General information about Tra Vinh
Tra Vinh is located in the Mekong Delta and is bordered by Ben Tre, Vinh Long, and Soc Trang provinces. Because Tra Vinh is surrounded by Tien and Hau rivers, its economy is mainly agriculture, fish, and shrimping breeding. Typically, more than 140 pagodas of Khmer and 50 pagodas of Vietnamese are built-in Tra Vinh which creates the unique feature in culture, religion, and specialties of Tra Vinh. Let’s begin with Tra Vinh Travel Guide
1. The best time to visit Tra Vinh
Generally, tourism in Tra Vinh is quite bustling and convenient because of its landscape and destinations. Those tourists who love the bustling, busy and festive atmosphere can travel to Tra Vinh during July and October Lunar Calendar. As for summer, tourists can enjoy fresh ripped fruits in the orchards.
2. How to get to Tra Vinh?
Visitors can get to Tra Vinh by coach, motorbike, or car. If you go by coach, there are some coaches from Sai Gon to Tra Vinh such as Kim Hoang Coach, Tra Vinh Coach, and Tan Thanh Thuy Coach. If you get there by motorbikes or cars, you can drive along National route 1A to the Trung Luong crossroad and turn to National Highway 60 and go through Ben Tre city and get to Tra Vinh.
The most attractive tourist destinations in Tra Vinh
1. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Ba Dong Beach
Ba Dong Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tra Vinh which is situated in Truong Long Hoa Commune, Duyen Hai District, Ben Tre Province. It’s wilderness and nature with miles of sandy beaches and a breeze that sways the trees making visitors fall in love. Visitors can swim under the sea, walk along the beautiful beaches, and enjoy delicious seafood and fresh air. According to local people, the name “Ba Dong” was originated from the fact that whenever the tide ebbs, there are three sandy caves arising including two large caves and a small one.
There is a lush vast mangrove forest near the beach creating a pleasant atmosphere for visitors to enjoy their trip. Besides, coming there tourists can’t miss the view of sunrise and sunset on the sea. Despite its wilderness, Ba Dong beach also has bungalows along the beach for visitors to take a rest or enjoy seafood such as Chu U crab roasted with tamarind sauce, Con Cu shrimp, Nha Mat clams, steamed Tomlin Fraumeni with lemongrass, etc.
2. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Hang Pagoda
Hang Pagoda (Wat Kompong Ch’rây) is on National Highway 54, Chau Thanh District, about 4km from Tra Vinh city. The Buddhist Pagoda follows the southern system and its special name means “cave” because the structure of its gate was built like a cave. Being a 300-year-old pagoda, Hang Pagoda has distinctive architecture and the main temple is on a 3-meter heigh foundation. Also, the temple is decorated with many beautiful, traditional patterns of Khmer culture. Especially, the roofs are bent and layed up together. The tops of the temple are like sharp points having the statues of Kẽn naarr dancing-girls on the roof.
The total area of the pagoda campus is 2ha and is surrounded by green trees forest. Therefore, Hang Pagoda attracts many kinds of birds living there. The pagoda also brings out regulations to protect trees and birds strictly. This makes the number of birds including storks, robins, aigrettes and other birds living there increase. Because of the protection of people there, these birds become friendlier and braver, they usually fly around the main temple or the yard in Hang Pagoda. The campus is now a “bird garden” for these lovely creatures.
3. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Ba Om Pond
Ba Om Pond (also called Ao Vuong) is in Group 3, Ward 8, and about 7km from Tra Vinh City. The pond is 500m in length and 300m in width and the water is clear and blue. The campus is covered by many old trees having large shade so the atmosphere there is calm, tranquil, and fresh. However, the vivid sound of birds at noon will cheer the atmosphere up.
Apart from being a relaxing site, Ba Om Pond is known as a cultural relic of the Khmer people. The lake is named after a Khmer Woman called Om. She created the Pond when she competed with other men to gain women’s rights in choosing their soul mates.
4. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Âng Pagoda
Inside Ba Om Pond, Ang Pagoda is a distinctive southern Buddhist architecture. The typical feature of Ang Pagoda is the three-arched-entrances gate where many tourists love to check in. Every detail of the pagoda is curved carefully by skillful artisans. The architecture and decoration of Ang Pagoda combine Buddhism, Braman, and local cultures in reasonable and inner harmony.
5. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Khmer Minority People’s Museum
Don’t forget to take a visit the Khmer Cultural Museum which is near the Ang Pagoda. In detail, The Khmer Cultural Museum is located in Group 4, 8 Ward, Tra Vinh province, and was established in 1995. The Museum is an ideal choice for tourists to explore and gain an insight into local Khmer culture or their deep connection with Tra Vinh. Thus, this place exhibits many objects and pictures relating to the daily lives, and the culture of the Khmer people in the Mekong Delta.
6. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Cho Lon Tra Vinh
Cho Lon Market is situated right in the center of Tra Vinh City which is the biggest trading hub in the province. People sell plenty of local food at affordable prices. It is exciting to see the bustling atmosphere of local people in the market. Thus, this is a worth-visit place if you want to buy some local food, souvenirs for your relatives or friends.
7. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Long Tri ecotourism
If you want to get to Long Tri ecotourism, you must ride the ferry and get on the ferry to arrive at Long Tri ecotourism. Reaching the Long Tri islet, visitors can emerge themselves into the peaceful and fresh air in the countryside. Apart from enjoying fruits, tourists have a chance to attend many activities such as going fishing, enjoying southern traditional music performances called ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’, and playing traditional folk games.
8. Tra Vinh Travel Guide – Tan Quy Islet
Tan Quy is a small oasis in the middle of Hau River and belongs to An Phu Tan Commune, Cau Ke District, Tra Vinh Province which is famous for its green environment and beautiful fruit orchards representing the beauty of the Mekong Delta. It is the homeland of tropical fruits because growing fruits is the main job of people there. The main fruits in Tan Quy include mangosteens, rambutans, durians, jackfruits, coconuts, mangos, papayas, and so on. Tan Quy mangosteens becomes more and more popular because of their high quality and stable quantity.
Must-try specialties in Tra Vinh
1. Nam Thuy Flower Pork Roll
Nam Thuy Flower Pork Roll is a traditional food served at many important events in Tra Vinh. The Pork Roll is named after its creator – Mrs. Nam Thuy. She created this special pork roll in 1999 and since then it became more and more popular. The ingredients include eggs, pork, salted egg yolk, carrot, and black wood ear. People put these ingredients into layers so that when cutting, the circles of the pork roll look like a flower.
2. Am Porridge
Chao Am (Am Porridge) is a distinctive food in Tra Vinh because of the story behind it. The name “Am” means “obsession” in Vietnamese. On the previous day, hard mother-in-laws used to ask their future daughter-in-law to cook porridge with snakehead to test her cooking skills before the wedding. The process of cooking Am Porridge requires a lot of preparation and elaboration to make a delicious Am Porridge. Thus, the fish had made a lot of girls obsessed. That’s why people there call it “Am Porridge”. The porridge often cooks with snakehead which is well-prepared to remove the fish tank with mushrooms and herbs.
4. Prahok – Fermented Fish Paste
Prahok – Fermented Fish Paste is one of the most distinctive specialties of Khmer people’s cuisine. It is normally used as a seasoning for many traditional dishes in Khmer meals and has a salty and strong flavor. Prahok is made with different kinds of fish like mudfish and gourami by fermentation method. Local people ferment crushed fish with salt and put it into a large clay jar. On top of that, they use bamboo strips to cover the mixture. Prahok can be eaten after 20 days but the best time to enjoy it is over 3 years.
5. Chu U crab roasted with tamarind sauce
Chu U crabs is a kind of small crab living in the coastal forest of Tra Vinh Province. People call them “Chu U” meaning ‘sad’ in Vietnamese because of their poor appearance. They are nutritious and have crispy shells. Thus, local people fry the crabs to make them scrunchy, then mix fried crabs with tamarind sauce. This creates a wonderful dish when the sweet and sour flavor of tamarind mixes well with the crispy and fresh crabs.
6. Suong rice noodle soup
Suong rice noodle soup includes rice noodles, broth, toppings such as shrimps, pork; and ‘Suong’ a fried mixture of ground shrimps and flour shaped like the larva. The taste of the broth decides the quality of the dish so it must be clear, rich in flavor, and has shrimp-toe color. The sauce for dipping Suong is a mixture of fish sauce and tamarind having a little bit of sour and sweet taste.
7. Ben Co soup cake
Ben Co soup cake is a local dish that is unique in Tra Vinh. The restaurant is located at 53 National Highway, Ben Co Ward, Nguyet Hoa Commune, Chau Thanh District. According to the current owner, her mother was the first street vendor who sold Ben Co soup cake to bring up her family. When the business developed, she started to establish a restaurant. Then, she passed down the recipe for Ben Co soup cake for her children.
The rice noodles of the dish are short and thick but it tastes tender, sticky, and slippery. People cooked the broth with pork bones and seasoned based on the private recipe so it creates a special taste. The dish is normally served with pork guts, heart, stomach, a chunk of pork leg, and herbs.
8. Loi Choi fried with lemongrass and chilies
Loi Choi lives inland on dunes, mudflats, and beaches along with the river mud. They look like chopsticks and have a length of 20 cm with a round and white body. To make a tasty dish with Loi Choi requires a lot of patients and preparation. Normally, people will wash all the dirt, salt them, and let them dry under the sun or fire. Finally, they fry Loi Choi in the pan with minced lemongrass and chilies. Cooked Loi Choi tastes fat mixing with the scent of lemongrass and spicy taste of chilies making a worth-try food to end your journey in Tra Vinh.
Tips for traveling to Tra Vinh
- The most convenient vehicle to get around Tra Vinh is motorbike so you can rent motorbikes at your accommodation.
- For those who love a festive atmosphere, here is a schedule of festivals in Tra Vinh
1. Ok Om Bok Festival of the Khmer people on October 15 (Lunar Calendar)
2. Sene Dolta from August 29 to September 1 (Lunar calendar)
3. Chol Chnam Thmay is a Khmer New Year celebration in the middle of March (Lunar Calendar)