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Destinations

KIEN GIANG * PHU QUOC island

Kien Giang is a coastal province of the Mekong Delta. Its capital city Rach Gia is 250km southeast of Ho Chi Minh city. On the North of Kien Giang is Cambodia with 56.8 km – border, on the south are Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces, on the west is the Gulf of Thailand, on the east are Can Tho, An Giang and Hau Giang provinces. Kien Giang has more than 100 large and small islands, among which Phu Quoc is the largest and Tho Chu islands the farthest.
 
Area: 6,348.5 km2
 
Population: 1,714,100 people (2011 census). Kien Giang province is home to more than 15 different ethnic groups (approximately 85.5% Viet people, 12.2% Khmer people concentrated mainly in Chau Thanh, Go Quao districts, 2.2% Chinese  in Rach Gia city and Chau Thanh district, the remaining percentage comprises Cham, Tay, Muong, Nung... ethnicities)
 
Topography: Kien Giang, with a 200km long coastline, has a variety of terrain, from lowland terrain, hills and mountains inland and mountainous areas of the island. Except for the mountainous region of Ha Tien, Hon Dat Kien Luong, the inland terrain is relatively flat, lower from the Northeast  to Southwest.
 
Administrative units: 15 units: 1 city (Rach Gia), 1 town (Ha Tien) and 13 rural districts.
 
Climate: Kien Giang province has an ocean tropical climate; therefore the common characteristic is hot and humid and seasonal rains. The average temperature is 270C. It is highest in April (290C) and lowest in January (25.60C). The average sunshine hours are about 2,500 hours per year. There are two separated seasons: the rainy season is from April to November, the dry season is from December to April next year. In general, the climate is quite favorable in Kien Giang: fewer natural disasters, there is no direct tropical typhoon or storm. It is not cold, the light and temperature are quite favorable for living and production.
 
 
 
Sights of interest 
 
 
Kien Giang province is favored by nature with landscapes like Ha Tien, and Phu Quoc Island. Ha Tien is a seaside tourist area which offers several beautiful and interesting sites to discover including the Thach Dong Temple, Mac Cuu Temple, and Dong Ho, literally translated East Lake, a bay of the Giang Thanh River. Ha Tien is also endowed with many famous beaches, at Mui Nai, Hon Chong and Bai Duong, among which the most attractive of the beaches are Hon Trem and Bai Duong; both have yellow sand coconut groves.
 
Kien Giang has plains, fertile rice fields, forests of cajeput and mangrove. Kien Giang coastal area has been determined as a key fishing ground. The sea here is rich of good fishes such as mackerel, shark, blue fish, carp, and shrimp. Phu Quoc's high quality fish sauce is well-known in Vietnam and abroad. This fish sauce smells particularly good since it is made from anchovy, a fish with a high level of protein.
 
 
Temple and Tomb of National Hero Nguyen Trung Truc, at No 8, Nguyen Cong Tru dtreet, Vinh Thanh ward, Rach Gia city.  This is the first and the largest temple dedicated to Nguyen Trung Truc among 9 other built in Kien Giang province. The anniversary of Nguyen Trung Truc is held annually from 26th to 28th day of the 8th lunar month. He devoted to fight against  aggressors to protect the country. Before losing his life, he made this very famous statement, “Only when all the grass in Vietnam is pulled up will there be no more Vietnamese people to fight against French aggressors”.
 
 
 
 
 
Lang Cat pagoda, a Khmer pagoda, at No 325 Ngo Quyen street, Vinh Lac ward, Rach Gia city. The pagoda is built by Monk Riddhijaya in 1412, once named Angkor Chum. In 1954, the pagoda changed its name into Angkor Chum Wongsa. By the beginning of 1961, the pagoda changes one more time and keeps its name until now. Vietnamese people used to call this pagoda Lang Cat.
 
 
 
Phu Quoc Island
 
Kien Giang people are very proud of Phu Quoc – a pearl and an evergreen Island. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, 45km from Ha Tien, 120km from Rach Gia by sea, Phu Quoc is an island district of Kien Giang province. This is the largest island in Vietnam, covering a natural area of 589.23km2, with a length of 50km, of which the widest area is 25km, 99 hills from the north to the south of the island.
 
