Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mù Cang Chải: The National Heritage for Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

The rice terraced fields of Mu Cang Chai mountainous district in northern Yen Bai Province have been recognized as a national heritage site. It's about 300km Northeast of Hanoi.The best time to travel here is May/June and September/October when they start and harvest a crop.
A must-see place for "hunters & shooters"

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Mu Cang Chai - Rice Terraced Fields in Vietnam

Related to Mu Cang Chai, Vietnam:
- West to East Biking Exploration of Vietnam

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Dong Van Plateau in Ha Giang province consisting of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac Districts contains great geological values, suitable to developing a model of sustainable socio-economic development.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Vision of a project

Professor, Doctor Jan Masschelein from Leuven University, Belgium has researched geology of caves and grottos in the mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam for over 15 years. He said discoveries on Dong Van Plateau by scientists showed that the plateau is a world’s natural heritage that needs to be preserved. Therefore, not only local people but also nature lovers should take responsibility for preserving, embellishing and developing it for benefits of the people.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Professor Michiel Dusar, Director of the Belgian Geological Department was very interested when he set foot on this superb plateau. He said that he had visited many places in the world but no other place had left such a strong impression on him like this area. It boasts a system of caves and grottos as well as a fantastic and poetic landscape. At many international seminars and field trips, the scientists had a common idea that the optimal model for Dong Van Plateau was to build it into a geological park of national and international stature.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

I still remember a field trip to Lung Cu area with Professor Okke Batalaan from Brussels University (Belgium). Standing at a height of 1,800m above sea level he looked very delighted while contemplating ranges of mountains and hills of the plateau below. He said that with painting-like landscape and many customs which are very attractive to visitors, Dong Van Plateau is worthy of being a geological park. In the eyes of the scientists, Dong Van Plateau is beautiful and mysterious but it has slept for years. Moreover, it is in danger of desertification and human devastation. Therefore, the protection and preservation of its discovered values is an urgent task. The establishment of the Vietnam-Belgium Geological Park project on the basis of co-operation between the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, the Kingdom of Belgium and Ha Giang Province (Vietnam) is a sound decision to preserve and protect the geological and geomorphologic heritages and valuable landscape, and promote the socio-economic activities and sustainable development. Nguyen Truong To, Chairman of Ha Giang Provincial People’s Committee said that the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and its partners in the country and from Belgium are helping Ha Giang Province work out a document to build Dong Van Geological Park on an area of 2,300km2 and submit it to UNESCO for consideration to be recognized as a global geological park.

Promoting economic and tourist development

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Doctor Tran Tan Van, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, who has been attached to geology for dozens of years, said that the geological park project is aimed at hunger elimination, poverty reduction and sustainable development, on the basis of educational and training activities for preservation of nature and reasonable use of natural resources. The establishment of Dong Van Geological Park will have a great significance in popularizing the values of this rocky plateau, especially developing the economy and tourism.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Standing on the peak of Ma Pi Leng Mountain which connects the districts of Dong Van and Meo Vac we had a feeling of being in a vast windy park. This area has beautiful scenery and unique geology. In front of us, there is Pai Lung Mount which is called a geologic monument by scientists. The Nho Que River looking like a silk band snakes through rugged cliffs which are 800-1,000m high. From this height we could contemplate peaks of mountains that look like pyramids running one after another.

love story. The market is not only a rendezvous of men and women who can not become husbands and wives but also a meeting place of young people. The market has become an attractive destination for domestic and foreign visitors. Stones are available everywhere, in the terrace fields and in the home, where rice mortars, beds and horse stables are made of stones. The most beautiful feature is the earthen-walled houses surrounded by a stone barricade of the Mong ethnic people.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

Dong Van, a border area of Vietnam, is home to 17 ethnic groups including the Mong, Tay, Lo Lo, Pu Peo and Giay. Through many years they still retain their traditional cultures, such as the going-to-the-field festival, the new rice-worshipping ceremony, the panpipe dancing festival, etc. In particular, Dong Van Market is very impressive. It is not only a place for product exchange but also for cultural activities. Young Mong ethnic men express their feelings by playing the panpipes while young women in charming brocade dresses sing songs in response. Couples and friends sit around a large pot of Thang co to enjoy the food and drink maize wine. The ancient city of Dong Van has the shape of a bow stretching several kilometres. The house in the city has the architectural style of the mountainous area, with stone-paved floor, earthen walls and a yin-yang tiled roof. The local people are optimistic and hard-working. To grow maize on rugged mountains, they have to carry baskets of soil to the mountain and place the soil into the hollows on the rock before sowing the seeds.

