Khmer pagodas host both religious ceremonies and non-religious
cultural activities. Today we’ll visit some pagodas in Soc Trang province, which
is home to a large population of Khmer people.
Visiting Khmer pagodas in Soc Trang province, travel news, Vietnam guide,
Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon,
travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news
Kh’leang, Mahatup (Bat), Dat Set (Clay), and Salon (Designed bowl) are the most
typical of the 99 Khmer pagodas in Soc Trang province.
Salon pagoda is in Dai Tam commune, 12 km from Soc Trang city. Built in 1815,
the one-of-a-kind pagoda has ceramic walls made of broken pieces of bowls and
Chim Chot, Head of the Management Board of Salon pagoda said "The pagoda was
bombed during the war. The monks and nuns collected broken ceramic pieces to
rebuild the main hall. That's why, the pagoda is named "Designed Bowl" meaning
‘Salon’ in the Khmer language.
Like most Khmer pagodas, Salon has three roofs intricately decorated to reflect
an aspiration for peace and freedom of the soul. The two ends of the roof ridge
are in a curved shape. On the pagoda walls are paintings depicting the life of
Shakyamuni Buddha from his birth to his enlightenment. The main worshiping hall
has 20 well-arranged Buddha statues.
Kh’leang is the oldest pagoda in Soc Trang province. Built on high ground, the
pagoda is surrounded by palmyra trees, a typical tree of the Khmer people. The
pagoda gate is designed with colorful patterns reflecting Khmer culture. The
pagoda roof is embossed with images of birds and animals indicating the Khmer
philosophy of harmony.
The main worshipping hall has 16 gold-plated wood pillars carved with images
depicting the life of Buddha and Buddhist activities. A 6.8-meter Buddha statue
cast in 1916 stands in the center of the main hall surrounded by items
representing the cultural life of the Khmer people.
Mahatup pagoda is the only Khmer pagoda in Soc Trang province that worships the
Lord Buddha. The pagoda is also called Doi (Bat) because thousands of bats live
in the pagoda yard.
Trinh Tien, a member of the band that plays traditional music there said “On
important occasions like the Chol Chnam Thmay and Dolta festivals, our band
performs in the pagoda to express the Khmer people’s gratitude.”
Mahatup pagoda was built in the 16th century in the Khmer architectural style.
In the main hall is a stone Buddha sitting on a 2-meter-wide lotus flower and a
statue of Buddha riding on the snake genie Muchalinda. The pagoda preserves
sutras written on palmyra leaves, rare and precious treasures of Khmer religious
Dat Set (Clay) pagoda, founded by Mr. Ngo Kim Tay in 1906, is the only Khmer
pagoda built in a Vietnamese architectural style. The pagoda roof is supported
by 24 pillars, each decorated with clay dragons curling from the ground to the
roof. The pagoda contains 1,991 clay statues, 3 large urns, 7 small urns, a
1,000-petal lotus, and 2 towers.
Mr. Tram Sanh, a Soc Trang resident, told VOV how much the means to the Khmer
“The pagoda is the venue for cultural, spiritual, and religious activities of
the Khmer. Everyone wants to visit the pagoda on important occasions and at
festivals to worship the Buddha”, said Mr Sanh.