Citadel of the Hồ Dynasty

Citadel of Hồ Dynasty (VietnameseThành nhà Hồ; also called Tây Đô castle or Tây Giai castle) is a citadel in Vietnam, constructed by the Hồ Dynasty (1400-1407).

It is located in Tây Giai commune, Vĩnh Lộc District, in Thanh Hóa Province, in Vietnam’s North Central Coast region.

Tây Đô castle is rectangular in shape. Its north-south side is 870.5 m (2,856 ft) in length and its east-west side is 883.5 m (2,899 ft) in length. There are four gates: one at the south (fore gate), one at the north (back gate), one at the east (left gate), and one at the west (right gate). The southern gate is 9.5 m (31 ft) high and 15.17 m (49.8 ft) wide.

The castle was constructed from stone blocks, each of which is 2×1×0.7 m (6.6×3.3×2.3 ft) size on average.

Except for its gates, the castle is mostly ruined.

The Citadel was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites on June 27, 2011.


Chau Doc Floating Village

Chau Doc’s main attraction is a three-hour boat tour that takes in the floating market, the floating village offshore, a Cham village across the river, and perhaps a peek at the Kinh Vinh Te (the canal that leads south to Ha Tien – not terribly exciting).

The floating market, busiest at 7am, is about 10 minutes downstream from the central market. In the morning, locals in row boats paddle out to stock up for a day at the market. Boats head off to pick up fruit in Sa Dec or Can Tho every few days, but there’s always plenty of business in the early hours.

The floating village  is comprised of aluminum-roof-and-walled homes atop huge, netted ‘fish farms,’ where hundreds and hundreds of ca vo dem fish await canh chua bowls; some get shipped downriver to Can Tho and beyond; note the huge moored wooden boats, which flood their lower decks to keep the fish alive during the trip.

Another popular stop is Da Phuoc, a Cham village across the river on Con Tien island from Chau Doc’s center. Here you’ll see women wearing turbans made of Cham-style fabrics that they weave – during dry season – under their homes that stand on stilts. During the rainy season the water levels are too high. Cham women often put on conical non la hats when they go to Chau Doc market, to ‘blend in’ apparently. The 1992 mosque occasionally hosts wedding parites, as the village has no other building big enough to host the event; note the small cemetery behind the building.

Chen Kieu Pagoda, Soc Trang

Soc Trang Province in the Mekong Delta has three well-known pagodas – Khleang, Doi, Dat Set and Chen Kieu – which are all built in Khmer style.

Positioned 10 kilometers from downtown Soc Trang Town, Chen Kieu (Bowl) Pagoda or so-called Sa Lon Pagoda, is located on Highway 1A at Dai Tam Commune, My Xuyen District. The pagoda is skillfully decorated with a layer of stylishly designed bowls and different colored plates by ancient artisans and was built with a spiritual significance.

The pagoda was erected in a spacious area with green lines of trees in 1815. It was damaged by war but was renovated in 1969 and some craftsmen used the broken bowls and plates to redecorate it.

A tourist’s first impression may be the motley colors of the pagoda. The gate is highlighted by two giant stone lion statues and the sanctum has 16 pillars carved with images of the legends of Khmer culture. The edges of each roof are decorated with patterns and traditional statues of Khmer culture to inspire peace of mind and salvation.

In the sanctum there is a huge statue of Sakyamuni and many other Buddha statues. Also there are a number of statues of various sizes in the garden of Chen Kieu, each representing different teachings of Buddhism. The reclining Buddha represents the peacefulness of entering Nirvana and of gaining enlightenment.

In the garden of the pagoda, there are many small thatched huts on stilts; these are for local pilgrims to meditate to clear themselves from sins or illness.


Da Bac Islet, Ca Mau

Da Bac Islet (Vietnamese: Hòn Đá Bạc) belongs to Kinh Hon (Kinh Hòn) hamlet, Khanh Binh Tay (Khánh Bình Tây) commune, Tran Van Thoi (Trần Văn Thời) suburban, Ca Mau (Cà Mau) province, which is 50km of waterway far from Ca Mau city.

Da Bac islet has the area of 6.43ha, which is a beautiful group of islands including 03 islands close to the seashore. In islands mentioned in above, there are a lot of beautiful landscapes such as Fairy Yard, Fairy Well, Fairy Foot, Ca Ong (Cá Ong) pagoda, which belong to a plentiful ecosystem of flora.

Da Bac islet is devided into 04 peaks including 02 high peaks, 02 low peaks extending to the sea in immense heaven and earth. Surrounding it, there are many large rocks linking together which are covered by bushy branches of trees, set up by many large rocks piling up together from many previous centuries. At this place, there is a high hill with a yard whose area is about 50m2 called “Fairy Yard” (“Sân Tiên”) by the local people. This name proceeds from the legend that in the old days, there were a lot of fairies coming here to have a bath. In addition, there is a rectangle large rock which is neat and smooth, extending to the seashore called Fairy Bridge (“Cầu Tiên”). There is also a legend that in olden times, this was the place reserved for taoist hermits who lead a Lao (Lão) religious life and got future bliss reward for a devout life in the world. Their life was very simple and harmonious with fruits and vegetables.

Most of trees in the Da Bac islet are mangos, bananas, guavas, and miscellaneous trees. Surrounding it, there are a lot of large rocks and small rocks creating a dreamlike and grandiose landscape. At present, a travel company uses concrete material to make roads (counterfeited like wood) surrounding Da Bac islet, to build floating houses at the edge of the sea. Using reinforced concrete (counterfeited like wood) to build a architectural project according to the shape of Tay Nguyen (Tây Nguyên) communal house, a round house in the sea joining to the seashore though a over 100m bridge in order that tourists can call a halt, get some fresh air and served with attractive specialty called “Da Bac oysters”.

Sea oyster is unsmooth and thorny, living by staying close to rocks at the foot of the islet in the depth of from 1 to 3m, so people want to catch them, they must swim underwater in the sea, use hand-hammers to catch each oyster very meticulous. Sea oysters are present at a lot of places, however according to a lot of gourmets, only oysters in Da Bac islet are most delicious and nourishing. Sea oysters in Da Bac islet can be processed into a lot of attractive courses.
To fishermen, at the times of windstorm, boats often call at Da Bac islet to shelter from the wind very safely, very conveniently to catch sea products when meeting hurricane. Da Bac islet is an ideal travel spot for tourists to return to nature. Surrounding it covered with harmonious landscape. It is famous as a place at the end of our Fatherland.

Thoi Son Islet, tien giang

Since 1990, Thoi Son Islet (Vietnamese: Cù Lao Thới Sơn) has become a tourist resort welcoming hundreds of visitors. The tiled-roof houses surrounded by many generations of fruit-bearing trees, the cozy little restaurants in bonsai tree gardens make of Thoi Son Isle the ideal location for a short rest.

Location: Thoi Son Islet, accessible by a 45-minute boat ride on the Mekong River from Mytho City, is located in Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang Province.
Characteristics: The path through the island is bordered with fruit trees bearing plums, mangoes, and longans. The path through the isle is bordered with fruit trees bearing plums, mangoes, and longans. Visitors will also enjoy Con Phung Island, and coconut sweets and jams. Tien Giang Tourism Company has invested in a hotel complex that will accommodate from 300 to 500 visitors.