Ha Giang - A geological park of Vietnam

We visited Dong Van Plateau several times and each time we had a different feeling due to its distinct seasons. It is warm in winter and cool in summer. In the rice ripening season, the terrace fields in Hoang Su Phi constitute an emotive artistic work. The weather is favourable for growing fruit trees, such as peach, pear, plum and apple as well as precious medicinal plants, such as Eucommea, Tsaoko, Duong quy, Slipper plant, Job’s tears and Shan tuyet tea. These products have created the potential for the plateau to develop.

Visit Dong Van Plateau you will enjoy and never forget its beauty bestowed by nature.

Dong Van Plateau is one of the special limestone areas which are connected with the development of the earth’s crust and have outstanding natural values, such as sediments with imprints of palaeobiological fossils including thousands of species, 120 varieties and 17 groups of creatures. Layers of limestone totalling up to 4,000m dated from the Cambri Age about 545 million years ago. Scientists have discovered hundreds of valuable heritage sites, including 4 reference cross-sections, 8 important geological events of regional and global dimension, 25 geomorphologic heritages, 23 structural-tectonic heritages, 11 paleontologic- stratigraphic heritages and hundreds of caves and grottos, of them many have tourist values.

Torry by Hoang Chuong (Nhandan)

Related to Ha Giang
- West to East Biking Exploration

Active Travel Asia launches Facebook and twitter network for first the time travelers to Vietnam and Indochina

With the purpose to provide travel information and guide in Vietnam and Indochina, Active Travel Asia (ATA) has launched Facebook”Active Travel Asia” network for travelers to exchange the opinions, experiences and connect to travelers worldwide to share their travel stories, loved photos, find travel info, exciting experiences and even help planning their trips together.

With 10 Years of local travel Expert’s experience, ATA has a deserved reputation for innovation, for quality of service and for providing once-in-a-lifetime active holidays. ATA's accumulated expertise allows travelers to maximize traveler’s precious holiday time and to experience the very best of traveler’s chosen destination.

ATA runs the most adventure tours available in Indochina and Asia. ATA’s active trips are designed for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, real people seeking real fun and adventure. Of course, a reasonable level of personal fitness, good health, and interest in outdoor activities is advisable, but travelers don't need to be a tri-athlete or be an expert in any of the activities travelers will undertake.

ATA’s advisors are there to share with travelers and guests and internet surfers about the ultimate local knowledge as well as providing trends, news, advice and travel stories across its Asian destinations.

ATA always listens to travelers, read traveler’s feedback and comments as well as provides the right travel guide, experience, information and tips for travelers who plan to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Asia.

ATA confirms that the facebook “Active Travel Asia” will be provided to travelers with the ability to exchange point of views, experiences and connect with the prospects with ATA’s formers travelers who share stories, loved photos, find useful travel info and right experience and perhaps, plan trips together. Travelers are free to exchange whatever travelers want with ATA’s prospects, talk with ATA and about ATA

For more information at:
ATA’s facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Active-Travel-Asia/67878574405
ATA’s twitter: http://twitter.com/Active_Travel

Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Exhilarating Day near Da Lat, Vietnam

(A French tourist told his wonderful trip in Da Lat and gave useful suggestion to others)

I climbed a mountain today. Probably the oldest, fattest American ever to climb it, and I can hardly believe I did, but I did. We have pictures to prove it.

Looking down on Paradise lake from mountain

We went straight up the side of a mountain. No steps, no walkway, just tree roots and dead pine needles to give you traction. Our ever cheerful and encouraging guide Thanh and my companion Joseph both supplied a helping hand or shoulder for balance at times, but I actually made it all the way up on my own legs.

On the way up, a local Vietnamese mountain climber passed us as if he did the climb every day (I suspect he just about does). Later he came back down holding a bright yellow yard-long poisonous snake over his head. He let us "pet it" all the while Thanh was explaining to us how deadly it was.

