Located in a prime location between two famous attractions, the Old Town and An Bang beach, Tra Que vegetable village is a featured point of interest. It’s famous for vegetable growing and good-quality herbs which are a must in many local food specialties. Established a few centuries ago, its name is given from a king. Thanks to peaceful, crowd-free and lush gardens, visitors love to tour around this pretty piece of countryside, by foot or bicycle. It’s easy to see farmers at work and photograph them with the camera.
Tra Que’s vegetable growers have been using unique techniques to produce their herbs. All steps are without chemicals. To understand the farming culture, many visitors come to the village to learn, especially little ones. Farmer experience is among the best bets for a family activity in Hoi An. It’s possible to take part in a hands-on cooking class or herbal massage organized by local families. Both are available and suitable for most members. To keep the entertainment, the beach and lantern-lit town are definitely perfect places to go next. This article outlines all visitors need to know about Tra Que village Hoi An.
- Countryside around Hoi An – A Complete Guide
- Cam Thanh Coconut Village
- Cam Kim Island and Village
- Hoi An Pottery Village
- Hoi An’s Bicycle Tours
Between Hoi An old town and An Bang beach, Tra Que vegetable village (or Tra Que herb village) is a fertile island surrounded by the De Vong river. It has green gardens accessed by brick-paved lanes, in the front or back of the houses and a tranquil atmosphere. First inhabitants came to live in 16th century, after the Cham people left and today, there are nearly 280 families. More than a half of households have been growing herbs, vegetables and flowers for local markets and restaurants. Thanks to the use of organic techniques, the quality of these procedures is highest in town. For that reason, Tra Que’s green ingredients are always first choices to chefs and their kitchens. Some traditional dishes require them only. Visitors can expect fun activities in this oasis.
Local people believe that old women selling a handful of bunches of vegetables in the Central market, come from Tra Que village. Experienced wifes often buy something for them.
Tra Que’s Farming Tradition
Thanks to alluvial-rich soil and availability of water all year round, Tra Que village is ideal for farming. Up to date, many of the villagers see vegetable and tree growing as their main source of income. Since when the first seeds were sown, 55 kinds of herb and vegetable have been found in the gardens. Having developed for 400 years, the know-how of Tra Que’s farmers is considered as a national intangible cultural heritage.
According to local farmers, the seeds have to be taken from big and healthy trees in the summer. After that, carefully-selected ones will be dried in the sun for 1 to 3 days, depending on the size. Preparing the soil and fertilizing the young plants are two most important stages then. To make the soil more porous and remove the weed bulbs from previous crops, locals hoe the ground from 40 to 50 centimeters. In the past, there were 10 days needed for solorization but now only a half. Naturally-grown algaes are brought from nearby swamps to fertilize the piece of land. Around a half of a month is needed to wait for algae’s decomposition completely. Now, because of the lack of the algae, animal dung are used to replace it, and therefore, the “waiting time” is down to 5 days. Watering the soil is the next step, requiring one night. After that, the growers till, mould, and transplant the baby vegetables and herbs.
Tra Que Herbs and Hoi An Food Specialties
Hoi An’s signature noodle dishes such as cao lau and mi quang must have Tra Que herbs. The greenages feature smaller sizes but more flavourful than others of their kind. Popularly-used ones are mint, basil, coriander, peppermint, heartleaf herb, parsley, spring onion. Young vegetables are also used to eat with the noodles, like baby mustard, bean sprouts. Especially in case of cao lau, local makers have to have the water from Ba Le well and wood ash in Cham Island.
Tra Que village’s island may have been inhabited by Cham people before Vietnamese arrivals from the north in 16th century. To live in the new land, the second population catched fish in the river, the sea and grew vegetables to sell in Hoi An’s central market. At that time, the market was largest in the region where plenty of foreign merchants visited to trade.
From 1964 to 1968, Tra Que village was a revolutionary area of the North Vietnamese army and its inhabitants supported communists during the period. In 1968, the Tet Offensive occurred and became one of turning points in the Vietnam war. There were many people and soldiers lost, so the Americans decided to move the villagers to concentration camps. The aim is to cut the relationship between communists and locals. Because of the strategic location, a Korean marine station was established in the village. 120 soldiers were responsible for protecting Hoi An’s north gateway. In November 1968, the communist’s special forces attacked it and killed 90 of them.
