Dong Thap is a province in the Mekong Delta, about 165 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), bordered by Pray Veng Province (Cambodia) in the north with a length of more than 48 kilometres (30 mi); Vinh Long province and Can Tho city in the south; An Giang in the west; Long An and Tiền Giang in the east.
Every year, Tien and Hau rivers provide alluvial soil for Dong Thap that is convenient to growing food and fruit plant. So this area is the granary of Vietnam. The province has potentiality of short day crops (sugar cane, cotton, tobacco, soil bean, and other fruit plants with the popular names of Cao Lanh mango, Chau Thanh longan, Lai Vung mandarin, Phong Hoa pomelo.
Besides, Dong Thap is particularly famous for its natural scenery such as pink lotus fields, stork garden, several bird grounds and the sunset in paddy fields . The most noteworthy is the breeding ground of red-headed cranes, which are very rare in the world.
The famous Dong Thap tourist sightseeings
Dong Thap is an exciting and new place to explore for visitors today with immense lotus fields, peaceful countryside and attractive eco-tourism areas. Dong Thap tourist destinations are always beautiful, fresh and cool air, surrounded by wild and rustic beauty bestowed by nature.
1. Sa Dec flower village
Situated in Tan Quy Dong Commune, Sa Dec City, has been enriched yearly by Tien river’s alluvium. With more than 100 years old, this village is home of cultivating and supplying all kinds of flowers, ornamental plants and bonsai for domestic and foreign, more particularly in the holidays, local’s great festivals. Sa Dec’s flowers are also supplied to the other places in Cuu Long Delta.
The busiest time of the year of Sa Dec flower village is before Lunar New Year. Local farmers will work from dawn to dusk to prepare their flower and bonsai plants for sale in the run up to the peak Tet season, Vietnam’s biggest and longest holiday, which has around three weeks to go
2. Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House
Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House was built in 1895. This ancient house is characterized by a combination of East-West architecture. Outside is decorated according to Chinese style, inside has 3 compartments following Vietnam’s traditional house with wooden door elaborately carved.
Huynh Thuy Le’s ancient house, the 119-year-old house owned by the Huynh Thuy family is where witnessed the passionate love affair between Marguerite Duras - the well-known French writer who penned the famous novel L'Amant (The Lover) - and Huynh Thuy Le, a son of the Huynh Family in Sa Dec town, Dong Thap. This house has been listed as one of Vietnam’s most impressive destinations by the Vietnam Federation of UNESCO Associations.
3. Xeo Quyt relic
Xeo Quyt belongs to My Hiep commune and My Long commune, Cao Lanh district, Dong Thap province. Xeo Quyt relic is one of the unique destinations that tourists cannot miss when coming to Dong Thap.
Xeo Quyt relic was a revolutionary base of Dong Thap Provincial Party Committee leading the people against the American resistance from 1960 to 1975, covered with 20ha of primary cajeput forest.
Xeo Quyt relic site has a very diverse and rich flora and fauna with many rare species. Visiting Melaleuca forest in Xeo Quyt in the flooding season, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the monument by canoe to see all the beauty here. The unique and different feature here is that on the cajuput trunks, there are also dense hanging vines that increase the coverage below.
4. Gao Giong Ecotourism Area
Gao Giong Ecotourism Area is located in hamlet 6, Gao Giong Commune, Cao Lanh District. It has 1,700 hectares area and mostly includes mangrove forests. Visitors to Gao Giong will see the serenity and enjoy when floating on dinghy crossing canals or when cycling in mangrove forest, taking a rest in leaf hut and tasting all kinds of specialty in floating season.
5. Tram Chim National Park
Tram Chim National Park is a highlight ecotourism destination of The Mekong River Dong Thap with an area spread over 7 communes of Tam Nong District, Dong Thap Province. With more than 7,000 hectares area, stunning scenery, vast rivers, untouched mangrove forests and rich flora- fauna (more than 130 different species); Tram Chim is recognized as 4th area of Ramsar in Vietnam and listed in 2,000th all over the world. If you travel the park at the late evening, you can witness a breathtaking imagine when groups of sarus cranes go back up to that covers all the sky.
6. Kien An Cung Temple
Kien An Cung Temple is situated in the center of Sa Dec City. This temple was built in 1924 by a group of Chinese people from Phuc Kien Province. Yearly, there are 2 big worship days: February 22th and August 22th (lunar calendar). Every three years, there is a worship day to pray for the dead and country’s prosperity.
7. Phuoc Kien Pagoda
Phuoc Kien pagoda (also called Lotus Leaf Temple) located in Hoa Tan Commune, Chau Thanh District. A type of giant lotus leaf with a diameter of 1.5 to 2 meters is planted here. The lotus’s leaf is thick, big leaf veins, high leaf’s edge to 4-5 cm so the leaf looks like a fancy “nia”. Especially, leaves can be supported the weight of 70kg of an adult.