At the top we took in the view, had our picture taken by one of the Buddhist monks camping at the top of the mountain who graciously broke from his meditation to come take pictures of the three of us at the summit, and then we each ate a couple of bananas. Okay, time to go down the other side. I was hoping for a more leisurely way down. After all, this was the "easy" trek. But, alas, no. If anything, the way down was steeper than the way up. After timidly progressing 20 yards or so down, I was ready to accept that I may just hae to stay there, and depend on passing Vietnamese to give me something to eat and drink now and then, and perhaps bring me a change of clothes now and then.

Paradise Lake, Da Lat

Luckily, our guide had a better idea. He was carrying a plastic tarp for us to sit on for our lunch later in the day. Instead, I used the tarp as a sled, and SLID on my butt DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. Thanh said he thinks he may have hit on a new sport–butt mountain sledding–for his company to promote. Needless to say, once we hit on the trick, going down was much faster than going up, and my rear end is only a little sore from the couple of times I completely lost control and shot out into mid air for a few seconds before coming down to earth again.

A bit about our guide: Thanh is a recent college graduate. He's been leading these tours for about two years. He told me he's lived in Da Lat all his life, and went to college there, but that his parents are from the north. Other than English, he also speaks Russian, which he said he studied in college primarily because his grandfather, who studied in Moscow, told him not to take it because it was too hard. I suspect grandfather was perhaps applying a little reverse psychology there.

The Crazy House in Da Lat

The whole trip today was truly incredible. Before the real mountain began, we went through a small family-run pineapple and coffee farm where I had my first taste of berries from a coffee tree. And after our descent we had lunch next to Paradise Lake in a lovely park filled with an amazing collection of flowering trees and shrubs, and with hundreds of butterflies, with seemingly no two butterflies alike.

After lunch, we shared a boat with a passel of drunken fishermen to cross Paradise Lake. They kept trying to convince us to share their wine, and two of them couldn't resist the urge to rub the fat foreigner's belly. I told Joseph my tummy should be pretty shiny by the time we get back if people keep rubbing it at this rate. One drunken fishermen stumbled and almost overturned the boat at one point, my reaction to which they all found very amusing.

Once across the lake, I faced the last challenge of the day, a 222-step climb to the largest Buddhist temple in the southern part of Vietnam (another way of saying it's the second largest Buddhist temple in Vietnam). The place was just crawling with monks and nuns. If I remember right, about 250 live there. We got to listen in on a class taught by the head monk, an 84-year-old who lectured with a very VERY tranquil voice, which was nice to hear after our challenging day. It was only after our climb up the steps, and a tour of the place, that I discovered the aerial tram that takes most tourists from Da Lat on an easy ride right up to the temple - no steps required. Sigh.

After the temple, we jumped in the tourist company van and headed back to the hotel for a shower and to drop off my dirty clothes at the front desk for the evening laundry service. Then a stop at the bakery, and then finally here for beverages and a little Internet time.

Today was a truly amazing day. The last time I did a rough mountain climbs like this was in northern China, again a long climb up a mountain to visit a temple. I have friends who actually do things like rock climbing on purpose, but for me, walking up a mountain is almost always something I find myself surprised to be doing, not something I do by choice.) For that mountain in China, I was much younger, lighter, and more vigorous then - maybe 18 years ago or so. I'm not sure how long it will be before I try this again. Right now, though, I feel GREAT. We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Tomorrow's outing is sightseeing - mostly by car. I understand that a couple of the stops feature a lot of steps, like the temple today, but after today's mountain, that will be like a cakewalk.

In general, I'd not recommend heading to Da Lat for these "sights." But the surrounding countryside is beautiful, and if you're into hiking, biking, or motorcycling, this is really a great place to visit, and the weather's a real break from the sweltering humidity of most of Vietnam. A number of outfits here will rent you motorcycles or bikes so you can go exploring the surrounding mountainous terrain or your own, or even cycle or motorbike all the way back to Saigon. I have searched on internet and found an attractive website about Vietnam adventure travel! I like Kayaking tour, I should come to Ha Long bay soon, I can't wait anymore.

