Forbidden Mountain brought back childhood memories

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SaigonTimes English - 36 month(s) ago 5 readings

Forbidden Mountain brought back childhood memories

Being a native of An Giang I decided to go back to my roots and check out what my home province has to offer.

Forbidden Mountain brought back childhood memories

By Nga Phan in An Giang

The iconic Great Buddha Pagoda sits in all his glory on Cam Mountain in An Giang Province - Photo: Nga Phan
Being a native of An Giang I decided to go back to my roots and check out what my home province has to offer.

And what better place to choose to start my step back in time than exploring part of the That Son Range (Seven Mountains).

The mountains of my home province are famous nationwide and I have a vague recollection of a school trip to see Cam Mountain (Forbidden Mountain) in An Binh, An Hao Commune and the majestic Great Buddha Pagoda. The view of the pagoda from Vo Bo Hong Peak is spectacular to me now as an adult but as a child I recall the vastness scared me a little and I held my teacher’s hand.

The temperatures on Cam Mountain are likened to Dalat in the Central Highlands due to its all year round cool climate and it is so refreshing to come to this part of the province as in the Mekong Delta during the hot season can be overwhelming at times.

Of course when I grew up I heard many tales of legends and myths about the mountainous area and tourists love to hear these stories, no-one really cares if they are true or not. Why let truth get in the way of a great story?

The name Forbidden Mountain comes from a number of myths, depending on which one you believe. One is that the rugged terrain was filled with vile creatures and “ghosts” and thus the locals were forbidden from venturing up the mountain.

There is also the story about Nguyen Anh seeking refuge in the mountain after being chased by Tay Son warriors and warned locals to stay away.

If you follow the trail from the park up to Cam Mountain you will come across the beautiful Thanh Long (Blue Dragon) Stream.

Then you reach the Cam Mountain Highland and from there it is a short walk to the Vo Thien Tue peak with its spectacular view of the valley. Nearby is the Great Buddha Pagoda but before you reach that there is Vo Back Tuong (a white elephant-shaped rock which is placed on the side of the mountain).

Once your tired legs reach the Great Buddha Pagoda you can relax a little and take in the Van Linh Pagoda (holy pagoda), Vo Bo Lon (a bull-shaped rock) and Vo Bo Hong which is not only the highest peak of the mountain range but in the Delta.

That Son Range is located along highway 91 from Long Xuyen City.

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