Attractive destinations of Rach Gia

Rach Gia has a lot of relics and attractive destinations. This is a list of mustsee place when you coming to Rach Gia town.

Nguyen Trung Truc Communal House: ( 18 Nguyen Cong Tru, Vinh Thanh Quarter )

Nguyen Trung Truc, the leader in the anti – French resistance movement in Tan An executed in 1868 was worshipped here. There are ancestral tablets and portraiture of Nguyen Trung Truc and some of his his generals in the sanctuary, and a secular banyan in the yard. Each year, on the anniversary of his death, hundreds to thousands of attend the festival and pray for Nguyen Trung Truc.

Quan Thanh De pagoda ( Hung Vuong Road, Vinh Thanh Van ward )

It was build in 1752. Some Chinese emigrated there to settle and built a temple to worship Tien Hien ( sage of forme time ) on the foundation of Gia Da ancient pagoda so it used to be called Vinh Lac pagoda or Vinh Lac temple by the local people. In 1927, Vinh Lac temple was repaired and dedicated to Quan Van Truong ( Quan Thanh De ). It is recognized to be the national art – architecture relic thanks to its architecture with fine and sophisticated designs.

 Lang Cat Pagoda – Ratanarangsi( Ratanarangsi means “the halo of the gem” )

It is the national art – architecture relic. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, Vinh Lac was near the sea, remote with only some of the ethnic Khmer lived here and bushy vegetation and lurking wild beasts. Most Venerable Rich – Thi – Chi came here to preach religion, called upon Khmer buddhist believers to build the pagoda for spirit activities. It is characterized by Khmer pagoda’s architecture with many sophisticated designs.

 The Cathedral (Nguyen Trung Truc road, Vinh Thanh ward)

An architectural work built of red bricks in 1918 and rebuilt in 1972. Sacrament is held from 10 a.m to moon on Sundays at the cathedral.

The sea-elapsed urban district

It is projected on 420,000 hectare land area. This is Kiên Giang’s new residential district and administrative center. The residential district includes modern buildings and luxurious villas. Tourists can enjoy the sunset down the west sea at romantic restaurants and coffee bars.

Kien Giang Museum (Nguyen Van Troi road , Vinh Thanh Vân ward)

The most ancient and beautiful house remained in Rach Giá city is used as the showroom of Kien Giang museum. The “traditional oriental archirtecture lay-out” is unique and beautiful. The outside looks like a French villa while the inside is designed as in traditional Vietnamese house. The complicated and sophisticated designs, precious wooden furniture encrusted with mother of pearl make the house more splendid.

The Great Buddha Pagoda (Quang Trung road, Vinh Quang ward)

Only is Sakyamuni Buddha wroshipped here. There is an over hundred-year old Uu Ðàm tree originated from Srilanka in the yard. The prayer meeting is taken place every day from 4 a.m to 6 a.m and from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.

Rach Gia information

Rach Gia has interlacing canal system, including Hien canal that is 50 meter wide and 12 kilometer long, close to the sea.Rach Gia is the center of economy politic and culture of Kien Giang province, lies in the southwest Gulf of Viet Nam.

Rach Gia is the center of economy politic and culture of Kien Giang province, lies in the southwest Gulf of Viet Nam. Rach Gia has 15 kilometer long coastline and many river, canal’s mouths to the sea. therefore, it has advantage of sea tourism and forms a borderline, marine traffic of the province as well as of the South’s western areas. its terrain is rather flat, surrounded with fields and gardens. it is contiguous to the sea and Hon Dat district, Chau Thanh district and Tan Hiep in the Northwest, the South – Southeast and the North respectively.

Rach Gia has interlacing canal system, including Hien canal that is 50 meter wide and 12 kilometer long, close to the sea, flowing from the North to the South and splits the city into 2 parts. Rach gia beach is mud ground, lying in the Gulf of Thailand’s West sea and has the favourable marine traffic system, so hundred – ton ships can travel from Rach Gia to HCMC through canal and large rivers. Big ships can exchange goods with other domestic ports and some South – east Asian countries by the sea route. The interprovincial road 80 is 285 kilometer long, spread asphalt, connects national road 1 with HCMC. There are routes to Ha Tien’s towns through seaway and roadway. trade, tourism services, industry, handicrafts and seafood are Rach Gia’s positions of strength.