From 1968 to 1975 when Vietnam was unified, Tra Que village faced bombings and many damages. Cultural events and festivals must be stopped, and vegetables grown were mainly for household use. After the war ended, the tradition has continued until now.
Each international visitor will pay 35,000 VND to enter and sightsee around the Tra Que vegetable village. Ticket booths stand in crossroads where Hai Ba Trung Rd meets major ways leading to the gardens and tourist venues. However, it seems that not all visitors purchase this entrance fee in fact.
Tra Que vegetable village has a 400-years history and some stunning historical and cultural sites to see. One of the oldest relics is the tomb of Nguyen Dien general, built in 1861 after eight years after its owner’s death. The general was borned in the village, and served as a mandarin in the Nguyen dynasty over 3 reigns. He also was responsible for monitoring the construction of two royal tombs. In a short distance, visitors can find an ancient stone well that has been producing the water for many centuries. Historians believe that it’s made by Cham people (like Ba Le well in the Old Town). In the northwest most tip, there are a couple of small temples worshipping the God of the Land and Five-elements Goddess.
Cau Bong Festival
Held on the 7th day of the first lunar month (New year), all members of the Tra Que village participate in this event. Its main purpose is to pray for moderate weather, health, prosperity and luck in life. Each family prepares a boiled chicken with a mouth holding a flower, five-colored sticky rice and a glass of rice wine. In addition to solemn ceremonies, fun games and competitions are also celebrated, including steps to grow vegetables or making Tom huu.
Touring the Village by Own Way
Before stopping at any point of interest, touring the Tra Que vegetable village is a should-try experience. Walking or riding a bicycle is suitable. Slices of life, smiling people and peaceful rural sceneries will be seen, allowing the visitor to escape from busy quarters. It’s not too difficult to navigate the island because it’s quite small and features something that is easy to remember. From the main road Hai Ba Trung, no matter turning left or right, visitors can see vegetable gardens with farmers at work. If aiming to move along the river-edged roads first, take note of brick-paved lanes intersecting them. All lead to herb farms and historical buildings. Looking for nice photos? Early morning is the best time to hunt when locals are in their garden to take care of the plants.
Learning techniques to grow vegetables from locals is a featured experience in Tra Que village. In which, visitors at all ages will wear a daily working costume and a conical hat on the head before involving further. Hoeing the ground, tilling, moulding, fertilizing by algaes, transplanting baby vegetables, watering by well water with a carrying pole on the shoulder, covering to protect are instructed by the farmer like how he/she does everyday. There are simple works, but definitely giving a fun time to the whole family, especially the childrens. The host also is a tour guide who introduces different kinds of herb in his/her home garden and shares the name, how the flavour looks like and the use.
Tra Que village is an ideal place to participate and organize cooking classes. It has a variety of green ingredients that are nice to learn about. Without a market visit, travelers can pick direct, proper ones for cooking later, with advice from locals. Tra Que’s herbs and vegetables are fresh, organically-grown and
Tra Que Water Wheel
This is one of the earliest cooking class organizers in Tra Que village. Now, its best seller class can depart from both morning and afternoon. No matter what, visitors will start the experience with a market visit, to know different local ingredients and interact with the sellers. After a short drive (by taxi or bicycle), the chef instructs the learners how to make delicious dishes using authentic recipes. There are cao lau, mi quang noodles and tam huu, the village’s signature rolls. Price is 450,000 VND per person. If you are in the village already, contact the Tra Que Water Wheel to cut the market visit and transfer.
Telephone number/whatsapp +84905018009 – Email email@example.com
Tra Que Garden Cooking Classs & Restaurant
For visitors in the village already, Tra Que Garden provides two options of cooking class to choose from: at 9:30 a.m and 1:30 p.m. Each lasts 3 hours minimum and includes a menu of several famous Vietnamese dishes, like fresh and fried spring rolls, pancake or banana flower salad. Before spending time with fire and pan, the host takes the learners around the surrounding gardens, to introduce different kinds of herb and vegetable. Some of which are used for cooking later.
