Few people know that there is still a peaceful Long Dien Salt Field in the coastal city’s heart that changes day and night, like a bridge connecting the two ends of the past and the present. As soon as the modern breath crept into every street corner, the traditional salt-making profession was still there in this small district, and the people were still diligent day and night despite the passing of time.
Where is the Long Dien Salt Field?
Address: An Ngai commune, Long Dien town, Ba Ria – Vung Tau province
About 95km from Saigon, Long Dien Salt Farm is one of the few small districts that still retains the traditional salt-making profession of his father for many generations. With a total salt field area of up to 500 hectares, the people of Long Dien are always working day and night to produce about 30,000 tons of salt each year. And ever since, this small coastal district has become one of the stops for many young people, especially those who want to experience the ordinary life of the simple people.
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Ways to go to Long Dien Salt Field
Because it is located about three hours from Saigon by motorbike, if you move from the city, you can follow Highway 51 or the direction of the Cat Lai ferry to Nhon Trach, then go straight on the route. It ‘s okay to go to Vung Tau . However, from the Ba Ria area, instead of continuing to Vung Tau coastal city, you can follow provincial road 44A towards Long Hai sea. Going straight for about 22 minutes will bring you to the country’s largest salt field and the closest traditional salt village to Saigon.
The beauty of the traditional salt-making
Blessed with ideal geographical conditions along with a long coastline and a hot and humid climate all year round, it is not surprising that Long Dien has become the largest salt producer in Vietnam. Blessed with ideal geographical conditions along with a long coastline and a hot and humid climate all year round, it is not surprising that Long Dien has become the largest salt producer in Vietnam. Every day, the people here are always diligent in producing pure white salt with the bold taste of the Long Hai sea. Currently, in the small district of Long Dien, there are more than 300 households making salt with the hope of keeping the traditional profession that has existed for many generations, so that when later recalling the past of their fathers, the young people still have a sense of proud.
The annual salt crop usually begins around September of the lunar calendar. It lasts until April of the next lunar year, usually when the rainy season begins, and the salt crop ends. Because at this stage, the South has started to enter the dry season with a hot climate, little rain, and lots of sunshine, sometimes even six months without a drop of rain appearing, which is a suitable period for people to embark on a new salt crop.
It seemed that every grain of salt had the same salty aftertaste, but that was not the case. Salt in the Long Dien district has its unique features with good crystallinity and moderate salinity, suitable for marinating fish and producing fish sauce. Long Dien salt is often consumed in the province and the provinces of the Southwest region. Occasionally, they will also be sold to boat owners, fishing vessels, and seafood processors.
Origin of Long Dien Salt Field
Since when did salt making appear in the small district of Long Dien? No one knows. People only know that a long time ago, right from the early days when his father went to open the land of the South, salt making appeared. Experiencing many ups and downs of history, the people here still live all year round depending on the weather, all year round, hard work, just so that the traditional profession is not lost. Later, in order to save labor and desire to have better productivity, the people here knew how to use windmills to bring salt water into the salt fields.
How does a day at Long Dien Salt Field go?
When it comes to the salt season, people in Long Dien often start a new day at dawn. Usually, around 4 am. At this time, they will begin to collect the crystallized salt into large piles, then let the salt drain for a while and put it on trolleys to the gathering place to sell to traders. After the salt has been harvested, the people of Long Dien continue a new cycle of bringing saltwater into the field to start making the next salt barn.
To be formed into large particles, salt must wait to be dried in the hot sun, sometimes up to 40 degrees. However, local people still do not care about the burning sun, still diligently raking salt, because if it is unfortunate that it rains heavily that day, it will be considered a day of work.
Initially, salt making is considered one of the most challenging jobs because the work is extensive, but the money received is not much. Usually, a working day of local people is only about 200,000 VND, which is too small compared to the hardships they have to exchange. Yet, they are still happy. Because as long as they can go to the fields to rake salt, that day they can still contribute a little bit of their energy to preserving the profession that has appeared since the time of their fathers and feeds the people of this small district of Long Dien. Besides, if you have the opportunity to come to Long Dien Salt Field on sunny days, see the scene of people with sunburned skin, darkened by the sea wind, hot sun, and salty salt, but still diligently raking salt and water. With a bright smile and warm voice, you can feel how great their love for these straight salt fields is.
The beauty of the straight white salt fields
If you have the opportunity to come to Long Dien Salt Field, you will have the opportunity to see a peaceful picture with seemingly endless salt fields along the coastline. The salt fields here are built in a rectangular shape and are located close to each other. Under the gentle ray of the sun, it is even more shimmering like a giant mirror. Long Dien salt field with white salt lines standing prominently in a corner where the field is waiting to be drained to harvest, carried on a trolley to the gathering place to sell to traders is always one of the images that many friends love.
But indeed, the most beautiful moment must be mentioned the scene of salt fields at dawn or dusk, with the warm first rays of the day and gentle last rays, making the whole area bright but very peacefully beautiful. Long Dien salt field seems to be nothing special, but it is the fields lying peacefully along the coast with the kind and simple smiles of the diligent salt people, regardless of the brutal sun and rain. Beautiful labor is what makes those who have the opportunity to come here to remember forever. That’s why, even in the coastal city of Vung Tau, countless attractions are famous for the whole region. Still, when comparing the peaceful beauty of Long Dien salt field with the beautiful sea roads with clear beaches and delicious specialties, this small district is not by no means inferior.
Ever since Long Dien Salt Field has become one of the perfect stops for young people who want to have the most authentic experience of a hard-working day but equally interesting of the salt people. What about you? After reading this article of Say Hello Vietnam, have you ever wanted to visit this small district once?