If we have time tomorrow, we'll head for a southern district of Saigon that's supposedly just crawling with monkeys. Who can pass up hanging out a few hours with a bunch of monkeys? Not me!

Related to Da Lat city, Vietnam

- Biking Mekong & Da Lat tour
- Da Lat biking travel

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) promotes Pu Luong as responsible travel destination in Vietnam

ATA supports responsible tourism in Pu Luong to preserve the nature and ethnic traditions and improve community’s life in this Reserve of Vietnam

Pu Luong Reserve, Vietnam

Pù Luông in Thái language is the word for mountain and Pù Luông is not only the highest mountain of this Nature Reserve, but of the entire province Thanh Hoa. This remote and beautiful area even witnessed the war with France, when the french armee build an airbase near Pù Luông mountain, to control the by then only road to Dien Bien Phu (where the final battle took place in 1954). This road, 15 C, cuts right through the nature reserve and there it is where the steep rice terraces and traditional villages of Thai and Muong minorities meet with the wild limestone range of Pu Luong – the most important lowland karst system in the north of Vietnam. This system stretches from Mai Chau to the Pacific and includes besides Pù Luông two other protected areas: Ngo Luong - Ngoc Son Nature reserve and Cuc Phuong National Park.

A place of outstanding beauty, blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and romantic villages nestled in the landscape. Experience the everyday life and the culture of Thai and Muong people and stay in their stilt houses in scenic villages.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve was established in 1999, after discovering that this unique limestone area is one of the last resorts to some very rare animals like the delacour langur, clouded leopard, muntiac, temmincki cat, Asian black bear and serow.

The area is also famous for its butterflies and orchads, there was even one new orchad variety discovered in a 2004 botanical survey.

Since its establishment the Forest Protection Department follows different strategies to improve protection of the area. One is to promote community based ecotourism, which gives direct income to the local people within the area.

So when travelers come to visit Pu Luong, please don’t expect high standard accommodation, but travelers certainly can expect the famous hospitality of Thai, Muong people and homestay in ethnic village.

Best time for a visit is October/November and February/March.

Some reference tours in Pu Luong Reserve:

- Biking Pu Luong Nature Reserve
- Trekking in Pu Luong Nature Reserve

Friday, September 25, 2009

In the clouds festival in Sapa Vietnam - Vietnam travel guide

Sapa Vietnam, the district of Lao Cai Province, is a quiet and modest area nestled in high mountains and drifting clouds, surrounded by magnificent natural beauty.

From April 15 to 20 the 'In the Clouds' festival will brighten up this region with colorful national costumes of the ethnic groups living in Sapa, including Mong, Dao, Tay and Xa Pho, Giay.

During these festivities tourists in Sapa will feel like time is standing still in the mountains, wrapped in the drifting clouds with music from natural instruments such as bamboo, leaves and dry gourd and the jubilant atmosphere of the “Love Market.”

The event also has exciting activities such as a display of cultural daily life, customs and traditional festivities of the ethnic people, folk music performances and a chance to sample the local food.

Visitors will discover the beautiful flowers of Sapa, learn about local wedding customs, see handicrafts such as fabric waving and silver carving and may participate in folk games and sports.

Saigontourist offers a tour to Sapa which includes the festival. Starting from Ho Chi Minh City, tourists will fly to Hanoi to visit well-known destinations such as Quan Thanh Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Ngoc Son Temple, and from Hanoi travel by bus to Sapa Vietnam to join the festival and the ‘Food Culture in the Village’ fair, with specialties from eleven ethnic groups in the highlands.

At night is the not-to-be-missed ‘Love Market’, one of the special cultural features of Sapa.

The tour also gives tourists a chance to conquer Ham Rong mountain, enjoying 200 species of Sapa flowers and the plants of Hoang Lien Son mountain range, and to visit the Ta Phin ethnic village to explore the culture of the Red Dao people and shop at the boundary market.

(Source: SGT)

Related to Sapa, Vietnam :
- Hotels in Sapa
- Sapa trekking tours

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ATA Promotes Motorcycle Tours for American Veterans travel to Vietnam war in the past

With 11-day motorcycling tour in Ho Chi Minh trail in total 18 day trip from Hanoi to Saigon, Active Travel Asia show the exotic land where many American soldiers lost their lives, and those who survived often lost their spirit in the past.

