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Centuries-old ancient trees survive in Mekong Delta

In the yards of ancient communal houses in the Mekong River Delta, there are giant trees of 100 years old or more that have a very special story.

At Phung Tuong communal house in Song Phung commune, Long Phu district, Soc Trang province, two giant Malabar almond trees grew in front of the yard. They were known as the "grandfather tree" and "grandmother tree".

The “grandfather” one perished many years ago, leaving the “grandmother” alone.

Duong Thi Xe, 80, a custodian of Phung Tuong communal house, said that she has seen two giant trees in the courtyard ever since she was a child.

The tree has a diameter of over 10m, 30m at the trunk reaching as tall as 40m.

Duong Thi Xe said that when she was a child, she saw two giant trees in the communal house.

The dead grandfather tree has been sold at VND35 million to Mai Kien, a woodworker from Soc Trang.

According to local people, those who cut down the branches stopped doing so after having strange dreams, leaving the tree dried up with many parts rotten.

In order to fully bring up the 50-ton tree, Kien hired more than 10 workers to dig deep into the ground and pull out the roots, and then he hired a heavy-duty crane to move it to Soc Trang city.

Phung Tuong communal house
Mrs. Duong Thi Xe, 80, a custodian of Phung Tuong communal house, said that she has seen two giant trees in the courtyard ever since she was a child.
The “grandmother” tree is 400-500 years old.
The tree of many people's memories.
The dead grandfather tree has been sold at VND35 million to Mai Kien, a woodworker from Soc Trang. Mr. Kien by the root of the "grandfather” tree
The trunk preserved in a warehouse in Soc Trang.

A communal house hugged by roots of two bodhi trees

Tan Dong communal house is a one-of-a-kind religious building in Vietnam because it is embraced by two bodhi trees.

The communal house has five ancient arches wrapped with the roots of two bodhi trees forming vivid reliefs. 

Bodhi tree roots "hug" tightly to the columns and wall cracks like giant arms with hundreds of fingers embracing and protecting the building.

Due to serious deterioration, in 2020 Tien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism decided to restore and embellish this unique communal house with a budget of about 2.6 billion VND.


Two Bodhi tree roots embracing Tan Dong communal house in Tien Giang province.
At the side door, a huge Bodhi tree sprouted, piercing the roof.
A cultural and spiritual living space for Tien Giang people.

Thien Chi


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