|Can Tho City
Area:1,401.6 sq. km
Population:1,187.1 thousand habitants (April 2009).
Districts: Ninh Kieu, Binh Thuy, Cai Rang, Thot Not, O Mon
Rural districts: Phong Dien, Co Do, Vinh Thanh, Thoi Lai.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Hoa, Cham...
|Can Tho City
Cantho City is located in the center of the Mekong Delta. It is contiguous to 5 provinces: An Giang on the north, Dong Thap on the north-east, Hau Giang on the south, Kien Giang on the west, and Vinh Long on the east. Cantho has a complex of rivers and canals such as Hau, and Can Tho rivers, Thot Not, O Mon canals. Among them, the Hau Riveris considered a benefactor of this region, since yearly floods deposit large quantities of alluvia to the rice fields. Thank to that Cantho becomes "the green lungs of the Mekong Delta".
Cantho is over its 200 years as the main town, once known as Tay Do and now one city of Vietnam. All of economic, culture activities closely relate to river and canals which like the 'street'. Cantho has simple, poetic beauty with well-off villages under shade of coconut trees.It is wonderful to take a boat trip along the riverbanks on fine weather days. On the east bank of Hau River is Ninh Kieu Wharf, which is well known for its beautiful location. Other interesting places are Bang Lang Stock Sanctuary, Cantho and My Khanh Tourist gardens and Cantho Market.
Cantho is 34km from Vinh Long, 62km from Long Xuyen, 63km from Soc Trang, 104km from Mytho, 116km from Rach Gia, 117km from Chau Doc, 169km from Ho Chi Minh City and 179km from Camau.
Road: Cantho has National Highway No.1A, 91, 80 linking to An Giang, Kien Giang provinces.
Waterway: Cantho has Cai Cui international seaport. The city is the centre of waterway network of Mekong Delta. There are daily hydrofoils between Ho Chi Minh City and Cantho City.
Airline: There is Tra Noc Airport.
1. Cantho Tourist Gardens
Location: Located on every land and water route in Cantho City (Mekong Delta).
Characteristics:The gardens are a rich collection of fruit trees, flowers and diverse species of birds, fishes...
In recent years, a series of modern tourism gardens have appeared on every land and water route in Cantho City. The gardens of My Khanh, San Duong, Ba Lang and Tan Binh extend along the arched highway, as well as on the waterways of Hong Dien and Phung Hiep Rivers. Other gardens in Long My, Vi Thanh, O Mon and Thot Not are also developing.
The My Khanh Gardens occupy 2.2ha and feature more than 20 species of fruit trees and flowers, as well as diverse species of birds, fishes, tortoises, snakes, crabs and shrimps. Under the shade of lush green trees, there are small “rong” houses to provide visitors with a place to rest for the night.
Ba Lang is located 9km from Cantho (on Highway No. 1A towards Soc Trang), and has an area of 4.2ha. There is the animal sanctuary of Ao Sen Lake, two lakes for swimming, an outdoor stage and mini-hotels. Gardens here combine agricultural potential with tourism.
2. Floating Markets
There is a very interesting kind of market in the Mekong River Delta. Thousands of boats gather to form a place of economic activity. Trading activities take place all day, but the most exciting time is in the morning when boats arrive loaded up with agricultural products.
On a cho noi (floating market) all trade activities take place on boats. The largest cho noi include Phung Hiep, Nga Bay, Phong Dien (in Hau Giang), Cai Rang (in Can Tho) and Cai Be (in Tien Giang). Most of the agricultural productions sold in cho noi are for wholesalers, who then re-sell it to food processing factories or ship it to the north.
Area: 3,536.8 sq. km.
Population: 2,144.8 thousand habitants (April 2009)
Capital: Long Xuyen City.
Town: Chau Doc, Tan Chau.
Districts: An Phu, Phu Tan, Chau Phu, Tinh Bien, Tri Ton, Cho Moi, Chau Thanh, Thoai Son.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Cham, Hoa.
An Giang Province is located to the west of the Mekong Delta between the Tien and Hau rivers and shares a 100km border with Cambodia in the north- west. It also shares border with Dong Thap Province in the east, Cantho City in the south-east, and Kien Giang Province in the south-west.
