Soc Trang Vietnam, a peaceful land with the long-standing coexistence, harmony and cohesion of the three ethnic groups Kinh, Khmer and Hoa, is one of the beautiful and poetic cities in the Mekong Delta. This province is famous for its ancient temples with unique architecture, peaceful natural scenery, rich cuisine, and especially, the people are very kind and candid. Let's take a deeper understanding about this locality with this article.
I - Where is Soc Trang in Vietnam?
Stunning landsacape - Source: Vetaucaotoccondao
This coastal province is located in the Mekong Delta, right at the south estuary of Hau river, about 231 km from Ho Chi Minh city. The province borders Hau Giang province in the north and northwest, Tra Vinh province in the Northeast, Bac Lieu province in the Southwest and the South China Sea in the East and Southeast.
- Area: 3,223 km2
- Administrative units: Soc Trang city, Nga Nam town Vinh Chau town, Chau Thanh district, Cu Lao Dung district, Ke Sach district, Long Phu district, My Tu district, My Xuyen district, Thanh Tri district, and Tran De district.
- The nearest airport: Can Tho international airport - 70km away
- Postal code: 9600
II - What is Soc Trang weather like?
This province has a monsoon tropical climate which is characterized by 2 distinct seasons: rainy season and dry season. The rainy season in this area starts in May and ends in October while the dry one lasts from November to April next year. The annual average temperature is 26.8oC and the annual rainfall is 1,864 mm on average. There is a fact that the storm and flood hardly hit the district. With an ideal climatic condition like this, you can actually visit Soc Trang Vietnam at any period during the year as long as you can take your time and arrange your work. However, if you come here in November of the Lunar calendar, not only can you visit tourist attractions here but you can also take part in several festivals, of which the biggest is Ooc Om Bok - Ghe Ngo racing festival.
III - What are the best places to visit in Soc Trang Vietnam?
Compared to other tourist centers in Southern Vietnam like Phu Quoc island, Ho Chi Minh city, Soc Trang seems to be less popular. However, there are a myriad of attractive and amazing destinations waiting for you to come and discover. Let’s name out some of them:
1 - Nga Nam Floating Market
One of the most famous floating markets in Vietnam - Source: mientaycogi.com
Nga Nam floating market has an extremely convenient location which is at the intersection of 5 rivers - about 60km from the center of Soc Trang City Vietnam. It usually opens quite early from 3am and lasts until 8am and the most crowded time is usually from 5 am to 6 am when hundreds of boats gather, bustling the river wharf.
The goods exchanged here are very rich and diverse, from good rice to garden vegetables and fruits; from agricultural products, seafood to daily living and household items. In order to facilitate the easy transmission of information between the seller and the buyer, the Beo tree is an effective advertising medium at the floating market in Soc Trang Vietnam. This is a tool created from a bamboo stalk that is raised horizontally. The trunk is drilled holes so that the seller can skewer the rope through to hang the goods. Buyers just stand from afar looking at the trees to determine where the item they need to buy is.
Location: Ward 1, Nga Nam town
2 - Zivuu Village homestay
Zivuu Village homestay - Source: tripadvisor.com.vn
Zivuu Village homestay is located at No. 986, 1A highway, Soc Trang city Vietnam. With an area of more than 2 hectares, Zivuu Village is constructed with a hope to help visitors learn more about the local culture, have an opportunity to directly join hand with the local people in forming a “ghe ngo” (a kind of boat), conducting rituals before participating in the boat race; visiting a knitting village, a “pia” cake village..
Inside the campus of Zivuu Village homestay in Soc Trang Vietnam, there are rooms made of bamboo, thatched roofs, and items that are also made of bamboo and leaves. Rooms in this homestay are allocated in separate areas such as in a corner of a vegetable garden, in the middle of a lotus pond, or in a melaleuca forest. Coming here, visitors feel like being in the countryside in Vietnam, enjoying the fresh air, listening to the chirping birds, hand-picking clean vegetables, catching fish and cooking familiar meals such as braised perch, sour soup, braised meat...
