Vinh Long - The Peaceful Destination in Mekong Delta
by Seni World Mar 29, 2017
Vinh Long is a province in Mekong Delta - the rice bowl of Vietnam. It gains the nice fame for the rustic life, friendly people, idyllic landscape and the temples.
I. TIMELINE OF VINH LONG, THE LAND OF FEUDALISM HISTORY
In 1732, the Nguyen Lords found Long Ho dinh including Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and parts of Can Tho.
Vinh Long province is considered as one of the witnesses of the fighting between Tay Son brothers and the Nguyen Lords as well as the victory of Nguyen Hue when he defeated Siamese forces assisting Nguyen Anh in the late 18th century.
In 1951, Vinh Long was combined with Tra Vinh to form Vinh Tra province which only existed until 1954. In 1957, Vinh Long was formed by the Republic of Vietnam with six districts. However, in the next years, some districts were separated from these six districts to add to other provinces and some other districts were added to Vinh Long. Thus, in 1975, it had 7 districts.
When all Vietnam was reunited, the new government formed Cuu Long province which included Vinh Long and Tra Vinh. However, the two provinces were split in 1991. After the reformation, nowadays Vinh Long consists of 7 main districts, 1 district-level town and 1 provincial city.
Vinh Long is located between Tien and Hau rivers. It is the centre of Mekong Delta since it is surrounded by Tien Giang province on the north, Dong Thap province on the north-west, Tra Vinh province on the south-east, Hau Giang and Soc Trang provinces on the south, and Can Tho on the south-west.
II, THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN VINH LONG
Taking the advantages of position, Vinh Long is not only an ideal location for cultivating rice and fruits but also a unique gateway to discover the beauty of Mekong Delta. With several canals, flat land and the long history, Vinh Long will offer you a lot of interesting experiences.
1. Van Thanh Mieu Pagoda
Van Thanh Mieu was built in 1864 and completed in 1866. It is one of the three Confucian pagodas which are remained until now in Mekong Delta. This pagoda offers visitors a chance to take steps back to the past with its Confucian style. The first notable image is Tam Quan, which is the three-entrance gate with the middle door being twice as large as the others. The name of the pagoda was written in Chinese characters and engraved on the top of the biggest door.
In the late 19th century, Confucianism still had great impact on the life of the local. Therefore, visitors can find the high stone which was engraved the writing of Phan Thanh Gian to show the respect to the builders of the temple.The main stone pathway leads to the main temple where is used to worship Confucius and four of his most disciples as well as to dedicate to his 72 gifted students.
Near the main temple is a two-storey building called Van Xuong Cac. The first floor was used as a place for Confucian scholars to read books and discuss literature. Some Vietnamese scholars were also dedicated here, for example, Phan Thanh Gian. He is considered as the local hero who led the revolt against colonialism and was killed himself instead of submitting to French rules. Meanwhile, the second floor is used to worship a deity called Van Xuong De Quan, whose responsibility is to hold academy and examination.
Apart from the decoration of dragons and statues of Confucius, this pagoda also has the large bonsai garden and ancient trees. Thanks to these features, the atmosphere here is more solemn and this pagoda becomes an ideal destination for those who want to relax and enjoy the peaceful moment of life. In 1991, Van Thanh Mieu pagoda was recognized as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information.
2. Tien Chau Pagoda
Besides Van Thanh Mieu, Tien Chau pagoda located in An Binh island is another attractive destination. It is well-known as the most ancient pagoda which preserves both spiritual and physical values in Vinh Long province.
According to some old stories, due to the fascinating senery in this island, the Buddhist monk decided to erect this pogoda with the aim of worshiping the A Di Da Buddha in 1750. Thus, the origional name of this pagoda is Di Da Tu, which is also called Bai Tien pagoda. However, after being restored in 1889, it was called Tien Chau pagoda as nowadays. The main sanctuary is the combination of three compartments which was decorated with a lot of eye-catching designs and patterns.
Going inside the pagoda, visitors can feast their eyes on beautiful Buddha statues as well as colorful paitings. Morover, apart from several flowers and trees around the pagoda, a statue of Quan The Am Bo Tat standing solemnly in the campus of Tien Chau pagoda is one of the highliights..
3. Tra On Floating Market
In Mekong Delta where water is the soul of the land, floating market always leaves strong impression on visitors by boats floating on the water and commercial actions happening on the river. In Vinh Long province, Tra On is such an interesting floating market. This market gathers on the Hau river. Unlike other floating market, the main factors affecting the operation of this market is the tide not the time. The higher level of water is, the more crowded market is. This unique feature offers visitors the chance to witness the different scenes of this market in a day. Moreover, this bustling market is the place where visitors can find a lot of flowers, fresh fruits, agriculture produce or enjoy the local delicious dishes. All the things in this market such as several boats loaded a lot of goods, the sounds of the sellers or the bargain of the buyers reflect the culture life of the Southwestern people. Therefore, when you come to Vinh Long, these things might be one of the most remarkable memories in your trip.
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In addition, paying a visit to Vinh Long, you should not miss the chance to live in homestay on An Binh Island and try relaxing yourself on the hammocks as the local do in their daily life. If you are tired with the modern life, you can sit on the boat or ride bicycles to discover some villages near the river, meet friendly people, trying doing what the local do or have a meal with their family to experience the rustic simplicity in this area.
One of the villages in Vinh Long province
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