Vietnam has long been known for its white sandy beaches, tropical climate and such resilient and indigent people, all of which are indispensable constituents of the salt fields’ production across the country. The qualities of the Vietnamese workers, the industry of making salts are there for you to discover and especially, the stunning views of salt fields at sunset, sunrise or at any time of the day is always worth a visit.
A salt field is a low and flat plot of land whose purpose is to harvest salt from the sea or other artificial salty reserves. Salt fields are identified by squares and rows. Making sea salt requires warm, dry climate, and airy open space to facilitate evaporation. After the water is completely evaporated, you will see piles of salt on the plots, creating a scene of a salt field.
There are 2 methods of making salt: the sand drying applied in the north and Central Vietnam, water evaporation in the Central and southern Vietnam. In the sand-drying method, people use fine grains of sand to blend with seawater, spread the sand on flat land, and dry under the sun to speed the heat up process and salt crystallization. As for the second technology, workers level the soil field and pump seawater into the field, then wait for the water evaporation in about 7 days. The Vietnamese government is continuously promoting the salt industry by advancing the production technologies and considering salt price domestically, improving safety and hygiene.
Vietnam is blessed with a long coastline, tropical climate, and the potential sea in salt with over 120 tons of salt in quantity. Also, making sea salt is a traditional profession of the Vietnamese, and now Vietnamese salt is highly trusted in many parts of the world, especially in neighboring nations such as China and Japan.
There are 21 salt-producing provinces along the country. Ninh Thuan is the one with the largest quantity in salt production and others such as Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Ben Tre, and Bac Lieu also play crucial parts in the Vietnamese sea salt industry. In general, most of the provinces along the coastline make use of the geographical features harvest salt, but there are also some small areas of salt fields like Thai Binh, Nam Dinh.
You may catch the sight of workers making salt at dawn or even late in the evening, but there is no surprise as that is their daily life. Because men often spend their days and nights at the sea to fish for a livelihood, most of the workers are middle-aged women.
Salt making is frequent in the dry season, especially from March to May. What’s more, the workers, as usual, start their days from 4 AM and finish their hard days at about 9 PM, which allows them to take advantage of the wind, the tide, and the heat of the sun. They wear face masks, conical hats, gloves, covering themselves entirely in clothes to be protected from the sunlight. On the fields, the farmers bend down, raking the salt, carrying salt contained in baskets, or even sit down to take short breaks. You will also hear the talking or laughing sounds on the salt fields as Vietnamese workers are super optimistic and friendly for sure.
The workers start their days of salt making early in the morning
However, the workers making salt lead such a hard life because they have to suffer from the heat of the sun and the weather is the determinant of their income. The whole working day can be nothing if it rains suddenly without the timely covering or move. Also, the price of salt in the market is rather low, and it changes dramatically over the years and seasons. Specifically, the raw salt is sold from VND 400 to 500 per kg, which sometimes increases up to VND 900-1,000, even 1,200 per kg while sea salt dried on tarpaulins is at the price of VND 1,200 - 1,400 per kg, which can reach VND 2,000 or even 2,500 per kg. There are good seasons when the workers can earn rather good money, but they can have poor yields due to the bad weather or the decreasing price in the market.
Hot and dry weather is decisive for salt production
Besides the economic values, salt fields bring such artistic inspiration for photographers. The romantic color of sunset, sunrise, the image of workers on the fields and piles of salt reflected in the seawater all make the salt fields super stunning and appealing in photos. Especially, the scenes will be much more amazing in harvesting season between December and May as it is really bustling and colorful when being filled with people and their sounds. Also, the salt fields in Vietnam should be truly paid a visit to observe the sunset and sunrise because they are voted as among the best places for sunset in the world. And for more specific Vietnamese salt fields, the following list may be beneficial for you.
It is located in Ninh Hai Commune, Ninh Hoa District, Khanh Hoa Province and the salt field can be approached by a one-hour drive from Nha Trang City. The ideal time of the year to visit Hon Khoi Salt Fields is from January to June, which is the high season of salt harvesting in Khanh Hoa Province. In addition to having a nice look at the beautiful scenes there, you can talk to the workers and visit Nha Trang City, which is not far away.
Hon Khoi Salt Field at sunset
There is a salt field along Ca Na Beach, which is 30km to the South of Phan Rang City, Ninh Thuan Province and located along the route 1A. The giant field with wind and sunlight will make you fall in love with the life there. Also, you can take your time on Ca Na Beach and discover Cham culture in some architectures around the beach.
The beautiful white grains of salt
Phuong Cuu Salt Field is situated in Phuong Hai Commune, Ninh Hai Ward, Ninh Thuan Province and it is 15km away from Phan Rang City. You can visit the field between December and May when it comes to the salt making time. For the best journey, you should discover the process of making sea salt and get immersed in the breathtaking view at sunset, sunrise to feel the sea life.
Phuong Cuu Salt Field with crystal water reflecting the sky
Long Dien Salt Field is in Long Dien District, Ba Ria- Vung Tau Province and it is just 1 km from Long Hai Beach, 95 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. The salt field sits under the blue sky on sunny days, and there are some nearby windmills, which have been used to pump seawater into the field. Besides, don’t forget to take photos of salt piles like white hills somewhere in the area.
Long Dien Salt Field is so appealing and special when being captured in a photo
Sa Huynh Salt Field was set up in the 19th century, and now the people there have got attached to the salt making profession for over 100 years. It is located in Pho Thanh Commune, Duc Pho District, Quang Ngai Province and the best time to visit the field is from March to August when it is summertime and the high season of salt harvesting as well.
Salt starts to crystallize on Sa Huynh Salt Field
Diem Dien Salt Field is in Diem Dien Town, Thai Thuy District, Thai Binh province and it is about 110 km to the Southeast of Hanoi Capital. You should come here from April to June, especially the time during April and June is the best as you can see such big crystallized grains of salt. Apart from taking the chance to learn the stages of salt harvesting and the life of the workers, you can also visit some other tourist attractions in the area like Thuy Truong Mangrove, Temple of Salt God and try local food like special dishes made of jellyfish.
A worker raking salt at Diem Dien Salt Field
Maybe salt fields in Vietnam are not usually your priority during your travel in the S-shaped country, but they are worth your time. The life of the locals, the stunning of nature and the image of salt are attractive things that Vietnamese people are endowed by the sea. And to get the best experiences during your journey in Vietnam, visit i Tour Vietnam for highly trusted travel service and informative blogs about Vietnam.
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