Mỹ Tho

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Mỹ Tho
Thành phố Mỹ Tho
City
Mỹ Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Mỹ Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Mỹ Tho is located in Vietnam
Mỹ Tho
Mỹ Tho
Location in Vietnam
Coordinates: 10°21′N 106°21′E / 10.350°N 106.350°E / 10.350; 106.350
Country Vietnam
Province Tiền Giang
Area
 • Total 30.8 sq mi (79.8 km2)
Population
 • Total 220,000
Area code(s) 073, 074 (nation) and +8473,+8474 (international)
Website Thành phố Mỹ Tho

Mỹ Tho (About this sound listen) is the capital city, center of economics, education and technology of Tiền Giang Province, located in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam.[1] It has a population of approximately 169,000 in 2006[2] and 220,000 in 2012.[3] The majority ethnic is the Kinh, and some of the Chinese, the Cham and the Khmer.[4] 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.[5]

History[edit]

Mỹ Tho was founded in the 1680s by Chinese refugees fleeing Taiwan 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 (beautiful tree).[6] 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.[7]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Mỹ Tho is divided to 11 wards and 6 communes.[8]

11 wards:

  1. Ward 1
  2. Ward 2
  3. Ward 3
  4. Ward 4
  5. Ward 5
  6. Ward 6
  7. Ward 7
  8. Ward 8
  9. Ward 9
  10. Ward 10
  11. Ward Tan Long

6 communes:

  1. Đạo Thạnh
  2. My Phong
  3. Phuoc Thanh
  4. Tan My Chanh
  5. Thoi Son
  6. Trung An
  7. Phước Thạnh

Transportation[edit]

Tiền Giang Province transportation map

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 1950s.[9]

By road, Mỹ Tho City is 70km from Vĩnh Long Province, 70km from Ho Chi Minh City, 103km from Cần Thơ, 179km from Châu Đốc, 182km from Rạch Giá,[10] 132km from Long Xuyên.[11] 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[12] in the surrounding areas. It also has overnight long boats to Châu Đốc and Long Xuyên.

Tourist information[edit]

Front view of Vinh Trang pagoda

Vĩnh Tràng Temple,[13] Cao Dai Temple,[14] Dong Tam Snake Farm.[15] 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.[16]

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.

Education[edit]

Mỹ Tho was the first town in southern Vietnam to have a high school. The Collège de My Tho, opened in March 1879, is now called Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School. It was one of the first schools Vietnam had, and even now is still known for its education quality among Southern schools.

Later, another school called "School for Gifted Students of Tien Giang" opened in My Tho city. Though the total area is very limited compared to other schools in the province, quality of education there is usually considered one of the best. The curriculum they use is modified so that students usually learn more of their core subjects than in other schools. For instance, students from a Math class do all the required materials like any other classes, more of Chemistry, Biology and Physics because they are in the Natural Science block, and a lot more of Math. Preparation for national exams and entrance examination to the university are prioritized there.

Schools in Mỹ Tho are named with famous Vietnamese writers, poets, and national heroes such as Nguyễn Trãi, Thu Khoa Huan is also known as Nguyen Huu Huan, Xuân Diệu, Lê Ngọc Hân, Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Trần Hưng Đạo.

Tiền Giang College which became Tiền Giang University in 2005[17] is also located at Mỹ Tho.

Economy[edit]

Today the economy is based on tourism, fishing, and agricultural products such as coconuts, bananas, and longans.[18]

During World War II the French Vichy government interned foreign nationals in Mỹ Tho. In May 1945, the Japanese seized control of the camps fearing an allied attack. Foreign nationals were confined throughout the war. As the regional capital Mỹ Tho is the main market dealing in all the produce from the region as well as fish and seafood from Mỹ Tho's large ocean-going fishing fleet. The very large and exuberant market is one of South Vietnam's biggest sources for dried fish and other dried seafood products such as Kho Muc (dried squid). At night the market is dedicated to the dealing and sorting of Mekong River fish, particularly catfish for Hồ Chí Minh City's wholesale markets. Produce, especially fruit and vegetables, is delivered by boat directly to markets. It is a popular starting point for tourists to take a boat trip on the Mekong River.

Mỹ Tho was the subject of "The Lesson", a chapter in a memoir by Tobias Wolff, In Pharoah's Army: Memories of the Lost War, describing the events of the 1968 Tet Offensive there.[19]

In 2010, there are total 17 markets located in wards and commune in Mỹ Tho.[3]

Neighbouring cities[edit]

Notable people from Mỹ Tho[edit]

Sister Cities[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 10°21′N 106°21′E / 10.350°N 106.350°E / 10.350; 106.350