Mekong Delta for a day - Ben Tre - review by Rusty Compass
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Mekong Delta for a day - Ben Tre

| 15 Nov 2011
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Mekong Delta for a day - Ben Tre
Under 2 hours - around 86kms from Saigon - past My Tho.

Our rating
15 Nov 2011

The best option for a Mekong Delta day trip from Saigon, Ben Tre retains an authenticity lost in nearby My Tho. The recent completion of a bridge connecting Ben Tre and My Tho puts the town within easy reach of Saigon for day trippers. Let's hope that access does not result in the same major overreach by tourism officials as we've seen in My Tho.

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Up until 2009, the journey to Ben Tre required ferry crossings that could add hours to any trip. This picturesque and friendly Mekong Delta town saw very few travellers. The recent opening of a bridge connecting Ben Tre and My Tho has made it far easier for day trippers from Saigon. Happily though, most have continued to make the well worn journey to My Tho.

Ben Tre,Mekong Delta,Vietnam
Photo: Mark BowyerBen Tre riverfront
Ben Tre may be remembered by baby boomers as the town referenced by a US commander during the Vietnam in 1967 who said “it became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it”. Ben Tre felt the full impact of US firepower at that time.

The town has long since recovered from the US assault and is famous in Vietnam for its delicious coconut candy and its coconuts. Take a walk along the waterfront lined with French era shophouses and you’ll see plenty of coconuts being unloaded from boats for despatch around the country. Jump on a boat from here for a couple of hours of cruising the Mekong River.

Travel tips
Ben Tre is around 15 minutes past My Tho qnd getting close to 2 hours from Saigon. Start early - it’s much nicer on the river in the early morning. If time permits, staying a night in Ben Tre will allow time for a look at My Tho town and the battlefield at Ap Bac.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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