Zivuu in Soc Trang Province only provides guests with minimal living amenities and minimizes the use of modern equipment in the bedrooms. The homestay has a variety of room types in order to cater for the diverse needs of patrons. A special thing about the rooms here is that they are all integrated with outdoor bathrooms, bringing guests close to nature. In addition, Zivuu Village also provides services such as fishing, canoeing, renting Ba Ba clothes, monkey bridge, folk games…
3 - Chua Doi Soc Trang Vietnam
Chua Doi or Bat Pagoda - Source: vnexpress
In English, “doi” means “bat” and “chua” means “pagoda”, so the pagoda is widely known as Bat Pagoda. The pagoda has its name because if you come here, you can witness the sight of thousands of bats hanging like fruits on the trees. At the peak time, the pagoda attracts more than a million bats. Although in Soc Trang Province, there are many peaceful temples and shady gardens, the fact that bats only choose Bat pagoda as a residence seems to be a mystery.
Bats at the temple are mainly frugivorous (fruit-eating) bats and live in the fruitful garden of the pagoda; however, they never eat fruit here, but often fly away to find food. Therefore, when night falls, Chua Doi Soc Trang Vietnam is strangely bustling with the noisy sound of bats flapping their wings to call the flock to go hunting at night. Strangely, they fly in rows and circle several times in the sky around the temple area, yet never directly cross the roof of the main hall. Although it is not possible to explain why, many people associate this phenomena with an act of begging the Buddha for a blessing of the bats.
Address: Van Ngoc Chinh street, Ward 3, Soc Trang city Vietnam
4 - Mo O Ecotourism Area
Mo O - Tran De tourist area is located at the end of the Hau River. The reason this place is called Mo O is because it is a strip of sand undulating on the waves in the vast green background of the forest, which, at first glance, looks like the beak of an eagle facing the South China Sea.
The tourist area covers a land of more than 260 hectares, about 5 km long, surrounded by mangroves. Amongst the tourist attractions in Soc Trang Province, this place is probably the most pristine. Coming to Mo O tourist area, visitors will view with their own eyes very interesting things such as when the tide recedes, colorful horn-eyed ghost crabs will appear, basking in the sun. In addition, the Mo O ecotourism area boasts the mangrove forest with charming natural scenery. This forest is also home to many species of reptiles, birds and rare marine creatures such as snakes, turtles, storks, fish, etc. At Mo O tourist area in Soc Trang Vietnam, along with sightseeing, swimming, you can also organize recreational sports such as volleyball, football, billiards, windsurfing, or spread a net to catch fish, fiddler crabs…
Today, the local government of Tran De district has made a route connecting Mo O tourist area and the South National Highway of Hau river, built a bridge through the forest, and allocated huts selling food, snacks and local specialties on the way to make it easier and more convenient for tourists to travel to the ecotourism site.
Location: Tran De town, Tran De district
5 - Tan Long Stork Garden in Soc Trang Vietnam
Tan Long Stork Garden - Source: tripzone.vn
Tan Long Stork Garden is an eco-tourism destination attracting quite a great number of domestic and foreign tourists to watch birds and enjoy the picturesque scenery. This garden spreading over an area of 2ha is built and managed by Mr. Huynh Van Muoi for over the past 30 years.Thanks to his care, Tan Long Stork Garden in Soc Trang province today is home to up to 15-20 thousand storks of different species such as ivory stork, white stork, red-headed stork, buffalo stork, fish stork,... even ibis, black-crowned night heron, blue heron,..
For the convenience of guests watching birds, he built a tower of nearly 10m high. Standing here, you can see the whole Tan Long Stork Garden. The most fascinating scene is the scene of storks crowded around the garden in the early morning or late afternoon, the whole space seems to come alive. In addition to bird watching, Tan Long Stork Garden in Soc Trang Vietnam is also an ideal place to relax, camp in the green campus, or enjoy many delicious dishes in the garden. In addition, visitors can also be an audience at the famous Don Ca Tai Tu show (Southern Vietnam amateur music).
- Address: Tan Binh village, Long Binh commune, Nga Nam district
- Entrance fee: 15,000 VND ($0.6)/2 people
6 - Cu Lao Dung district
Cu Lao Dung district - Source: mysoctrang.vn
Cu Lao Dung located at the end of the poetic Hau river is the easternmost district of Soc Trang province. Traveling to Cu Lao Dung is to come to the luxuriant orchards laden with fruits all year round, the vast sugarcane fields, the mangrove apple forests solidly standing in the windy places, all of which have unique beauty.
