Thursday, June 4, 2009

Drifting soul in canals and orchards in Binh Thuy

Binh Thuy, a newly-established district of Can Tho city, is enticing tourists with its primitive landscapes, canals, orchards and ancient pagodas and houses.

Foreign tourists take a boat trip on a canal in Binh Thuy district, Can Tho city.

Binh Thuy district is home to national relics such as Nam Nha Pagoda, Hoi Linh Pagoda, Binh Thuy Tower and Long Quang Pagoda, all elegant masterpieces of the human hand. Most interesting of all are the orchid tours by skiff on rivulets such as Nuoc Lanh, Long Ong, Cam, Mieu Ong, Hang Bang, Cai Son and Ba Bo. Reaching from the boat, tourists grab star apples, mangos, papayas, pomelos and oranges from the water’s surface. Sweet smells, charming ladies in traditional dress, fresh air and a poetic atmosphere make the day seem like part of a fairy tale.

Leisurely walks along winding village roads and across bamboo bridges can be relaxing. The bamboo bridges have been preserved to serve eco-tourism.

Binh Thuy is famous for its Ba Bo Flower Village in Long Tuyen Ward. Each spring the village becomes brighter and more animated as colorful flowers burst into bloom before being loaded onto boats and junks to be sold around the country.

Visitors to Can Tho should not miss the Vuon Lan ancient house, a rare and perfect example of the character of the Mekong Delta. The brick house is fronted by a wide flower garden and surrounded by rock-gardens and potted plants, and includes a three-door temple gate.

The house reflects the cultural exchange between the Orient and Europe. Craftsmen used valuable woods which were red-lacquered and gilded or encrusted with nacre and fine carvings depicting water activities, trees and fruits.

The house is furnished with many valuable antiques. A French film crew once shot a scene in the house for the film L’amant.

After a day of touring the district by boat or by bicycle, local restaurants are recommended for their indigenous specialties and seafood.


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