3:37:20 PM | 17/4/2009
Ben Tre province is one of 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta. The natural area is 2,315 square metres constituted by An Hoa Islet, Bao Islet and Minh Islet and alluvium deposited by four branches of the Mekong River (the Tien River with 83 km, the Ba Lai River with 59 km, the Ham Luong River with 71 km and the Co Chien River with 82 km).
The province has a flat terrain, with sand intermittently intermingling with orchards, coconut woods and rice fields. There are almost no woodlands here, and the main land is surrounded with rivers and sea waters.
Looking down from the sky, Ben Tre is like a hand-shaped pie with its peak at the upstream, and the river branches like the pokes of a big hand-shaped pie spreading out to the east. The province is surrounded by Tien Giang province in the north, Tra Vinh province in the south, the Vinh Long province in the west and the East Sea in the east. Large rivers run from upstream Cambodia to the East Sea in Vietnam, via main estuaries like Dai, Ba Lai, Ham Luong and Co Chien. These rivers together with thick canals in the province, measure around 6,000 km, carry alluvium for the soil and constitute a favourable water traffic and irrigation systems for economic and commercial development. From Ben Tre, ships can reach Ho Chi Minh City, the largest economic hub of Vietnam, and southern provinces. All ships have to pass Ben Tre when they move between the south-western region and the southeast.
Apart from the good waterway system, Ben Tre also has a very special position. Ben Tre town, the capital of the province, is 86 km from Ho Chi Minh City (passing through Tien Giang and Long An provinces). National Road 60 from Rach Mieu bridge to Ben Tre town runs through the Ham Luong River, Mo Cay townlet and Cho Chien ferry, which links to Tra Vinh province. National Road 57 links Mo Cay townlet with Vinh Long province through Cho Lach townlet and Dinh Phao ferry. Provincial Road 888 connects Mo Cay townlet with Thanh Phu townlet. Provincial Road 885 links Ben Tre town with Ba Tri towlet through Giong Trom townlet. Provincial Road 884 ties Tan Thanh junction to Tan Phu ferry. Provincial Road 882 associates National Road 60 with National Road 57. Provincial Road 883 links National Road 60 with Thoi Thuan commune through Binh Dai townlet. And, Provincial Road 887 runs from Ben Tre bridge to Son Doc fork junction.
In early 2009, Rach Mieu bridge, a long wait for Ben Tre people, was inaugurated to link both sides of the Tien River. This connection eliminated the isolation of Ben Tre with the rest of the region and shortens the travelling time between the province and Ho Chi Minh City and regional provinces. In the future, Ham Luong bridge, which links Bao Islet and Minh Islet, will facilitate the social, economic and cultural development of Ben Tre province.
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