May 2018. Having cruised The Mekong River for a bit and toured a brickmaking community in Nhon Thanh Village, the second stop of my Mekong Delta excursion came at Nhon Thanh Coconut Candy Workshop, one of many peppered across the region. After all, the area is affectionately known throughout Vietnam as coconut country and indeed this is a key component in the area’s self-sustainability.
May 2018. These little workshops literally take everything from the coconut, with not a shred going to waste as husk, flesh, nut and oil all get separated and channeled off for a variety of products such as perfume, chairs, rope, jelly and juice. In this workshop the main focus was coconut candy, a popular Vietnamese dessert. Soft and chewy, you can witness first hand the skillful mixing process that includes milk, sugar and malt. The mixture is then chopped up into cubes, left to dry and individually wrapped.
May 2018. There’s a little store in the workshop but you won’t get any pressure to buy. I really appreciated this respectful approach, so was more than happy to grab a pack of coconut candy priced at 35.000VND (£1.20/€1.30/$1.50).
May 2018. With our short tour of the workshop having concluded, we were told to rest at one of the guest tables where we were treated to tea and a complimentary fruit platter! Not bad at all! I attacked everything except for the Durian.
May 2018. You can also purchase the region’s brutal looking rice wine if it tickles your fancy. It did NOT tickle my fancy! A highly potent concoction (35%), the wine is soaked in a tantalizing choice of either sun-dried cobra or black scorpion. Or maybe even both! Preserved in the bottles following months of fermenting, the poison carried by these creatures is cancelled out by the alcohol content. Having some issues in the bedroom? This might be your answer, with many believing the drink is an excellent aphrodisiac. Thanks, but I’ll stick to the candy!
My daylong Insight Mekong Delta adventure with Deluxe Group Tours cost $45 and also featured a river cruise down the Mekong, a fascinating stop at Nhon Thanh Brickmaking Village and some cycling followed by a hearty lunch at Nhon Thanh Village. We also hit Vinh Trang Pagoda on the drive back to Ho Chi Minh. They’ll pick you up by minivan from your hotel somewhere between 08:00-08:30 and you’ll get back at about 17:00. Anyone who knows me will attest I’m more than capable of being a complainer when the opportunity arises, but I can honestly say that with these guys you’re in good hands. For more information pay them a visit at: https://www.deluxegrouptours.vn
For more on the region check out my guide on what to see and do in Ho Chi Minh.
Or maybe delve further afield with my pieces from all across Vietnam.
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