Conquering Ba Doi Om Mountain in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang left us unforgettable experiences
Ba Doi Om Mountain is in That Son (Seven Mountains) region which spans Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts of An Giang Province. Each of the seven mountains has its own story. The 125-meter mountain by National Highway 91 is regarded as a holy place because of the numerous big and small temples overlooking the picturesque view beneath.
Ba Doi Om Mountain is accessible via two ways. The eastern path is shorter yet craggier while it is easier to walk on the longer western path which offers beautiful landscapes on the way.
Legend of a woman waiting for her husband
The following story about the legend of Ba Doi Om Mountain is often told by local residents. Once upon a time, a Khmer ethnic couple who were both farmers lived happily in their house at the foot of a mountain. One day, the husband had to join the army to repel the invaders. Every evening, the wife holding her baby while carrying an om, a ceramic rice container, came to the top of the mountain to wait for her husband. Time passed and the husband did not return. The wife waited and waited until she died and was petrified. Since then, the mountain has been named Ba Doi Om Mountain, which means the mountain of a woman carrying an om.
A venue for pilgrims
In the morning, when fog still covered mountain peaks in the Seven Mountain region, we enjoyed breakfast and a cup of hot coffee at the mountain foot before starting our climb. The path leading to the peak of Ba Doi Om was lined with big trees. On the way, we saw big stones in strange shapes, several rustic houses, and forests with many age-old mango trees.
We followed the zigzag path to a slope where we could see colorful wild flowers and hear birds singing. Walking around 50 meters more, we saw Ba Doi Temple on the left. Next, to reach Van Bang Ngu Than Temple, we had to climb hundreds of stair steps. We climbed higher to reach Than Kim Quy Temple which looks like a giant stone turtle. We then got over rugged sections of the path to come to Chu Vi Bo Tat and Cuu Nuong Nuong temples. Another temple, Ngoc De (God), required us to climb 200 stone steps.
A local told us that the caves on Ba Doi Om Mountain used to be tiger dens. In early 1960, nobody dared to venture the place. When the last war broke out, most wild animals left the place. Since 1975, no wild animals have been seen.
Finally, we reached the peak of the mountain after wriggling our way through big rocks. There was an altar worshiping Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara at the top. On the way back, we stopped at a level stone named Fairy Yard and a well always full of crystal clear water.
By Hoang Tham