The clay pagoda with candles that have burnt for 50 years | Mekong Delta Tour

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Amidst the new modern buildings and houses of Soc Trang City quietly nestles a small pagoda called “Buu Son Tu” (Buu Son Pagoda), which is only more than a hundred years old. Small and new as it might seem, Buu Son Pagoda, also called “Dat Set” Pagoda (the Clay Pagoda) is a hub for not only Buddhist followers but also travelers when paying a Mekong Delta tour. The pagoda has gained its reputation for its special clay sculptures and giant candles that have burnt continuously for more than 50 years.

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The pagoda looks like a resident house

History

Despite officially named “Buu Son Tu”, the pagoda is better known as “Chua Dat Set” – the clay pagoda, because of all 1991 small to big statues, 02 towers, 04 mythological animals, 04 giant candles and 03 super tall incenses, are made from clay.
According to the descendants of the Ngo Family, in the early 20th century, the pagoda was just a small temple used as a private practicing place for a man named Ngo Kim Tay. His son – Ngo Kim Dinh had a son called Ngo Kim Tong, who had a really bad health condition. When he turned 20, his family supposed he could not recover from a serious sickness so they took him to this family temple to pray and practice Buddhism teachings. Miraculously, he became healthier. Hence, Ngo Kim Tong decided to follow Buddhism and became the abbot of this pagoda.

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All the statues are made from clay

In 1928, when he was restoring the pagoda, he dreamed that the Buddha showed him to the west to get the clay to build statues. In spite of not having undergone any sculpture or architecture classes, he has created valuable sculpture works of significant religious values.

Architecture

Aside from its sacred religious atmosphere, it’s the architecture that makes the pagoda a must-see for a Mekong Delta tour. The Clay Pagoda is situated in a 400-square-meter, looking nothing much different from other resident houses of the locals. The building is not big, with a metal roof, wooden frames, and wall. The back side of the pagoda faces the street. The roof has 02 layers with the spire architecture on the top and a lower roof spreading like wings.
The pagoda consists of several small sections including the entrance gate, the outside altars, and the palaces to worship the Buddha, Buddhist deities, and the Jade. There are also small temples 9to worship the mythological animals, the ancestors of Ngo Family, the Earth God, etc.

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A sophisticated sculpture in the pagoda

Taking a Mekong Delta culture tour to the pagoda, travelers would not help themselves from claiming when seeing the exquisite clay works here. Ngo Kim Tong contributed his 42 years to make 1901 small to big Buddha statues, more than 200 animal sculptures, and several towers and censers. The most outstanding works among them are the 13-floor Da Bao Tower with 208 clay Buddha statues and 156 dragons, Bao Toa Tower with 1000 statues on 1000 clay lotus petals, and Luc Long Dang – the 6-dragon light. Those complicatedly designed clay products demonstrate the delicate care of the sculptor. It is the results of not only the skillful hand of the maker but also the pure mind of a loyal Buddhist follower.

The candles that have burnt for tens of years

Admiring the over-lighting candles in the Clay Pagoda is one of the top things to do in Mekong Delta. In the very last years of his life, Sir Ngo Kim Tong stopped making sculptures and turned to cast candles. He bought the pure wax without impurities from Saigon and melted it out to make candles. As the sizes of the candles are too big to fit any molds, he used the steel (for metal roofing) to shape giant molds of 2.6 meters high to pour the melted wax to make candles. It took 2 days to finish 1 candle and 1 month for it to become completely dry. Ngo Kim Tong also carves words and dragons along the candles to make them more appealing.

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The candles have burnt for tens of years

Having continuously done this work for months, he cast 06 huge wax candles, each of which weighs 200 kg and is expected to light in 70 years, and 02 smaller candles weighing 100 kg. The small pair of candles were lighted in 1970 when Ngo Kim Tong passed away. It has been 48 years since then but they are expected to light for 4-5 years more till it burns out.
Furthermore, there are also 3 super-tall incenses in the pagoda. Each of them is 1.5 meters high and weighs 50 kg. It is believed that once it is lighted, it would take years to burn out.
The Clay Pagoda does not have either excellent exterior architecture or a large size, yet it is still a unique pagoda that can hardly be found anywhere else. It is a one-of-a-kind spiritual destination for Mekong Delta private tour, where visitors can immerse yourselves in the quiet and sacred space and blow away the stress and fatigue of life.

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Visit pretty bonsai villages in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

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The Mekong Delta of Vietnam is a charming land with a lot of stunning destination, hospitable and friendly people, and pretty bonsai villages. In addition to the large attractive orchards, you can visit a lot of beautiful bonsai villages in your Mekong Delta tour. Especially, in the spring, you can enjoy the best tours in Vietnam in these heavens of flowers and bonsai.

1. Tan Dong Quy Village

Tan Dong Quy village is located in Sa Dec town, Dong Thap province. It is one of the biggest centers of flowers in the east Mekong Delta. This is one of the most attractive tourist destinations that you shouldn’t miss in your Mekong Delta tour for family, especially in the late winter, right before the Tet holiday. At that time, this land looks like a colorful sea of flowers with millions of flowers blooming and showing their gorgeous beauty.