THE LEGENDARY Ho Chi Minh Trail was the supply line used by North Vietnam to link North and South Vietnam during the American War. Soldiers, ammunition, and supplies were carried by hand, bicycle and truck for hundreds of kilometers through the otherwise impenetrable jungle that covered Vietnam's mountainous border with Laos. A testimony to the ingenuity, fortitude and commitment of the northern Vietnamese, the trail slipped from use at the end of the war and was taken back by the jungle.

Recent road work that follows original sections of the trail has changed this.Besides incredible driving, deep in the Vietnamese countryside, this ride takes in the charming ancient trading town of Hoi An, Khe Sanh battle site and DMZ. Travelers also take time to stay overnight in a traditional Thai hill tribe and visit to some tribal villages on the way.Start this trip in Hanoi, travelers have Hanoi city tour to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the "Uncle Ho" house and other famous sight-seeings and a relaxing cyclo tour through the ancient part of Hanoi.Next day, travelers take a short bus drive the Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum on the outskirts of Hanoi.

After the visit to the museum travelers will jump on our Minsk and spend sometime to get familiar with the bikes. Crossing two short mountain passes then descent to the mountain valley settlement of Mai Chau, travelers will have dinner and overnight in a stilt house of the Thai people.Next day, travelers then head South on a beautiful winding road which follow the banks of the Ma River. After some hours riding on undulating quiet road, travelers join the new Ho Chi Minh Highway. This newly carved route leads us due south, through remote back country, not far from the Laos border. In the afternoon, travelers cut eastward towards the coast and stay overnight in the peaceful city of Vinh.

The next morning, travelers head inland towards the Laos border after 40mins riding travelers can reach the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh in Kim Lien Village. The place is truly a shrine to the Vietnamese and visited by few westerners.Travelers continue on the quiet highway to Dong Loc Intersection which is widely regarded in Vietnamese eyes as the beginning of Ho Chi Minh Trail. Travelers then pass through remote back country, close to the border, as the scenery steadily becomes dominated by Karst limestone rock formations. Travelers will reach our overnight spot, Huong Khe Town.Next day, travelers will arrive in Phong Nha around noon, board a dragon boat to explore the famous Nature World Heritage Site of Phong Nha cave, then riding 30km eastward to the costal town of Dong Hoi, an overnight spot.Next day's ride is also on the new, quiet highway. Along the way, travelers will have a short stop at Truong Son National Cemetery to pay respect to the soldiers who fought and died on the trail during the American War. After here, travelers head to Dong Ha Town passing Ben Tat Bridge, built by the VC over the Ben Hai River.

Arriving in Dong Ha, travelers will check into the hotel, have lunch and then drive to the mystic Vinh Moc Tunnel and the famous DMZ, Doc Mieu fire base and the historic Hien Luong Bridge in the afternoon.Next day, continuing West on Highway 9, travelers will climb into the Truong Son foothills. About 16km from Khe Sanh is the Dakrong Bridges and the road turns winding and narrow. A bit further, travelers will come to Huang Hoa, once known as Khe Sanh Base, which was established as a forward base by General Westmoreland near Laos to secure Highway 9. About 3km from Khe Sanh is Ta Con Airbase.Lunch in Khe Sanh and then head out across the famous Dakrong River Bridge on Rte. 14 near the town of Ta Rut, travelers will stop for a visit with the Pa Co people and a walk through their village.Next day's riding is the best riding of the whole route. For the first 110 km, travelers cross one of the longest and most stunning pass on new and quiet road, through stunning scenery of primitive forests backed by the imposing Truong Son mountain range. There are also two long tunnels and very little traffic. The next 68 km from Hien to Thanh My are on good road with some gentle climbs.

Travelers will have a relax day in Hoi An town - the ancient Quarter famed by its important trading ports in Southeast Asia. After one night-staying here, travelers will be transferred to Da Nang and end the interesting trip.

Detail itineraries

- Motorcycle tours in Ho Chi Minh Trail
- Vietnam motorcycle tours

Mekong delta & river tours, Vietnam - Down in the Delta

Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta is a charming destination with a fascinating mix of Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cham communities.

