SA DEC - SOUTHERN VIETNAM
BOURGADE WITH FULL OF CHARMS
Sa Dec is a peaceful city in southern Vietnam, with streets lined with trees and colonial villas, surrounded by orchards and flower markets. It was considered one of the largest cities in the southwestern region of Vietnam before the 19th century. During the Vietnam War between 1966 and 1967, this small town was a base for American patrol boats and fast boats. In addition, Sa Dec was immortalized by Jean-Jacques Annaud's film L'Amant (The lover), based on the best-selling novel by French writer Marguerite Duras, which tells her love story with Huynh Thuy Le, the 27-year-old son of a wealthy Chinese family, when she was only 15.
When to Visit Sa Dec?
Sa Dec is located in the tropical climate zone. There are two distinct seasons in a year: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs from May to November and the dry season from December to April of the following year. In general, you can visit Sa Dec at any time of the year because the average temperatures vary very little. However, there are some suggestions for you to have the best possible time on site.
If you want to see thousands of flying cranes in the sky at dawn as in a fantastic picture, you should visit Tram Chim National Park from late April to May.
If you visit Sa Dec in January or February (Lunar New Year in Vietnam), don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Sa Dec's flower village, and there are also traditional festivals in Dong Thap such as the Go Thap Festival - the ceremony in honor of the goddess Chua Xu (the 16th day of the 3rd lunar month) or the anniversary of the death of General Doc Binh Kieu (the 15th and 16th lunar months).
What to see at Sa Dec?
Market Sa Dec
It is one of the many key destinations for those who want to get a glimpse of the daily life of the local population in this Southern vietnamese city. The market is located near the river, so the boat is one of the best choices to visit this local market and enjoy the magnificent view from the river.
Flower Village of Sa Dec
Located near the Tien River, this village is becoming famous for its exotic and colourful varieties of flowers planted on 600 hectares. For 100 years, it has been one of the largest floral centres in Southern vietnam. Several flowers and herbs such as roses, orchids, arecas, etc., grown alternately, make it a magical village full of colours and aromas. Sa Dec is famous for its rose garden which houses more than 50 kinds of roses that are transported daily to Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. You can also see century-old bonsai trees made by talented artists with beautiful and strange shapes. The particularity of Sa Dec flowers is that they are not planted on the ground but in bamboo baskets to avoid submergence. The best time to visit the flower village of Sa Dec is about 10 to 15 days before the Tet before they are shipped to markets in other parts of southern Vietnamese provinces.
Old house of Huynh Thuy Le
The writer Marguerite Duras grew up in the colonial city of Sa Dec where her mother worked as a teacher. In 1984, she published the novel L'Amant, translated into English as The Lover, which describes the relationship between a teenage girl and an older man. The novel was awarded the Goncourt Prize in 1984. In 1991, Jean-Jaques Annaud directed the successful film L'Amant. The film was one of the first Western films made in Vietnam after the war. Most of the scenes were shot in Sa Dec where many places of Marguerite Duras' life still exist, including the family home of her Chinese lover, Huynh Thuy Le, the school where her mother was a teacher and the house represented in the film as Marguerite Duras' family home.
Huynh Thuy Le's old house is nicknamed the "Lover's House" by the inhabitants of Sa Dec. This wooden house from 1895 was rebuilt in 1917 in the style of a French villa but with a combination of oriental architectural elements. Despite the destruction caused by time, the house remains intact and magnificent overall. You can find the Chinese style crest roof, Guan Yu's altar in addition to Vietnamese and French objects such as a wooden cupboard, French tiles, etc.
Kim Hue Pagoda
Kim Hue Pagoda was built in 1806 near the Cai Son Canal. The highlight of the pagoda is its unique Chinese style architecture with its red brick walls, old tiled roof and solemn wooden pillars. Kim Hue Pagoda was once the Buddhist school of local monks in western Vietnam, making it one of the most famous.
The suburbs of Sa Dec city are home to huge lotus swamps that are not found anywhere else in southern Vietnam. This is an excellent opportunity for photographers from all over the world to look for the best lotus photos - one of the symbols of Vietnam. This flower has the noble beauty that symbolizes elegance, purity and honor.
During the lotus season (June - July), you can sail by boat in the pond and the inhabitants can show you how to pick lotus and fish. In addition, you will be able to taste many local specialities based on lotus. Some of the most famous dishes are roasted fish wrapped in a young lotus leaf and sweet lotus soup.
Tram Chim National Park
Tram Chim National Park is truly an ideal destination for wildlife discovery. This park is home to many rare species, some of which are listed in the global Red List of Threatened Species. About 200 bird species live here, which represents a quarter of the bird population in Vietnam. One of the most typical and well-known birds is the red-crowned crane.
Xeo Quyt Forest
The forest covers an area of 50 hectares, containing 20 hectares of cajuput over 30 years old. From 1960 to 1975, this place was chosen as a military basement during the Vietnam War. If you travel through the cajuput forest in a sampan during your trip to Southern vietnam, you will have the opportunity to contemplate the beauty of the relic.