Coming to Tra Vinh, it is impossible not to mention the unique Khmer temples of the people here. The most prominent of which is Vam Ray Pagoda, which was rebuilt from the 600-year-old temple that was destroyed during the war. Although newly built, it still has the ancient and traditional features of Khmer Theravada Buddhism.
1. Better to Know as a Tourist
Spend-time: One hour (approx)
Hours: Dawn – Dusk
Parking lot: Yes
Address: Located at Vam Ray hamlet, Ham Tan commune, Tra Cu district, Tra Vinh province.
Added values: Visiting Vam Ray Pagoda, visitors can not only admire the unique architecture at the temple but also walk inside this extremely large space, feel the pure atmosphere at the temple. Visitors can also go inside to pray for peace and health for their loved ones and family.
Nearby attractions and hidden gems: Looking for places to stop on your way to and from Vam Ray Pagoda? Or maybe you found it too crowded here? We’ve got some ideas! Check out our list: Ba Dong Beach (43 km), Ba Om Pond (39 km), Truc Lam Zen Monastery Tra Vinh (42 km), Con Chim Islet (48 km), Tra Vinh Market (38 km)…
2. Travel Guide to Vam Ray Pagoda
Vam Ray pagoda is located at a beautiful and quite convenient location. Therefore, moving to the temple is very easy. Visitors can go by many different roads and means. Going from Soc Trang and Ben Tre to Vam Ray is just a ferry ride away. If tourists choose to travel by car or motorbike, they can follow the road QL54 (the road to Hang Pagoda), go to Tap Son, turn left on National Highway 53 and then go through Tra Cu about 3km, over the Ham Giang bridge. Immediately turn right onto a small paved road and continue to come to Vam Ray pagoda. Vam Ray Pagoda is only about 35km from the center of Tra Vinh city.
Vam Ray Pagoda has existed for over 600 years and carries many mysterious spiritual stories. To preserve this six-hundred-year-old relic, a Buddhist of the temple – Mr. Tram Be (a giant in the banking industry) – voluntarily donated one million USD equivalent to more than 20 billion VND for restoration and repaired the whole temple. Vam Ray Pagoda began to be restored and renovated on May 3, 2004 and was completely completed on March 3, 2008. After the great restoration, Vam Ray Pagoda was inaugurated and put into operation again. on May 22, 2010. To commemorate Mr. Tram Be’s donation, people also call this Vam Ray pagoda with another name, Mr. Tram Be temple.
3. What to Do – See – Eat at Vam Ray Pagoda
Vam Ray Pagoda is the largest Theravada Buddhist temple in Vietnam. This is not only the pride of Khmer people but also the pride of Tra Vinh people. The architecture of Vam Ray pagoda has all the characteristics of the architectural style of Angkor (Cambodia). The most splendid and magnificent features are gathered in this temple.
Vam Ray Pagoda is massive and brilliant like a magnificent palace made of gold. Even the gate of the temple is meticulously made to every detail according to the familiar three-door architecture with carved figures, the top of the gate is multi-storey towers. The main hall of the pagoda has 4 gates, the main gate facing east according to Khmer tradition. According to the Khmer’s concept, the main hall turns to the east, symbolizing that the Buddha’s spiritual path begins from West to East.
The road to the temple is made very spacious and airy, the most prominent point is the rows of goddesses with hands clasped to the sides. In the middle of the temple yard, there is a towering pillar with a supporting base that is the 5-headed Naga snake god, this is the place for lighting candles at every festival. The Khmer believe that this is an act that symbolizes that the Buddha Dharma will enlighten and make people turn to the good in the same way that the Buddha tamed snakes.
Inside the main hall is decorated very solemnly but does not lose the inherent splendor. Colorful and Khmer cultural murals are arranged throughout the main hall with the theme of Buddha’s life and Buddhist teachings. In the middle of the main hall, there is only one large Buddha image and three small Buddha images are arranged lower than the large Buddha image, creating a dignified atmosphere for this place.
The pillars outside the main hall were built and crafted in the ancient architectural style of Co Ranh. The top of the pillar, where the column meets the roof, is carved with the image of the god Krud, with a pearl in its beak with both hands raised to support the roof of the temple. The whole Ham Ray pagoda is like a sophisticated work of art, from the way of designing and creating domes, walls, stairs to statues of gods and fairies…
People mention Vam Ray temple because of another special point. In the southeast direction of the main hall is the statue of Buddha Shakyamuni entering nirvana up to 54m long, 20m high, 16m wide, supported by a 2-storey row of houses where monks, nuns and Buddhists live. All of them are covered with gold paint, adding to the reverence and splendor of the statue.
Vam Ray Pagoda is a destination for monks, nuns, and Theravada Buddhists near and far every Tet holiday, especially major Khmer holidays. Moreover, this is also a tourist destination chosen by many tourists to come and learn about Khmer culture, pilgrimage and worship.
4. Free Itineraries from VeMekong
As a local travel expert, we have some ideas for you to think about.
