Visiting Ba Om Pond

Published:  01:47 Thursday - July 21, 2016 Tra Vinh is remembered with not only many ancient Khmer temples but also the historical relic Ba Om Pond which is one of the most famous attractions in Tra Vinh. Ba Om pond is an area of around 39,000 m2 of water surface, cool climate all year around and surrounded by the ancient trees over hundreds years old.

Ba Om Pond is called a square pond but in fact is rectangular, 300 meters wide and 500 meter long. Looking down from the hillside, the pond was covered with water lilies and lotus that bloom in white and purple in every summer.

 

The climate at Ba Om Pond is cool year round, so Tra Vinh people call it the second Da Lat. The pond is surrounded by ancient trees of hundreds of years old. The roots of these trees are above the ground, forming many strange shapes. Large roots create big caves, where children can get into. Some roots have created sofas.

 

There have existed many legends about the formation of Ba Om Pond, the most widely accepted among which is the one that tells the story about a pond-digging contest between a group of men and a group of women in the village.

The legend goes that once upon a time, men and women wanted to marry each other, but neither side wanted to propose marriage because doing so would mean having to pay a huge cost of the wedding donations and party incurred by both sides.

When the villagers ran out of water due to a drought, Mother Soc came up with the idea that men and women in the village should be in a pond-digging contest with the rule that within the period of one night, starting at dusk and ending when the Morning Star appears in the east, whichever side finished with a larger and deeper pond would win. It also meant the losers would have to make the marriage proposals. 

 

After making an agreement, both of the parties commenced the contest. The female group was led by Lady Om, whose trick was that the women entertained the men with drinks right after the sunset.

Too confident about their physical strength and despised their rivals, the male contestants did not heed the digging job and only kept drinking. At midnight, when the men were getting drunk, Lady Om had a lamp hung in a very tall tree. Upon seeing the lamp, the males thought it was the Morning Star, so they went home.

Ms Om continued leading her group with the digging until the Morning Star appeared and so they won the contest. Since then, the pond has been named after Ba Om (Lady Om) and a tradition has held that men propose marriage to women, incurring all the costs involved.

In Tet holidays, Ba Om Pond is the place where community activities of the Khmer population are held.

Ba Om Pond was recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information as a historic national site in 1996.

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