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Mekong’s majestic Khmer pagoda: holy ground

Update: July, 01/2017 - 08:00
Birds of a feather: Wooden cravings of Khmer sacred birds decorate the pagoda main hall.
Viet Nam News

Located just 7km from Mekong Delta’s buzzing town of Bạc Liêu, the Xiêm Cán Pagoda is one of the region’s largest and most prestigous Khmer religous structures. The pagoda, inspired by Buddhism and Angkor culture, was built in 1887 and consists of a main hall, a sala (Khmer word for gathering place), dormitory for monks and other minor buildings. 

The complex’s buildings and gardens, which span over a 50,000sqm land lot, are decorated with statues and cravings of Khmer people’s significant cultural and historical symbols, Khmer gods and sacred animals, each made with great detail by local artists’ fine craftmanship. 

Khmer population in the Mekong Delta is estimated to be 1.3 million, based on a survey done in 2009, making it the fifth-largest ethnic group of Việt Nam. Historical records indicated that Khmer people were among the early settlers of the Mekong Delta. Vietnamese and Khmer have shared hundreds of years of co-operation in agriculture, nation building and cultural harmony. 

It’s recommened that visitors leave their footwear outside, speak softly and wear modest and decent clothing while visiting the pagoda. — VNS


Golden minutia: Hundreds of statues, each made in great detail, at the Khmer religious complex.
National treasure: Inspired by both Buddhism and Angkor culture, the pagoda is considered a sacred site by locals.
Colourful glory: A Buddha statue on top of a shrine at the complex.
Sacred space: View from above of the Xiêm Cán Pagoda. — VNA/VNS Photos An Hiếu

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