Being off the tourist trail, Ben Tre does not get as many visi tors as other delta cities, thus providing a rare glimpse into an ancient river town still living by its traditional ways. The capital of Ben Tre Province, this town is famous in Vietnam for its coconut candy, and is lush with vast plant ations yielding huge amounts of coconuts. To make the candy, the fruit’s milk and flesh are boiled down to a sticky mass that is allowed to hard en, then cut into small pieces and wrap- ped in edible rice paper. The pro cess is fasci nating to watch and the results delicious. A “country” market in every sense of the word, the central market offers little finery, with preference given to hard ware, lengths of cloth, and food. The most interesting stalls belong to the fish mon gers, who sell a variety of fresh and dried fish. A notable religious site in Ben Tre is Vien Minh Pagoda. Estab- lished around 1900, it is now the head office of the pro vin cial Buddhist associa tion. The sparse interior is enlive ned by colorful wall hangings and images sporting neon halos.