This island is endowed with great tourism potentials and seafood. Hence, it is considered as a “Pearl of the Southern sea area”. In 2006, UNESCO has recognized Kien Giang as a Biosphere Reserve with an area of over 1.1 million ha. Kien Giang biosphere reserve contains a rich, diverse and unique landscape and ecosystems of great value in terms of research, as well as tourism. Kien Giang biosphere reserve covers the territories of the districts of Phu Quoc, such as An Minh, U Minh Thuong, Vinh Thuan, Kien Hai, Kien Luong, and includes three core areas of Phu Quoc National Park, U Minh Thuong National Park and the coastal mangrove protection forest of Hon Dat, Kien Luong and Kien Hai.  
The climate of Phu Quoc island is monsoonal sub-equatorial climate, characterized by distinct rainy (June to November) and dry seasons (December to May). The annual rainfall is high, averaging 2,879 millimetres. In the northern mountains up to 4,000 millimetres has been recorded. April and May are the hottest months, with temperature reaching 350C.
 
  
       
 
Sightseeing spots at Phu Quoc
 
Dinh Cau temple, dedicated to the Dragon King, located in a beautiful natural scenery, fascinating, is made from rocks. This proves that, when settled down there, Vietnamese had laid the foundation for Vietnamese culture in this remote island. Dinh Cau temple is closely related to the Goddess of Water worship.
 
 
 
North of Phu Quoc Island: just follow the  road that runs along the peaceful villages with orchards, pepper gardens next to Khu Tuong mountains of Cua Duong and Cua Can hamlets. At about 20km, it is  a primary forest, part of Phu Quoc National Park. There are nice and quiet beaches at the westernmost shores of the island, and the road east from Ganh Dau goes through dense forests. There are dozens of large colorful fishing boats in front of Ganh Dau in the afternoon.
 
 
 
South of Phu Quoc: this is a lowland secondary forest, where there is a large concentration of the island’s residents and beautiful beaches as Truong beach, Sao beach, Khem beach.
 
• Sao Beach lies on the South Island tourist route, 30km from Duong Dong town. Sao Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Phu Quoc, with fine white sand, turquoise sea, an ideal place for any visitor who wants to mingle with nature.
 
• Truong Beach  is one of the most attractive beach on the sloping golden sand stretching 20km  on the coast of Phu Quoc. Along the beach is turquoise  sea with seaweed ofmany vivid colors.
 
 
                                                                      Sao Beach                                                                               Truong Beach
 
• Khem Beach, 25 km from Duong Dong town, located in An Thoi town, is a beautiful clean beach with very low slope, famous for its white sand and blue transparent water. Khem coastal beaches are dotted with brilliant green grass native forests with rich flora and fauna. Tourists here can combine swimming with other leisure activities such as fishing,  catching snails... to have BBQ on the beach.
 
• Stream: Phu Quoc also has beautiful streams that are suitable for those who love to explore the unspoiled scenic beauty, as well as to organize camping , picnicking, among which Da Ban stream with large rocks, wide and flat, down a long winding upstream is the most beautiful, especially in the rainy season.
 
 
         
 
 
Ha Tien is a small town located in the northwestern province of Kien Giang sharing 13.7 km long border  with Cambodia to the North, east and south with Kien Luong district, west with 22km coastline of the Gulf of Thailand. Ha Tien town is a narrow strip of coastal land, with a complex  topography: bays, plains, mountains, rivers, caves, islands... creating beautiful landscapes. Ha Tien international border gate Xa Xia connects with Prek Chak Cambodian border gate of Kampot province. Ha Tien holds a special place in the hearts of Vietnamese patriots, not only for its significance to Vietnamese nationhood and culture, but also for its natural beauty. Perhaps due to its isolation or because of its unique cultural mix, Ha Tien is less frenetic than most Vietnamese towns making it a good place to relax and recharge. There are many sights both in and close by the town.
 
Mac Cuu temple is one of the most interesting and best preserved complex in town. The family tombs, known locally as Nui Lang (the Hill of the Tombs), form part of the temple and garden complex. The tombs are of traditional Chinese style and are decorated with figures of dragons, phoenixes, lions and guardians, with Mac Cuu’s the largest and identifiable by a white tiger and a green dragon.
 
  
 
 
Thach Dong cave, located 5km west of Ha Tien, is set into a limestone karst mountain and has beautiful views across to Cambodia. At the base of the mountain, there is a small monument in the shape of a clenched fist that commemorates those murdered by the Khmer Rouge.
 
 
 
Tam Bao pagoda, also named Sac Tu Tam Bao Tu, at No 75  Phuong Thanh street, was founded in 1730 by founder Mac Cuu to his mother Thai Ba Ba. After her death, he cast a bronze Buddha statue and a bell to memorize her mother.
 
 
 
 
Mui Nai beach is a good spot to relax over a cool drink and seafood. There are deck chairs shaded by coconut trees for hire and the water is usually calm and always warm. Mui Nai is very popular with domestic tourists and the area can get busy on weekends and public holidays.
 
 
 
Phu Dung pagoda is located near the Mausoleum of Mac Cuu, also called Phu Cu Pagoda - the name of a concubine of Mac Thien Tich.
 
 
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