Dong Thap has a unique lotus leaf pagoda, a typical grilled field mouse dish, hundreds of lotus dishes and many strange destinations.
Dong Thap is a place to visit on a trip to the Mekong Delta provinces because there are many landmarks and typical regional dishes. Two-day journey in Dong Thap, through two famous places, Cao Lanh and Sa Dec, and surrounding areas. Experience of reporter a local person.
Coming to the West in general and Dong Thap in particular, you should not miss noodle soup, usually of two types, dry and liquid, for breakfast. In Sa Dec city, visitors can choose a number of addresses such as Ms. Lien’s noodle soup, Ms. Sam’s noodle soup, and Nam Vang My Ngoc noodle soup.
Start your journey to visit Dong Thap by visiting the famous ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le. Entrance ticket is 20,000 VND. “Tourists should contact in advance because this place is sometimes closed for restoration and maintenance,” Ms. Ngoc said.
Huynh Thuy Le ancient house is located in the center of Sa Dec city, on Nguyen Hue street. Not as large as the Binh Thuy ancient house in Can Tho , the traditional three-room house in the Southwest region has an area of about 250 m2, with the main materials being precious wood and a boat-shaped roof covered with yin and yang tiles. The house is still almost intact compared to the original, with many corners for visitors to take beautiful photos.
In addition to the value of combining East and West architectural styles, the house is also famous for its connection to a borderless love affair between a French girl and a wealthy Chinese-Vietnamese gentleman in the early 20th century. , the owner of the house. The love story is also the content of the literary work The Lover (L’Amant), once made into a movie, and filmed in this very house.
Decorative details on the doors. Photo: Dong Phong
Right near the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, just a few minutes’ walk is Kien An Cung pagoda. The pagoda is also called Ong Quach Pagoda, more than 100 years old, imbued with Chinese cultural architecture. The pagoda has three compartments: East hall, West hall and main hall. The roof is tiled in 3 layers, the top is tiled, the middle is tiled, and the bottom is tiled. The tiles are covered with dragon waves, creating a tile roof in the style of the five elements. Each end of the wave is a miniature palace, including 6 palaces. The entire pagoda does not have a truss, only a wooden beam. On the walls are images from Journey to the West and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The pagoda was recognized as a national historical site in 1990, open from 6am to 6pm every day of the week, free admission.
Walkway between compartments. Photo: Dong Phong
The main hall of Kien An Cung pagoda. Photo: Dong Phong
Temple facade. Photo: Dong Phong
When mentioning Sa Dec, no one does not know about Sa Dec Flour Village Cuisine Area , a stop during the day for many tourists. There are dozens of folk cakes here, from sweet cakes to salty cakes and types of sweet soup, attracting many diners. We can mention dishes such as mung bean banh beo, Western shrimp and lice, salty banh duc, banana cake, jackfruit leaf cake, banh it tran, banh bo, banh duc, banh tet, banh tam ta, banh xeo, banh canh .
The space is spacious and airy, this place can serve large and small groups of guests with many requests. “Each person ate more than 100,000 VND and was full,” Ms. Ngoc said.
About 15 km from Sa Dec city is La Sen Pagoda (Phuoc Kien Tu), located in Chau Thanh district. This is one of the curious destinations for tourists in Dong Thap because the pagoda has ponds full of giant lotus leaves, each leaf has a diameter of 2 to 3 m. Visitors can step into the leaves, stand or sit to take photos. Lotus leaves can withstand weight up to 140 kg.
Visitors can visit the lotus pond for free, but to sit on the lotus leaf to take pictures, there is a service to put a wooden board on the leaf and then take pictures. Price from 30,000 VND per visit.
Note that on the way there are many houses with signs “Send car to the temple” offering motorbike taxi services to take them to the temple. If traveling by car, visitors should come close to the bridge before parking, but motorbikes can cross the bridge into the temple yard. The lake is in front of the small pagoda. Visitors go around to the right and will reach the large lake, where there are many large lotus leaves.
A large lotus pond is located inside the temple, allowing visitors to stand inside the lotus leaf. Photo: Quynh Tran
Have dinner at one of Sa Dec’s famous restaurants such as Thanh Phat culinary restaurant, Hai Lua restaurant, Tam Thanh restaurant.
Hamsters are a popular dish and are loved by many people. Visitors should choose grilled hamsters or roasted hamsters. After being cleaned, the mice will be marinated with spices and then roasted. When roasted, the rat meat will have a fragrant aroma, and the meat will be chewy but still soft. This dish is served with Vietnamese coriander and cucumber. If you can’t eat field mice, visitors can choose many other popular dishes such as grilled snakehead fish, fish sauce hotpot, field crab hotpot, and crazy flexible fish hotpot.