An Giang has two main types of topography: midland areas and low mountains. The low mountains is Bay Nui (Seven Mountains) in Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts. Vinh Te Tunnel runs along with the province's border in the west, which connects from Chau Doc to Ha Tien.
Tourism and Economy
An Giang is main province in rice output. The province also has corn and aquatic products as basa fish, shrimp, cuttle... An Giang is also renowned as traditional handicraft such as Tan Chau silk, Chau Doc fish sauce and other consume products. Especially, long-standing handicraft weaves fabric industry of Cham ethnic group.
An Giang is famous for particular festivals as Ba Chua Xu, Chol Chnam Thomay, Dolta festival and ox racing. Other famous sites and attractions include Sam Mountain in Chau Doc, Cam Mountain in Tien Binh, Tuc Dup Hill, grottoes network of Thuy Dai Son, Anh Vu Son, Co To, and many historical vestiges.
An Giang has a relatively convenient land and water transport system. National Road 91 connects to Cam-pu-chia. Buses run from Chau Doc to Long Xuyen, Cantho, and other destinations in the Mekong Delta.
Long Xuyen City is 62km from Cantho, 125km from My Tho, and 190km from Ho Chi Minh City. Chau Doc Town is 96km from Ha Tien, 117km from Cantho, 179km from My Tho, and 245km from Ho Chi Minh City
1. Sam Mountain
Location: Vinh Te Commune, 6km west of Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province.
Characteristics: The 230m high mountain with beautiful landscapes and many historic remains.
From Long Xuyen, one has to travel almost 60km to get to Sam Mountain which lies west of Chau Doc Town, at approximately 2km from the frontier between Vietnam and Cambodia.
The 230m high mountain does not only offer beautiful landscapes, but it is also where many historic remains deeply loved by the inhabitants of Nam Bo plain are located. Ba Chua Xu Temple, Tay An Pagoda, Thoai Ngoc Hau Tomb, Tao Ngo Garden, and Bach Van Hill are among the famous sites to visit near Sam Mountain.
2. Ba Chua Xu Temple
Location: At the foot of Sam Mountain, Vinh Te Commune, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province.
Characteristics: Ba Chua Xu Temple is constructed according to the Chinese character "quoc", has 4 square roofs, roofed with blue pile-shaped tiles
Ba Chua Xu Temple was built in 1820 on Sam Mountain. According to a legend, in the early 1800s villagers found a statue of a lady dating to the 6th century in the forest. They built a temple in her honour, hoping that she would bring them better crops and better lives. This is why the marble statue of Ba Chua Xu, meaning "country lady," is worshipped.
Ba Chua Xu Festival is organized annually at the end of the 4th lunar month; worshippers touch her statue and ask for her protection and benediction.
3. Tay An Pagoda
Location: Lying on one side of the Sam Mountain, Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province.
Characteristics: Tay An is an ancient pagoda with a mixture of Vietnamese and Asian architectural styles.
In the book "Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi (Dai Nam's history), there is a remark about the Tay An Co Tu Pagoda (Tay An): “located on one side of a mountain and headed towards the town with quiet and peaceful atmosphere, Tay An is really a beautiful sight”.
Tay An was constructed in 1847 and has been rehabilitated and repaired many times. In 1958, it was thoroughly upgraded to encompass a total area of 1,250sq.m with nearly 200 statues. Water and electricity was also available and could be supplied to over 1,000 people.
Tay An is an ancient pagoda with a mixture of Vietnamese and Asian architectural styles. Lying on one side of the Sam Mountain, under the lights, the pagoda itself looks like a monk dressed in yellow, heading to Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province.
Legend says that one night, after a hard day of work; Provincial Chief Doan Uan could not get sleep. He walked to a guard tower in An Giang Castle (near Chau Doc Market) and looked up into the sky. Suddenly, he saw a cloud in five colours taking off from the base of the Sam Mountain, and inside the cloud he saw a Bodhisattva with a holy appearance, bold head, beard and the face of a farmer looking down with beautiful eyes. Behind the Bodhisattva were male and female believers singing wonderful tunes to welcome a good rice crop. Several days later, a pagoda with brick walls, green stone floors and red tiles was constructed, facing east in honour of the vision and with the hopes of making it come true. A good rice crop would help stabilise people's living conditions and develop the country. The front of the pagoda was designed in a similar style to Indian ones. It has an oval dome and the roof is in the shape of a sailboat. However, designs inside the pagoda basically follow the style of traditional Vietnamese Buddhist pagodas. The Dai Hong Bell is of particular interest as it was made of gold and copper under the Tu Duc’s Reign and is now over 111 years old. Somehow it has even managed to keep the sound of its voice ringing clear after all these years.
