• Thông dụng

    %%Found in Vietnam's southernmost province of AnGiang, Châu Đốc is the frontier town of the Cửu Long River delta. Historically, Châu Đốc has been referred to as the place of five hills and seven mountains, and the place of romantic hills. Châu Đốc also has a reputation for its pickles, dried meat and palm sugar. Now, the town is known for its economic, cultural and defence values due to its marvellous location on the west bank of Hậu River and at the crossing of Châu Đốc River, facilitating both domestic and international trade. The Việt began settling here in the 17th century. By 1618-1623, it had become an administrative unit of the Vinh Thanh zone and has grown continuously. Now taking up an area of 96 km2, it has a population of more than 80,000. Châu Đốc features a number of large streets and buildings, and its market is one of the three largest in the area. Lying equally along the southwest borderline, it is one of three trading centres which contribute greatly to the region's economic development. Standing 237m high and lying 5km from Châu Đốc in Vĩnh Tế commune, Núi Sam features an annual festival in the 4th lunar month and is visited by millions of Southern Vietnamese making their pilgrimage to this mountain to worship the Woman Lord of the Region. Several nationally-listed architectural and historical monuments are also found here. Festival studies reveal that it combines three main cultural trends: the Việt culture of virtues, Buddhism of the Khmer and Brahmanism of the Javaians of Indonesia. Here, a local personality has been deified to conform with the local religion of worshipping the Mother Goddess. In 1819, when the canals in Châu Đốc were completed, King Gia Long of Nhà Nguyễn (Nguyễn Dynasty) decided to name the first canal after Vĩnh Tế, hence today's Vĩnh Tế canal. Tây An Cổ Tự (Old Temple of Tây An) belonged to the Lâm Tế school of Zen and was built in 1807 by Đoàn Minh Huyên, a senior monk of the time. Tây An Pagoda was built on a raised platform of nine steps with a three-roof archway leading to the main shrine. On the roof of the main shrine are the four-direction tower and the eight-direction palace. Its architecture bears a deep influence from Buddhism, Taoism and Brahmanism, and Đoàn Minh Huyên was an active advocate of the localised Taoist way of living that encouraged a life of virtues, simplicity, vegetarianism and anti-superstition. Thất Sơn signifies "Seven Mountains". Although the area is named Seven Mountains, there are actually 19 mountains of which seven rise mysteriously above the others. (VNS)

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