Coconut Festival opens in Ben Tre
Update: Jan 14, 2009
The first Coconut Festival opened on January 13 in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, promising to bring tourists a taste of various local coconut products.

The seven-day festival held by the provincial People’s Committee, marks the 49th year of the Ben Tre Uprising against the American Invasion and celebrates the inauguration of Rach Mieu Bridge, connecting Ben Tre to Tien Giang Province.

Coming to the festival, visitors will have a chance to sample traditional food and explore the mysteries of the “coconut culture”, organisers say.

It will also offer businessmen and investors an opportunity to access the economic potential of Ben Tre for eco-tourism, historical and cultural relics, and particularly, for coconut products.

More than 250 booths are showcasing products made from coconut as well as techniques in coconut breeding, harvesting and processing.

A contest will be held where artisans will compete to make cakes, jams and food from coconut. Another contest will see local craftsmen produce handicraft items, such as knitting baskets made out of coconut blades, and spinning and weaving carpets out of coconut fibre.

Mr. Do Minh Triet, of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that a number of coconut-related records will be set.

For instance, the biggest carpet made from coconut fibre will be showcased at the festival. The carpet measures 6m long and 3m wide and was crafted by artisan Pham Minh Tam, a resident of Chau Thanh District.

Additionally, a 3m high teapot made from coconut shells will also be featured. The teapot was created by Nguyen Thanh Liem of Mo Cay Town.

Dong A Company, owned by Pham Thi To will display a 600kg coconut candy measuring 1.06m long, 0.6m wide and 0.8m thick.

Other unique products by famous artisans will also be on show, such as a pair of life-sized buffaloes made entirely of coconut by animal bonsai artisan Nguyen Van Cong, a resident of Cho Lach District.