Taking photos in Hoi An is a must.
The Ancient Town is always on the list of the most Instagramable places in Vietnam. As of July 2020, over 2 million #hoian has been used on Instagram. However, if you get bored with taking photos of the touristy ancient town, Tra Que Vegetable Village will be a place to capture the charm and ambiance of Hoi An.
Tra Que Vegetable Village - a Charming Gem of Hoi An
Tra Que Vegetable Village is a 300-year-old village located on a river-island surrounded by the water. There are 130 households, covering an area of 40 sq hectares that specializes in growing vegetables.
Every day, the village supplies 2 tons of 20 different types of vegetables to the supermarkets in Da Nang and the same amounts to local markets in Hoi An.
Especially, the garden grows plants and vegetables in an organic style, not using chemicals, the farmers fertilize their lands using organic sources such as seaweeds, wild weeds, soybean or peanut residue after oil extraction, or cow dung.
I will never forget my wonderful 1st time visiting the Tra Que Vegetable Village back in 2015. The village was not even a popular tourist attraction back then. It was an early morning in summer; I cycled to the village at 5:30 in the morning, and the sun had risen brightly. I immediately felt in love with the beautiful rural tranquility while walking around the village. There were absolutely no tourists around, only me and the hospitable farmers who happily answered my endless questions about farming works.
Many tours pay a visit to the island to support the farmers through tourism, but it’s also acceptable to visit independently.
Best time to take photos at Tra Que Vegetable Village
5:30 – 7:30
Even if you are not early morning people by any means, but trust us, if you’re willing to set the alarm at 5:00, you will definitely have the best photo-taking experience in Vietnam.
The village is most active early in the morning. As a main greens supplier for local markets in Hoi An, the farmers need to start their works as early as possible to finish handpicking all the vegetables, then transport the bundles to the markets.
Vietnamese people tend to go shopping at the markets early morning, that means all the works at the vegetable village need to be done before 7:00.
During summer months, the farmers even start their day at 3:00 in the morning when the heat is the least intense.
Sunset is also an excellent time to capture the activities at the Tra Que Vegetable village as the farmers come back to their works after taking the siesta. You can easily spot farmers watering the plants by two buckets balanced on a bamboo pole over the shoulders.
Each household owns a plot of land from 200 to 500 square meters where they grow not just one but many types of vegetables, and each one requires different amounts of water. The bucket watering seems to be a better choice than the automatic plant watering system.
Things to know before pressing the shutter button
Before photographing someone, please ask for permission first. Politely ask if you can take their photo, or hold up your camera and point to them. Remember, there will be thousands of photographers after you want to capture the same things.
You can wander around on the paved paths, but don’t step in the planting area, you can accidentally step on newly planted vegetables. You don’t want to upset the locals just for a perfect photo.
Tra Que Vegetable Village is such a charming gem of Hoi An. Wake up early and spend your time walking around the village. It will be one of the most transformational experiences you will ever have in Vietnam.