An Bien district located just about 20km from Rach Gia City. But more than a decade ago, it was once isolated from the City and other part of the province. To get to the district, local people had very limited choices, and most ly, using a boat was prefer during that time, or, if you traveled with a bike, you had to take a ferry and waited for 30 minutes to get to one side to other. The river is also connected to the open sea which makes the waters in this region salty.
In early of 2000, crab and shrimp farming had been introduce to this region. Farmers began to farm sea crab and shrimp in their rice fields where the water is salty or brackish. At the time, the main road was constructed but local people still had to take a ferry until 2015 when a long bridge was built.
Nowadays, getting there is much easier and much faster and more enjoyable. There are many pineaple gardens along the road and local people built small huts selling pineapples and water cocounut. Most of the farmers here are chinese who emigrated here during the the chinese culture revolution. Those gardens are large and began to draw local attention. But not many foreigners heard about this place.
In this aerial photographs that I shot a few week ago, you can see that Pineapple trees are farmed along with coconut tree. This farming areas are enomous and sparely populated. This should be one of Rach Gia Attractions and should be on your bucket list if you are looking for a new place that nobody traveled before. It’s also a great place for biking.
After crossing the street, visitor will travel along a river. If you travel off the main road and go near the coast. visitors can easily see local people catching fish using a traditional technique that you will not able to see anywhere else in the city. Big red fishing net will be dropped down to the river bed for a while and then the local people will pull it up later.
In this region, motorized boats are more prevalent than a motorcycle and if visitors pay attention, they will notice that each house own at least one boat. It’s their main transport. The farther you get to the coast the sparser population is and most of the houses here are stilt houses. Some fishermen are fishing along the river, some mending their fish in open area, while motorized boats whirring on the river. Motorbikes are rarely seen on the road and at some point, I was the sole passenger on the road.
Eventually, when I got to the coast, a big area where local people farm clam and mussel looming away. To get there, we rented a local boat owner to get us there. Along the way is a forest of mangroves which was farmed by local people and to protect the land and fight land erosion.
This area have direct access to the open sea. Local farmers turned the area into a farming zone where their built stilt houses and stay there to guard their goods. If you buy seafood here, It would be half the price that you normally spend at a local market.
Even this area is open to the outside world and easier to travel to but not many people in Rach Gia City have heard about it. I hope this post will give you some ideas about the place and where you can travel to. If you have any questions or need me to help you planning your Mekong Trip, don’t hesitate to send me an email.
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