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Tan Dong Quy village

There are chrysanthemum, lily, gerbera, marigold, chrysanthemum morifolium, etc. Besides, there are jardinières of hollyhock mallow, dahlia flowers, ornamental pepper, and hundreds of South Vietnam rare plants.

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Flower garden in Tan Dong Quy

In the time before Tet, this village welcomes a lot of visitors coming here for sight-seeing, taking photos, and buying flowers for Tet. It creates a bustling atmosphere and makes you feel the happy atmosphere of Vietnamese traditional Tet.

2. Cai Mon Village

Cai Mon is one of the most famous flower villages which is known as the “kingdom” of bonsai. This village is located in Vinh Thanh commune, Cho Lach district, Ben Tre province. Like other flower villages, Cai Mon is most busy before Tet. Many trucks filled with flowers and bonsai are heading towards many other regions of Vietnam from this village.

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Flower field in Cai Mon village

Visiting Cai Mon flower village, you can see how the villagers grow these flowers and trees. You can visit the flower fields, seedling nurseries, and bonsai shaping area. Villagers in Cai Mon grow a great number of flower species, including marigolds, paper flowers, daisy, chrysanthemum morifolium, dahlias, carnations, etc. Besides, you can see many beautiful bonsais which age hundreds of years old like the apricot blossom, fig tree, Chinese banyan, star-fruit tree or Carmona microphylla that are bent into artistic shapes.

3. My Tho Village

Another flower village you shouldn’t miss in your Mekong Delta group tour is My Tho. Although it’s not as famous and large as Tan Dong Quy village and Cai Mon village, it’s still a must-see destination. It’s located nearest to Saigon, only about 70km. So, you can easily get there from the city. Obviously, the busiest time of this village is before and during the Tet holiday when thousands of visitors come here for a sight-seeing trip at Tet. Walking through a sea of colorful flowers in the bustling atmosphere of Tet, you will have a really enjoyable trip with a lot of fun and happiness.

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My Tho flower village

There are many kinds of beautiful flowers in this village like chrysanthemum, yellow sophora japonica, chrysanthemum morifolium, Dutch chrysanthemum, cockscomb, lisianthus, gerbera and more.

4. Phuoc Dinh Village

The next destination in your Mekong Delta tour is Phuoc Dinh village which is major in apricot blossom. This pretty village is said to be the “capital” of apricot in South Vietnam. Located about 3km to the city center of Vinh Long, this pretty village is the most famous apricot flower village in Vietnam, recognized since 2009.

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Apricot flower

Now, there are over 550 apricot trees that are over 100 years old in this village, 1000 trees aging 50 to 100 years old, and hundreds of under-50-year-old apricot trees. These trees are grown, watered, and looked after carefully. Therefore, the flowers look very beautiful, lush, and charming. Every year before Tet, a lot of people come to this village buy a pot of apricot tree to decorate their house on Tet holiday. And during the Tet holiday, this pretty village attracts a great number of visitors to come for sight-seeing.

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An old apricot tree in Phuoc Dinh

These are the four most beautiful, attractive, and famous villages of flower and bonsai in the Mekong Delta. Visiting South Vietnam, you should visit these pretty flower village and enjoy a wonderful sight-seeing trip, especially during the Tet holiday, when these lands are most stunning and colorful with millions of flowers in different kinds.

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The best hotels and resorts for a nice trip to the Mekong Delta

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The Mekong Delta is a picturesque land and an ideal destination for a wonderful Vietnam honeymoon. In addition to stunning landscapes, there are many luxury and beautiful hotels and resorts you can stay and enjoy a memorable Vietnam honeymoon tour.

1. Mekong Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa

This beautiful resort is located in Cai Be, Tien Giang. This is the most ideal accommodation for you to experience the life in the Mekong Delta when visiting Tien Giang. There are 50 hotel rooms and 25 bungalows. Especially, you will have a stunning river view when staying in riverside bungalows built right on the river.

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Mekong Riverside Boutique Resort & Spa

2. Victoria Sam Mountain Lodge Hotel

Imagine that you will get up in the beautiful wild nature of Sam Mountain in a morning and feel the wind blowing into your room, it would be a wonderful experience in your Vietnam tours. And Victoria Sam Mountain Lodge Hotel will give you more than that. This hotel is designed in simple concept but it is still very luxury and beautiful.

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Victoria Sam Mountain Lodge Hotel

The interior is decorated subtly with high ceiling, brick floor, and warm-color wooden furniture, making you feel light and comfortable. Especially, every room has a door designed in French style leading to a private 12-square-meter outdoor balcony. From the balcony, you will have a beautiful view of a pretty and peaceful valley. The most impressive place in this hotel is the swimming pool, where you can enjoy a relaxing time and look over the rice field on the mountain foot.

