About Vinh Long
Tra Vinh is noted for an attention-grabbing collection of pagodas, with over 300,000 ethnic Khmers living in Tra Vinh province. The province boasts 140 Khmer pagodas compared to 50 Vietnamese temples and 5 Chinese. Without even trying, we stumbled on the exquisitely painted Chinese Ong Pagoda, with the red faced, deified general Quan Cong, a historical figure doing his best to protect the region from war. We happened onto a Cao Dai Temple and were warmly welcomed for tea and proudly taken on a personal tour of their recently built building. A new religion, created in the early part of the 20th century, it combines the teachings of all the great prophets from the east and west. Instead of a Jesus or Buddha in the center of the altar there is the ancient symbol of the all seeing eye in a pyramid, staring down on the chanting believers; dressed in white robes and black hats. The brilliant colors of this new temple were spectacular, in a Disney sort of way.