Dong Thap Guide - All you need to know
Dong Thap is a province in the Mekong Delta region. It is not so well known like its neighboring provinces like Tien Giang, Can Tho or Kien Giang, but the province has its nice features that attract tourists in its way.
Dong Thap is 165 km away from Ho Chi Minh City, sharing a 52-km long border with Cambodia. There are 2 provincial cities: Sa Dec and Cao Lanh. If you visit Dong Thap province, you can book hotel for your staying in these 2 cities.
Dong Thap is a newly-cultivated area in about 17th and 18th century, under Nguyen lords. Foundation of this area adhered to powerful struggling history against nature, dangerous animals and aggressors. The South of Dong Thap province whose centre is Sa Dec plays a very significant role. Many researches have shown that overseas Vietnamese got to come to Sa Dec area for reclaiming and setting up hamlets at least at the end of 17th century or at the beginning of 18th century. Sa Dec is a Khmer word meaning “iron market”.
Dong Thap has quite developed system of canals for watery transportation and irrigation. The province has about 10,000 hectares of forestland. Cajuput is specific tree of Dong Thap Muoi region. There, the system of fauna and flora are multiform with many valuable kinds: tortoise, turtle, snakes, fishes, shrimps, pythons, storks, birds, rice, lotus, water lily, grass, alga and especially red-headed cranes.
Every year, Tien and Hau rivers provide alluvial soil for Dong Thap that is convenient to growing food and fruit plant. So this area is the granary of Vietnam. The province has potentiality of short day crops (sugar cane, cotton, tobacco, soil bean, and other fruit plants with the popular names of Cao Lanh mango, Chau Thanh longan, Lai Vung mandarin, Phong Hoa grape fruit...
Like other places in the region, there are two seasons in Dong Thap Province. The rain season is from May to November and the dry season is from December to April. The best time for travelling to Dong Thap Province is from August to September. And the ideal month for visiting this province is August with the lotus garden that in bloom. Dong Thap Province is one of the great places for whom to love the nature with garden, rivers, national park... So you should take some cream types that against mosquitoes or insects to protect your skin.
From January to May every year when sky is clear, tourist would visit Tram Chim National Park. It is wonderful to get the view of thousands of cranes flying off into the sky in search of food at dawn or returning to their nests.
Dong Thap has relic of Oc-Eo Culture in Go Thap, numerous historic remains and valuable places of scenic beauty like the Tomb of Junior Doctor Nguyen Sinh Sac (father of president Ho Chi Minh), Go Thap Site, Xeo Quyt Relic which are protected, preserved and step by step put on operation for economical and social development of the province.
Every year, visitors from all over visit Go Thap Archaeological Area to participate in Go Thap Festival – the ceremony dedicated to Ba Chua Xu - Lady of the Region (15th and 16th days of the 11th lunar month). Go Thap Festival Ceremony is celebrated to obtain peace and abundant crops.
If you are person who be interested in the cuisine of Mekong Delta, it is sure that you do not want to miss the special things in Dong Thap cuisine. It has typical features of cuisine of Mekong Delta, but it has its own the local flavor based on local ingredients.