Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam

The allure of cajuput forest, lakes, pagodas, and palm trees in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang is perfectly reflected by in the photos of Saigonese Nguyen Thanh Tinh.
December 22, 2020 | 08:10
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Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

At the mention of An Giang, surely the Tra Su cajuput forest, with its diverse ecosystem including a rich variety of flora and fauna, comes immediately to mind. The forest is located in Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien District in the southern province, 10 kilometers from the Cambodian border.

From Nha Bang Town in Tinh Bien District, head on provincial Highway 948 and turn left at Bung Tien Bridge at the 6 km milestone. From there, it is just four kilometers to the Tra Su forest.

An Giang has increased investment in infrastructure at the Tra Su tourist complex to foster tourism. The entrance fee is VND100,000 ($4.3) per person and canoe and long-tail boat tours inside cost an additional VND50,000, according to VNE.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo: VNE)

On the way to the Tra Su cajuput forest, Saigonese Nguyen Thanh Tinh, 22, saw a snow-cone cart, and treated some kids who looked they could not afford it. Appreciating his gesture, a family in a house nearby invited him in for some green tea.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo: Ngoi Sao)

Like many other Khmer temples, Koh Kas Pagoda is built on a large land, rows of oil trees, palm trees for shade and surrounds. The sky gate is located away from the main pagoda by a winding village road with a length of more than 500m, looking quite old, and tinged with time.

Local people call it "the gate of time", because through many ups and downs, rain and shine, the gate is still there as a witness of the date, illuminating the surrounding landscape to this day, according to Vin Love.

With warm colors and nostalgic architecture with unique Khmer architectural style, just choose the right angle a little, you will get a photo with a high sky, the mountains in the distance look extremely magic. Tourists and tourists near and far call this “heaven gate”, even though it is located right on the ground for that reason.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)
2922 tapa
Ta Pa Lake (Photo: Compass Vietnam Travel)

A giant emerald mirror reflecting its pastoral surroundings, Ta Pa Lake is a "fairytale-like destination" in the Mekong Delta, Tinh said. "Prepare to be mesmerized by the deep and pristine lake and the rocky mountains next to it."

The lake is on one of An Giang’s seven peaks commonly referred to as That Son in Nui To Commune, Tri Ton District. Its namesake Khmer pagoda is located on the edge of the mountain nearby. The daily flock of travelers and backpackers notwithstanding, the surrounding area is deserted. Near the lake is a beverage and tea stall which enables travelers to have a quick pit stop.

Tinh especially emphasized the hospitality he received from locals in the Mekong Delta, especially from these tea stall owners. "They are always more than enthusiastic to help travelers take photos," he said.

If you are traveling by motorbike from Chau Doc, head toward Tri Ton District. Once you reach Tri Ton Market, head down Nguyen Trai Street to reach Ta Pa Pagoda and ask for directions to the lake.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

On the way to Ba Chuc Town in the direction of the memorial site (nha mo) is a giant tree full of vines in the middle of the road. Legend has it that this natural roundabout is 300 years old. The nearly dead trunk of the tree seems to be held on by the lively sacred fig tree outside, creating a unique backdrop for photos. Locals have many supernatural stories about this tree.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)
3052 ba chuc tomb
(Photo: ASEAN Youth Organization)

Tinh visited Ba Chuc Tomb and at once felt fright and deep pain. This historical relic has 1,159 ossuaries of innocent civilians who were killed in the Ba Chuc massacre by the Khmer Rouge. The building is in the shape of a white lotus pointing toward the sky, with each petal representing an age and gender group of civilians.

"It is an eerie yet moving sensation in this spiritual and heart-rending place," he said.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

In the sweltering An Giang sun, doub palm trees, 10-20 meters high, are ubiquitous and closely intertwined with life in An Giang, as reported by VNE.

Besides adding a unique touch to the local scenery, doub palm trees give fruits that are used to make pandan honeycomb cake, palm sugar and refreshing beverages.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

Tinh saw a local operating a tilling machine. The man warmly invited him for a drink.

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

During Tinh’s journey through Tinh Bien and Tri Ton districts, images of women carrying piles of firewood were a constant occurrence.

"Although evidently of modest means, they seem to find happiness in the most simple and ordinary things. The harsh sunlight and dirt roads of the countryside cannot dishearten them."

Charming endowed beauty of An Giang, southern Vietnam
(Photo via VNE)

Tinh plays with local children before departing to Can Tho City for his next adventure. The kids were affectionate and reluctant to take leave of the Saigon young man.

Tinh’s one-day trip to An Giang cost VND500,000 ($22). A coach or sleeper bus ticket costs around VND155,000. Since the tourist attractions are 20-30 minutes away from each other, it is a good idea to list them and create an itinerary first, he said.

When in An Giang, relish in regional specialties like beef rice or porridge, fermented thick vermicelli soup or snakehead murrel noodles for VND30,000-35,000 a portion each.

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