Dong Thap Landscape: An Eco-tourism Destination

3:58:21 PM | 17/7/2007

Dong Thap Province lies in the lower Mekong River Basin with fertile soil and well-off villages. Cao Lanh City, 36 km off National Road 1A and 162 km from Ho Chi Minh City, is adjacent to Dong Thap Muoi (plain of reeds) and is a busy commercial hub. Visitors to Dong Thap will see ancient historical and cultural relics.
Go Thap relic complex in Tan Kieu Commune, Thap Muoi District, 43 km from Cao Lanh City, consists of five relics; Thap Muoi hill, Co Tu tower, Doc Binh Kieu (a military rank in the feudal period) tomb and temple, Minh Su hill and Ba Chua Xu temple.
Thap Muoi hill was the home of an ancient civilization about 2,000 years ago. Many relics of Oc Eo civilisation have been found here. During the resistance wars against the Americans and the French, Thap Muoi hill was the command base of militants of Zone 08.
Kien An Palace (Gentleman Quach pagoda), built by Chinese from Fujian Province in 1924, is situated in Ward 02, Sa Dec Town. The pagoda was built in the form of Quoc letter (Chinese quo letter – the architecture is surrounded by high walls) with complex tile arrangement. Kien An Palace is a cultural work recognised as a national historical relic in 1990.
Tan Phu Trung communal house is located on a 3,000-square-metre campus in the green village of Tan Phu Trung (Chau Thanh District). The communal house was built in the middle of the 19th century and the tutelary god was deified “Hoang Bon Canh Genie” on the 16th day of the fourth month in 1858, lunar calendar.
The site for worshipping Junior Doctor Nguyen Sinh Sac, a patriotic scholar, was built on 3.6 ha in Cao Lanh City and inaugurated February 13, 1977. This is a memorial to thank Mr Nguyen Sinh Sac, the father of great Ho Chi Minh president.
The 20 ha Xeo Quyt military base lies in the middle of a primitive flooded jungle, more than 30 km from Cao Lanh City. It has wide canals and hazardous terrain with thick and high reeds. This was the governing headquarters of Kien Phong Province (currently Dong Thap Province) during the American war. Nowadays, fortifications, tunnels and underground meeting halls of the provincial government have been restored to bring the full image of the war and local tradition to visitors. Especially, visitors can take a tranquil boat ride into Xeo Quyt indigo forest through the canal system.
Tram Chim national bird sanctuary in Tam Nong District covering 7,588ha is flooded in the rainy season. This is a world of cajuputs, reeds, pythons, snakes, tortoises and more than 50 kinds of fish. Tram Chim sanctuary has up to 198 kinds of water bird, accounting for a fourth of bird species in Vietnam, with many rare species like bare-necked crane, white-winged goose, storks, pelicans and wild ducks. The most well-known bird species in Tram Chim is the red-headed crane. Tram Chim national park is a natural museum and an attractive ecotourism destination.
The solemn Ba Chua Xu festival on Thap Muoi hill takes place annually on the 16th day of the third lunar month. The death anniversary of Doc Binh Kieu commander is celebrated on the 15th and 16th days of the 11th lunar month. There are various rituals during the worshipping ceremonies like lion dances, boi singing and martial art shows.