Rach Gia news

Rach Gia city is the first city which Vietnam government applies “lan bien” project (build a new city out to the ocean to expand territory). “Lan bien” project expand the city to become one of the biggest new cities in the South West of Vietnam. 

Rach Gia has 2 main stations: Rach Soi station (main routes to neighbor towns or provinces on highway 61 and 63) and Rach Gia station (main routes to Ho Chi Minh city and Ha Tien). Those are main stations to transport passengers to other towns in provinces or other provinces in nation.

Bus transportation system is developed pretty early, passengers can use bus from Rach Gia to 4 other towns: Chau Thanh ,Giong Rieng (route Rach Gia ¨C Giong Rieng), Tan Hiep (route Rach Gia ¨C Kinh B), Hon Dat (route Rach Gia ¨C Tam Ngan).

Currently, Rach Gia Airport (it was Rach Soi airport) is the biggest airport in Rach Gia. Rach Gia airport has flight routes Rach Gia to Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh city of Vietnam Airline.
Rach Gia has 2 big ship stations: Rach Gia ship station or Phu Quoc ship station (routes to Phu Quoc Island and other big islands such as Phu Quoc, Hon Tre, Hon Son, Tho Chu¡­) and Rach Meo station (route to rural towns of Ca Mau peninsula). High speed ship is economic choice for passengers to Phu Quoc Island or Kien Hai islands.

Rach Gia city is the first city which Vietnam government applies “lan bien” project (build a new city out to the ocean to expand territory). “Lan bien” project expand the city to become one of the biggest new cities in the South West of Vietnam. This project adds 2 more new wards in Rach Gia. Beside that, several future construction projects such as industrial center Rach Vuot and urban city Vinh Hiep which will be started after finishing Lac Hong bridge project will expand Rach Gia to the East.

Pottery making village in Binh Dinh

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(Cinet)- Van Son village in Binh Dinh is famous for many centuries as a pottery making village, one of the oldest in Binh Dinh Province.

Some products from Van Son Village, An Nhon Township’s Nhon Hau Commune have been turning soil into art for a long time, and have become known throughout the country.

Its products are mainly earthenware, which can be seen in a number of places, including Bac Ninh, Hue, Danang, Quang Nam, Kien Giang and Rach Gia.

According to local craftsmen, it takes a lot of time and effort to create a product ready for sales in the market.

Cao Van Binh, 52, who is an experienced craftsman from Van Son, said “In order to make pottery that is up to standard, the potter first has to make sure that the materials are of alluvial soil or clay. They then have to be well-kneaded, dried, and pounded. After that impurities will be removed, making it into a soft and silky powder. Such a process requires a lot of time and know-how. Only after that are they ready for the kiln.”

Craftsmen in Van Son are facing some difficulties in maintaining this tradition, due to the lack of availability of appropriate soil, high production costs and low selling prices.

At present, the village has nearly 100 households engaged in the craft, making a contribution to preserving and developing the traditional craft. Furthermore, the village has become a destination for visitors as a heritage value.

Visiting the village, tourists not only see artisans making beautiful pottery products and learn about the process of making pottery products in the traditional way but also make their own products with instructions from the village’s artisans.

Some typical photos in Binh Dinh pottery village:



Kien Giang’s rocking beaches

A beach at Hon   Son Island, Kien Hai District, the southern province of Kien Giang

Think beaches in Vietnam, and chances are Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, or Da Nang will spring to mind. Not many people in fact know that down south, in Kien Giang Province, are some remote beautiful beaches.

Kien Hai District, some 30 kilometers from the province’s capital Rach Gia, has 23 islands with beaches that are famous locally – like Nha (house), Chen (bowl), Bang, and Bac.

Chen Beach in Hon Tre Island, the district’s capital, is the most famous.

Only over 100 meters of its two-kilometer length is sandy. The rest is covered with rocks that look uncannily like overturned bowls when the tide is high. One can go hundreds of meters into the sea without getting the feet wet by walking on the rocks.

With a small rented boat and a fishing rod, tourists can start a leisurely day of fishing 300 meters from shore. Another recommended activity is buying seafood directly from fishermen, usually for cheap, having them cooked, and enjoying them right on the beach.

