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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Agrotourism in Saigon, Vietnam

The boat to Thoi Son (Unicorn) Island and Fishing Village at Mekong River, Vietnam.

The writer organised a study trip to Vietnam in Mei 2009 together with DOA personnel with own expenses. The purpose of the trips is to study how the Agrotourism Program implemented in Vietnam by private sector. The group stay at Le Duy Hotel (Sound like Lady Hotel) at the middle of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) City. The first day we travelled to Thoi Son (Unicorn) Island in Chau Tnanh District , Thien Giang Province about 60 km (2 hours travel) to see a Fishing Village and Agrotourism Village. The huge fishing village has so many Fishing Boat to load and we also saw so many fish processing plants. The group continue the boat-ride for 20 minutes to reach first stop. It was the bee farms located 100 meter from the river banks where the owner shows how the bee hives look like and the life Honey Bee (Apis cerana) was managed. The guest later given Honey Bee Juice and few other product such as Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly and Bee Wax to taste and buy. Other product shown to us is Vacuum Fried Jackfruit and Dried Ginger. This article I would like to share my knowledge in "Anim Agro Technology" about my visit to Agro-Tourism in Vietnam recently.  

The next stop was coconut cottage industry about 50 meter away. The coconut milk processed to a candy and coconut sweets. The coconut milk collected from pressing the pulp using a special machine. The technology is simple but it produce a sweet candy product and sold at USD 1 per pack. Next to candy site is a Tropical Fruit Stalls selling local fruits such as Durian, Jambu Air, Rambutan, Starfruit, Guava, Sapodilla, Banana, Pineapple, Longan and Papaya. Tourist can eat fresh fruit prepared by the owner at USD 5 depending on fruit type and quantity. Local handicraft from coconut tree and wood craft also sold around fruit stalls. About 150 meter away is a Traditional Stage Show where a group of local entertainers sing and dance a Traditional Song and they prepared local fruit such as sapodilla and jackfruit on the table.

We ask to walk about 400 meter under the Longan Farm (Flowering season) and Jackfruit Farm. The tourist able to pluck and harvest longan during festive season (But not this time). There was many small fishing ponds in the farms where we can see local catfish and tilapia fish to feed. The fishpond size about 12 feet x 10 feet and easy to access. The surprising activity was Sampan Ride in the small river. There are more than 500 sampan (Small Boat) in the small canal and was paddled by female operator (Old lady). One boat consists 3-4 tourist depending on size (European size of course 3 persons). The sampan ride in small canal about 25 minutes really enjoy because we can see AgroEco-tourism. The boat end-up to the main river in the middle of the river.

Upon reach to the Boat, all the tourist given a young coconut fruit juice to drink where the professional bot-man doing the peeling and navigating the boat. The tourist later visited the Snake Farm, Fish Processing Site and Handicraft Site. On the way back to the original port (30 minutes) we can see many pontoon carrying sands passed through the boat. Later we visits National Museum of Saigon in the city.

The museum contain the historical war history and lost to learn from museum of course. Old Tanks, Vehicle, Bombs, Torture equipments, papers, Photos, arms, Documents etc remind us the fierce of war. Few Nostalgic photos really scary how the war take place. On the way back to Le Duy Hotel we saw thousands of motorcycle used by locals. It numbered more than car and lorries. The next day we visits Vietcong Tunnels about 100 km away. These tunnel really another story to tell. We got experience. The Agrotourism trip to Unicorn Island really fruitful and tiring!


M Anem
DOA Muar
(A visit to Ho Chi Minh City)

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