Hon Khoi Salt Fields in Vietnam
The Hon Khoi Salt Fields are located 50 kilometers north of Nha Trang, Vietnam, near Doc Let Beach in Ninh Hoa province in Vietnam. It’s in a remote corner just off Doc Let beach and the best way to get there is by the local bus from Nha Trang.
Office hours at Hon Khoi are from 4am-9am daily. Harvesting is usually between the months of January and July when the weather during the day is hot. These shallow fields are filled with sea water and left to dry for about 10-15 days. When a field is ripe for the picking, the team gets to work. The men use rakes to create mounds of crystallized salt in the fields while the women collect it in baskets and wheelbarrows and deposit their collections just outside the field in a larger heap for processing at a later time.
While it’s a simple low-tech method of extracting salt from seawater, it’s an incredibly effective technique for harvesting a mineral that we often take for granted in our daily lives. It is estimated that these salt fields alone produce nearly 750,000 tons of salt a year.
It is surely hard work; workers get to the job site early when the weather is cool and finish before it gets too hot after 9am. As the sun starts to rise, their silhouettes create wonderful imagery and mirror-like reflections in the water, their constant chatter and the hive of activity in and around the field is quite interesting to observe.
*Photos and text by Brij Dogra.
Brij Dogra is a photojournalist and travel blogger based in Malaysia. He blogs at Pho.dogra.phy.