Introducing Mekong Delta

THE HISTORY

Mekong Delta is lying in the lower of the Mekong River, supplying enormous rice bulk for the whole country. The so-called Tay Do has been for Can Tho city that locates in the centerof the most ubundant and prosperousland of Vietnam Mekong Delta.
Once upon a time, Mekong Delta was deep into ocean. Since 2500 years before, the sea went out and there appeared to be a large delta. Man came and built houses on stills, travel by boats, used fire in clay stoves for cooking and used arrows, darts, hooks for hunting.
At this time, the Mekong River went to the sea through Chau Doc. In the 1st century, the river flowed to the sea by Tien Giang and Hau Giang gates, then others sub-gates; totally nine gates. And the so-called Nine Dragons – Cuu Long represented to the Delta of the Mekong River.

Country-Side
Recently results of archaeology shows that there was a FuNam Kingdom that its civilization was impacted by Indian Ancient civilization, and Oc Eo relics founded is the most developed culture.

The FuNam population had organized trading in a wide erea covering the territory of Asean today. The bult inhabitant towns and trading pointsalong canals and rivers and also developedb other industries: pottory, jewelries. But the agricuture was just in the dawn of the development.

After nearly six centuries developing, due to the history satus and weather changing harshly, the ruined Oc Eo culture was withered, following the destruction of FuNam Kingdom in wars.

Mekong river erea became desolated. It was hard to get concentrated population because of sea water flood-tide, until 18th century.
In 13th century, Cahu Dat Quang, a navigator in Yuan Dynasty, sailing along the Mokong river up to AngkorWat, recorded in the book “ Chan Lap Phong Tho ky” (Chanla Erea Book), talking about the Mekong river erea as follows:
“From the boat, we see all rattans, old strees, yellow sand, white reeds; we were hard to discover the right estuary. So our seamen said to me that was not able get a no-man land”.

Until the 16th or 17th century, in this deserted Southern erea, same group of immigrants became to come and reclaim the land. That was milestone of new cultural period.
Late 17th century, Chapter Nguyen Huu Canh (1650 – 1700) was appointed to research the South. He recomnmend Lord Nguyen the big deserted land of his citizen to cmone and expand the nation.
Lord Nguyen approved the plan and asked people of Ngu Quang ( Five Quangs: Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Quang Duc, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai) to go for land reclaimation.
That was the biggest immigration in Vietnam history.
Villages, farming lands were formed by the soldiers and people from Ngu Quang, under the appeal of Nguyen Huu Cang.
The points were that all immigrants and lands were recorded, villages were protected.

Nguyen Huu Canh was so well-known, from Quang Binh to Camau, that his temple was built in his name and he was compared with safety god for long time. In China history, his temple has been named Duong Canh Thanh Hoang in Phnom Penh for 300 years now.
In 1680, Mac Cuu (1655 – 1735) with his companytravelled from Zuangdong, China to Ha Tien by boat and settled there for land reclaimation.

Tran Giang ( first name of Can Tho) was discovered by Nguyen Cu Trinh (1716 – 1767), a legate under Lord Vo Vuong Nguyen Xuan Khoat who came and worked with Mac Thien Tich (1718 – 1780), Mac Cuu’s son.
In 1816, when Chau Doc bastion was built up, Vinh Thanh leader Luu Phuoc Tuong reported to king Gia Long about the situation. He look at the map and said:
“ Both agriculture and trading would develop if we have had a waterway to Ha Tien. This will attract people coming here for there living, land will be reclaimed, then a bif town built”.
In 1819, The King ordered to make Vinh Te channel. It took five years to finish up the project, in Minh Mang emperor time.
The channel was parallel with Vietnam – Combodia border, beginning from the West band of Chau Doc river to Giang Thanh river(Ha Tien, Kieng Giang provine now). The channel was made perfectly thanks to the managing of Vinh Thanh leader Thoai Ngoc Hau (1761 – 1829) with thr great support of Gia Dinh governor Le Van Duyet (1764 – 1832).
In the 16th year of Minh Mang emperor (1835), the King made a Nine Peak (in copper-in the name of nine kings of Nguyen dynasty) as a national treasury. The picture of Vinh Te channel was carved on the Nine Peak. That was a milestone of Vietnam finishing up the expanding mission.

