Photo: Chua Chim in Tra Vinh.

Pagodas in Tra Vinh

Our rating:

Tra Vinh is well regard for its Khmer style pagodas and you could easily spend a couple of hours having a poke around the following three sights.


Photo of Pagodas in Tra Vinh

Set amongst a stand of eucalypts, Chua Ong Met is a classic Khmer-style pagoda that wouldn’t be at all out of place in any Khmer town. The red-ochre four-faced Bayon style pedestals dotted through the grounds are a bit of a peculiarity—not something we’ve seen elsewhere—and they clash with the otherwise sedate setting. We loved the arches and wooden shuttered barred windows. Within the main enclosure note the beautiful floor tiles, the Khmer script running along the base of the murals and the super-solid wooden columns holding the roof up.

At the western outskirts of Tra Vinh, Chua Chim is set in a forest grove a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Be sure to ask one of the monks to switch on the neon display at the main alter for a suitably dazzling view of Buddha, and be sure to check our the painted ceiling. We guess one of the monks has a bit of a green finger as the gardens are defined by immaculate and very manicured topiary. To reach the temple, head south, past the Cuu Long Hotel for about one kilometre till you reach a war cemetery on your right. Turn right immediately after the cemetery and just keep following the trail till you reach a fork at a small chedi, where you need to take a left—continue on and you’ll eventually reach the temple—overall it is between one and two kilometres from the main road.

Set to the south of town, near the bus station, Chua Phuong sits in a large stand of forest and is worth visiting not so much for the new pagoda (though it does have lollipop-styled columns within, but for the ruined old pagoda which sits in the eastern part of the forest enclosure. It’s little more than an overgrown pile of rubble, but it tickled our fancy. Rather amusingly, when we arrived the monks were hanging out with a bunch of spaghetti-strap wearing girls—who all ran off into the forest when we appeared.


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