Not far from Chen is Dong Dua (coconut cavern), which is actually a little bay covered by coconut trees and rocks.

While the island is usually compared to a floating turtle, its “tail” is Duoi Ha Ba Beach, whose name, translated literally, means “sea god’s tail.” The beach, also known as Dua (pineapple), gets narrower and narrower until it disappears under water.

It is full of rocks, some high enough for climbing. It is also a favorite fishing location for locals since its fish stocks are said to be plentiful because of submerged caves. People often catch groupers weighing a couple of kilograms here.

HOW TO GET THERE
Rach Gia Town is around 250 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City. Visitors can go there by bus, which takes some six and a half hours, or by flight.
* By bus:
Fare: VND130,000-150,000 ($6.23-7.18)
Contacts:
- Phuong Trang Buslines: (08) 3 830 9309
- Mai Linh Express: (08) 3 939 3939
* By air:
Fare: VND1.2 million-3.7 million (round trip)
Contacts:
- Vietnam Airlines: http://www.vietnamairlines.com
- Air Mekong: http://www.airmekong.vn
From Rach Gia, tourists can take hydrofoils or normal boats to Hon Tre and Hon Son.

Since the island is not big – it is just 15 kilometers long – tourists should rent a motorbike to do a tour of it, stopping to take photos or just see the beautiful landscapes.

Hon Tre can be reached by hydrofoil from Rach Gia. The trip, which costs VND65,000 (US$3.11) per person, takes 45-60 minutes.

After visiting Hon Tre, one should take a boat to nearby Hon Son Island, which has five sandy beaches.

The kilometer-long white sandy Bang Beach is the most beautiful in Hon Son. It is deserted, the water is crystal clear, and the beach is lined with coconut trees.

A stream named Tien (fairy) runs into the beach from the top of Ma Thien Lanh, the highest of seven mountains on the island.

The 450-meter mountain itself is an attraction. It has thousands of steps leading to the top starting at Nha Beach.

On the way is a Buddha statue named Phat Lo Thien (outdoor Buddha). The statue is said to weigh around 100 kilograms and was installed by locals in 1974. Some 400 meters away is Pho Tinh Pagoda.

The top of Ma Thien Lanh is called San Tien (fairy yard), where there is a giant flat rock some 100 meters long and 50 meters wide. Legend has it that the place is visited by fairies, and is a popular destination for Buddhists.

Other famous beaches on Hon Son include Bac and Thien Tue (1,000 years), which has a temple which houses two whale jaws measuring more than two meters each. Like fishermen in many other places in Vietnam, locals worship the giant creature, venerating it as a god.

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A fresh, wholesome start to the day

Bun ca soup is a good option for breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City. Photos: To Van Nga

One of the first things I do when I am back in Ho Chi Minh City after a long trip is have a bowl of bun ca (rice vermicelli with fish) at a small restaurant on Nguyen Thien Thuat Street.

It is a small restaurant that serves only breakfast until 11 a.m., and it is clear it enjoys considerable regular patronage. The restaurant has a family-run look about it, with a calendar featuring the child of the owner gracing one of its walls.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is famous for its fish, vegetable and fruits, as well as some of the healthiest dishes that are made from these staples.

This noodle soup with fish is a very good example. There is no oil or sugar which usually dominates the taste of the dish so the fresh ingredients have a chance to express themselves.

It is one of the best bun ca I have had, not just in Ho Chi Minh City, but the whole of Vietnam in general – very fresh, light and flavorful.

Different from bun ca Nha Trang (vermicelli soup served with fried fish pie and fried fish slice), bun ca Rach Gia is much fresher. It evokes for me the time when farmers arrived first and made the soup by just boiling the fish and adding some herbs, shrimps and rice vermicelli. Nothing fried or marinated.

BUN CA RACH GIA
Number 29, Lot C, Nguyen Thien Thuat Apartment, 253 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

The dish looks appetizing as well, the white rice noodles and white pieces of ca loc (a famous fish found in the Mekong Delta), the rau ram herb, basil leaves and two small shrimps. Everyone at the restaurant is prone to pay full attention to enjoying their breakfast and there is very little animated conversation.

