Rach Gia

22

Nov
2021

Rach Gia

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A prosperous port town, Rach  Gia boasts many religious build- ings such as the charming Pho  Minh Pagoda, which houses an order of mendicant nuns. Its Twin Buddhas, one in Thai style and the other Vietnamese, sit companionably in the sanctuary. The sprawling 200­year­old Phat Lon Pagoda has a unique sanctuary, surrounded by many small altars. The main altar holds images of the Buddha in Khmer regalia. The pagoda has its own crematoria for the disposal of its monks’ bodies, and tombs for those chosen for veneration. The colorful Nguyen Trung Truc Temple is dedicated to a revered national hero who sacrificed his life in the struggle  against the French in the mid- 19th century. He was executed  in Rach Gia’s market square on October 27, 1868. In addition to the pagodas, the town also hosts the Kien Giang Museum, with an interesting collection of Oc Eo artifacts and pottery.

Environs

The ancient city of Oc Eo was a major trading center of the Indianized Funan Empire, which once extended from southern Vietnam to as far as Malaysia. Artifacts recovered from an archaeological site located 6 miles (10 km) outside Rach Gia indicate that Funan’s traders had contact with many nations of the region from the 1st to the 5th century AD. A Roman coin has also been unearthed in this area. There is not much to see at the excavation site, apart from a few foundations under a shelter.

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