bicycle rentals.
Acacia Wood Cabin – Hide away Homestay
This stunning accommodation is located in Nhon Thanh near many delicious dining options and attractions. There are many facilities such as bicycle rental, kitchen, garden, car park and many other facilities.
Diamond stars Ben Tre Hotel
This wonderful luxury accommodation is located in the Phuong 3. There are many five star facilities and luxuries offered by the hotel such as free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, cash withdrawal service, 24 hour front desk and car parking. It also has a restaurant, coffee shop, indoor outdoor swimming pool, many attractions and food places near it.
Places to eat near the local coconut candy factory
Song Nuoc Tay restaurant
It is the best place to enjoy serenity of the river because it is located on the riverside. Hotel roof is covered with leaves and structure is made of wood. You can try delicious food in reasonable price.
Dong Khoi 2 restaurant
Most delicious thing in Dong Khoi restaurant is Sichuan Tofu. Restaurant has private rooms to remain noiseless. It is a best place for couples.
Ngoc Hiep seafood restaurant
It is a very special restaurant with menu containing four delicious seafood options. Boiled octopus, boiled shrimp rolled with rice paper, boiled crab and boiled squid. Everything in the menu is fresh and delicious.
Airport that receives domestic and international flights is Tan Son Nhat international airport.
Most of the Ben Tre region and nearby places can be explored by walk. You can also grab a taxi, cab or a bus whereas most interesting way to explore the area is by boat.
Coconut factories are very interesting to explore. They produce a variety of things with coconut candy that you can try.