Sa Dec

Sa Dec

For lovers and flowers

The former capital of Dong Thap province, Sa Dec is probably on the radar for most foreign visitors thanks to Marguerite Duras’ The Lover a dreamy autobiographical novel set in colonial southern Vietnam through the 1930s, but domestic tourists primarily hit the town for the vast flower nurseries located on the far side of the river. In our opinion, the town is worth visiting for both.

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While the town sprawls out to the west of the Sa Dec River, the most interesting part of Sa Dec sits within a couple of blocks of the same-named river. Cluttered with umbrellas and awnings, a fresh produce market runs along the river’s edge, especially between Cho Sa Dec and the primary bridge which runs over to Sa Dec hospital and the river. Take a stroll along here, if you can in the early to mid morning, when the light can be just right and the market is going at full steam. Follow Nguyen Hue up the river and take a left on Le Thanh Ton, following the sprawling market along, and then left again to walk through the main dry goods market. Look for plentiful bunches or fresh flowers and tonnes of fruit.

Down by the Sa Dec River. : Stuart McDonald.
Down by the Sa Dec River. Photo: Stuart McDonald

From the market, walk back to the river again and walk further north along the river’s edge and, on your left you’ll see Huynh Thuy Le Ancient Home (admission 30,000 dong). Made famous by The Lover, Huynh Le Thuy was Duras’ lover—at the time he was 27 and she 15—and while this was his home, their love–nest was in Cho Lon in Ho Chi Minh City. The house dates back to 1895, renovated in 1917, and is a meld of French, Chinese and Vietnamese styles. As you walk in, note the sunken foyer floor—this is not due to subsistence, but rather a fengshui consideration, hoping to encourage the pooling of ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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