Cu Lao Gieng - A Must-See Destination in Mekong Delta to Learn About Vietnam Culture
by Hello Vietnam Travel Oct 11, 2019
Cu Lao Gieng (Gieng Island) is a small island, situated in the middle of the Tien River, between the cities of Chau Doc and Sa Dec in Cho Moi district, An Giang province. This place is considered one of the highlights in South Vietnam with the idyllic beauty and rich history. Apart from the charming natural landscape, Cu Lao Gieng is also a famous destination when travel to Mekong Delta with numerous magnificent French-style architectural buildings such as churches, monasteries, and pagodas.
Welcome to Cu Lao Gieng
I, CU LAO GIENG HISTORY
Cu Lao Gieng An Giang has a length of about 12 km and a width of about 7 km. It has many different names such as Cu Lao Dau, Dinh Chau or Dien, Rieng, Den, Ven ... but the name "Cu Lao Gieng" has a different meaning.
Local Orchard in Cu Lao Gieng
There are many explanations about this name, however, it is believed that the Cu Lao Gieng is the first formed place among many dunes, islets along the Mekong River. Therefore, this island is called "Gieng" (referring to January - the first month of the year on lunar calendar).
During the French colonial period, Gieng Island had a large ferry terminal and a coach station established as links between islands in the region. Our cruises from Phnom Penh to Saigon often stop at the island's station to send mail and pick up passengers.
Rated as one of the best villages in Vietnam to learn about Vietnam culture. Cu Lao Gieng was also one of the important locations during the Vietnam War that was once-notorious as the base of the Land of Cochinchina as well as the birth-place of many Vietnamese heroes. Today, Gieng Island is a familiar place to visit for domestic and international travelers when referring to An Giang travel or mekong delta travel.
II, THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CU LAO GIENG
As mentioned above, Cu Lao Gieng Vietnam is a well-known tourist destination in the south country, which means it is home to plenty of fascinating attractions. In this article, Topmekongcruises will only introduce the most popular spots in this triangular island.
1. CU LAO GIENG CHURCH
Once visiting Cu Lao Gieng Island, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Cu Lao Gieng Church. This is a special church with Romanesque and Gothic architectural designs, a one-of-the-kind building, including a towering bell, the continuous pillars combined with the ventilation boxes and small towers.
Beautiful Architecture of Cu Lao Gieng Church
Cu Lao Gieng Church is not only the first church of Cochinchina but also was the bridge between the missionaries in Cambodia and Vietnam. According to the indigenous people, it was built in the 19th century, maybe before the establishment of the famous Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City. If this theory were true, Cu Lao Gieng Church would be the oldest church in the southern region.
Cu Lao Gieng is now regarded as one of the biggest parishes in the Mekong area. You can visit other renowned Catholic structures on the island such as the monastery of Providence Sisters, the century-old Rach Sau Church, and the St. Francis Church.
Inside Cu Lao Gieng Church
2. THANH HOA TU TEMPLE
Apart from the churches, you can visit several stunning pagodas around Gieng Island such as Thanh Hoa Tu, a temple with vivid architecture and walls embossed unique patterns. It was built in 1953 by the venerable Tinh Nghiem monk, who created a new form of hard training known as "Dao Nam". During nine years, he laid facing the cliff following the posture of the Buddha Shakyamuni, called "Cuu Nien Dien Bich". Therefore, the temple is also well-known with the name of Dao Nam Pagoda.
Aerial view of Thanh Hoa Tu Temple
3. PHUOC MINH PAGODA (BA VU PAGODA)
Another popular attraction of Cu Lao Gieng is The Phuoc Minh Pagoda or Ba Vu Pagoda. It is considered the most impressive pagoda in the region. Standing out among the green trees in the peaceful and quiet countryside, The Phuoc Minh Pagoda possesses an immense tower (nine storeys) and the three-door gate in the middle of the small road to the pagoda, creating a unique scenery to admire. Despite located a small island in the south country, both structures have the same traditional styles found in northern pagodas.
4. BA LE PAGODA
Not far from Cu Lao Gieng church is Ba Le Pagoda (Phuoc Hoi Tu Pagoda). If you are a history lover, this is undoubtedly a perfect destination for your trip. The pagoda is a special cultural and artistic place, a revolutionary historical site recognized as a national monument.
Coming to Ba Le Pagoda, you will have a chance to learn about the Vietnam War as well as how the people here fought for peace. Inside the pagoda, there are worshiping tablets of former martyrs who sacrificed in the war many years ago and regarded as Vietnamese revolutionary heroes.
Green garden around Ba Le Pagoda
Travel to Cu Lao Gieng is a great choice if you want to learn more about the idyllic life of local people in Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Join our Vietnam to Cambodia river cruises to pay a visit to Cu Lao Gieng and various charming destinations in the two countries.