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Bay Nui: Seven Mountains, Even More Wonders

Bay Nui literally means “Seven Mountains,” consisting of Nuoc; Nam Gieng; Co To; Ket, Dai; Cam; and Tuong, all of which are said to form an arc. As such, the place is blessed with natural beauty. But the place is also rich in culture which makes it a worthy tourist destination.

Bay Nui or That Son is located at An Giang Province, covering the two districts of Tri Ton and Tinh Bien of Mekong Delta. The place is a melting pot of varying ethnic groups like the Kinh and Khmer, as well as different religions: Buddhism, Caodaism and Catholic. But despite the seemingly scattered groups, the whole community of Bay Nui makes it a strict yet respected tradition of celebrating many festivals in honor of all their most cherished values, in the end creating a unique mixed but united culture.

Of all the mountains, Cam is the most famous. Despite the steep path, many tourists and pilgrims flock to the place daily to show their devotion. The Maitreya Buddha at the foot of the mountain is both an object of worship and tourist attraction with its towering height of 38 meters, considered the tallest in Asia. As such, the area has also become a business opportunity wherein local residents sell items like incense, food and other saleable items to entice the visitors. Ket Mountain is also frequently visited because of its big, parrot-shaped rock.

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Beautiful historical sites can also be found in Bay Nui such as the Linh Son Co Tu Pagoda, Phan Thanh Gian Temple, Son Tien Tu Pagoda, Ong Ho Cave, and Ong Chot Ta Cave. Both caves are said to be the dwelling places of the goddess of the mountain of which the local residents religiously go to and offer their worship. The caves also offer breathtaking views of nature which tourists find fascinating. Tales of fairies and other mysterious creatures also surround Bay Nui, making it more interesting to tourists to visit the place.

Among the local delicacies in the area are dried tra fish; tram fruit, especially popular for its purple hue; and thot not (water coconut). The latter is also a tourism opportunity for the local people to aid them in earning more money. In the same line, they also make and sell thot not sugar and brocade to tourists.

While Bay Nui is bathed in culture and nature, it has adapted to the modern world. This means electricity, paved roads, improved standards of living and even renovated relics. But this does not mean that its history will be forgotten altogether, because this is the reason why it has become a growing tourism interest in the first place.

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