MEKONG RIVER DELTA – TRA VINH PROVINCE

Capital: Tra Vinh City

Ethnic groups:  Viet (Kinh), Khmer, Hoa, Tay

Highlights:  Ba Om Pond, Ang Pagoda, Ba Dong Beach

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS    

Ba Om Pond

One of the most prominent sites in Tra Vinh is the rectangular Ba Om Pond, which is situated in Group 3, Ward 8, 7km southwest of Tra Vinh City. The tranquil pond is 500m in length and 300m in width and its water is always clear and blue. It is surrounded by hillocks and many old trees of sao (hopea) and dau (diptero- carpaceae) whose roots emerge on the ground and form numerous odd shapes that create a unique beauty. The atmosphere is cool and pure all the year round. In the after­noon, flocks of birds perch on the trees and make this area exciting and noisy. When coming to Ba Om Pond, visitors also visit the ancient Khmer Ang Pagoda which obtains knowledge about the culture of the Khmer people. It is certain that you will hear of an extraordinary legend about a Khmer woman called Om, who created the Pond in a competition with the Khmer men for women to gain the right of selecting husbands for themselves.

Ang Pagoda

Ang Pagoda is one of the ancient pagodas in Tra Vinh. The pagoda is 7km from the Tra Vinh City-centre, covering an area of 4ha in Group 4, Ward 8. The pagoda is surrounded by old trees near the Ba Om Pond. The architecture of the pagoda is ancient and unique and it was recognised as a National Relic Site.

Nodol Pagoda

Nodol Pagoda also called Chua Giong Lon, lies in Dai An Commune, Tra Cu District, approximately 40km south of Tra Vinh City. This construction was greatly influenced by Khmer architecture. The pagoda is surround­ed by bamboo trees and other types of plants. It used to be called Chua Co and was home to thousands of birds, including storks, little cormorant, and pigeons.

Ngheu River Islet

Ngheu River Islet is situated in My Long Commune, Cau Ngang District, 10 minutes from My Long Beach if going by canoe. At high tide the Ngheu River Islet disappears under the water. It only emerges at low tide. Apart from cool weather, the dune is also famous for oyster speciality. Hence its name Ngheu (Oyster) River Islet. At present there are three restaurants built above the water surface for tourists to enjoy the marine products and the cool atmosphere.

Ba Dong Beach

Ba Dong Beach belongs to Truong Long Hoa Commune in Duyen Hai District, approxi mately 55km from Tra Vinh. Originally built as a seaside tourist area by the French, this white sand beach covers many kilometres.

FESTIVAL             

My Long Sea Worshipping Festival

The 10th -15th days of the 5th lunar month Every year, the Sea Festival organized for three days at Ba Chua Xu Temple, in My Long Town, Cau Ngang District. During this three days period, there are many solemn cere­monies, including Nghinh Ong Nam Hai, where people act out the roles of deities, such as Quan Cong, Chau Xuong, and Guan Binh, from boats. There is also a procession staged for the deities Ba Chua Xu, Cau, and Nghinh Ong. In this last ceremony the people express their gratitude to the Whale believed to help them in offshore accidents. The ceremonies are also held to worship the Agriculture Deity, Chanh Te and Nghinh Ngu Phuong. For these ceremonies, people travel all over the town and participate in many folk games, such as potato sack races, tug of wars, and fishing contests. The festival ends with the boats being taken offshore. This festival was first held by fishermen in My Long in 1937 to seek peace. Gradually, the festival has grown bigger, and it now attracts many participants and tourists.

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