TMG – The Cham villages of An Giang province are not to be missed, where visitors can experience the peaceful setting along with the unique cultural beauty of this community in southwestern Vietnam.
Along the Chau Doc and Hau rivers, the Cham people of An Giang, one of the four ethnic groups who reside in the area together with the Kinh, Chinese, and Khmer people, are preserving the cultural values and unique traditions and customs of the Muslim community, a part of Vietnam’s incredibly diverse cultural landscape.
When staying at the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel, a member of Thien Minh Group (TMG), guests typically jump at the chance to visit the Cham village located right where the two rivers meet in front of the hotel.
The first activity that visitors look forward to trying is learning how to make Cham-style rice cakes. Under the enthusiastic guidance of locals, guests are invited to try their hand at making these specialty cakes flavored with coconut and palm sugar.
“If it doesn’t turn out exactly right, we say you’re making ‘nighttime’ rice cakes—another way of saying they’re burnt,” laughs Mr. Tran Cao Sang, Front Office Supervisor at Victoria Chau Doc, as a way of encouraging well-intentioned amateur cooks.
After making the rice cakes, it’s on to eye-catching textiles and scarves, typical of the Mekong Delta. Visit a Cham home and don traditional wedding garments, a particularly fun experience for couples on the tour.
Not only can visitors try on costumes, but they’ll also be guided on how to wrap traditional scarves that are typically worn at important events in the Cham community. “These activities help broaden our perspective, understanding that each one of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups has its own unique characteristics and a cultural beauty preserved over thousands of years. This helps us love our country even more,” Mr. Sang says.
After visiting a few mosques with distinctive Middle Eastern architecture, guests have another surprise in store when returning to Victoria Chau Doc and seeing a set of Rabana drums, a musical instrument of the ethnic Cham people.
The drum exhibited at the hotel is one of two surviving drum sets of the Cham people in Vietnam. “At Victoria Chau Doc, each object and each corner have a story to tell. We invite guests to come to the Victoria Chau Doc Hotel and listen to these stories, which make us love and appreciate the values of our homeland even more, as well as have a share in preserving them,” says Mr. Sang.
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Established in 1994, TMG has grown from a company with just three employees to an enterprise with more than 2,500 employees worldwide. Thien Minh is now Asia’s leading package travel provider, founded on the mission of always putting our clients front and center. With four areas of operation – Destination Management, Hospitality, Online, and Aviation – TMG is the ideal host for distinctive journeys featuring truly memorable travel experiences.