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Stunning view from the hotel

3. Victoria Can Tho Resort

Victoria Can Tho is the first 4-star international standard resort all over the Mekong Delta. Located nearby Hau River, this beautiful resort has 92 rooms designed in the architectural style of the French colonial period. You will feel like you step into a classical castle in a green, lush, and picturesque orchard full of trees, flowers, and fruits.

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Victoria Can Tho Resort

Each room in this resort is a perfect combination of traditional beauty and international standard facilities. They have both Vietnamese architectural beauty and the unique attraction of French architecture. Victoria Can Tho will actually give you the most interesting Vietnam tour for couple in a stunning, romantic, peaceful, and impressive scenery.

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Stunning room in the resort

All the furniture is made from wood with warm color. You will have an absolutely relaxing, quiet, and enjoyable night in one of these cozy garden-view rooms. The fresh, airy, and wonderful atmosphere with cool wind from the river will make you really relaxed and comfortable.

4. Vinpearl Can Tho Hotel

This hotel is located in the city center of Can Tho, right nearby Ninh Kieu Wharf, one side faces the 30/4 Road and one side faces Can Tho River. As a part of the biggest complex of 5-star hotel and Vincom Plaza Shopping Center in the Mekong Delta, Vinpearl Can Tho Hotel would be an ideal choice for your Vietnam honeymoon in this beautiful land with a lot of exciting activities, and high-standard facilities like movie theaters, shopping malls, spas, playgrounds for children, restaurants, and so on.

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Vinpearl Can Tho Hotel

This hotel is also the highest building in the city with 30 beyond-ground floors and 3 basements with modern Asian architecture. All these international-standard luxury rooms have the stunning view of Can Tho River and this city, too. There are many choices of room in this accommodation like Deluxe King bed River View, Deluxe King bed City View, Executive Suite, Presidential Suite, etc. Staying in this hotel, you will actually have the best vacation in Vietnam.

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City view from the pool

5. Ben Tre Riverside Resort

This accommodation is one of the greatest combinations of nature and architecture. Located nearby the poetic and charming river of Ham Luong, Ben Tre Riverside Resort will give you the most exciting experiences with luxury Hoang Lam restaurant, high-quality facilities, and Ham Luong ecotourism complex.

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Ben Tre Riverside Resort

Staying here, you will have the most impressive and memorable holiday in the fresh and peaceful atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and especially enjoy the stunning view of the sunset on Ham Luong River. What’s more, you can eat a lot of delicious special foods of this land, listen to the charming sound of the ferry on the river, and have an unforgettable time here.

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River view of this accommodation

These are five best hotels and resorts you should stay in your Mekong Delta tour for the best trip to Vietnam. With high-standard services, beautiful scenery, and wonderful atmosphere, these accommodations will actually give you the best experiences in your Vietnam honeymoon tour.

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Best things to do for an exciting Mekong Delta tour

The Mekong Delta is one of two biggest deltas in Vietnam. This land impresses every Vietnam travel agency and tourists to here by its charming beauty. Today’s article is going to suggest you the best things you should experience in the Mekong Delta when you travel to Vietnam.

1. Exploring the floating market

Visiting the Mekong Delta, you shouldn’t miss the floating market – the most impressive attraction of this land, and the first thing people think of when talking about this land. If you haven’t sat in a boat and experience the floating market in your Mekong Delta tour, it would be a big pity.

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Bustling floating market in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to this land, you will see small boats full of fruits and special foods of this region. You can ask the local people for a seat on their boat to experience a bustling floating market. The local people are very friendly, kind, and hospitable. You always see the smile from the bottom of the heart on their face. Many famous floating markets in the Mekong Delta you can visit in a trip to this land with a Vietnam local tour operator are Cai Be (on Tien River), Phung Hiep (Hau Giang), Chau Doc (An Giang), Cai Rang (Can Tho), Phong Dien (Can Tho).

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[Cai Be floating market]

2. Eating grilled snakehead fish

Fish dishes are the most popular specialty of the Mekong Delta due to the dense net of rivers and canals. And grilled snakehead fish is the most favorite and famous food suggested in a lot of Vietnam travel reviews about this land. The best time to enjoy this dish in the Mekong Delta is in January when the local people catch this fish the most. Especially, sitting around a fire in the field in the chilly weather and waiting for your fish to be grilled well would be an unforgettable experience in your trip.

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[Grilled snakehead fish]

3. Enjoying Xeo Cake

Xeo cake is the most favorite specialty in the Mekong Delta. This food has a thin coat, full filling with various ingredients. It has the delicious taste of coconut milk, powdered turmeric, crispy coat, and various vegetables. Its wonderful taste will deeply enchant you and leave in your heart a deep impression of this beautiful land. There are many kinds of fillings you can choose and enjoy.

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[Xeo Cake]

4. Catching fish in the muddy field

Another must-try things you shouldn’t miss in your trip to the Mekong Delta is catching fish in the muddy field. It is one of the most attractive and exciting cultural activities in this land that you cannot find anywhere else. You can soak in the mud, get dirty, and catch the fish in the mud. Then you can enjoy a delicious meal of fish, which you have caught minutes ago. It would be one of the most unforgettable experiences in your trip to Vietnam.

