Ben Tre’s a quiet little town, somewhat off the main tourist trail, situated on the Ben Tre River. It’s famous for its coconuts and all things coconut.
Unfortunately sometime shortly after our arrival I started feeling not so great and spent a couple of days having a close relationship with a toilet.
Before La Tourista really took hold we went for a bike ride along the waterfront and across a small bridge to the opposite shore where we rode along narrow concrete paths beside canals.
Along the way we passed several coconut product processing businesses.
The bike ride was great and the passing scene fascinating but I was feeling worse by the minute so we went back to our hotel. I spent the rest of the day snoozing and Sue watched TV. The next day I felt a bit better and emerged for a walk around town.
Ben Tre is also famous as the town that a US Army officer said of: “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” The town was bombed and shelled until razed, with no concern for civilian casualties, in order to save it from the Viet Cong.
Today Ben Tre appears to be very quiet and peaceful. Like many Vietnamese towns it has a huge covered market. New, wide boulevards lead into town and many boats travel to and fro on the river. We also saw a variety of modes of transportation.
We saw many electric bikes on the roads in the Mekong Delta. Another reason I want to move there! Bicycling is big on the delta as it’s so flat.
We didn’t get out a lot in Ben Tre and ate all our meals in the Hung Vuong Hotel’s restaurant. It provided decent food at a reasonable price and the hotel room was certainly one of the biggest (and low priced) that we’d had. Plus Sue enjoyed her coconut milk.
Perhaps we’ll return to Ben Tre for a bicycle trip next year. But this time around I’d started feeling better and so we decided it was time to travel on to Saigon.