Telephone number +849028666603 – Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Locals use useful herbs picked from their home garden, to serve pleasant herbal massages to visitors. Just need to come to tourist venues in the village and ask for the service, no matter whether you are on an organized tour or not. Price is quite affordable and in the same place, it’s possible to look for a local guide who can teach traditional farming techniques or cooking recipes. Thanks to the chilly and fresh environment, many bicycle riders stop here to unwind, select a massage option and relax. In common, a herbal drink (basil seed water commonly) is also provided, as a part of the treatments.
Making Fresh Rice Papers
Some tourist venues (restaurants) organize a small class to guide the visitors on how to make fresh rice paper. Many places use husks like in the past, to boil the water for steaming the rice milk. It’s a fun thing to do, highly recommended to families including childrens who have never experienced it before. In cycling tours to Cam Kim island (south of the Old town), this is an inclusion.
Tam Huu – Tra Que’s Food Specialty
Tam hu or Tom huu in local accents, is the food representation of Tra Que vegetable growing village. Without the rice paper, it’s basically boiled pork, shrimp and raw veggies wrapped together by the spring onion. The name means “three friends”, indicating three major ingredients that are often used in daily meals of local families. In the Cau Bong annual festival, this dish is a must in ceremonies. Today, most restaurants and cooking class organizers can guide visitors further to make or serve directly.
Opened in 2012, this restaurant has been run by women for three generations. It serves tasty and authentic Vietnamese foods made by fresh ingredients collected from the home garden. Visitors like the tranquil atmosphere here while enjoying nice flavours, sitting on bamboo chairs under the thatched roof. The owner’s family is very friendly, doesn’t mind sharing knowledge about different herbs.
Opening hours: 11 a.m to 9 p.m daily – Telephone number +84935725749 – Email email@example.com
Kum Quat BBQ Restaurant
Named the same as a kumquat used to decorate Vietnamese houses every New year, this is a family-owned restaurant. It serves one of the most extensive food menus in the village, with a price ranging from 70,000 to 120,000 VND. The highlights are barbecue, flambe and caramelized meats in clay pot options. There are also 8 set menus available and the list of dishes named in the webpage kumquathoian.com. The price is around 300,000 VND per person. A couple of cocktails and wine can be seen in the menu, but limited now.
Opening hours: 8 a.m to 10 p.m – Telephone number +84989595923 – Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tra Que Culinary Village
This venue has the largest ground in the village, including rural architecture and lush vegetation. Not only being the host cooking class, it serves delicious Vietnamese and local-style foods for small to large groups of visitors. Buffet is available, in addition to separate dishes and private dining experiences. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the drink menu.
Opening hours: 7 a.m to 10 p.m – Telephone number +842353529789 – Email email@example.com – Facebook @traqueculinaryvillage
Sessions Bar Hoi An
Under the An Bang bridge, north of the village, this venue caters cold drinks with a killer sunset view on the weekend only. After it’s dark, nice bar snacks and awesome beverages from the bartenders are available until midnight. Many visitors love to unwind here, before visiting a beachfront restaurant to savour fresh seafood.
Opening hours: 5 a.m to 2 p.m – Telephone number +84359343617 – Email firstname.lastname@example.org – Facebook @sessions.hoian
Tra Que vegetable village is not far from any places around Hoi An. Visitors staying over near the Old town or An Bang beach, often walk to get it. Distance is 3 km and 1,5 km respectively. Between the town and village, windy green rice paddies are either side of the main road Hai Ba Trung. In the sunset, the scenery is breath-taking and loved by plenty of pedestrians and people passing by.
Located in the countryside, Tra Que village is among most stopped places in bicycle itineraries, both self-guided and guided. See recommended routes and packaged tours in our article via centralvietnamguide.com/hoi-an-bike-tour. A short taxi ride is another convenient and quite cheap way to get to Tra Que village. The cost of one four-seat car ranges from 30,000 to 150,000 VND depending on where the visitor sleeps. If needing a taxi to reach the next destination, walking to the main road Hai Ba Trung and raising hands to any.
