One of the typical products widely known over the world associated with Phan Thiet is fish sauce. From a local traditional handicraft, Phan Thiet fish sauce today has contributed to establish the brand for the beautiful and dynamic coastal city. Beside the well-known fish sauce brands popular at home and abroad such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc..., the indispensable dipping sauce in daily meals of the Vietnamese is associated with Phan Thiet. Those who once setting foot on Binh Thuan could not forget the natural and passionate taste of Phan Thiet fish sauce. The little fresh anchovies along with the sunshine and fresh air of the land have brought the delicious taste of the fish sauce, which has been famous for more one hundred years. The manufacturing facilities of the fish sauce thus have become one of the most impressive tourist attractions in Phan Thiet - Mui Ne.
The production and processing of fish sauce Phan Thiet was formed over 200 years ago. At the end of the 17th century, many fishermen in Quang Nam province, Quang Ngai province, Binh Dinh province and Phu Yen province along with their families crossing the sea set foot on Phan Thiet new lands to seek new residence. Initially, due to the large amount of fish, the fishermen salt to preserve them. Then they researched and created methods making fish sauce from rudimentary to professional. The fishermen firstly mainly used jars for processing, then they employed wooden barrel with large capacity. Exploring the fish sauce factories to ascertain about the stages of producing scrumptious fish sauce is one of the most things to do in Phan Thiet - Mui Ne.
The fishermen here usually use the high cylindrical-shaped wooden crates 2 to 2.5 m high, 1.5 to 2 m in diameter with the capacity of 2.5-8 m3 to salt fish. The reason why the locals use softwood such as Lagerstroemia, jackfruit or Litsea to form the crates is to make the pieces of wood be tightened to each other without any gaps when the wires running around the outer barrels. Manufacturing fish sauce has become a particular industry in comparison to the country's and been the only industry in the local economy. The first large-scale fish sauce manufacturing facility in Phan Thiet is Lien Thanh Thuong Quan (later known as Lien Thanh Company)significantly contributing to promote the unique products of Binh Thuan and attracting the large number of tourists to Phan Thiet - Mui Ne travel.
Traditional fish sauce processing methods is under the method of compression with the main instruments of wooden crates. All stages making the delicious fish sauce have to be done elaborately and meticulously. The fish sauce manufacturing facilities are controlled in accordance with the strict production process from raw material receiving, processing to fish sauce products circulating in the market. In particular, additives used in the manufacturing process must ensure quality, do not affect the quality of fish sauce and must be included in the list of permitted uses of Ministry of Health. In particular, under the experiences of fishermen, Phan Thiet fish sauce made from pelagic fish, especially 2 types of white and charcoal anchovies is most delicious. Tourists once participating in Phan Thiet tours should also taste the great condiment to feel the spirit of the locals here.
Notably, Phan Thiet fish sauce was recognized as one of the top 10 well-known spice and sauce in Vietnam by Vietnam Record Book. It is also considered as one of the meaningful "souvenirs" tourists once going to the coastal city bring to their relatives and friends. According to some travel companies, in the context that local tourism industry has not found out the typical "souvenirs" for tourists when they traveled Phan Thiet tourist city, the fish sauce is worth as the first choice. Going to the coastal city, tourists can find it easy to catch stores selling the fish sauce along streets, namely Huynh Thuc Khang, Nguyen Thong, Thu Khoa Huan, Trung Trac and Phan Thiet temporary market.
Phan Thiet fish sauce is one of the unique tourism products that tourists at home and abroad are actually eager when going to the coastal city. Not only having a chance to enjoy the delicious drops of fish sauce, tourists also witness the stages to make this wonderful sauce. The fish sauce manufacturing facilities are surely one of the indispensable Phan Thiet attractions alluring the large number of tourists. Phan Thiet fish sauce thus displays its significant contributions in promoting Mui Ne - Phan Thiet tourism in particular and Binh Thuan tourism closer to tourists both at home and abroad.