Tra Que Vegetable village – A part of Hoi An Countryside – A complete guide about Hoi An Countryside visits from a local guide
” Written by Khanh- the guide and owner of Mate Hoi An”
Coming to Hoi An, tourists often visit the old town which is said to be the main attraction. However; if you are getting bored with temples, old houses, shops,… Hoi An countryside is a must in your bucket lists. In Vietnam in general or Hoi An in particular, urbanism is a big problem. Together with the big growth rate every year, Vietnam is also facing a big challenge: culture and tradition loss. What tourists expect from their visits to Vietnam is not buildings, sky scrapers, theme parks,… they will be the local life, the countryside, traditions or culture,…
Fortunately, Hoi An is doing well in keeping their long last traditions which can be seen in the craftmanship of villages. Hoi An city used to be a trading port where merchants from many countries from the west and the east came to trade.
Hoi An people built their craftmanship from what they learnt from their ancestors and the migrants. Their skills later contributed to the development of Hoi An town. They became so famous that the Emperors of Nguyen invited them to build the Imperial city and the royal palaces in Hue. Today, the descendants are trying to preserve and develop the tradition of their villages. Tra Que Village is one of those. It doesn’t become famous for its craftmanship but for its contributions of Hoi An culinary culture.
Hoi An is very well-known for its food. It is not only delicious but also healthy and fresh. That distinction partially comes from the organic vegetables from Tra Que Vegetable village.
History of Tra Que
Tra Que is a 400 year old village where farmers grow organic vegetables and herbs. There are 40 herbs and vegetables grown here. For 400 years, the local farmers have been using the only source of fertilizer which is the river weed from the river nearby. There are 40 types of herbs and vegetables grown in the village such as basil, mint, lettuce, mustard, spring onions,…
Tra Que is very well-known for its high quality vegetables, because all of them are grown in a very organic way. Most of the process is done by hands. It is believed that river weed used as a fertilizer can make vegetables taste better, especially it can make the herbs smell stronger.
The farmers work very early. In the morning they get up before sunrise to avoid the summer heat since it can get above 40 degrees in the Summer. At first they will dig up the soil to get rid of the weed and grass. Then they will plane the soil and build a retaining wall to keep the water. Next, they put the river weed and cover it with a layer of soil. The farmer will put the seeds into the soil and water it. It takes 10 days for the vegetables to grow. When they are 1 inch tall, the farmer will re-organize them by planting them into rows. They wait for 1 or 2 more months before they can harvest and sell the vegetables.
In the early Morning, middlemen will come to choose and buy the vegetables. They will be taken to markets, super markets, restaurants around Hoi An and Da Nang. If farmers want to make more money, they will bring the vegetables to the markets and sell them on their own.
Urbanism causes some problems for the village as the farming areas are cut down smaller when people build more houses and resorts. Many farmers got paid to sell their land. For short- run they make some money, but soon that amount of money was spent. The farmers did lose their livelihoods. Today, the land is being owned by the government. Each member of the family has the right to use 100 square meters. They can work on that land but can not sell. If they stop working as farmers, the land will be given to other people in the village.
Another problem that the village is facing is the younger generations of its do not want to work in the farms anymore since it is hard work and offers little money. Young people tend to work for hotels, big resorts where they can earn more and get promotions. To solve this, the local government of Hoi An combines tourism with farming. That means tourists can join farming tours operated by the local people of the village. Thanks to that, more and more young people are coming back to work.
Best time to go to Tra Que
You can go to Tra Que anytime. The best month to go is from February to September. The best time of a day is morning when the farmers are working. From 6 am to 8 am, you can have many good photo shots. The weather is nice too.
” Tips: Get up early at 5.00 am, then cycle to the village at about 5.30 am, you can catch the sunrise. This is the best time of the day to take some good photo shots”
How much is a ticket
The ticket to Tra Que is very cheap, just 35,000 vnd/pax.
How to get to Tra Que from Hoi An or Da Nang
It is easy to go to Tra Que from Hoi An. You can get there by scooters or bicycles. Scooter rental is from 150,000 vnd to 200,000 vnd per day. Some hotels, resorts offer free bicycles, so you can borrow from them. The cost for a taxi or a car with a driver to Tra Que is about 100,000 vnd per way or 200,000 vnd round trip.
From Da Nang, you can take a taxi or book grab car, private car. The cost is about 200,000 vnd to 300,000 vnd per way. Or you can go by scooters. Scooter rental is from 150,000 vnd to 200,000 vnd per day.
If you dislike the inconvenience of going to Tra Que Vegetable village yourself, we have several tour to the village as below:
- Hoi An cooking class and egg coffee making with countryside visits
- Hoi An Countryside with local lunch
- Hoi An foodie tours by bicycles
- Sunrise Hoi An morning tour and photo opportunities
Compared to other tourist attractions, Hoi An is more special thanks to its tranquility, beautiful traditions and culture. If you look for a place to relax or just to eat and enjoy the real local life, you should come to Hoi An and pay a visit to Tra Que Vegetable village. Here you can also interact with the locals and understand more about how people live. Visiting Tra Que is not expensive, but it takes just a short time to see everything in the village, so you should combine it with other attractions in Hoi An such as Thanh Ha pottery Village, Cam Thanh Coconut village, Kim Bong carpentry village.
If you need any assistance or questions, please let me know at the comment below.