8. Go Thap Relic Area (Dong Thap) - Oc-Eo Culture - Lotus field in Dong Thap Muoi
Dong Thap Muoi is a distinctive low-lying area covering parts of Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap provinces and renowned for its interlacing network of river channels and canals. The site is ideal for visitors to pass through forests where one can see the extreme beauty of nature and glimpse the daily life of the locals. Dong Thap Muoi is also famous with Lotus field in Dong Thap Muoi
Go Thap is in the highest part of Dong Thap Muoi and is considered the heart of the area. Resting above the floodwaters and striking amidst endless green rice fields, Go Thap is located in Tan Kieu Commune, Thap Muoi District, in Dong Thap Province, 11 kilometers north of Thap Muoi.
Go Thap Archaeological Area is well known for five relics: Thap Muoi Hill, Co Tu Tower, Binh Kieu Grave, Minh Su Temple and Xu Lady Temple. Relics in this area bear great cultural and historical value. Archaeologists have discovered a number of antiques in this area, especially artifacts belonging to the Oc-Eo civilization and dating back as early as 100 AD.
Dong Thap specialites
1. Sa Dec clear rice noodle soup "Hủ tiếu Sa Đéc"
"Clear rice noodle soup" is a familiar dish of the people of the South. Depending on the processing method, each region has its own flavor. With its unique flavor, in the past, Sa Dec tofu has always held a special place in the hearts of diners inside and outside the province.
Sa Dec clear rice noodle soup are moderately soft, but not friable, not tough, not sour, fragrant new rice fragrance, fresh white milk color. Sa Dec clear rice noodle soup is elaborately cooked with pork bones, must visit the fire, must know the new foam and scent flavor, is also a secret.
Not only pork, chefs also put in a bowl of minced lean meat noodles, yellow rolls, heart, liver, pho ... well-made, hot, delicious. On the top is finely chopped scallions with young green coriander stalks. In particular, every bowl has a "boost" - chopped cabbage marinated with typical Chinese flavor. Each piece of noodles is served with a plate of spring porridge, raw vegetables including bean sprouts, shallots, celery and lettuce. In addition, there are also soy sauce, jars of buffalo horn chili sliced in vinegar. When eating, guests mix all these ingredients and then slowly enjoy, you will find that the Sa Dec clear rice noodle soup really delicious.
2. Sa Giang shrimp chips "Bánh phồng tôm Sa Giang"
Specialties of Sa Dec, apart from the famous Sa Dec clear rice noodle soup everywhere, it is impossible not to mention the Sa Giang shrimp chips. Sa Dec town is the largest producer of shrimp chips in the country and Sa Giang has been a well-known brand for a long time.
Ingredients after mixing together will be stuffed into long tubular bags. After steaming, the cake is cut into thin slices and then dried. At meal time, cooked, baked, the cake has a strong aroma, spicy, spicy Vietnamese cuisine flavor. Sa Giang shrimp chips are not hard, chewy but become brittle, spongy. Bite a piece, see melt in the mouth with the aroma of shrimp, greasy and spicy very great. Shrimp chips are also not delicious to eat, play with the salad more tasty.
3. Lai Vung fermented pork roll "Nem Lai Vung"
Lai Vung is a famous fermented pork roll making village in Dong Thap for over 60 years with its own "secrets". Nem Lai Vung is made from pork and pork skin, spices like pepper, chili, and garlic are covered in layers of green banana leaves, but spring rolls here are especially delicious.
Each piece of nem is the great-grandchild of how much effort people make, through complicated and strict stages with a separate ratio of meat, skin and spices, ensuring a balance and harmony. Nem chua is served with the sweetness of meat and the sour taste of spring rolls, and baked spring rolls are also sour rolls but used when spring rolls are not fermented, heated on a red charcoal grill, served with noodles, herbs, dipping sauce delicious.
4. Gecko stir-fried "Tắc kè xào lăn"
The immense Dong Thap Muoi region has many geckos and quite popular dishes of the people here.
After catching geckos, people cut off their heads, soaked in boiling water, scrape off the scales. Before marinating, chop geckos into pieces, marinate with small star anise, big star anise, friend garlic in pan, then pour gecko meat and stir-fry for hunting; then squeeze the coconut milk into, light the fire to blend the meat with the seasonings and the juice, but don't overheat the fire, puff up is done. Delicious gecko meat strangely delicious, especially the greasy tail, concentrated fat and cartilage bone, good for the 5 zang organs and the 6 fu organs
5. Dồi rắn
Dồi rắn in Dong Thap is a special dish, because only the emerging water season has a unique and strange flavor unlike any other dish. Snakes in Dong Thap Muoi in the flooding season abound: snakes, elephant ri, onion tiger to water snakes, water snakes, but to make snakes, people often choose water lilies and water snakes to process for snakes. This is quite "meek" that rarely bites people and is not poisonous of soft and sweet snakes.
Catching snakes, soak in hot water to desquamate, remove the intestines, wash the abdomen to drain, and peel the skin. Minced meat is pureed, seasoned with a little spice, pepper and monosodium glutamate. This material is then used to accrue to the snake skin until the full round, then use a string to tie the ends or can split into segments and bring to cook. Snake beetle can be steamed, fried or baked, each processing has different delicious flavors. This dish goes well with raw vegetables, perilla, lettuce, or Dien dien flower salad.
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