Coconut Island

Ben Tre Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 11 › view all entries
Ben Tre is a small province in the southeast region of the Mekong Delta. It consists of numerous islands, bound on all sides and crisscrossed by rivers and waterways. This is not a tourist destination, and those looking to take pictures of monuments and historical sites will be severely disappointed. However, those seeking solitude, calm and a taste of rural life will be quite rewarded, as were we.

Yesterday we hired a boatman who took us on a cruise through the province, finally bringing us back to his own village, a tiny little rural place which can only be accessed via the river - with a little bushwhacking - or via a few tiny little roads, barely large enough for two motorbikes. This is fine for the locals, who only travel by motorbike or boat anyway. The village itself is classic rural paradise - chickens and other meat dishes running all over the place, a huge canopy of coconut trees, networks of trails and hand-dug irrigation ditches. The locals loved us. Children would chase us all over the place, people would wave and smile. Our guide brought us to a friend's house, where the family chopped up and roasted a duck, cooked some rice-based soup and busted out a huge bottle of insanely alcoholic rice moonshine in our honor.

A few hours and quite a few more drinks later, we headed back to the boat, cheerfully chatting with our guide, despite his broken English, and begun the journey back to our riverside hotel as the sun begun to set. With the sunset at its glorious, red peak, we tied up the boat and our guide and I leapt into the river, as Eric stayed aboard and played around with the camera for awhile.

Floating on my back in the olive-green Mekong, staring up at the first star of the evening and the fiery-emerald clouds, has easily been the high point of this trip so far, and one of the high points of this year, or maybe even the last dozen years of my life. The water was perfect - not hot, not cold, not even warm or bathwater-level. It was like floating in air.

Today we're doing the bike tour of the island. We're thinking about splurging on snakemeat tonight.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Ben Tre
photo by: Paulovic