- RACH GIA – Cochinchina
- 1. Author
WRITER – PhD. in history NGUYỄN MẠNH HÙNG !we call En-VersiGoo – was founded by PhD. Hung in September 2019 to convey all his research articles over 40 years ago to serve Readers in the world who want to study about the history and the culture of Vietnam.
- 2. Content
Province of Rachgia [Rạch Giá], 235.000 inhabitants. Chief town Rachgia [Rạch Giá] or village of Vinh Than Van [Vĩnh Thanh Vân]: 10.000 inhabitants, 3 delegations: Long My [Long Mỹ], Giong Rieng [Giòng Riềng], Go Quao [Gò Quao]. 10 Cantons.
I. Physical Geography
SITUATION AND ASPECT
The province of Rachgia [Rạch Giá], at the extreme west of Cochin-China, extends to the Gulf of Siam, between the provinces of Baclieu [Bạc Liêu] in the south, of Soctrang [Sóc Trăng] and Cantho [Cần Thơ], and Longxuyen [Long Xuyên] in the east, to Chaudoc [Châu Đốc] and Hatien [Hà Tien] in the north. This is one of the largest regions in Cochin-China, as well as one of the richest, but it has not yet reached its full development, as it has only recently been placed under cultivation. Some 15 years ago its dense forests were the homes of herds of elephants, but these had to be gradually destroyed to enable the land to be cultivated.
Flat like the whole immense plain of Cochin-China, there is nevertheless, in the north-west, some rising ground, at times reaching a height of 200 meters. The province is intersected hy canals, stream and waterways which connect the two small rivers: the Song Cai Long [Sông Cái Lồng] and the Song Cai Be [Sông Cái Bè] with the Bassac [Bassac]. Up to 1920, waterways were the exclusive means of communication. Roads: Since 1920, the opening of the Rachgia [Rạch Giá] – Cantho [Cần Thơ] route brought Rachgia [Rạch Giá] much nearer to the rest of Cochin-China, and it can be reached to-day by motor ear from Saigon [Sài Gòn] in seven hours. It took formerly 24 hours by water to reach this remote and altogether peculiar post. It took five years of considerable labour to make this road, and called for extraordinary efforts, for instance the mortar bridge thrown over the Cai Lon [Cái Lớn], which is not less than 300 meters wide, and has a superb sweep.
II. Administrative Geography
The chief town: Starting work in 1914, Rachgia [Rạch Giá], the chief town, was rapidly restored, preserved and embellished by the active administrator M. Chassaing. The European houses are almost all new, solidly built wharves were built, and a fine church was erected in 1922. The hospital, the schools, the hotel are of very cheering aspect, even if not quite up to the wealth of the country.
The port of Rachgia [Rạch Giá] opens on to a large bay which is fairly sheltered, but which gets rapidly choked with mud. The junks sailing the high seas from Hong Kong [Hồng Kông] to Singapore put in at Rachgia [Rạch Giá] and carry on a very important trade in rice, salted fish, nuoc-man [nước mắm] and so on.
The majority of the population is Annamite, but there is a large proportion of Chinese and Cambodians who inhabited the country long before the Annamites. That is why the Chinese pagodas are of such great beauty. The Cambodian pagodas are also very rich, but less well kept up. The Annamites have erected several Bhuddist temples, but they are too modern in style.
The outskirts of Rachgia [Rạch Giá] offer nothing remarkable, but villages grow rapidly with the increasing prosperity of the country. The centre of Long My surpasses in importance all its neighbours. Situated at the crossing of important waterways, the centre has developed considerably, as is evident by its excellent buildings, its large market, its roads, bridges and the various works undertaken in this region.
III. Economic Geography
As already mentioned, agriculture is the staple economic industry of the province. The progress during the last few years has been remarkable, and the increasing value of the entire province in the near future seems assured. The distribution of the products of the soil is introducing a notable commercial activity, chiefly in exports to Singapore.
BAN TU THƯ