Passing the nice-step stairs, visitors will enter the gate of the pagoda and standing at the temple gate, they will see the Mother . Holding Child Statue. There are two large statues of elephants in the ground of the pagoda. One is a black elephant with two ivories, representing power over malice and another is a white one with six ivories, representing restful mind.
Tay An, the Western Corridor is very large and able to provide space for over 100 pilgrims at the same time. In front of this corridor, there are two statues of the Goddess of Mercy in white and inside the corridor are two large statues of A Di Da God. Rooms for monks are located at the back of the pagoda. Pilgrims visiting the Tay An Pagoda to pray and smoke from their incense creates a solemn atmosphere. The main temple has more than 100 statues each representing the power of Buddhism; the most prominent statue is a Buddha sitting on the Lotus Tower.
Leader monks have made great contribution to the construction of the pagoda. They include Phat Thay Tay An (in the 19th century), Thich Bao Tho (in the 20th century) and today superior monk Thich Hue Kinh, who has been voted to be a member of the An Giang Buddhism Association.
The solemnity and holiness of Tay An has become an invisible power, attracting a great number of monks and pilgrims. But the solemn and ancient style of architecture and peaceful space are what visitors will never forget. On December 6th, 1989, the Ministry of Culture and Information officially classified Tay An Pagoda as a national historical site.
Area: 3,312.3 sq. km
Population: 1,289.5 thousand habitants (April 2009)
Capital: Soc Trang City
Districts: Ke Sach, My Tu, My Xuyen, Thanh Tri, Long Phu, Vinh Chau, Cu Lao Dung, Chau Thanh, Nga Nam.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Cham, Hoa...
Situated in Mekong Delta, Soc Trang is surrounded by Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Bac Lieu and East Sea. There are 72km seaside, two river mouths and 30,000ha alluvia ground. Influenced by oceanic weather, the province has two seasons: the rainy season lasts from May to November and dry season lasts from December to April next year. Tourism
Soc Trang is covered by vast rice paddies, shrimp lagoons, luxuriant fruit gardens like longan, rambutan, durian, and orange.
Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Hoa ethnic groups live together here. The province has 89 pagodas of Khmer group, 47 pagodas of Hoa people. Ma Toc (Bat), Khleang, Chruitim Chas, Chen Kieu, and Buu Son Tu (Set) are famous pagodas.
Coming to there, tourists like to taste tropical fruit in My Phuoc River Islet, or join many recreation and entertainment activities in Binh An Tourist Resort. Chol Chnam Thmay, Oc Om Boc festivals, Ngo Boat Race also attract many visitors.
Soc Trang is 231km from Ho Chi Minh City, 60km from Can Tho. National Highways No.1A links the province and Can Tho, Bac Lieu.
Location: Doi Pagoda is located on Le Hong Phong St., 2km from downtown Soc Trang, Soc Trang Province.
Characteristics: The pagoda is famous for its beautiful architecture, especially its very large roof that houses tens of thousands of bats.
Doi Pagoda (Bat Pagoda) also called Ma Toc Pagoda, or Mahatuc Pagoda was built during the 16th century, and it has been renovated several times since. The pagoda is famous for its beautiful architecture, especially its very large roof that houses tens of thousands of bats. They cling to tree branches all day, fly away at night to seek food, and return the following morning. The bats never eat the fruit in the garden.
An ancient Buddha statue and a number of Buddhist books written on sugar palm leaves can be admired there.
2.Dat Set Pagoda
Location: Dat Set Pagoda (Buu Son Tu) is located on Luong Dinh Cua St., Soc Trang Town, Soc Trang Province.
Characteristics: This pagoda is visited by many local and foreign tourists who come to burn incense and to see the display of precious clay items, such as the thousand Buddha statues and the four sacred animals (dragon, unicorn, turtle, and phoenix).