The cook who started the restaurant is a young, pleasant woman who grew up in Kien Giang and moved to HCMC 10 years ago.

If I am a bit late and the broth has almost finished, it is a bit salty and she would notice that and bring a small bowl of hot water to restore the taste of the dish.

Looking at the quick, strong, relaxing and smiling young cook, I understand why the dish is fresh and pleasant. The food cooked by someone tells a lot about the person.

Her service, accompanied by a sweet smile, is just one more reason to frequent her establishment. I always get out of the restaurant with the feeling that the day is off to a good start.

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Delta to heat up tourism industry

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has approved a plan to develop tourism as a key economic sector in the Mekong Delta.

The plan, which extends to 2020, will aid in the country’s economic transformation and help reduce hunger and poverty, according to the ministry.

The main goals are to diversify tourism products and fully exploit the country’s tourism potential. The plan calls for linkage among provinces and cities in the region and additional investment in tourism projects of international standards.

Under the plan, the Mekong Delta region would focus on the overseas Vietnamese community and Southeast Asian tourism market, especially Cambodia, while maintaining current markets in Northeast Asia, Western Europe and North America.

Domestically, the area aims to attract more tourists as well, particularly from HCMC and Hanoi, and the southeastern region.

The Delta region hopes to welcome 2.7 million foreign visitors and 5.3 million domestic tourists by 2015, according to the plan.

By 2020, the region expects to receive 3.9 million foreign tourists and 6.5 million local visitors. By 2015, there would be 37,150 hotel rooms and a total of 50,000 by 2020.

The aim is to employ 154,700 people in the Mekong Delta tourism sector by 2015 and 236,600 by 2020.

The Mekong Delta region would focus on developing rural tourism (orchard and river tours combined with home-stays); cultural tourism (exploration of ethnic cultures), eco-tourism (tours of ecological systems in the area), and high-quality spa therapy tourism (including Kien Giang Province’s Phu Quoc Island and Ha Tien Town).

In recent years, the Mekong Delta has attained significant achievements in tourism, according to Huynh Vinh Ai, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

For example, in 2009 the number of foreign visitors to the region reached 1.2 million, three times higher than in 2000, while local tourists were 8 million compared to 3.4 million in 2000, resulting in revenue of 2 trillion VND for the tourism industry.

Tourism in the Mekong Delta region has also created stable jobs and raised the income of local residents, according to Ai.

According to the recently approved plan, the Mekong Delta region would concentrate investment in hotels, high-quality resorts and recreational sites of international standard.

It would also aim to preserve and enhance the environment, develop festivals to diversify tourism products, train more tourism staff, and conduct research on applying technology in the tourism industry.

The Mekong Delta can be reached by air, land, river or sea. The region has airports in Can Tho City, Phu Quoc Island, Rach Gia Town and Ca Mau Province.

Under the ministry’s plan, two international airports will be built.

Located in southwest Vietnam, the Mekong Delta region, with an area of nearly 40,000km² and a population of 18 million, includes 12 provinces and one major city, Can Tho. The region extends from Long An Province in the north to Ca Mau Province in the south.

(Source: VNA)

Japanese culture introduced in Kien Giang

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A programme to introduce the Japanese culture was held in Rach Gia city, the southern province of Kien Giang on Sept. 10.

The programme, organised by the Japanese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and the provincial chapter of the Union of Friendship Associations, was aimed at boosting friendship, solidarity and cooperation between the Vietnamese people, particularly Kien Giang people with the Japanese in order to develop investment and cooperation among people.

Crowds gathered to watch films and photos on the unique culture, the land and people of Japan.

They shared their sympathy over great losses caused by the twin disasters of earth quake and tsunami to the Japanese people.

On this occasion, the provincial chapter of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association made its debut.

(Source: VNA)

Festival commemorates 143rd birthday anniversary of national hero Nguyen Trung Truc

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The Kien Giang Department of culture, sports and tourism announced that the Festival to commemorate the 143rd birthday anniversary of national hero Nguyen Trung Truc will open on September 9 in Rach Gia city (Kien Giang).

According to the organising board, all units have carried out all the tasks assigned to hasten the preparation for the festival to ensure they produce a quality event on time. This year’s festival will take place from September 23-25 (August 26-28 in lunar calendar).

