My Tho - The Charming Gateway to Mekong Delta
by Blake Johnson Feb 18, 2017
My Tho which is known as one of the tourist hubs in “the rice bowl of Vietnam” is the capital city of Tien Giang Province. It welcomes travelers to come and discover its own natural beauty, enjoy the idyllic life as well as delicious dishes. This destination is a good option for starting a fantastic trip in Mekong Delta.
History of My Tho
When Qing Dynasty made entire Vietnam become its colony, Chinese refugees from Taiwan established My Tho. Thus, although the Chinese have virtually all gone, travelers can still find Chinese features existing in some architecture in My Tho.
In 17th century, My Tho was considered as the traditional gateway to the economic hub in Mekong Delta. In1860s, when Vietnam was in French colonization, My Tho was more and more prosperous and popular, attracting a large numbers of migrants from Teochew and Minnan.
After 300 years of establishment and development, My Tho is recognized as the first-grade urban area in the Mekong Delta in 2015.
Travelers can also know more about My Tho in the past through the chapter “The Lesson” in the memoir “In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War” written by Tobias Wolff.
Things to See & Do in My Tho
1. Visit Vinh Trang Temple
The Buddhist temple was built in 1849 in the area of 2,000m2 in My Phong village, My Tho city. Its structure has the combination of Chinese, Vietnamese, Khmer and European architectural styles. Thus, you can find the splendid beauty, solemnity but purity at this pagoda. Right from the entrance gate there is a standing praying buddha. Travelers can also find the smiling sitting one and reclining one on premises when they come into the yard. These three statues are one of impressive images of this temple to many visitors. This fine mixed structure includes five buildings, two ornamental and 178 pillars adorned with impressive woodworks and sculptures, for instance, the set of eighteen Arhant made by several artists. Moreover, the lovely gardens packed with colorful flowers, bonsai and lotus pools around the temple create the nice view and the harmony with nature for this peaceful place.
2. Thoi Son Island
The largest of 4 islands in My Tho River is Thoi Son Island also known as Con Lan Island or Unicorn Island. It leaves strong impression on visitor by its beautiful landscapes, ancient house and special cuisine. Taking a boat ride to this island is the best option to catch the images of green tree, garden and enjoy the fresh and cool atmosphere. Moreover, visitors can enjoy local dishes, for example, fried fish dish. Paying a visit to the candy making factories and seeing the process to make coconut candy by the manual method absolutely is the best experience.
3. My Tho Markets
My Tho seems to gain the nice fame for its various exotic fruits. One place you can try almost the best kinds of fruits in Mekong Delta is My Tho fruits market. This market is not big but several fruits such as “king of fruits” –durian, longan, mango, dragon fruit are available for you to try. If you want to find something is new, different with pho but delicious you can come My Tho night market. This small market supplies you the new taste with street food such as “trung cut nuong” or glass noodle. In addition, you can take the motor boat to come to Cai Be floating market and get new experience with the market “floating on the river”.
4. Dong Tam Snake Farm
Located 12 km from My Tho city centre Dong Tam snake farm is the best place for those who want to gain more information about this animal. This farm has the big collection of not only different kinds of snakes but some other animals like bears, crocodile and turtles as well. Visitor will have the chance to the how people take the venom from snake which will be served for medicine and other uses. Moreover, information about the history of this farm and how to treat the snakebites are also given to travelers when they visit this place.
My Tho is worth visiting place where you can experience the local waterfront life. Do not miss it.
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