In Ha Tien, the governor Mac Thien Tich expanded his land quickly to right bakd of Hau river. In 1739, he was done his starget and he marged four provinces Long Xuyen (Ca Mau), Kien Giang (Rach Gia), Tran Giang (Can Tho) and Tran Di (North Bac Lieu) into Ha Tien.
Legate Nguyen Cu Trinh worked with Mac Thien Tich and made plans to build and develop Tran Giang had its strategy position in the earea. It was not a bastion only, but it was also a good hub for all immigrants.
So Can Tho was a land of An Giang province in the Six Provinces time Nguyen Dynasty. When the West of South Vietnam was conquered by French army, An Giang was divided into six parts as six provinces Chau Doc, Long Xuyen, Sa Dec, Can Tho, Soc Trang and Bac Lieu then.
On 1st January 1868, South Vietnam governor decided to merge Phong Phu county (Tran Giang – Can Tho) and Bai Sao (Soc Trang) and formed one district with the head office in Sa Dec.
On 30th April 1872, the govermor decided to merge Phong Phu and Bac Trang and form one county with the head office in Tra On. And one year later, head office Tra On was removed to Cai Rang (Can Tho).
on 23rd February 1876, Sai Gon governor gave a decision to merge Phong Phu county with a part of An Xuyen and Tan Thanh to form Can Tho county with Can Tho capital (Tan An village, old Phong Phu county). Since then, Can Tho came into the map of Vietnam.
Administrated erea of Can Tho had been stable from 1876 to 1954. Since then it had been changed a lot. In 1956, Sai Gon decided to change Can Tho province to Phong Dinh province. In 1961, a apart of Long My, Vi Thanh was taken out of Can Tho to form a new province Chuong Thien.
However, Can Tho was still in Hanoi administrateion map.
Since the united day, under decree03/ND- 76 of 24th March 1976, Can Tho and Soc Trang were mergr and formed Hau Giang with Can Tho city as its capital.
In December 1991, the Assembly os Socialist Republic of Vietnam announced a decree to split Hau Giang provinece into two provinces Can Tho and Soc Trang. So, in early 1992, Can Tho came back to its hundred- years-old name.
On the 1st of January 2004, Can Tho province was reformed Can Tho city and Hau Giang province.
On 24th June 2009, the Prime Minister signed a decision number 889/QD-TTg to recognize Can Tho city as an international standard city.
Can tho has 1.187.089 population (1st April 2009), in which 65.8% is ruban and 34.2% is rural.

PEOPLE
Kinh, Chinese, Khmer, Cham are four major races in Mekong Delta. They have been together for long time with solidarty. Besides, there are likely to hace all Vietnamese races in this city.
Can Tho is a main gate of the lower part of Mekong Delta and it is an importanthub of inner and oversea transportation in the erea.
After the Can Tho bridge connects National Road 1A from Lang Son to Ca Mau; Can Tho port, Cai Cui port and Tra Noc portcan receive big boats up to 20.000 tons; Tra Noc international airport official open at 01,1.2011.
From now on, all the routes by air, by road, by boat, by sea will be developed completely to connect Ho Chi Minh city – Can Tho city – Cambodia, with the main economic erea Can Tho – An Giang – Kien Giang – Ca Mau.
Based on the above advantages, Can Tho will be the industrial center of Mekong Delta.
Can Tho has eight industrial zones, for 141 operating projects, mostly producing and processing.
Can Tho still has a huge rice field for local demand and export.
Cuu Long Delta Rice Research Institute, under Ministry of Agriculture and Rutal Development, is researching in agricultural field, transferring technology in agriculture, educating and training officers and farmers in Mekong Delta. It produces and supplies varieties of rice for Mekong Delta and other areas.
With the strong education system including Can Tho University, Medical and Medicine University, Tay Do University, On Job University of Can Tho ( Tachnology University, in the future), International University in Hung Phu,… Can Tho has great resources to develop itself and the whole area.
In the near future, Can Tho University will be upgraded to the key university of Mekong Delta Region. Currently, it has the biggest Learning Resource Center with modern high-tech equipments.
Can Tho is also cultural center with many unique featured culture of lower-rice civilization in Southern Vietnam.

