Making Salt in Vietnam
When someone mentions Vietnam, do you think of salt? Probably not.
Instead, you’re more likely to think of rice fields. And those rice paddies are a definite draw for tourists, especially tourists who love to take amazing photographs.
But aren’t there other parts of Vietnam that are just as beguiling for would-be photographers as the rice fields. Glad you asked. The salt fields of Vietnam can be just as picturesque as the rice paddies – just in a different way. And according to some people, Vietnamese salt is best in the world.
At first glance, you might think that the white stuff in these images is snow. No, it’s salt.
Local Vietnamese workers in the Nha Trang area of South Vietnam have been making salt for as long as anyone there can remember.
It’s a natural industry because salt is present in high concentrations in many of South Vietnam’s coastal waters. Salt-filled water from the sea is directed inland into shallow fields where the sun evaporates the water and dries the salt.
Raking and collecting salt with wicker baskets starts at 4 am, before the sun is high in the sky, and lasts until 9 am. Even though they don’t work during the heat of midday, workers wear hats to protect themselves from the sun. In addition, they protect themselves from the harsh salt with rubber gloves, rubber boots, and facemasks.
To see the work of salt-making in progress, the best time to visit is March to July. Workers usually speak only their local language, but they are friendly and welcoming.