Arts and Culture


Located in the country's greatest river basin delta, with sea shores adjacent to rice fields, Ben Tre possesses some special geographical features. Favoured by the nature, this land is very attractive to visitors, with delicious speciality orchards and some of the most beautiful and splendid flower gardens in the Mekong Delta.

Travelling by boat on the Ham Luong River, visitors can enjoy themselves contemplating at thick rows of coconut trees jostling along its banks. This is one of the great features that make Ben Tre the land of poetic charm in the eyes of tourists from other parts of the country as well as the outside world.

Coming to Ben Tre, you will be met with gentle-minded and righteous people, those who are born to live and die in the land of their ancestors. They are intelligent people, the people of self-help and self-improvement spirits who have been overcoming enormous difficulties throughout their settling in, protecting and building the land since their first ancestor setting foot on here up to the present time.

In Ben Tre, there are many historical relics and memorial houses you can visit, such as the Dong Khoi Memorial House in Mo Cay district; the final point of the Ho Chi Minh Trail by Sea in Thanh Phu on the Co Chien River; the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Memorial Complex; and a lot of other old pagodas and Buddhist temples. Here you have chances to listen to folk songs and lyrics floating and resounding over the river, and perceive the profound cultural beauty of the land.

Ben Tre is also best known for many other aspects, one of which is its glorious history of fighting foreign invaders. Best regarded, and embedded in one of its best known alias, is the Dong Khoi Movement (Simultaneous Uprising) taking place on the 17th day of January, 1960, started in Dinh Thuy Commune, Mo Cay District, then spread out across the province and into neighbouring localities. The most famous figure that led the movement to a success is Mrs Nguyen Thi Dinh, whose name has gone into history and down to the memory of posterior generations.

This land of genius also gave birth to many great old time scholars and intellectuals, such as the master educator Vo Truong Toan, scholar Phan Thanh Gian - the first Doctorate holder of the Cochinchine (the Southern Colony under French rulers) who has left a great literary legacy of more than 500 valuable works.

There are other great cultural figures that contributed invaluably to the country's arts and literature.

Born in Ben Tre, Truong Vinh Ky was Viet Nam's first journalist and one of the "founders" of country's modern journalism. He is said to command 27 foreign languages (12 Western languages and 15 Eastern languages). During his 40 years of arts operations (1858-1898), Truong Vinh Ky created 118 works of arts and literature of various genres such as research, collection, translation, transcription, and dozens of publications written in French language.

One of the very famous journalists living in the same time of Truong Vinh Ky is Suong Nguyet Anh - the talented daughter of the Master-Poet Nguyen Dinh Chieu. She was Viet Nam's first female journalist who was the Chief Editor of the once-renowned newspaper "Nu Gioi Chung"(Common Women) published in the late nineteen century and the early years of the twenty century.

Le Hoang Muu is another well-known journalist who was Chief Editor of another early-day newspapers in the Cochinchine named "Luc Tinh Tan Van" (The Six Provinces' New Culture).

There are a list of artists whose names have been acknowledged in the country's arts and culture history. There is Le Long Van (a.k.a Ba Van), who has been rewarded the title of Nghe Si Nhan Dan (People's Artist, the noblest title granted to atrists with invaluable contribution to the country's arts and culture) for whole-heartedly devoting his life to developing and maintaining the Cai luong theatre (the traditional style of performing art most popular in the Southern parts of Viet Nam). There is fine arts researcher Nguyen Phi Hoanh, painter Le Van De, architect Huynh Tan Phat, sculptor Diep Minh Chau - one of the great names in Viet Nam fine arts, and whose name has been introduced in the European Encyclopedia.