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My Tho

Mỹ Tho is the capital city, center of economics, education and technology of Tiền Giang Province, located in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam. It has a population of approximately 169,000 in 2006 and 220,000 in 2012. The majority ethnic is the Kinh, and some of the Chinese, the Cham and the Khmer. Boat rides on the Mỹ Tho River are popular with tourists, and the city is known for hủ tiếu Mỹ Tho, a type of soup.
Mỹ Tho was founded in the 1680s by Chinese refugees fleeing China mainland, when the general of the Qing Dynasty Shi Lang defeated the remnants of Southern Ming Dynasty in 1683. The area, at the time, was once part of the Khmer kingdom and it was annexed to Vietnam in the 18th century. The city is named after the Mỹ Tho River. In Sino-Vietnamese script, the name is given as 美萩 (beautiful tree). Due to its proximity to Saigon, Mỹ Tho was the traditional gateway to the Mekong Delta.

In the 17th century, the city had become one of the biggest commercial hubs in today's Southern Vietnam.

In 1860s, Mỹ Tho, along with Saigon, was a major strategic city during the French colonial campaign towards Vietnam. In 1862, France's capture of Mỹ Tho is regarded as the conclusion to the establishment of the French colony of Cochinchina, a development that inaugurated nearly a century of French colonial dominance in Vietnam. During the colonization period, the economy continued to prosper, attracting more immigrants, mainly from Teochew and Minnan.

Mỹ Tho City is recognized as a grade II in October 7, 2005.

Mỹ Tho is connected to the rest of the country by National Route 1A and Tiền River. In here, people mainly use motorcycles, bicycles and boats for transportation. Mỹ Tho has the first railway route (about 70km long) in Vietnam which was one of the most modern transport means in the world linking Saigon and Mỹ Tho, put into use in 1885. However, it was destroyed in 1960s.

By road, Mỹ Tho City is 70km from Vĩnh Long Province, 70km from Ho Chi Minh City, 103 km from Cần Thơ, 179 km from Châu Đốc, 182 km from Rạch Giá, 132 km from Long Xuyên. Mỹ Tho and Bến Tre are connected by Rạch Miễu Bridge.

By river, there are many short boat trips to various islands, Bến Tre, and floating markets in the surrounding areas. It also has overnight long boats to Châu Đốc and Long Xuyên.

Tourist information

Vĩnh Tràng Temple, Cao Dai Temple, Dong Tam Snake Farm. There are four islands in the Tien River between Mỹ Tho and Bến Tre: Dragon (Con Rong), Tortoise (Con Qui), Phoenix (Con Phung) and Unicorn (Con Lan) Islands.

The Mekong Delta is considered to be the “rice basket of Vietnam”, contributing more than half of the nation’s rice production. Mỹ Tho is well known as floating markets, where people sell and buy things on the river, as well as Ben Tam Ngua and Mỹ Thuận market.