Treasures grow on trees in Vietnam's tropical south

Nga Do
In contrast to the more seasonal north, the south of Vietnam offers two options: baking heat or pouring rain. But this climate does bear fruit, quite literally, with different localities claiming the top spot for the fruits of their labors.

Coconuts from Ben Tre Province

Dubbed the Land of Coconuts, Ben Tre is covered in plantations. Coconuts here come with catchy names such as fire coconut, grass coconut, wax coconut and especially the ‘xiem’ coconut. The ‘xiem’ coconut is big compared to its siblings with a smooth green shell that holds plenty of juice. The juice is mildly sweeter than others, making it the first choice when it comes to a thirst-quenching beverage. Besides the juice, coconut flesh can be made into candy, wine and many other products.

Rambutan from Vinh Long Province

Rambutan in Vietnam goes by a cute name: ‘chom chom’. The fruit, in its edible form, comes wrapped in a red soft shell that protects its sweet flesh that is completely detached from the seed. Vinh Long Province turns red during ‘chom chom’ season with the fruit itself and the cars and motorbikes transporting the juicy 'chom chom’. A trip to a rambutan orchard to pick and eat it fresh from the tree is a must for anyone who visits this land.

Pomelo from Hau Giang Province

Pomelos are planted widely across the southwest of the country, but not many can compete with Hau Giang Province. The pomelo here has yellowish segments equally separated, a dry pulp and the desired mix of sweet and sour. When eaten with chili salt, it is impossible not to ask for more.

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