Hoi An is one of the most famous travel destinations in Vietnam due to its unrivaled beauty of the ancient town, tranquil atmosphere that permeates the whole city, and a magnificent view of the white sands of An Bang Beach. These are travel attractions that most tourists visit in Hoi An. However, there is another place that is peaceful and less-known but this makes it worth visiting, Tra Que Vegetable Village. It will be a great experience to visit the vast green vegetable gardens and see how local farmer work their land.
Introduction to Tra Que Vegetable Village
Tra Que Vegetable Village is three kilometers to the northeast of Hoi An Ancient Town. This land is 300 years old and surrounded by the De Vong River and Tra Que Lagoon.
The village supplies fresh and organic vegetables to restaurants, hotels, and local people in Hoi An, other districts in Quang Nam, and Da Nang city. Tra Que vegetables make up the unique flavors of the specialties in Hoi An such as tom huu, banh xeo, cao lau, mi quang, and more. Tra Que grows many kinds of vegetables used to make medicine and improve health as well.
When visiting Tra Que Village, you can feel the identity of a traditional village and witness the panoramic view of the green vegetable gardens. Meanwhile, the active lives of the local farmers are ongoing, as they care for and harvest their vegetables.
The Village Adventure – Onetrip
The best way to explore Tra Que Vegetable Village is spending your day on The Village Adventure with Onetrip. Our tour guides have lived here for a long time and they therefore have an immense knowledge of local life and vegetable cultivation. This is a private tour, only you and your tour guides will be exploring this village. Therefore, you can ask as many questions as you want, not only about the tour but also about Vietnam. Moreover, you can stop wherever you want and our tour guides will take the most beautiful photos for you there.
You can choose either the morning tour which begins at 8 AM and ends at 11:30 AM or the evening tour that lasts from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. The tour guides will pick you up at your hotel and bring you to Tra Que Vegetable Village, where you can observe how local farmers grow vegetables. The coolest thing is that you will be guided and work on the gardens as the local people do. Then, you will pick your own vegetables which will be served later for your lunch or dinner.
Next, hop on a bicycle and ride around the village, vegetable gardens, green paddy fields, and fish ponds to feel the calm and relaxed pace of life in this area. Get on a water buffalo if you have enough courage. It’s not difficult because the farmer will show you how to get on, sit behind you on the buffalo, and ride around the paddy fields.
After that, you will paddle a sampan along De Vong river and become a local fisherman by using traditional traps. The fish you catch and the vegetables you pick are your meal! Stop in a local family home, cook with them, have a chat about their rural life, learn about their lifestyles, traditions and etiquette, and enjoy the meal in a cozy atmosphere. After finishing the tour, you will understand the local life of the area and also remember a happy time with our tour guides and local people.
Cooking Class – Tra Que Water Wheel
I bet you love cooking and Vietnamese cuisine, so why not take a cooking class in Tra Que Vegetable Village? Tra Que Water Wheel has excellent reviews and is highly recommended.
Water Wheel’s staff will meet you at your hotel, then you will ride a bicycle to Hoi An central market. Fresh vegetables, raw meat, and many kinds of seafood are sold there. The market is noisy and crowded, but local sellers are always happy, easy-going, and welcoming of tourists. Let’s learn how to pick the best quality ingredients, which you will use in the cooking lesson later, and bargain to the lowest price. Make sure your camera is handy as well.
Then, you will go to Tra Que Village and go around the herb gardens where local farmers work on their crops. After that, the cooks of Water Wheel will show you the traditional ways to cook Vietnamese food and make flowers and animals with vegetables for decoration.
There are two menus for you to choose from. The normal menu includes Tam Huu spring rolls, local pancake, papaya salad, grilled fish in banana leaves, steamed rice in banana leaves, and dessert. The vegetarian menu includes Tam Huu spring rolls, local pancake, vegetarian spring rolls, sauteed tofu with sweet and sour sauce, steamed rice in banana leaves, and dessert.
Moreover, there are two other tours, Farming with The Farmers and Rice Paper Tour. Choose one, choose two, or choose all three!
Explore Tra Que Vegetable Village by Yourself
If you don’t have much time and want to explore the village by yourself, this is also a great option. Rent a bicycle, ride around the vegetable gardens, go into the gardens, and see how the farmers work. Local people are very hospitable and always welcome the tourists although their English may not be very good.
I recommend watching sunrise or sunset there. With the absence of buildings, Tra Que Village is an open and beautiful scenic spot. The sun looks like a huge egg, surrounded by the deep red and striped clouds, and reflected in the smooth surface of the river. Let’s enjoy the beauty of nature, and take stunning photos of this moment.
If your travel time is near Lunar New Year in Vietnam, spend some days in Hoi An and celebrate the biggest festival with the local people in Tra Que Vegetable Village, Cau Bong Festival.
Cau Bong Festival – The Biggest Festival of Tra Que Vegetable Village
Cau Bong Festival is held on January 7th of the Lunar calendar in Tra Que Village. Cau Bong Festival honors and celebrates the new season of a new year. Hundreds of local people prepare offerings and pray for a year of good weather and a bumper harvest.
Every year, this festival opens with a growing vegetables competition. The hamlet that wins the prize will celebrate with a big party. And there is another competition of “making shrimp”, which is the typical food of Tra Que Village used in rituals, festivals, and entertaining guests. This food symbolizes the friendship of the local people of this village. Therefore, tom huu is the name of this food, tom means shrimp in English and huu is a part of bang huu meaning friendship.
Over the past years, the secret in cultivating the best Tra Que vegetables is not only the fertile land but also the seaweed of the Co Co River. Farmers use seaweed to make fertilizer for the garden. And here lies another competition! The competition of picking seaweed and using it to fertilize the garden also takes place on this occasion. Cau Bong Festival also has a boat race on Co Co River, through many other riverside villages in Hoi An.
Cau Bong Festival in Tra Que has become a traditional culture in this area and attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists on this occasion.
The next time you visit Hoi An, make sure Tra Que Vegetable Village is on your travel list. Spending one day in the village will be an unforgettable experience for you in Vietnam.