This place has a mild and cool climate all year round thanks to being surrounded by four rivers. The average temperature here is always a few degrees Celsius lower than the surrounding areas. The air in Cu Lao Dung Soc Trang Vietnam is always fresh with cool winds bringing water vapor from the Hau River and unaffected by the noisy dust of the city and factories.
At the first end of the islet, visitors will be surprised and attracted by the crooked orchards located in the commune of An Thanh Nhut and An Thanh Tay. The fruit trees here vary in species such as: mango, longan, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, custard apple, sapote, mangosteen, strawberry, plum, guava, coconut, banana,…
Down to the other end of Cu Lao Dung Soc Trang province, visitors will enjoy watching the vast sugarcane fields interspersed with tall green coconut trees featured by tall and straight sugarcane rows. That’s the reason why the island is also referred to as "cane islet". Located at the last end of Cu Lao Dung district is An Thanh Nam commune, where there is a mangrove forest of about 1,500 hectares wide. This is the largest mangrove forest in the Mekong Delta which has a rich and diverse ecosystem with many rare plant and animal species. Guests sometimes encounter a few monkeys hanging on branches of trees, or swinging from branch to branch. In particular, in this forest, there are many flocks of bats, storks, and birds plus many swarms of wild bees making nests on tall trees.
7 - My Phuoc islet in Soc Trang Vietnam
My Phuong islet is likened to a heaven of fruits because this is an alluvial land, the soil here is extremely fertile. In addition, favorable climate conditions help the fruit trees grow extremely well, having stronger flavor and more nutritional value than those planted in other regions. The area of My Phuoc islet is 1020 ha, of which the orchard occupies an area of more than 300 ha. Therefore, visitors coming here only need to pay the entrance fee to enjoy hundreds of ripe fruits right in the gardens.
Especially in the period from May 4th to 5th of the lunar calendar every year, the people in My Phuoc islet, Soc Trang province jubilantly organize the “Song nuoc Miet vuon” Tourism Festival. The organization of this festival not only creates an opportunity for visitors to experience and understand more about the traditional rituals to celebrate the Mid-year Festival of the people in this region, but also to participate in culinary competitions and Dragon boats races,…
Location: My Phuoc hamlet, Nhon My commune, Ke Sach district
IV - What to eat in Soc Trang Vietnam?
1 - “Sua” Noodle
Top famous local food - Source: Thegioiamthuc.com
Originally, Sua noodle was a traditional dish of the Chinese community in this area. The raw noodles are made with soybeans, so the noodles are golden in color, often larger than other types of noodles. This noodle has two variants: savory and sweet. For savory noodles, the noodles are slightly dipped in hot water and stir-fried with vegetables, mushrooms and seafood or pork, chicken. Accompanying the dish of Sua stir-fried noodle of Soc Trang is always a bowl of soup, a pork bone stewed broth along with cilantro, coriander, green onion, and ground pepper. For sweet noodles, it is often cooked with boiled eggs. The dish will have a very strange sweet taste, and it is used in birthday parties with the implication that the red color of the egg yolk is a wish for a more blessed and fulfilled life.
2 - “Pia” cake
Amongst the specialties of Soc Trang Vietnam, Banh pia (“Pia” cake) is the one that can’t be skipped because it is the signature, the pride of the people here. The cake conquers the eaters by the thin, soft outer layers outside, while the inside is a layer of fatty and fragrant durian filling. The ground green bean combined with a little durian forms a flexible and smooth mixture. When put into mouth, it doesn’t melt in your mouth but linger at the tip of the tongue, making the eater can’t resist the temptation to have more.
Pia cake of Soc Trang province now has many different variants to serve the taste of customers. In addition to the original type, there are vegetarian Pia cakes, low-sugar Pia cakes, and non-durian Pia cakes for those who can't bear durian. Therefore, people of all ages, all tastes, all genders can freely choose the flavor of their preferences. A plus point is that this cake is packaged in a very nice box and is suitable for buying as a gift.
