When the sun rises above the vast Hau River, the sound of the grinder and the guests’ conversation reverberates throughout every crack and crevice of the green and crimson leaves; it means a new day starts at the Muoi Cuong cocoa farm.
Our journey also begins here.
The Muoi Cuong cocoa farm’s entrance is hidden behind the red-green vegetation surrounded by fruit orchards.
It will a miss if you travel to Can Tho without stopping by Mr. Muoi Cuong cocoa farm. We believe that Mr. Muoi Cuong and his farm are absolutely worth a visit.
In terms of the cocoa history, he shares that in 1960, his family planted the first cocoa tree that his father brought from Malaysia. 3 years later, the trees gave fruits. That was the time when most farmers had to cut down their cocoa trees because they did not know what to do with the ripe cocoa fruits.
He says that local people were not used to eating cacao fruits or even chocolates in their daily meals. Therefore, they have no idea what to do with these fruits.
Thanks to his continuous efforts, cocoa products at present not only help locals to make ends meet but also contribute to Phong Dien agriculture development, giving Can Tho such a great destination and a quality product of Southwestern farmers.
The taste of cocoa is fragrant and sweet mixed bitter, but it is the sincerity and quality of a genuine Southwester farmer that holds back visitors from all over the world.
When sitting and listening to Mr. Muoi Cuong, we are offered a cup of cocoa drink. Perhaps the slight bitterness is the difficulties, the ups and downs, the sweat and tears that he has experienced in the process of his resilience.
But the fragrant sweetness which is the love and passion that he has cultivated for each cocoa tree and is also the enthusiasm in each stage of producing products from cocoa beans.
The way Mr. Muoi Cuong communicates with visitors in foreign languages and gestures make no language gap between visitors and him.
In the middle of the story, I occasionally turn my eyes to Kathy and Jennifer, they still immerse themselves in his story. For us, these stories and experiences are priceless.
Working as a tour guide gives me a chance to travel to many tourist attractions and meet many people, but it rarely appears in the eyes of a business owner and makes me feel emotionally strange, like looking into Mr. Muoi Cuong’s eyes which I see both love and concern rising strongly.
We all concur when he says, “Farming is hard work.” Particularly with Mr. Muoi Cuong’s tidy and eco-friendly gardening farming, this is really true. There are only golden ants, pond muck and cocoa waste; there are no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
When we hear the experiences of farmers who are farming sustainably and collectively, I am thrilled to work with those farmers as a tour guide for an ecotourism business.
Walking out of the garden, the figure of Mr. Muoi Cuong fades hiding behind the foliage. The smell of cocoa and the smell of the garden are still in our mind as well as holding our feet, the image of a diligent farmer engraves in our mind and becomes an unforgettable memory.
However, it is comforting to know that when we return the following time, the cocoa garden, the sweetly fragrant cocoa cups, and – most importantly – Mr. Muoi Cuong and his stories will be there to greet us.
That is our luck when we have a chance to listen and be a partner with people of Mekong Delta who tailor the beauty of the region via their passion and love.
Address: My Khanh – Phong Dien – Can Tho city.