Tra Que village is among the best choices to stay over for those who like to be away from hustle and bustle. Its peaceful, fresh environment and convenient location between the Old town and An Bang beach are definitely strength points. In the evening and early morning, it becomes a calm oasis and there are some awesome activities in later hours.
Tra Que Mansion
At the end of a major road in the northeast of Tra Que vegetable village, this hotel provides beautiful rooms with a swimming pool outside. Each room is air-conditioning, equipped with modern amenities, wireless wifi, and en suite bathroom. From the balcony, peaceful rural sceneries and local life are just in the front. For meals, the guests only need to walk a few minutes to see Vietnamese restaurants surrounded by herb gardens.
Hoi An Osaka Riverside Villa & Spa
Some hundreds of meters away from Hai Ba Trung Rd, this place has comfortable, moderny rooms with fully-equipped interior, swimming pool and lovely surroundings. Its atmosphere is home away from home, and breakfast is made by the owner’s family members every morning. If loving walking to see how life goes on in the village or killer sunset in rice paddies, it takes just a few minutes. Free bicycles are available for free, allowing the guests to have a laid-back ride to the Old town or An Bang beach.
Private Tra Que Village Tour with All Highlights
A private tour with a local guide is fitted to traveling with family. In which, a round trip transfer from the hotel by private car is provided to get to Tra Que village. There, farming experiences in the garden, cooking class and herbal massage are what to expect. After cooking time, all members can sit together and enjoy the dishes just made, besides extra steamed rice and dessert from the host. The Marble Mountains and Non Nuoc marble village are attractions where the visitors can spend the rest of the day well. On the other hand, it’s possible to visit My Son Sanctuary (a Unesco world heritage site) first and then arrive at the village to join in the activity.
To know more details, advice or help to customize your day trip, contact us to make things become easier. Our telephone number/whatsapp number is +84968009827 or email (email@example.com).
Half-day Tra Que Village Tour
Sights, experiences and activities in Tra Que vegetable village are perfect to complete a half day. Visitors can start in the morning or afternoon, tour the village, learn about daily works of farmers, book a cooking class and enjoy lunch or dinner then. While relaxing in a tranquil environment with green gardens in the front, herbal massage is nice to treat yourself. Keep in mind to book cooking class and farmer experience in advance, especially high seasons. Shouldn’t ask for availability when coming because the organizers may close or not actually be ready.
Full-day Tour Recommendations
Things to see and do in Tra Que vegetable village are fitted for half a day. If the hotel in Hoi An, should come in the morning and the afternoon visit is better for Da Nang stayers. Tour packages in Hoi An are more diverse, because of a much shorter distance, from tours by car, bicycle, motorcycle to jeep. My Son Sanctuary or Marble Mountains are the best places to visit, to combine with. To save time, contact us to know advice, tips and recommendations, or find a knowledgeable guide. Our whatsapp +84968009827 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Bang Beach
This stretch of fine sandy coast is only 1,5 km to the north of Tra Que village. By the clear and unpolluted water, visitors can find many sun beds to relax, spaces to lounge in the sun and seafront venues to eat and drink. In the evening, live music restaurants and late-night bars are the highlight of An Bang’s nightlife. Read our own guide centralvietnamguide.com/an-bang-beach for further information.
Hoi An Old Town
3km south of the village, Hoi An Old Town is the largest tourist hub in the region. No matter day hours or the evening, visitors can find stunning things to see and fun activities to participate in. If you don’t have much time, make sure that there is a half day available to discover highlights there. After the sun disappears, lanterns are lit up and all streets look so gorgeous, really outstanding. Nearby night market has many options of street food to try and cheap souvenirs to buy. Everything about this amazing destination is outlined in our ultimate travel guide centralvietnamguide.com/hoi-an-old-town.
Cycling across Countryside around Hoi An
Traveling with a bicycle across the pretty and tranquil countryside around Hoi An town is interesting. As a famous place, self-guided and guided cycling tours recommend at least riding leisurely across at least. Farming or cooking experiences may be included, depending on different itineraries. Two most popular plans are to explore An Bang beach or Cam Thanh’s coconut village after visiting the Tra Que vegetable village. Read our own article for bicycle tours in Hoi An via centralvietnamguide/hoi-an-bike-tour, to know more information to design your exploration easier.
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