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The Mekong delta
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MEKONG DELTA
 

The Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of Viet Nam. Mekong delta is not only the biggest rice basket but also the biggest fruit gardens of Viet Nam. Food here tastes different from other places. Beside the common food, the local dishes also comprise snakes, tortoises, bats, eels, etc.

Because the plains are periodically flooded by the rising Mekong River, traditional transportation is by boat along a vast network of canals. A cruise along these canals with their floating markets always proves to be a fascinating experience for all visitors. The city of Can Tho is a capital of the Mekong Delta. Other provinces are included: My Tho, Ben Tre, Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Kien Giang with Ha Tien & Phu Quoc.

Just walk idly in My Tho or Vinh Long or Can Tho and discover the daily life of the Vietnamese on the river and arroyos, taste the sweet and fresh coconut juice and smell the particular fragrance of the rice paddies. Further down to Soc Trang, the mysterious Khmer culture is hidden behind the gates of Hinayana temples. The Mekong River with its intertwining branches will lead you from one surprise to another. The hospitality of the people is the most impressing. They welcome you like relatives coming home.

Visit the Mekong Delta to understand why it is called the rice stock of Viet Nam, why a sampan tied to a coconut tree can evoke nostalgia. There you will find the simplest people, who would not care much about the luxury life of the city.

My Tho

Thoi Son Island

From My Tho, a 45-minute boat ride on the Mekong River takes visitors to Thoi Son Island, where they can experience the life of the Mekong River plains community. Visitors can lodge in peasant houses and pick their own fruits in orchards.


Vinh Trang Pagoda

Built in 1849 in an area with many beautiful trees, this is a greatest pagoda of Tien Giang province. The pagoda is about 1 km from the center of the city. The architecture of the pagoda is a harmonious combination of Asian and European styles, creating the splendid, but simple features of this Buddhist pagoda. Inside the pagoda are many specious statues made of wood, among which there was a collection of 18 Buddhisattvas sculpted in 1907, representing the summit in sculpture in the Mekong River plains.


Dong Tam Snake Farm

The snake farm is a center for breeding snakes producing venom for exportation. Research on snakebite treatment is also conducted here. From My Tho, visitors must travel 5 km to get to the farm where they can visit the department where snakes are bred. Dong Tam also has a collection of mutant turtles and fish on exhibit. The best way to get there is to rent a motorbike.


Cai Be Floating Market and Tan Phong Island

Cai Be floating market takes place where Tien River forms the border between Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Ben Tre provinces. It takes about an hour to reach the market from Vinh Long town. It runs from 5 am to 5 pm. Every day, approximately 400 -500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other products anchor a long the banks of the river, waiting for traders and customers but the most interesting thing to see the huge Catholic Cathedral here on the riverside. It makes the fantastic spot for visitors to take photographs. The merchandise sold in each boat is hung on a high pole in front of the boat as a sample to attract customers from a distance. Next to the floating market is Tan Phong Island, famous for its large and succulent rambutan gardens.

 

Can Tho

Ong Pagoda

It is located in the center of the city. Ong pagoda has a special architectural style and has been preserved intact. The pagoda was built from 1894 to 1896 on 532 square meter area, on Hai Ba Trung road, near Ninh Kieu Wharf. The pagoda is roofed with double tiles, and the roof’s edges are covered with lines of dark green glazed pipe shaped tiles, while on the roof top, there are a number of multi color porcelain figured such as two dragons flanking the moon and carp changing into dragon phoenix. On either end of the roof top, there are paired statues of people holding the Sun and the Moon. Inside the pagoda, Quan Cong- a General of the three kingdom period in ancient China and an exemplar of loyalty to his Kong - is worshipped m as are Nam Hai Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, Thai Bach Tinh Quan, the Genie of the Earth, and Dong Vinh.

Ong pagoda is a place for the cultural and religious activities of the Chinese living in Can Tho. The pagoda was recognized as the national artistic architectural vestige in 1993 by the Ministry of Information and Culture.


Binh Thuy Communal House (LongTuyen Ancient Temple)

Binh Thuy Communal House is located in Binh Thuy ward and was known as Long Tuyen Communal House in the past. The House the House is located 5 km from the center of Can Tho city. Follow Nguyen Trai road, passing Cach Mang Thang Tam road and Le Hong Phong road to reach the Communal House. Built in 19th century, the Communal House was name “Bon Canh Thanh Hoang" on November 9th 1893 by King Tu Duc. Later other people, who were the spirit of the land, are dedicated in the Communal House as Dinh Cong Trang, Nguyen Trung Truc, Bui Huu Nghia, Vo Huy Tap, etc. Binh Thuy Communal House was completely renovated in 1910. It architecture is different from communal houses in the north. The front and the back buildings are square, and its side has 6 rows of columns, and all the columns' bases are extra-wide, making these buildings more stable. The roofs of the two front buildings of the communal house were built overlapping each other. The main temple at the rear has three roofs and its architecture is based on the " Thuong lau ha hien" style. The top of the roof is covered with statues of people, lion and fish on their way to becoming dragons. In the front of the building, there are cement column. Inside ancestor-worshipping house, there are altars, which are dedicated to Nghi Ha and Nghi Trung. In the square house, there are altars dedicated to Huong Chuc, Tien Giac and further inside, there is an altar dedicated to Hau Thien. The middle is dedicated to Hau Than is very close to the rear partition, and on its either sides, there are "Huu Ban" and “Ta Ban" altars.

Binh Thuy Communal House is a valuable monument of art and architectural style in the newly-expanded south western area. Although it was built at the beginning of the 20th century, its architecture has many traditional characteristics with carved and engraved wooden boards.

Every year, the local people organize “Thuong Dien" (land breaking) ceremony and "Ha Dien" (farm work initiation) ceremony in honour of the God of Agriculture, with a lot of folk games such as "Letting the ducks out", "Tug of war" and cooking contests.


Ninh Kieu Wharf

Ninh Kieu Wharf is located on the bank of Hau River, a tributary of the Mekong River, close to the center of the city. The Wharf is the city's main trading center where hundreds of boats ply the river, bringing products from the rest of the Delta region. Close to Ninh Kieu Wharf is Can Tho habour, which was built according to a modern design and can accommodate ships of up to 5,000 tons. Can Tho market, which is near Ninh Kieu Wharf, is one of the major markets in the western region of South Viet Nam. The market is attractive with its floating restaurant located on Hau River. Connoisseurs can enjoy the province's specialties while watching hundreds of boats passing by. 


Phung Hiep Floating Market

From Ninh Kieu river port in the center of Can Tho, 160 km from Ho Chi Minh City, boats bring visitors to Cai Khe Island, Con Au, Phu An Park and Con Son. Beneath the trees bearing durians, areca and oranges, one can enjoy delicious meals or lie in a hammock while listening to birds singing. Tourist guides bring all visitors to Phung Hiep floating market. The immense surface of the river is divided into seven branches. Phung Hiep snake market, located close to the floating market, is known worldwide. Visitors from all over the world go there to taste the snake liquor and see the dangerous snake dance.

 
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