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Catching fish in a small canal

5. Visiting huge orchards

One of the greatest attractions of the Mekong Delta that you should visit on a trip with a Vietnam travel agency is huge fruit gardens. Thanks to the mild weather and plentiful water, the Mekong Delta has a lot of huge orchards with various kinds of fruits. Visiting this land in summer, you can visit these fruit garden, pick some fruits, and eat them right in the garden. Many famous orchards you can visit in the Mekong Delta in summer are My Khanh in Can Tho, An Binh Isle in Vinh Long, Cai Mon in Ben Tre and Cai Be in Tien Giang.

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[Fruit garden in the Mekong Delta]

6. Visiting Hon Da Bac

From the city center of Ca Mau, go along the provincial highway for 40km, get through U Minh Ha Forest – the hometown of the liar king Ba Phi, you will reach a beautiful group of deserted islands which is 50m above the sea level. It has three islands linking with each other, including Hon Troi, Hon Ong Ngo, and Hon Da Bac with the total area of about 6.4 hectares.

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[Hon Da Bac Island]
This famous tourist site is in Kinh Hon Hamlet, Khanh Binh Tay Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province. Stone is the only thing you can see in Hon Troi – the small island located between two islands of Hon Ong Ngo and Hon Da Bac. In contrast, the other two islands have a lot of trees. According to many documents, Hon Da Bac has formed about 180 million years ago, in the mid-Jura period and Mesozoic.

7. Conquering the southernmost point of Vietnam

The southernmost point of Vietnam is always a must-see site of tourist in a Vietnam tour. After an hour going by canoe on the sea, you will reach this point in Mui Hamlet, Ca Mau. Getting there, you will see one of the four most sacred sites in Vietnam. From here, you will have a stunning view of the sea, listen to the sound of the sea waves, and feel your heart beating strongly in your chest.

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[Vietnamese national southernmost point]
These are the top exciting things you must try in your Mekong Delta tour. There are many other attractions of this beautiful land welcoming you to explore. Come and enjoy them, you will have an unforgettable tour in Vietnam.
Description: The Mekong Delta has a lot of attractions that attracts every Vietnam travel agency to come and explore in the best adventure tour.

  1. A Mekong Delta tour in the peerless Binh An Drum Village
  2.  What to eat before leaving the floating markets in the Mekong Delta – the melting food pot of Vietnam
  3. Top 7 destinations for South Vietnam group tours

A Mekong Delta tour in the peerless Binh An Drum Village

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In Vietnam, most choirs and troupes are familiar with the sound of drums. The drum is also a common instrument in schools, temples, pagodas, Vietnam cultural activities, and traditional rituals. Binh An – a drum-making craft village – was established to meet this need. Let’s find out more detailed about it in the Mekong Delta tour today.

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Drums in festivals

Where is Binh An Drum Village?

If you have a chance to join a Mekong Delta tour for family in Long An Province, don’t forget to pay Binh An Drum Village a short visit. Located in Binh Lang Commune, it is the only craft village that produces and provide drums in Southern Vietnam. For this reason, Binh An has become an unusual tourist destination in Southwestern Vietnam in general and Long An Province in particular. 

Although this place is quite new, it is gradually growing into an attractive spot for culture-vultures.

The history of making drums

Many people in the village say that it was established about 200 years ago. Therefore, the traditional handicraft has been handed down to hundreds of generations here. Most of the villagers have more than 10 years of experience in making drums. The first person who laid the foundation of the village was Mr. Nguyen Van Ty.

While he was going on field trips to do business, he saw buffalo butchers use the meat and dispose of the pieces of buffalo skin. He started collecting them, bringing them home, exposing them to the sun, and learning how to make drums himself. When he passed away, his descendants decided to follow his path. At first, they made drums for fun. But then, they began making drums to earn income.

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Craftsman makes a drum

Trying a Vietnam cultural tour in Binh An Village, you can see the process of drum-making with your own eyes. Despite the simple outlook of a drum, producing it is much more complex. There are over 20 phases in total to complete it. Each of them requires the worker to be careful and meticulous in every detail.

Common materials that are used to make drums are timber and buffalo skin. The timber recommended by workers is Merawan due to its solidness and tolerability. Also, it is often utilized to build handicraft objects so no other types of wood can be better.

After the timber is thoroughly chosen, all pieces will be exposed to the sun, measured, cut, bent, and got termites handled. Then, the worker will put them together with his skillful hands, which has been trained for over 10 years.

The phase of making the drumhead is less sophisticated. However, the buffalo skin is very easy to tear off and be deformed. Hence, instead of stretching the skin, the worker will place it on a steel frame and expose it to the sun. The last step is to cautiously shave the top layer of the skin in order to make the sound of the drums louder and higher.

Binh An high-quality drums are used everywhere

The drum is an essential instrument in not only Vietnam culture but also Mekong Delta culture. You can hear the sound of drums while taking part in traditional festivals or in Lion Dance performances during Tet Holidays. It makes the shows more eventful and fantastic.