From Tra Vinh center:
If you do not have much time left, it is easy to check out spots in one full day by boat or with bike or with motorbike and car. But there are much more than tourist sites like these in Tra Vinh. Make sure you have more time to feel and explore more about the hidden gems and the culture, food, night life, wildlife and forest as well. Top tip: Stay in a homestay nearby, so you have more chances to visit it and surroundings. If you are looking for the package Tra Vinh daily tour with local, you can contact www.vemekong.com or Hotline/WhatsApp/WeChat/Zalo +84939888559; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Google Maps of Vam Ray Pagoda
Google Maps made a name for itself helping people travel from one place to another, avoid traffic (You probably know the route from your hotel to the gas station by heart, but what you can’t be sure about is gridlock), measure a distance, get back to the hotel on time, share the location…
6. Visit Vam Ray Pagoda by yourself
Solo traveller? Travelling on your own means you will get out of any difficult situations by yourself. This, in turn, leads to more satisfying travel experiences and helps you improve your problem-solving skills. These days we rarely get the chance to sit with ourselves and simply be. That’s why you should consider the time you spend alone on your trip as a gift.
It is possible for solo travellers to use google maps and do it alone. But sometimes they need to update local maintained roads and bridges which close and lead you a longer road than the road from google maps. It is just about the time. It takes more time to find the correct garden to come. Adventure is always fun. Wifi is strong in Tra Vinh village! The locals find it hard to speak English as well. Top tip: Sticking to one canal and keeping going along it which gives you more things to see and avoids getting lost. Contact vemekong.com to hire a car, scooter with English-speaking-guide or cycling tours in Tra Vinh.
7. Responsible Travel and Advice to Visit Vam Ray Pagoda
Don’t get us wrong. But we assure you that you totally agree with us. “Do not give candy and things to the children when you plan to visit any local villages”, the kids will leave the school and follow the sweets and later they find some things to give you or sell to you. The garden is a little forest, don’t pick and touch the flowers or fruits without the local’s smiles. We deal with traveling green and leaving green behind, not plastic. Top tip: Vemekong.com are some of the companies that care a lot about responsible travel and local respectation.
8. Amazing Video flycam/drone of Vam Ray Pagoda (4k)
If a picture says a thousand words, it stands to reason that the video says many times more.
9. Incredible Tips for Photography, Specialists, KOLs, Media and Influencers
To get the best of the best for your unique writing, featuring, photo, video and insider’s stories. We do recommend you to have a local travel expert, the one who always gets more ground information and makes sure every single element is solved perfectly. Vemekong (very exclusive Mekong) team is your priority choice. Email and have a private talk with them to customize your journey smoothly, personal and the most ultimately amazing. You can contact www.vemekong.com or Hotline/WhatsApp/WeChat/Zalo +84939888559; email: email@example.com
10. Pro Tips
Tra Vinh Khmer pagodas are solemn places, so you should choose beautiful clothes that are still polite and discreet. In the temple grounds, there are many animal statues such as elephants, snakes, etc. If you go with the children, please remind them not to climb because these are sacred symbols of the Khmer people.
The monks don’t ask for money, although donations won’t hurt.
If you plan to extend your tour to Tra Vinh homestay, do not forget to bring mosquito repellent cream.
Visit Tra Vinh or do any customized tours, please choose reputable providers with boat trips equipped with lifebuoys, jackets, motorcycle and cycling tours with the helmets. Safety is a priority! Choose Tra Vinh responsible tours which help you give back while traveling. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.
Tra Vinh food & drink guide ranges from street food, authentic, fancy to fusion foods. As a tropical land of many fresh vegetables and homegrown gardens, which always make Tra Vinh cuisines fresh, close to nature and very traditional. If you are a food lover, don’t hesitate to put other bites onto your food lists such as Cong Cake, Tra Cuon’s Sticky Rice Cake, Bun Nuoc Leo Tra Vinh’s Noodle Soup, Macapuno Coconut…
Bring your hat, sunglasses, and sunblock, scarf to wear when visiting temples, pagodas, and the cathedral.
Bring the raincoat if you’re planning a trip to Tra Vinh in the rainy season, as Tra Vinh always looks fantastic in the full rain and full sun.
Tra Vinh tourist attractions are magnificent itself, but if you have enough time, don’t forget to put other places onto your bucket lists such as Hang Pagoda, Nôdol Pagoda (Stork temple), Khmer minority people’s museum, Ba Dong Beach, Ba Om Pond, Ang Pagoda, Vam Ray Pagoda, Truc Lam Zen Monastery Tra Vinh, Cau Ke Ancient House or Huynh Ky Old House, Kampong Ksan pagoda, Con Chim islet – community-based tourism…
Hopefully, the above tips will help you to come up with a great plan for your adventure in Tra Vinh, Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Have a safe trip!
“Sleep less, travel more, respect more” – Thomas Vietnam – Local travel expert.