An Giang province is often one of the worst affected regions when floods hit the Mekong Delta, which is why unlike other provinces in the Mekong Delta, rice-exporting is not the most important trade here. The main driving force in the province’s economy is catfish farming, a fish which contributes to around a fifth of Vietnam’s total seafood output.

Mekong river market, Vietnam

Mekong River Market, Vietnam

The highest concentration of “floating houses” with fish cages can be observed on the western banks of the Chau Doc River near where it meets the mighty Mekong. Nguyen Van De, a local resident from the floating village, takes us on his boat for a quick tour around Chau Doc River. On the tranquil river, we cruise past neat rows of houses, which all have fishing cages underneath them.

There are nearly 2,000 floating houses in the village. Some of the more sturdy houses are made with bricks and wooden frames and covered by fibre grass tiles. However, a few more flimsy looking constructions are made out of bamboo and coconut leaves. We clamber off the boat onto the wooden deck of a house. A piece of wood has been left open so you can peer down into the fish cage where a large school of fish jumps up and down.

Much to our surprise, the residents seem to have all the mod cons and assets families would have on land: We can see satellite dishes, televisions and motorcycles while all residents seem to own a mobile phone. De can raise about five tonnes of cat fish in eight months. His children can easily get to school after a short boat trip to Chau Doc town too. Life here seems good. Past the floating village, we find Con Tien (Fairy Island) where a community of around 3,000 Cham people live. According to relics at Mubarak Mosque, the Cham community set up their settlement on the island in 1691.

Just like any other popular spots for tourists, right at the entrance to the Cham village is a souvenir shop selling Cham silk handbags and scarves! We check out a store owned by a woman called Ysa, who is a surprisingly laid back seller. According to Ysa weaving was one of the prerequisite skills for a well educated girl in Cham society. She has been weaving since she was only 15 and set up the store back in 1998. All of her products are handmade with traditional weaving equipment.

She employs 20 women from the village and claims she earns a stable income. According to Ysa, traditionally, while the women weaved and took care of domestic chores, Cham men sailed down the river to trade. Thanks to a common religion and shared customs Cham traders had plenty of success trading with Malays. A colourful culture Chau Doc town is a swirling mix of ethnicity and religion. With Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese and Cham communities, you will find institutions dedicated to Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and even Sunni Islam as well as churches for Christians and followers of Cao Dai and Hoa Hao religions.

One of the most famous religious buildings is Ba Chua Xu Temple on Sam Mountain. Two hundred years ago, Sam Mountain was said to be covered with a forest and full of wild animals. Only pirates and bandits dared to go there. One day, a group of Siamese men came across a beautiful red stone statue on the summit of the mountain. Although the statue was small, none of them could lift it up. The men quickly grew frustrated and in a blind rage, they smashed the statue and departed.

But in a nearby village, on the same day a girl went into a strange fit — her face was flushed red and her head shook violently. She started to speak and called herself Chua Xu Thanh Mau (the Holy Mother of the Region). She commanded villagers to climb the mountain and fetch her statue back to the village. The villagers found the statue on the top of Sam Mountain but they could not move it either.

They returned and asked for the little girl’s advice. She told them to send nine maiden girls up the mountain to carry the statue down. Sure enough the nine girls were able to lift the statue up and carry down the mountain. But at the foot of the mountain, the statue suddenly grew too heavy for the nine girls too carry so they laid it down. The village elders guessed that was the place that the Holy Mother wanted to be placed and consulted an oracle.

A shrine was duly built on the site on the 25th day of the fourth lunar month and ever since on that day pilgrims have come to Ba Chua Xu temple. Besides Ba Chua Xu Temple, Tan An Pagoda, which was constructed in 1847 by Doan On, is also worth a visit. The three-storey pagoda with the onion-shaped turret designed in the Muslim–Indian architectural style is on the side of Sam Mountain. On the top of the pagoda sits a striking white statue of the Supreme Buddha. From outside the pagoda is not that eye catching but the statues and carvings inside are wonderfully vivid and life-like.

By Hong Nhung/timeout

Recommended itineraries

- Explore Mekong Delta & river tour
- Mekong biking tours
- Family tours in Vietnam