Overnight at hotel in Sa Dec center. The city is small so there are not many options, visitors should stay in the riverside area, on Tran Hung Dao, Hung Vuong, Nguyen Tat Thanh streets. Room prices range from 300,000 VND to 500,000 VND per night.
Move to Gao Giong eco-tourism area, about 50 km from Sa Dec. Passing through Cao Lanh city, the capital of Dong Thap province, visitors can stop for breakfast with one of the dishes such as beef noodle soup or banh khot. If you still like to eat noodles, visitors should choose Thuy Quyen, 59, Huyen Mi, Ngoc Hanh restaurants.
Gao Giong is considered the lungs of Dong Thap. This place has more than 2,000 hectares of cajuput forest, 40 hectares of land area is home to rare bird species. This is one of the ideal places to get close to nature. Visitors can take a stroll by boat or enjoy the panoramic view from the elevated observation deck.
“If you come to Gao Giong, you don’t need to go to Tram Chim tourist area because Tram Chim doesn’t have as many bird species as before,” Ms. Ngoc said.
This tourist area has an easy location to find on Google Maps, the road is easy, however about 3 km from the entrance the road is quite small, only motorbikes or small cars.
Lotus root salad with shrimp and meat. Photo: Dong Thap Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Roasted lotus seeds with salt. Photo: Dong Thap Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Grilled snakehead fish rolled in young lotus leaves. Photo: Dong Thap Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Lotus leaf rice, dragon blood rice. Photo: Dong Thap Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Lotus seed rice. Photo: Dong Thap Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Lotus root salad with shrimp an
For many years, Dong Thap has built a list of ways to prepare 200 lotus dishes to promote and introduce to tourists. Therefore, it would be a mistake not to try a meal with this frugal yet delicious dish. Popular dishes include lotus seed rice, lotus root salad, lotus stewed chicken, lotus root stewed soup, lotus seed stewed soup, lotus root sour soup, lotus root salad, lotus leaf tea, lotus sweet soup, dried lotus root with salt and chili.
Addresses for lunch with lotus dishes: Dam Sen ecological cuisine area, Song Sinh restaurant, Co Ba restaurant, Dai Nam restaurant. Near Gao Giong, there is Sen Le Bo Community Ecotourism Site. This is also where there is a food court with many lotus dishes, prepared by the farmers themselves in a popular style. Visitors can sit and enjoy food right at the lotus lagoon, both cool and fragrant.
Xeo Quyt relic site is a meaningful destination. This place is about 50 hectares wide, including 20 hectares of primary melaleuca forest, 30 km from Cao Lanh city, convenient to travel from both Cao Lanh and Sa Dec cities. Xeo Quyt historical and ecological relic site will give visitors the feeling of being lost in a primeval forest with wild natural scenery. To Xeo Quyt you can go by road or river.
If you like to weave under the canopy of forest trees, visitors can walk along the unique path in the relic, about 1.5 km long. Recognized as a national historical site in 1992, Xeo Quyt is a tourist destination that returns to its origins, a place that preserves traces of the arduous struggle period of Dong Thap’s army and people.
In addition, a spiritual destination you should visit in Dong Thap is the temple of Cao Lanh market owners, located on Le Loi street, Cao Lanh city. The temple worshiping the owners of Cao Lanh market (Mr. and Mrs. Do Cong Tuong) is famous for its sacredness throughout the region, especially among business people. Here, along with the Ba Chua Temple of Sam Mountain, are spiritual tourist destinations that attract a large number of people everywhere every Tet holiday.
A few alternative points
If you come to Dong Thap near Tet, you should definitely visit Sa Dec flower village, which is considered the kingdom of flowers. The more than 100-year-old village is most vibrant at New Year time. Lai Vung tangerine garden is also an ideal destination near Tet. If you come to Cao Lanh on Saturday, you will also have the opportunity to participate in Tan Thuan Dong countryside market, with many typical local products.
Dong Thap also has a curious destination: Dinh Yen mat market, located along the banks of the Hau River, in Lap Vo district, about 15 km from Cao Lanh city. The unique feature of the market is that it opens late at night until 2-3 o’clock, so it is also called ghost market or underworld market. The market does not have stalls, mat buyers often find a fixed place to wait, while sellers carry mats to sell their goods.