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Louder sound of drums

And that is how useful Binh An drums are. They are not only durable, beautiful, and diverse in models but their sound is also louder and more melodious than that of other types of drums. Trying touching a drum and you will see how wonderfully it is made. The timber surface is super flat and smooth. The pieces of wood perfectly fit with one another, which can tactfully hide the traits left after putting them together.

The drumhead looks shiny under the sun. And when you beat it with your hand, it starts vibrating, continuously making low-pitched and high-pitched sounds.

Due to that exclusive feature, Binh An drums are famous nationally and even get exported. Today, the drum-making process in the village has been motorized with a greater number of machines. However, the spirit and refinement of the product are still excellently preserved by the professional craftsmen.

You will see how much they love their job by joining a Mekong Delta tour and observing the happiness in their eyes.

Chau Giang – a peaceful Cham Village in Chau Doc

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You might have heard a lot about ancient towns (like Hoi An Ancient Town) and ancient villages (like Duong Lam Ancient Village – Hanoi City, Tuy Loan Ancient Village – Danang City, Phuoc Tich Ancient Village – Thua Thien Hue province) in Vietnam. Here, we list Chau Giang – a Cham Village to visit on your Chau Doc tour – a less-known yet one of the most beautiful ancient villages in Vietnam, where you can experience the local peaceful lifestyle of some of the largest ethnic Cham communities in Vietnam, their ancient architecture and unique culture as well as the graceful landscapes.

Why is Chau Giang well worth a visit?

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Cham Village in Chau Doc

Being the closest large town to the Vietnamese-Cambodian border crossing, Chau Doc is home to diverse ethnic and religious communities. Due to its location at a meeting point of a tributary linking the Bassac and Mekong Rivers, Chau Doc is where Vietnamese Buddhists, Khmer Buddhists, ethnic Chinese, and Muslim Cham living peacefully side by side.

There are 7 Cham Villages with roughly 13,000 Cham people living in 2,100 households on Chau Giang Islet across the Hau River separated from Chau Doc by a river. Among these 7 ones, Chau Giang, also known by its Cham name as Koh Taboong where people live mainly by weaving is the most famous Muslim village and a must-stop destination on any Chau Doc tour. Thanks to these large Cham communities, Chau Giang is such an interesting destination to visit from a cultural perspective.

What to see in Chau Giang Village?

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Chau Giang Village

As you enter the ancient village Cham people, classified as one of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities, your mind would be comforted well by the primitive and simple atmosphere. This village includes picturesque scenery like the glimpses of green which turn out to be vast swathes of rice paddies but the highlight must be the stilt houses usually roofed with palm leaves or tiles with a unique and traditional design – three pillars and three tiled roofs.

Locals are known for being especially friendly (don’t be surprised to be invited to sit on a mat and served tea and cakes) with their round hats, long-sleeve shirts, a black or white turban, and sarong (traditional Cham dress) – for Cham men and long dresses, headbands, and face veils – for Cham women adding to its already-cheerful ambiance. Together with the vibrant main markets and many mosques distinguished with unique architecture and meticulous decorations, Chau Giang Village is your ideal place to savor the authentic features of a Muslim village and a great destination for photographers.

What to do in the Cham Village in Chau Doc?

 A Cham Muslim wedding in a small village near Chau Doc, Vietnam.

Cham Muslim wedding in Chau Doc

Simply walking the town’s broad, clean, and pretty streets featuring neat cement houses – a nice contrast from the typical wooden Vietnamese houses or wandering along the pretty waterfront promenade nearby is a pleasure in itself. But a trip to one of the tourist attractions in Chau Doc is also a chance to visit plenty of sights bound to please religion, culture, and history buffs. These sights include Masjid mosque – Chau Doc’s largest mosque which has the symbols of the sun and the crescent moon, representing Islamic and the Con Tien Bridge – where you will suddenly be in the presence of burqa-wearing women and men in hats, long-sleeve shirts, and sarong (traditional Cham dress).

If you want to do more than just contemplating Cham People’s Culture, visiting Cham People’s weave fabric at Cham Village, and buying their traditional craft products and unique patterned cloths created by handmade wooden looms, a night spent at a wooden stilt homestay to experience the simple and peaceful life of locals in the Muslim Village is an unforgettable memory on your best tours in Vietnam.

Want to see the old towns or villages in Vietnam on your Vietnam private tours to seek the ancient charm of this country? There are a series of that kind of small yet charming places with very old unique architectural styles of the locals, featured folk culture of the local villagers, peaceful untouched sceneries for your aftertastes, and long rich history telling the fascinating stories during the past few years, decades, and even centuries. Check the details of Cham Village in Chau Giang, Chau Doc and decide whether to visit it in 2018 or not.

What to eat before leaving the floating markets in the Mekong Delta – the melting food pot of Vietnam

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The Mekong Delta, the farthest area of Vietnam and at the downstream of Mekong River, is a flooded world of floating markets. Thus, it is no surprise that floating markets are very popular here. They offer a wider abundance of fresh produce than wet markets, often at a lower price and give you a chance to immerse yourself in the natural wilderness. Especially, it is a good introduction to the multi-ethnic face of the Mekong Delta with the very best traditional and ethnic dishes.

