Thot not (coconut palm) trees are an integral part of the Khmer community in Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province. The area also attracts many tourists to witness locals making coconut palm sugar and have the opportunity to enjoy thot not fruit.
A woman cooks thot not sugar in Van Giao Commune in Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province – Photos: Huy Nguyen
From Chau Doc, tourists can take a motorcycle taxi or bus, passing Nha Bang Town then Ket Mountain and Tra Su Forest eco-tourism park. If tourists see immense rice fields surrounded by large trees and small teashops selling thot not fruit juice and round sugar pieces nearby, it means they have reached the coconut palm sugar-making village in Van Giao Commune.
Thot not trees grow in fields, and seen from the outside they look a little like coconut trees but bigger and bolder. Thot not leaves are very big and solid and its fruit is black, round pieces sticking into clusters and is very sweet and fragrant.
To make thot not sugar, locals climb up the tree to splint the flowers to extract water and use bamboo pipes to take the water. The water then will be cooked for about two hours and will become solid later and thus people call it thot not sugar. The sugar is sweet and gives eaters a real delectable aroma.
Traders will come to local houses to buy the water and then make them into round shapes and put it in booths for sale at home and abroad.
Coming to the area, tourists will also be served thot not fruit juice. It is very tasty and cool and ideal to help you for the rest of your journey, so don’t forget to try it once.
Near the area is Cam (Forbidden) Mountain where tourists can trek to up to explore nature and admire old architecture and culture in old pagodas.