Connect with us

An Giang

The palm that sweetens life in Mekong Delta province

An Giang residents love the palmyra palm for the sustained supply of toddy, juice and raw sugar that it provides.

Known locally as the thot not, Borassus flabellifer, commonly known as doub palm, palmyra palm, tala palm, toddy palm and even wine palm, this species can be found everywhere in An Giang. The local name is derived from th’not in the Khmer language.

They provide a thirst-quenching drink, toddy, made by collecting the sap of its flowers. The palm sugar made from this also carries a special sweetness. The tall palms also beautifully break the monotony of rice fields in the Mekong Delta province.

A thirst-quencher

The thot not juice is often misunderstood as juice from its fruit. But this is actually sap tapped from its flowers. The juice has a light sweet taste and is often served with some slices of succulent thot not fruit. The drink is said to contain many minerals and vitamins that are good for health. It tastes best served with ice.

The tastiest sap is the one harvested early in the morning. If harvested in the evening the sap will get sour and have a fermented taste, which is turned into toddy, an alcoholic drink. Thot not juice is sold in many sidewalk stalls and markets in An Giang.


Thot not plays an important role in An Giang’s dessert scene. It is used as the sweetener in most dishes. The thot not pie, rich and sweet, is a steal at VND15,000 ($0.6) a pack.

To make the pies, the pulp of ripened thot not fruit is ground and the juice extracted. The flesh is then mixed with rice flour and thot not sugar and steamed.

Other snacks made here include sweet soups and jelly.

A sweet gift

Thot not sugar is one of the most famous delicacies of An Giang. It’s extracted from the thot not sap then cooked and hardened into round brown clots. The brown sugar is recommended because it retains the natural and original taste. The whiter version is refined. The sugar is not just used in daily cooking, it is also a popular gift item. Some sugar makers even let you make the sugar yourself.

A photo cover

Photographs taken in An Giang never fail to feature the palms against the rising and setting suns. If you show a Vietnamese person a photograph with these palms, she or he will know that you have been to An Giang.

Source: By Linh Sea, Tuan Hoang (VNEXPRESS)

An Giang

No, it’s not pho. A Khmer woman has made a difference

The Vinh Trung noodle soup stands apart from the rest – the rice and the broth make it deliciously different.

The Vinh Trung rice noodle soup is named after a commune in Tinh Bien District, southern An Giang Province. The noodle is flat and small, unlike the large ones in other parts of Vietnam.

Commune residents believe the mother of this dish was a Khmer woman named Neang Oanh Na, who created it decades ago to cater to her own fondness for the taste of the Neang Nhen rice.

Her first version of the dish was a crayfish soup, which was later embellished with beef, chicken, pork, and shrimp, if the consumer requested it. The broth of this dish, made with steamed fish, pig bones, chicken bones and shrimp has an incredible aroma.

What makes the noodle very popular and special is that locally sourced, fresh meat complements every bowl. While the livestock farms are just around the corner in the Bay Nui area (Seven Mountains), shrimp comes from the Mekong River.

Neang Oanh Na’s aromatic noodles enticed many villagers to learn the recipe, and it developed into a regional specialty.

Mekong Deltas Khmer rice noodle soup a creation of one woman that became symbolic in the region (SEN - unedited) - 1

On the way from downtown Tinh Bien District towards Cambodian border, a host of Khmer rice noodle soup restaurants distract visitors from their destination with irresistible fragrance.

One particularly popular and enchanting place is the My Tien restaurant with its busy kitchen and cabinet full of meat. The 43-year-old woman who it is named after has been running this story since 1998 and piling on customers who return for more. She said her Vinh Trung noodle soup draws gourmets from near and far.

“We serve locals and travelers from other regions. There are foreigners from time to time as well,” Tien said.

Mekong Deltas Khmer rice noodle soup a creation of one woman that became symbolic in the region (SEN - unedited) - 2

Each bowl is a meat feast – pork chops, beef cakes, snakehead fish, shrimp and vegetables. The star of the dish is the beef meatball, which when cut in half reveals a pinkish brown color.

The order of placing the ingredients is also different from other noodle soups. The cook places the rice noodle at the bottom of bowl, follows it up with all kinds of meat and pours the broth at the very end with a pinch of scallions. The meat has no other dressing than Vietnamese fish sauce, adding maximum flavor to the soup.

Thach, My Tien’s son and chief assistant, said his parents do not hire employees other than family members.

“On busy days, we would ask our cousins to come and help,”

The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. A special order which comes with all toppings costs VND30,000 ($1.30) while a bowl with a single topping costs VND20,000 ($0.85).

Quang, a resident who lives near the restaurant, explained its popularity: “The noodle soup here is so tasty. I usually have it for breakfast, then after work if I’m too lazy to cook I will come here for another bowl. I don’t need anything else.”


Continue Reading

An Giang

October adds luster to Vietnam’s destinations

Many of Vietnam’s popular destinations become more alluring in the month of October, the Condé Nast Traveler says.

Vietnam is the only country in Southeast Asia to make it to the U.K.-based travel magazine’s list of 20 best destinations in the world to visit in October.

Tourists take a boat tour of Tra Su Cajuput Forest in Tinh Bien District, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Loc

Tourists take a boat tour of Tra Su Cajuput Forest in Tinh Bien District, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. Photo by VnExpress/Phan Loc

It notes that October is peak rice harvesting season in the northern highlands, and the golden glow of terraced fields in Sa Pa and other places, making them even more attractive than usual.

In Hanoi, it advises readers to enjoy “condensed-milk coffees on low plastic stools and some of the best food you’ll ever taste.”

The flooding season peaks in the Mekong Delta in October, making it a good time to take boat rides through mangroves, cajuput forests, floating markets and orchards.

Other destinations selected by the U.K. magazine for October also include Rome, Seville, Hawaii, Taipei and Bhutan.

A global report published last month by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth as fourth in the world, with the country’s visitor numbers growing at one of the fastest rates in the world.

Vietnam was also chosen “Asia’s Leading Destination” at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Hong Kong.

Source: VNexpress

Continue Reading