This is why a lot of not only Vietnamese but also foreign travelers do their groceries there on a daily basis and on their Mekong Delta tour. If food is one of the many reasons why you are so fond of the floating market tour, so what are you waiting? Discover which are the best foods in the Mekong Delta and decide which one to eat!

Fresh tropical fruits

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Fresh fruit in the Mekong Delta

Specializing in locally grown produce and fruits, the floating markets like Cai Rang, Cai Be, Nga Nam, or Nga Bay are the suppliers of choice for the whole region. The markets stock a fantastic variety of fresh tropical fruits such as coconut, jackfruit, durian, mangoes, watermelon, grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, green grapefruits, bananas, pineapples, pomelo, and longans. As you might know, the longer any fruit or vegetable is picked and goes from orchards, gardens, or farms to table, the more vitamins are lost along the way. So, what can be better than offered a tray of delicious local fruits right where they are grown, especially on a hot day?

Imagine sipping on a refreshing coconut drink and enjoying your own punnet of delicious and ripe fruit (some kinds are served with a spicy salt condiment) as you slowly glide along the river. Such an amazing way to get closer to nature, helping yourselves learn where your food comes from as well as supporting the lovely local farmers in the Mekong Delta. Can’t get any more relaxing than that!

Hủ tiếu (Southern Vietnamese clear rice noodle soup)

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Hu tieu in floating markets

Apart from selling piles of fruits, vegetables, and other local produce on bustling clusters of boats to take home, these bustling, friendly markets also have a great choice of casual stalls to eat at, fresher and more reasonably priced than most of the surrounding restaurants. They are also a good introduction to the multi-ethnic face of the Mekong Delta.

The cheapest way to fill your tummy on your floating market food tour is always a bowl of hu tieu. Pop into one of the best boats selling rice noodle soup and order a bowl of the Mekong Delta’s specialty for around VND 15,000. Cooked with a medium temperature, hủ tiếu is a delicious, fragrant, and yummy soup, dense with stretchy rice noodles and topped with succulent locally farmed shrimp, sliced lean meat, ground lean meat, and meatballs, etc. Just imagining slurping down a bowl of piping hot noodles decorated with Vietnamese onion, coriander and cabbage can make you hungry!

Bún nước lèo (Fermented fish soup with vermicelli rice noodle)

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What to eat in floating markets in the Mekong Delta?

Because of different methods of preparation and use of materials and ingredients, there are over a thousand types of noodle soups from all over Vietnam with local characteristics.

Made from slowly boiled fish stock and mắm cá linh or mắm cá sặc (fermented fish sauce), bún nước lèo – a noodle dish with Khmer origins – is famous for its very strong aroma or smell.

Along with the noodles and broth, bún nước lèo cannot be perfect without a few different types of pickled fish along with a huge collection of seafood like fresh fish and whole shrimp, roasted pork, pork crackling as well as a heap of fresh herbs, shredded banana blossom, chives, eggplant, and crunchy soybeans, arranged on top.

Bánh canh (soup cake)

Fresh and delicious products are essential for creating the best Mekong Delta cuisine, and what better place to find them than in the floating markets? Made of rice flour, broad and white in color, and typically chewy, bánh canh is typical of Southern Vietnamese cuisine and has gradually spread to other regions throughout our country. For an even more rewarding, authentic Mekong Delta experience, don’t miss to try soup cake!

One of the greatest ways to dive into a destination and most charming aspects of taking a floating market tour in the Mekong Delta is the free time that you have to simply enjoy the traditional food. However, when you are in this mighty region in Southern Vietnam, it might be difficult to decide what to eat without spending a fortune. Well, you can find the solution to your problems following this guide to the best food to try before leaving the Mekong Delta’s floating markets!

Top 10 famous tourist attractions in Ca Mau, Vietnam

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If you think that there is nowhere to go in Ca Mau, Vietnam, then you are completely wrong. Ca Mau has long attracted a large number of tourists thanks to its special tourist destinations. To explore this southernmost land, let’s have a closer look at 10 famous tourist sites in Ca Mau below.

Cape Ca Mau

Cape Ca Mau is located in Ngoc Hien District, about 10 km away from Ca Mau City. This is the only place on the mainland in Vietnam where people can see the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Cape Ca Mau is one of the best places in Ca Mau, which attract numerous tourists annually.

Coming to Cape Ca Mau, in addition to taking photos at the bow, the coordinates landmark, visitors can also climb up the observation tower to see the land strip of the country. From here, tourists will see the cluster islands of Hon Khoai on the sea, about 20km from the mainland. They are a beautiful cluster islands including Hon Tuong Island, Hon Sao Island, Hon Kho Island, Hon Lon Island and Hon Doi Moi Island.