NINH KIEU WHARF.
Ninh Kieu Wharf is a popular place for any tourists when visiting Can Tho. The Wharf looks over the charming and peaceful Hau Giang River, near the center of Can Tho City. In the past, Ninh Kieu was once a river wharf situated at Can Tho Market. At that time, there were many boats and ships traveling to and fro every day at Ninh Kieu Wharf. There were lines of poplar trees which covered the wharf and prevented storm; that’s why the wharf was once called Hang Duong (line of poplar trees). Hang Duong wharf was expanded and upgraded as the purchasing of goods gradually developed. Then the Wharf becomes a tourist attraction of the land.
From Ninh Kieu Wharf, visitors can look over the Xom Chai (Fishing Village) and Con Au (Au Hillock) to see a range of islands surrounded by green trees. And if you are standing on the Fishing Village and looking over Ninh Kieu, you will have an overall view of the wharf with colorful lights reflected on the water surface. The scenery is truly romantic and peaceful with fresh breeze from Hau Giang River.
Visiting Ninh Kieu wharf, tourists have opportunity to visit pavilion restaurants, floating market and enjoy local specialties while contemplating the poetic Hau River.
Next to Ninh Kieu wharf is Can Tho port which is constructed to receive the capacity of up to 5000 tons. Besides, Can Tho market also located nearby Ninh Kieu. This is a large commercial center of the southwest region.


CAN THO OLD MARKET
The busiest market located in the center of Cantho city is considered a nice place not only its unique native features but cultural values as well. Traditionally, market was a trading center of old Southerners and its main function attached to the old people’s daily activities in the past.
Cantho old market once called Hang Duong market ( means market with full of poplar trees) or Market of Six Southern Provinces. Located at the Hai Ba Trung street, the old market is over one hundred years old, and its construction built at the same time as of Ben Thanh and Binh Tay market.
The Cantho market deeply shows the typical cultural features of the Mekong Delta region. It gives us a beautiful view of the tranquil riverside as well as the busiest trading activities in the whole evening. Inside the market, there are about eighty kiosques displaying and selling a wide range of goods and traditional handicraft products for souvenirs. Also, more than twenty kiosques selling agricultural and seafood products of Song Hau farm are available for local people and tourists as well.
With the existence of the typical market in the center of Cantho city, visitors and tourists in the whole country can enjoy the culture tourist and quick shopping expedition of stores and markets while coming to the land of Tay Do province.

ONG PAGODA
The nicest pagoda in the area, Ong Pagoda is conveniently located near the downtown strip of Can Tho and most of the major hotels. A perfect stop off for a walking tour of town, visit by this Buddhist centre for a dash of spirit in your day. This is also the centre for Chinese religious and cultural activity in the surrounding town.
Army Museum: Situated on Hoa Binh just opposite to the City Museum, this Museum exhibits weapons, maps, photographs and other items from the Vietnamese War. It gives an idea of Vietnam’s long fight to freedom.
The museum presents the history of Can Tho, with cultures and economy of Kinh, Chinese, Khmer during the time of reclaiming, keeping and bulding the beautiful place of Mekong Delta now.
In the museum, there are more than 1,000 rare remains, relics.

Opening hours:
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:
08:00 am to 11:00 am
02:00 pm to 05:00 pm

Weekend and holidays:
08:00 am to 11:00 am
06:30 pm to 09:00 pm


FLOATING MARKET
Floating market is a featured culture of Mekong Delta. Market is on the water, with hundreds boats. The market is busy in the morning. The unique feature of the floating market is that every boat has a pole, on which its products are hung upon the pole. That is called “beo” (promotion pole).


PHONG DIEN
Phong Dien Floating Market- Vietnam markets: Phong Dien Floating Market 20 kilometres southwest of Can Tho, the best floating market in the Mekong Delta.
Boats loaded with produce from nearby orchards of the Mekong Delta converge to the floating market. They carry mostly fruits but also coconuts, vegetables and fishes.
Buyers are local traders with bigger boats snapping everything by the bushels and resell at local markets or to wholesale dealers from big cities, often for a handsome profit.
Large floating markets are not complete without its floating restaurants, floating gas stations and an occasional tour boat filled with tourists.
Perhaps the best floating market in the Mekong Delta, Phong Dien has fewer motorised craft and more stand-up rowing boats. It’s less crowded than Cai Rang and there are far fewer tourists. The market is at its bustling best between 6am and 8am.
It is theoretically possible to do a whirl- wind boat trip here, visiting the small canals on the way and finishing back at the Cai Rang floating market. This journey should take approximately five hours return from Can Tho.