In addition to the festival, there will be many other exciting activities. Many fair exhibitions and kermis will be held at the Cultural Centre of Kien Giang province and Vinh Thanh Van quarter– Rach Gia City.

Besides these, there will be many artistic, cultural and culinary activities at Lac Hong – Bai Duong park, while folk games, performances of Lion – Dragon dances will be held at the Cultural Centre of Rach Gia City.

At the same time, the Kien Giang Literature and Arts Association will hold a photo exhibition on the country and showcase documents about national hero Nguyen Trung Truc. A poetry and music night will also be held, introducing new compositions about the national hero Nguyen Trung Truc at the Nguyen Trung Truc park.

(Source: CPV)

Downstreaming to Miet thu

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In Southern people’s memories, Miet thu in the Mekong Delta is a deserted land where ‘muoi keu nhu sao thoi, dia lenh tua banh canh’ (mosquitoes buzz like the sound of flutes and leeches are much like noodles) and where people listen to the tranquil sounds of monkeys and birds.

However, on Monday, Miet thu U Minh is an attractive destination for nature enthusiasts who are suffocated with city life and want to discover something more rustic, peaceful and green on weekend breaks or holidays.

In the past, the road to Miet thu was challenging but now it is really easy. From HCMC, tourists can take a bus via Phuong Trang, Mai Linh or Thanh Buoi bus companies to Rach Gia. From there, tourists take a boat trip on Cai Lon River to Miet thu or pass Tac Cau Ferry then take a bus for 60 kilometers to reach their destination. Thankfully the small and muddy road has now been replaced by a larger concrete surface.

Reaching Tac Cau ferry and heading along Xeo Ro Canal, visitors will meet around 11 areas of miet thu along Thailand Gulf, belonging to An Minh and An Bien District in Kien Giang Province, running up to the edge of U Minh Forest. In a drizzly morning of the wet season, Miet thu welcomed us with its endless green cajuput, fragrance of vast rice fields, busy ambience on interlacing canals but also the changes of modern life.

Miet thu is no longer home to just mosquitoes, marine species or wild animals, but also of many residents. They live, work and turn the deserted lands into a colorful and lively destination. The never-ending green cajuput now is studded with yellow cottages, grey iron roofs and colorful housing and stores.

It is mostly farmers who reside here raising bees in the cajuput forest or raising shrimp, cattle and rice. If someone thinks Miet thu is still a backward land, they are wrong and should keep that idyllic childhood memory as just that, a memory. In the thinly-populated area, visitors can find guest houses equipped with air-conditioning, telephones and internet. Amidst cottages or concerted houses on canals are electronic, motorbike, fruit, food, grocery and school stationery stores. However, Miet thu still preserves its rustic customs. Tourists will see many girls in ao ba ba (traditional costumes of Southern women) and conical hats, instead of the decollete, tank-tops or miniskirts of modern girls in the city.

On the road, you rarely hear the modern music of pop, R&B and jazz, but cai luong or don ca tai tu (Southern opera) is prevalent.

The floating market in Miet thu, with its system of entangled rivers and canals is a sight to see. The transportation means of locals in Miet thu is mainly by canoe and wooden boats but they also can be multifunctional as shelter and a place to earn money. Touring to Miet thu, tourists will be surprised by the busy wharfs.

In the river’s intersections there is a floating market where larger boats become floating houses that sell many kinds of products, but mainly agricultural products and food. Small boats also drift along the canal to sell to households living far from the markets.

It is very easy to know what is up for grabs. Buyers just see what they hang on a stick on the tip of the boat.

The market doesn’t have time constraints or boat rules and regulations as every available boat can come and sell what they have at any time of the day or night. Unlike other floating markets in the delta which are often busier in the early morning, Miet thu markets are busier at night. Under the dim lights of noisy boats and the calls of traders, the market never seems to sleep.

After a cruise on the floating market, a trip to Miet thu must include a dinner on one of the floating restaurants. Miet thu is famous for fresh seafood, honey and especially crab.

Staying overnight in Miet thu under a flickering camp fire and enjoying don ca tai tu is an experience you won’t forget.

(Source: SGT)