Visiting the town of Phan Thiet

The town of Phan Thiet is a charming town, it’s crowded and seems chaotic, just like any small (or large) Asian town. There are people everywhere, all smiling.


                                            Family Dinner in Phan Thiet


It looks like everybody live their lives outdoors and that home is just for sleeping.
Phan Thiet is in the Binh Thuan province with a population of close to 100,000.
It is situated on the Ca Ty river, some 20 Km from the ocean. During the fishing season in the summer it is crowded with fishing vessels of all sorts and sizes. Fishing is, by far Phan Thiet’s largest industry. It is said that they catch close to a hundred different kinds of fish, amounting to more than 50.000 tons each year. So it is no surprise that the Phan Thiet area is famous for the production of Nuoc Mam (fish sauce), which is used instead of salt to season food.

                                 Shrimps cured and sold on the street

This production fills the air with a rather pungent smell. To produce Nuoc Mam small anchovy-like fish are cleaned and salted and then put in barrels to ferment for 8 to 12 months before it is strained and bottled. The annual turnout is close to 15 mill liters and you can find Nuoc Mam in shops and markets all over Vietnam. Even the salt used is a local produce. When I told my Vietnamese friend that I found the idea of fermented fish a little unapetizing he answered with a smile; but you Europeans fermet milk and eat it as cheese, don’t you? So what is the difference?
With very little rain, extremely low humidity (less than 10% on average) and ground mainly made up of stone and sand, agriculture is nearly non-excitant in the area.

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For more Phan Thiet Images, visit the Pha Thiet Photogallery

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