Can Tho province in the Mekong Delta region has long been famous for its charming landscape, friendly people, and fruitful gardens fertilized by the Mekong alluvium.
Foreigners learn about Vietnam’s fruit cultivation at Vam Xang garden (Photo: baocantho.com.vn)
Visitors can stroll around the gardens to enjoy the fresh air, ripe fruit picked from the trees, and local specialties. This edition of “Discovery Vietnam” takes you to Vam Xang, one of the most well-known fruit gardens in Can Tho.
The Vam Xang fruit garden is located in the town of Phong Dien, 10 kilometers southwest of Can Tho’s downtown. This area is blessed with favorable climatic and soil conditions for agriculture.
According to owner Tran Van Lien, his fruit garden is named after the nearby canal Xang Xa No, built in 1903. Vam Xang has typical features of Southern rural areas: a wooden gate, a bucolic path, and a guest house.
As it’s cool all year round, visitors can feel refreshed at any time by a visit to the garden, of which the owner is also the tour guide.
Mr. Lien said, “It’s the practice of polyculture that makes Vam Xang different from other orchards in Phong Dien, which engage in only single types of fruit cultivation. Farmers in other gardens harvest only star apples in the winter, for example. But in Vam Xang there are about 40 types of trees, producing fruit all year round”.
Abundant varieties of fruit, such as jackfruit, durian, mangosteen, starfruit, rambutan, and oranges, make the Vam Xang garden constantly changing and kaleidoscopic picture throughout the seasons. The burmese grape season occurs between March and June when clusters of bold yellow fruits hanging from the trees create the impression of a giant golden curtain when seen from afar.
Vam Xang garden, a popular ecotourism site, attracts a large number of visitors of different ages. If they’d like, visitors can have the experience of being farmers by throwing fish nets or deftly scooping through the water to catch fish raised in small canals around the garden.
The fish are then cooked either by the guests or by the garden owner in the style of the signature dishes of the south.
Tran Van Luom, a visitor from Soc Trang province, told VOV: “I’m impressed by hotpot with fermented fish (lau mam) which I used to eat when I was a child. I also loved the grilled gourami wrapped in banana leaves. I found them both very delicious”.
Tired after a trip around the garden, visitors can take a rest on hammocks and enjoy the light breeze in the shade while listening to the birds singing. Huynh Thi Men from Can Tho city said: “I find this place very peaceful, much different from the busy city where I live. I also love the fresh and delicious food here”.
The Vam Xang fruit garden has developed in the past 2 years as an impressive homestay area which features wood and bamboo houses with thatched roofs. The path around the garden and bamboo bridges crossing the canals are always packed with visitors, many of them foreigners, riding bicycles or strolling around.