Rach Gia, capital city of Kien Giang province, is a
harbor city on the Gulf of Thailand. The population includes significant
numbers of ethnic Chinese and Khmers.
Ha Tien, 8km from the Cambodian border, is on the Gulf of Thailand. It?s
famous for its nearby beaches and fishing village. The landscape of
sparkling limestone islets and the labyrinth of dark mysterious cave
make Ha Tien a great place to explore.
Nguyen Trung Truc Temple is dedicated to Nguyen Trung
Truc, a leader of the Vietnamese resistance campaign of the 1860s
against the newly arrived French. The first temple structure was a
simple building with a thatched roof; over the years it has been
enlarged and rebuilt several times. The last reconstruction took place
between 1964 and 1970. In the center of the main hall on an altar is a
portrait of Nguyen Trung Truc.
Mac Cuu Family Tombs are on a low ridge not far from town. Several dozen
relatives of Mac Cuu are buried here in traditional Chinese tombs
decorated with figures of dragons, phoenixes, lions and guardians. The
largest tomb is that of Mac Cuu himself; it was constructed in 1809 on
the orders of
Emperor Gia Long and is decorated with finely carved
figures of Green Dragon and White Tiger. The tomb of Mac Cuu?s first
wife is flanked by dragons and phoenixes. At the bottom of the ridge is
the shrine dedicated to the Mac family.
Tam Bao Pagoda was founded by Mac Cuu in 1730. It is now home to several
Buddhist nuns. Near Tam Bao Pagoda, also known as Sac Tu Tam Bao Tu, is
a section of the city wall dating from the early 18th century.
Phu Dung Pagoda, also called Phu Cu Am Tu, was founded in the mid-18th
century by Mac Thien Tich?s concubine, Nguyen Thi Xuan. It is now home
to one monk.
Thach Dong Cave Pagoda, also known as Thanh Van Pagoda, is a Buddhist
temple 4km from town. To the left of the entrance is the Stele of Hatred
commemorating the massacre of 130 people killed by the Khmer Rouge on 14
March 1978. Several of the chambers contain funerary tablets and altars
to Ngoc Hoang, Quan The Am Bo Tat and the two Buddhist monks who founded
the temples of Thach Dong Cave Pagoda.
Khmer pagodas and Chinese temples