SOC TRANG – The Land of Spirituality Culture of Mekong Delta

Post by: Admin - Posted at: September 7, 2018

According to stories passed down from many generations, a part of the Soc Trang people are the descendants of refugee boats from Cambodia along the Mekong Delta to escape and find to live in a wilderness area centuries ago. Therefore, Soc Trang is a land gathering many national identity, creating the typical cultural characteristics mixed mainly by three bloodline. Kinh, Khmer, Hoa ethnic groups live together here.

Soc Trang pagoda
Soc Trang pagoda

Soc Trang is a province having the largest Khmer community in the Mekong Delta region, with over 400,000 people, making up approximately 30% of the local population.

The name of “Soc Trang” comes from a Khmer name “Srock Kh’leang” which means “a place to store silver”. This land is covered by vast rice paddies, shrimp lagoons, luxuriant fruit gardens like longan, rambutan, durian, and orange. In Soc Trang, you can find numerous pagodas and also culinary specialties.The province has 89 pagodas of Khmer group, 47 pagodas of Hoa people.

Soc Trang province is also known as the land of festivals.When visiting to this place at any time of the year, tourists are also welcome by many festivities. Once joining in the festivals in Soc Trang province, tourists have the feeling that they are traveling to neighboring countries, where we can enjoy the attractive dances that bring the soul of the country.

How to get there:

About 231 km from Ho Chi Minh city and about 62 km from Can Tho. So, the most popular means is the coach. You can buy a ticket at Mien Tay bus station.

The best time to travel Soc Trang:

– January (lunar calendar): Lunar New Year.
– In the 21st, March (lunar calendar): Nghinh Ong festival, held in Kinh Ba area, Tran De district on the 21st.
– April (solar calendar): Chol Chiem Thmay Tet, last three days from 13th to 15th
– May (lunar calendar): The Water Festival, held on May 5 at My Phuoc, Nhon My Commune, Ke Sach District, Soc Trang Province.
– October (lunar calendar): Ooc-Om-Boc and Ngo Gom race festivals, held on the 14th and 15th annually.
– In September (lunar calendar) Kathina Festival, often starts on lunar September 15th before the Ooc-Om-Bo festival

1. Ok Om Bok festival

One of the best festivals in Mekong Delta, which should be comprised in your Mekong Delta day trip is Ok Om Bok festival. the Khmer community also call Ok Om Bok as the Moon worshipping ceremony. The most stimulating and attractive programs of the event are wooden boat racing, dropping paper lanterns into the water, and traditional dances of the Khmer people. It falls in the 10th lunar month every year.

wooden boat racing at Ok Om Bok festival
Wooden boat racing at Ok Om Bok festival
Ok Om Bok festival
Ok Om Bok festival

2. Kathina festival

A few days before the Ok Om Bok festival is the time of the Kathina festival, a feature of the culture of the Khmer people.
This is the time when the Khmer people pay homage to monks , as the religious devotion of the family and determination to preserve the cultural identity. During this festival, the locals offer flowers and new robes for the monks as well as pray for good climate and happiness. The month-long Kathina Festival, a Buddhist festival held in Doi Pagoda, Soc Trang province often starts on lunar September 15th

Kathina festival soc trang province
Kathina festival

3. Chol Chnam Thmay festival

Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals for Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas in April. It is the same to that of the Tet holiday of Vietnam. In this occasion, Khmer people will be out of work and do entertaining activities to welcome a new year. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year.

Chol Chnam Thmay festival - soctrang
Chol Chnam Thmay Festival (Photo: mytour)

4. Sene Dolta festival

In lunar May , coming to My Phuoc, Nhon My commune, Ke Sach district is to be joined in the joyous atmosphere of Sene Dolta festival. It was a day when farmers honor the fruit trees and gardeners

Sene Dolta festival
Sene Dolta festival

What to do in Soc Trang ?

* Nga Nam floating market

It is in Nga Nam town, Thanh Tri district, Soc Trang province. It is one of the longest and busiest floating markets in the Mekong Delta that attracts visitors. Especially, Nga Nam floating market is the intersection of 5 rivers from 5 provinces : Ca Mau, Vinh Quoi, Long My, Thanh Tri, Phung Hiep.

* Ecotourism sites:

– Tan Long stork garden in Long Binh commune, Nga Nam district, Soc Trang province
– My Phuoc is located in Nhon My commune, about 10km from Ke Chay town.

* The unique pagodas in Soc Trang:

Sa Lon Pagoda, Dat Set Pagoda, Kh’lieng Pagoda, Chen Kieu Pagoda and Doi Pagoda. These temples often have strange architecture, beautiful scenery. But perhaps, Doi Pagoda and Chen Kieu Pagoda are the most impression.

* Historical vestiges

Such as: Soc Trang Provincial Party Committee, Soc Trang Museum.

* Handicraft villages

Especially, Soc Trang is famous for handicraft villages such as weaving, Pia cake, Vietnamese sausage … Tourists can experience to make products by themselves such as baskets or learn how to make Pia cake from local people. .

You will have an enjoyable experience when making delicious cakes !!!!!

Bat pagoda ( Dơi Pagoda )
Bat pagoda ( Dơi Pagoda )
Chen Kieu pagoda, Soc Trang province
Chen Kieu pagoda, Soc Trang province

Nga Nam floating market
Nga Nam floating market
Traditional dances of the Khmer people Photo: mytour
Traditional dances of the Khmer people
Photo: mytour

What to eat in Soc Trang?

– You can spend a few hours wandering the streets of Soc Trang to find a restaurant. The dishes you should not ignore when coming to Soc Trang are: the noodles soup, Gỏi dà noodle, Fish noodle, Tube cake, Pork and pepper noodle, Pía cake, or Cong cake, Vietnamese sausage …
– Soc Trang also have Dai Tam star apple, Nam Roi Ke Sach grapefruit, which makes impression for anyone to taste it. 
You can buy Pía cake or Vietnamese sausage as your souvenirs, both are the specialties of Soc Trang

 Nam Roi Ke Sach grapefruit
Nam Roi Ke Sach grapefruit
Pia Cakes and Vietnamese sausage
Pia Cakes and Vietnamese sausage
The soup noodle - Soc Trang province
The soup noodle
Just only the local people can make this dish
Tube cake - cuisine of soc trang
Tube cake
The cake is baked in bamboo tube or aluminum tube, so people call it tube cake.
Pia cake become symbol of Soc Trang
Pia cake become symbol of Soc Trang

Traveling experience:

– Mosquito repellent, insect repellent are indispensable when traveling to river countryside.
-The weather of Soc Trang is always warm. So, it is best to bring clothes that are easy to wash, cool and sweat absorbent if you want to be comfortable when moving.
– If you travel in the rainy or floating season, you should bring the raincoat. It will be very useful because it will be rain suddenly in this land.
-Travel clothing should be comfortable to move. but visitors should dress appropriately, elegantly when visiting temples, pagodas in Soc Trang province.
– You should reserve hotel rooms before 2 weeks or 1 month if you want to ensure a place to rest during the peak tourist season in Soc Trang.
– Please ask the price before you buy or use the service.
– Be careful of your belongings !  Absolutely don’t have anybody keep your belongings, nor should you agree to hold anything from someone.

Khmer dance
Khmer dance
Post by: Admin - Posted at: September 7, 2018

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