Vietnam is a tropical country,with the rainy season from April to November. But It’s not bad to travel this time. Beside the rainy days, we also have beautiful shiny time in which we can go everywhere we want, specially local places in which we will have a chance to find out diverse cultures and enjoy a lot of great other things that you haven’t ever known.
Last month, I and my friends travelled to Bac Lieu province that is in the south of Vietnam taking 5 hours to come from Hochiminh city. One of my friends lives there, making us not very confused to find out somewhere believable to shelter, eat and visit. That was an amazing trip !
We booked the coach tickets before going to the South one day before departing. To the south of Vietnam, we can accredit in Phuong Trang transport service which has a reasonable price but good services. It took us about 190.000 VND per person for one way. We had to move to an intermediate port in the center of Hochiminh, then going to the main port by the company’s bus. This took about 30 minutes for this progress. So before getting in the main coach, we oughted to move from our dormitory 1 hour. There was no service to pick us at home.
On the road, we were across a lot of southern provinces of Vietnam such as Long An, Tien Giang, Can Tho, Hau Giang, Soc Trang prior to coming to our destination. We also passed two big bridges named , which are very famous and very important for economy in these areas. The coach stopped at two places, one at Tien Giang and other at Soc Trang so that the visitors can take a break and have lunch or dinner. It took me about 30.000 VND to enjoy a bowl of Bun Nuoc Leo, a specialty of Soc Trang. With a student, It’s quite expensive, but I thought It was worth doing that coz the dish was very tasty. Through the green rice fields with the gleaming afternoon sunbeam, along with a lot of calmly flowing rivers decorated by fertile brown alluvium, finally we came to Bac Lieu. It was a drizzle afternoon, 3 pm. Sometimes we started to hear some sentences of Cai Luong, traditional music of Vietnam and born in Bac Lieu too. I felt so excited about having a good chance to learn more about my country’s culture. You can hear a little bit here http://www.nhaccuatui.com/bai-hat/da-co-hoai-lang-cam-ly.vggfmR6rRm.html
When it came to talk about accommodation, we booked a hotel in the center of Bac Lieu city, costing about 300.000 VND for a two-bed room. It is the same with price in other city of not-very-developed provinces of Vietnam. Not very luxurious but quite convenient for my friends and I. My friends took a rest there after 5 hours tired but excited on coach. But I myself did my own small personal exploring trip, helping me have more time to satisfy myself with what I had dreamed before.
Bac Lieu actually doesn’t have many landscapes, but it has the very plentiful cultures of music and cuisine as well as religion of Buddhism.
A lot of pagodas there. In my hotel’s surrounding, there are until three different sacred ones. So I decided to visit two of them first. From the gates, I could see their differences of architecture. The main symbol is the image of dragon. The pillars are adorned by colorfully sharp patterns made of concrete by very elaborately skillful craftsmen. Most of people there are Chinese-Vietnamese, so the worship is quite similar to China’s cultural religion. You can toss two pieces of wood choosing a fortune chopstick which shows a number from 1-100, then confronting this number with the word paper. This paper will tell you a little of your future. A lot of locals came two pagodas, making me think that they would seem to very holy. I asked a local : “ whenever I have something to choose, I come to this site to ask for advice and so many events happening in his life make him believe in this culture.” He said. Observing the statues and pictures inside this places, I realised that I should have visited these my country’s own features like this for a long time ago. But late better than never , and I think I have duty to convey these to others. Apart from that, We also went to Nam Hai Bodhisattva Kwan Yin. I heard from my friend that a lof of people come there to pray and nearly almost wishes coming true. I don’t know Whether it ‘s genuine or not, but I prayed for my and my family’s happiness too. At the present, this site is renovating and I will make sure that It will be very beautiful in the future and become one of the most popular pagodas in Vietnam’s southern half. If you are interested in Buddha’s culture, you can come there to discover something great there.
Bac Lieu is also a habitat of Khmer’s people. Therefore, we went to another pagoda named Xiem Can too. It is totally different from the Chinese ones although they worship the same divine : Buddhist. The main color is yellow. There are a lot of paintings on the wall inside which are relating to Buddhist ‘s milestones. The main architecture which has a very meticulous roof was built just 30 years ago and other appendical houses built recently are very harmony with the main. Besides, inside the pagoda, it’s a graveyard and an incinerator on the right hand side. Each tomb is of all family. After burning a corpse, the ash will be put into each family’s own tomb. The style of each tomb is built following the forms designed before, making the pagoda more tremendous.
Needless to say, It’s certain that you not only can discover Khmer’s religion in Vietnam but also can find out more Chinese’s religious information in Bac Lieu.