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Cape-Ca-Mau-landmark

Tan Hung House

Tan Hung House was the place where the first flag of Indochinese Communist Party was raised in Ca Mau (1930). This was once the headquarters of the Tan Hung Front Command, the anti-French Front in Ca Mau.

Hon Khoai

Hon Khoai is the largest island, surrounded by 5 small islands. Visitors to Hon Khoai will be attracted by the poetic, wild beauty with round pebbles like goose eggs, along with the primary forest carpet with diverse fauna and flora.

At present, at the highest peak of Hon Khoai, there is still a lighthouse built by the French in the last 19th century. From the lighthouse, tourists can see the beauty of the 5 satellite islands around through a telescope when allowed by the border guards.

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Hon Khoai and its lighthouse

Hon Da Bac

Hon Da Bac is a beautiful cluster island, consisting of 3 islands located close to the coast in Kinh Hon Hamlet, Khanh Binh Tay Commune, Tran Van Thoi District. This place has a great potential for ecotourism.

Khai Long Beach Resort

Khai Long Beach Resort lies on the Southeast coast of Cape Ca Mau. This is the should-visit destination in Cau Mau due to the pristine beauty of the beach surrounded by the mangrove forest.

Ca Mau Bird Sanctuary

Belonging to the area of Dam Doi District, Ca Mau Bird Sanctuary is a special place of this Southern Vietnam group tour where all kinds of storks, herons, and other kinds of rare birds gathers. Tourists often come here to enjoy and be immersed in the wild nature of the ecological environment.

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Ca Mau Bird Sanctuary

Ca Mau Floating Market

Ca Mau Floating Market has hundreds of boats in all size, which is always full of goods to trade and purchase. The way of buying and selling on the river is a very typical type of culture in Southern Vietnam. The beauty, as well as the very unique character of this area, has attracted a lot of visitors to visit this floating market – a charming tourist attraction of Ca Mau.

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Ca Mau Floating Market

Thi Tuong Lagoon

Thi Tuong Lagoon is a large shrimp lagoon in Ca Mau, located next to Ba Keo Canal, connecting to the Gulf of Thailand. In recent years, this place has become the familiar stop of many tourists during their Southern Vietnam group tours. Thi Tuong Lagoon is divided into three sections: upper lagoon, middle lagoon and lower lagoon. Here, travelers can see the attractive scenery of Ca Mau Land and enjoy the special dishes made from fishes, shrimps, etc.

U Minh Ha National Forest

U Minh National Forest is divided into two areas, which are upper and lower forest. U Minh Thuong Forest (the upper forest) is in Kien Gian Province, while the U Minh Ha Forest (the lower one) is in Ca Mau Province. U Minh Ha National Forest is an area having a very typical flora and fauna of the wetland on the peat layer created by perennial vegetation bodies.  This is the place to preserve and develop the genetic resource of precious animals, together with cultural values and historical relics for scientific research and tourism development.

Biodiversity zone of forestry and fishery 184 – Nam Cam Mangrove Forest

Nam Can Mangrove Forest and Biodiversity Zone of Forestry and Fishery 184 is situated in the middle of mangrove forest in Cha La Hamlet, Tam Giang Commune. It is 1-hour-drive by boat from Ca Mau Floating Market. To explore the Biodiversity Zone of Forestry and Fishery 184, travelers will go through the forest with a road system in the over-15-year-old mangrove forest. At night, visitors will rest in cool houses in the forest and enjoy many famous specialties here.

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Nam Can Mangrove Forest

Conquer Mekong Delta | Two days in three cities, why not?

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For most foreign people, I have talked so far, the idea of an existence of a wetland called Mekong Delta only popped up when they happened to sort out a tour outside of Saigon. This is seen as one of the best tours in Vietnam when visitors are led to the ending domain of this S-shaped country and get to know deeply about the spectacular and interesting stories that are only found in the Mekong, along with people’s unique lifestyle in a land with an immense network of rivers and canals. If you want to be a part of this country rather than just a tourist, here is one of many Mekong Delta tour options that you can choose to explore within only two days.

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A rice paddy field

Arrive in Tiền Giang on the first day

Cái Bè is the very first destination to kick off your tour. This is a large district belonging to Tiền Giang, which takes you only 2 hours from Saigon. Cái Bè Floating Market is the most ideal site to visit in the morning. By having an insight of this special market, you then get to know how a local market is organized, and why dwellers happened to trade on the surface of a river rather than a regular corner on land.

Coming next are a chain of several native long-established factories. The locals’ method of creating handicraft merchandise will capture your attention. Some can be taken into account include the making of green rice, coconut candies, honey and so on. Not to mention, transforming into these artisans yourselves is going to be an interesting idea. Tasting honey tea and selecting your favorite products are what you can choose to do at the end of a visit here.