CAI RANG
Cai Rang market is one of the three biggest markets (Cai Be, Phung Hiep, Cai Rang) in the Mekong Delta. Visiting Cai Rang Market, you will have chance to experience a special type of market in which all purchasing activities take place on boats and ships. The shops and stalls at the market are boats of different sizes. You can visit the market at any time of the day but it is most crowded and busy from sunrise to 9:00 am.
The main items sold there are farm products and specialties of Cai Rang Town, Chau Thanh District and neighboring areas. Every boat has a long upright pole at its bow on which samples of the goods for sale are hung on. When purchasing, you do not need to cry out loud about the goods they want to buy because their goods can be seen in a distance and their cries would not be heard in the vastness of the river and the noise of boat engines.
There are small boats selling beer, soft drinks and wine going among the other boats to serve market-goers and visitors. It’s interesting to enjoy drinking on boats there. The most common goods sold at Cai Rang Market are fruits. Big boats are the wholesalers, selling fruits to dealers from neighboring provinces. Each boat is loaded with plenty of seasonal goods.
Visiting Cai Rang, tourists have chance to understand more about local cultural features of southerners. On the way to Can Tho, visitors can stop to visit My Tho and take a boat trip to the orchards, bee farms and coconut candy establishments in Ben Tre. Visitors can also explore Can Tho on their own by taking a coach. In Can Tho, besides Cai Rang Floating Market, tourists can also visit other places such as Can Tho Market, Ninh Kieu Quay, Binh Thuy Temple, and private tourist gardens. In these gardens, you can walk around, enjoy the fresh air, and experience different kinds of fruits and countryside specialties and stay at nice guest houses in the shade of trees.


MATEUR FOLK SONG
The French got surpprised when they saw every singel person of Mekong Delta could sing and play instruments well, even though no one learned music and they are different from works. So that was called “tai tu” music or amateur music.
Tai Tu music was a kind of folk songs developed in 19th century from Hue royal court music and folklore of land reclaimation time.
All stories or daily conversations to social events can be converted into Vong Vo song (folk song) which can be perform at home, outdoor, on the field, on the boat,…
Today, “amateur music” comes closer to the world. In the June 2005, there were American students came to Can Tho University to study Mekong Delta “Amateur” music in the Ecological and Cultural Mekong Delta program.

LONG TUYEN ANTIQUE VILLAGE
In South West Can Tho, an ancient village was found in Long Tuyen, Binh Thuy district.
Long Tuyen is spotlight for tourist. It has six vestiges, that are on third of Can Tho vestiges. A project has been made to restore the ancient village Long Tuyen.
Cultural type of Long Tuyen is mixed up the earth, the water and the people here. That is the interference of the tradition and modern. Long Tuyen was living with different cultures, such as Chinese, Khmer, French, Japanese, American,… but it has been still keeping its real identity of water-countryside civilization. That is an internal force to keep Long Tuyen standing and developing firmly.
The following relics (in Long Tuyen Ancient Village) are ranked as national relics.
Binh Thuy Ancient House
Located at 26/1A Bui Huu Nghia street, Binh Thuy old house was built in 1870. it is a gorgeous building and carrying features of Mekong Delta.
The offical name of Binh Thuy was Duong Phu. It was a building os councillor Duong Chan Ky, a rich, well-educated, businessman of rice the erea.
One of ten reasons you should visit the house when coming to Mekong Delta: it was a studio of famous L”Amant film and many films.
Binh Thuy Temple
Binh Thuy Temple or Long Tuyen old Temple was built in 1844, located in Binh Thuy ward, Can Tho city. It is a good architecture in the ney land of Southern land.


BANG LANG STORK GARDEN
Take National road 91 to the West from Can Tho, you will come to Bang Lang Stork Yard in Thoi An, Thoi Thuan, Thot Not.
The sork yard was a rice filed of the famaily of Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuyen. In 1983, some storks begane to came and stay in the filed. Mr. Tuyen and his family saved their time for taking care the storks, such as feeding them, growing more trees for them.
Today, the stork yard has become the well-known ecology erea in Can Tho.
PHU SA
If you take motor-boat, it takes you about 10 minutes from Ninh Kieu wharf to Phu Sa tourist erea, mixing yourselves in beautiful, land of 30 hectares of cork tree grove, under shading palm lines and fresh air and romantic space on Au island.
There are many interesting games such as crocodiles fishing, row-your-boat into cork grove, jet ski, canoes,…


MY KHANH
My Khanh is between floating Cai Rang and Phong Dien. You can go there by boat or by car. It is more than 8 hectares erea and well-known ecology in Phong Dien and Can Tho.
My Khanh is a big garden with more than 20 kinds of tropical fruits. It has fishing pond, swimming pool, rowing boat, catering, folk songs singing, pigs racing at your whishes.


NINH KIEU WHARF SPRING FLOWER MARKET
Flower market begins from mid-December to the Eve of Tet (lunar year). This has been a traditinonal market for long time, 50 years.
Hundreds kinds of flowers are displayed for sales along streets, drawing attentionfrom lots of tourists.
There are also some flower markets in the city such as Hoang Van Thu street, Huynh Cuong street,…

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