3 - “Cong” Cake of Soc Trang Vietnam
“Cong” cake (or “banh cong”) is a special dish of the Khmer people. The rice for making the crust must be fine ordinary rice, soaked for 2 nights and then ground until it turns into flour. The filling is a mixture of steamed fresh shrimp, whole grain green beans, and finely ground lean meat.
The people in Soc Trang fry cakes with a ladle shaped like a small coffee cup about 10cm high. Put the ingredients into the drain in the order: flour mixture, green beans, fried meat, add another layer of flour and finally put one or two shrimps on the surface. Dip the ladle into a pan of boiling oil for about 2-3 minutes until the cake is cooked and slides out of the ladle. “Cong” cake has a delicious smell, the crunchy crunch mixed with the fatty, fleshy taste of green beans, shrimp, and meat makes the eater feel salivated right from the first sniff.
4 - Bun nuoc leo in Soc Trang province
“Bun nuoc leo” (a type of vermicelli soup) is not a strange dish with people in Southern Vietnam. However, the taste of this dish in this province is different from other places, because of the harmonious combination of ingredients and the way food is prepared. The soul of this dish is the broth - a soup made from a blend of fish sauce, lemongrass and auttum crosscus (similar to curcuma but smaller and darker in color). The types of fish sauce that are commonly used to make the dish are available in Soc Trang Vietnam such as: snakeskin gourami fish sauce, snakehead fish which are all complicatedly produced.
The ingredients for the noodle soup are also quite elaborate, in which there are three main parts: boiled snakehead fish removed bones; Boiled tiny shrimps with skin removed; and roasted pork cut into pieces. The crispy, greasy skin and the five flavors in the roast pork make the noodle soup more appealing. Besides, “bun nuoc leo” of Soc Trang province is also served with a variety of vegetables such as bean sprouts, garlic chives, grated water spinach, grated banana blossom, herbs, and laksa leaves. When serving, diners can add a little lemon, chili, and fish sauce for more flavor.
5 - Sour Chinese Pangasius Catfish soup
For a long time, dishes made from Chinese Pangasius Catfish - one of the specialties of Hau river, have created a very unique culinary art at restaurants and eateries in this Soc Trang Vietnam. The fish processed into sour soup is a delicious and nutritious dish liked by many people, especially when the summer comes. The ingredients include: fish’s head and tail, mint, okra, tomatoes, bean sprouts, pineapple, chili, cinnamon, celery, tamarind... Eaters can enjoy it by adding some vegetables, vermicelli, a few pieces of Pangasius Catfish meat with broth in a bowl, those who like spicy food can add cooked chili.
V - Other information about Soc Trang tourism
1 - Ooc Om Boc - Ghe Ngo racing festival
Ooc Om Boc - Ghe Ngo racing festival - Source: baodantoc.vn
Oom Om Boc is the biggest festival in this province which draws the attention of almost every person in the area. Like other traditional festivals in Vietnam, it includes both the ceremonial rite and recreational activity. The rite is to worship the moon, while the activity is always associated with the “ghe ngo” (a type of wooden boat) race, which has now become a traditional competition of Soc Trang Vietnam.
The moon worshiping ceremony is held on the night of October, 14th of the lunar calendar. As soon as the moon rises, a tray of produce (indispensable for “Com”) is displayed in the middle of the yard. The homeowner prays to the Moon and gives to Him the agricultural produce that they grew in the past crop.
The "soul" of Ooc Om Boc - Ghe Ngo racing festival in Soc Trang province is the “ghe ngo race” held on the 15th. For more than 10 years, the competition has been held on the Sung Dinh river. A “ghe ngo” is about 30 m long and can hold from 52 to 58 people. The bow and stern of the boat are curved and carved with the shape of a Naga snake while the hull is carved with a geometric pattern and is painted in colorful colors. During the race, the cheering and whistling of the audience at both banks of the river keep constantly echoing, roaring the whole vast space of the area.
2 - Soc Trang Vietnam map
As you can see, not only does it possess a diversity of attractive destinations but the province also has a typical cultural identity which makes it outstanding to other localities. It seems that this province in the South has a lot of interesting and mysterious things that we still have a vague idea about and need exploring. However, we hope that this article will to some extent trigger your curiosity and eagerness to travel to Soc Trang Vietnam.