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Cái Bè Floating Market

Next up, embark on Tân Phong Islet, one of the four biggest islets in the intersection of Tiền Giang and Bến Tre Provinces. If signing up for a Mekong Delta group tour or in case you are a part of a Mekong Delta cruise, chances are that you will be heading to this islet after spending half a day on the mainland. Afterward, sneak through the little canals enclosed by the shady coconut trees on both sides of the river banks. On the islet, a real image of how Mekong citizens enjoy their daily life is going to be revealed. An absolute contrasting picture of what you have normally seen back home. This is how you can experience a day in the life of a peasant, a fisher or simply a Vietnamese wife raising their kids at home, cooking in the kitchen or feeding roosters in the front yards. Other than that, visiting a greenish shady fruit garden, picking bunches of tropical fruits on your own and enjoy the absolute sweetness released from these freshly picked rambutans, durians or longans are what you can be offered next.

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The making of Coconut candies

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The serene space of life

After that, head straight to Cần Thơ City when the Sun starts to disappear and spend the rest of the night freely wander off Cần Thơ Downtown with your families and friends.

Return to Saigon on the next day

When breakfast time is over, you will have a chance to witness the biggest floating market across the Mekong Delta, Cái Răng. A huge area on the surface of the river is packed with full of wooden boats. Your excursion in this morning will be surrounded in the chit-chats of lady sellers and the aromatic smoke of the hot bowls of soup noodles. Even coffee, fruits of all kinds, household merchandise or electric devices can be spotted out here.

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The Mekong Islet

When the Sun is at its peak, start heading to local rice noodles and rice paper factories before having lunch in a local restaurant. During the very last hours of your second afternoon, follow a local guide back to Saigon and start exploring the rest of the country as planned.

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The making of rice paper

Mekong Delta group tour is what many people choose to discover this wetland in the most basic way. However, you can consider to have a private tour for a better understanding or feel free to request a customized tour to this land with your given ideas and suggestions.

Visiting Can Tho to experience garden tourism through My Khanh Tourist Village

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Can Tho has long been known to many as a “capital” in Western Vietnam, also known as another name “Tay Do”. But the biggest question of tourists during their Mekong Delta tour is where they can play and enjoy the beautiful nature in Can Tho. Therefore, today we will introduce one of the most interesting tourist destination – My Khanh Tourist Village, which has always been recommended by many Vietnam local tour operators.

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My Khanh Tourist Village

Where is My Khe Tourist Village?

Being in a district with many tourist sites in Can Tho, My Khanh Tourist Village is located at no. 335 Lo Vong Cung, My Khanh Commune, Phong Dien District. The way to this ecotourism village is also not difficult. You just need to follow Trung Luong Expressway or from Phu Lam roundabout, you go along the Highway 1A to Can Tho. In these ways, you can go to My Khanh Village by motorbike or car.

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A corner in My Khanh Tourist Village

Another way to travel to this tourist site in Can Tho is to get to the Western Region Bus Station and buy tickets or you can book it online through the phone number. The ticket price from Saigon to Can Tho ranges from 80,000 to 100,000 VND. If you choose this option, it would be more relaxing because you do not have to worry about the time and traffic.

How to get to My Khanh Tourist Village?

From Can Tho City, there are three options for you to choose in this situation. The first one is to take a taxi to go straight to the village, the second one is to ride a motorbike taxi, and the last is to get on a bus. Depending on your financial capability, you decide which option suits you. However, it would be better to remind you that if you choose the third option for your Mekong Delta tour, you had better buy a map of Can Tho City.

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Fresh fruit gardens

Currently, the infrastructure is well developed, plus Can Tho is a large city, so the road system is invested very carefully, suitable for tourism development. One of the important notes you need to pay attention to when visiting My Khanh Tourist Village in Can Tho is you have to know exactly where you are going to avoid getting lost. If not, do not hesitate to ask the “villagers”, they are always willing to help.

What is the ticket price to visit My Khanh Tourist Village?

Currently, an entrance ticket for one adult (taller than 1.3m) costs 60,000 VND, while children (1m – 1.3m) cost only 30,000 VND and those under 1m are free. But that is only the ticket for you to enter the village. Once you get into the My Khanh – Can Tho Tourist Village, you will spend one whole day playing and exploring the village such as the rivers and lakes, fresh fruit gardens or simulated traditional games. And each of the services has its different price that you should find out before having a Can Tho tour.

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Feeding crocodiles

What to play in My Khanh Tourist Village?

One of the activities known as the highlight of this village is to become a “wealthy” landowner. That means you will have your own private cart, visit your own land, have a tour guide, private umbrella and fan. Moreover, if you have never experienced the feeling of living in a large house with a precious wooden table and chairs, then this definitely is a good opportunity for you.

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Pig racing a unique game in My Khanh Village

In addition to the main activity mentioned above, many simulated outdoor games in the village also make you feel interested and relaxing, for example trying to be a farmer boat rowing boat, catching fish, digging ditches or learning how to grow rice. In particular, My Khanh Tourist Village is suitable for all people at the different age such as the older, the middle-aged, teenagers, children and even couples. With the natural advantage of the green environment and fresh air to rest, you will find this Mekong Delta group tour certainly worthy. Thus, if you have any intentions to stay overnight, it would be also convenient because there is a high-quality resort inside the My Khanh – Can Tho Tourist Village.