The province of Tanan [Tân An] is bounded on the north by the province of Tayninh [Tây Ninh], of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and the kingdom of Cambodia, on the south by the provinces of Sadec [Sa Đéc], Mytho [Mỹ Tho] and Gocong [Gò Công], on the east by the provinces of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and Gocong [Gò Công], and on the west by the kingdom of Cambodia and the provinces of Chaudoc [Châu Đốc] and Long Xuyen [Long Xuyên].
Of a total superficial area of approximately 380.000 hectares, only 80.000 hectares in the southern part of the province are of value, cultivated solely with rice. The rest, about 300.000 hectares, is one immense basin extending to the borders of Cambodia, under water for several months of the year. These are the plains of Jones where no important cultivation has so far been possible. The province of Tanan [Tân An] is therefore far from its full economic development, which can only be attained when the enormous hydraulic works, necessary for draining, and the rational irrigation of the plain of Jones, are completed.
The system of roads in the province of Tanan [Tân An] includes the following roads, all entirely metalled motor roads:
1. The colonial route No. 16 from Saigon [Sài Gòn] to Mytho [Mỹ Tho];
2. The provincial route No. 21 from Tanan [Tân An] to Gocong [Gò Công] via Rach La [Rạch Lá];
3. The provincial route No. 22 from Tanan [Tân An] to Mytho [Mỹ Tho];
4. The provincial route No. 23 from Tanan [Tân An] to Mytho [Mỹ Tho];
5. The communal route No. 5 which runs from the colonial route to route No. 15 called the Tanan [Tân An] to Nhut Tao [Nhựt Tảo] route;
6. The communal route No. 6 from Thu Thua [Thủ Thừa] to the station of Binh Anh [Bình Anh];
7. The communal route No. 8 from Tanan [Tân An] to Thanh Phu Long [Thanh Phú Long] via Ky Son [Kỳ Sơn] and Binh Phuoc [Bình Phước];
8. The communal route No. 9 which joins the communal route at the market place of Thu Thua [Thủ Thừa];
9. The communal route No. 14 which runs from the provincial route No. 21 at Gocong by the ferry at Chogao [Chợ Gạo];
10. The communal route No. 15 from Tanan [Tân An] to Nhut Tao [Nhựt Tảo].
II. Administrative Geography
The province of Tanan [Tân An] is divided into 10 cantons, comprising 64 villages and forming 4 administrative districts, each under the supervision of a native official with the rank of Phu [Phủ], or of Huyen [Huyện], viz:
1. District of the chief town;
2. District of Binh Phuoc [Bình Phước];
3. District of Thu Thua [Thủ Thừa];
4. District of Moc Hoa [Mộc Hoá].
1. TANAN [Tân An]; The chief town, is situated in the territory belonging to the village of Binh Lap [Bình Lập]; it was formerly an important trading centre called Vung Gu [Vũng Gụ], but lost its importance since the trading boats and barges ceased using the postal waterways and transferred their trade to the Duperre canal and commercial streams when passing from the west to Saigon 47 km from Saigon [Sài Gòn], it has a service of trains by the Saigon [Sài Gòn] – Mytho [Mỹ Tho] line, as well as a numerous motor car service from Saigon [Sài Gòn] to Mytho [Mỹ Tho] and from Saigon [Sài Gòn] to various provinces in the west. The various departments are here represented: the treasury, post and telegraph, public works, customs and exise. A primary school in full practice, a school for young native girls, and a maternity hospital, are in excellent working order. A native Justice of the Peace will be appointed here shortly;
2. Ky Son [Kỳ Sơn] (village of Binh Quoi [Bình Quới]) 6 km from the chief town, has a fairly important market (on the communal route No. 8);
3. Thu Thua [Thủ Thừa] (village of Binh Phong Thang [Bình Phong Thắng]) 7 km from the chief town, has an administrative delegation, a primary school, a fairly important market on the Thu Thua [Thủ Thừa] canal, and an important waterway for native boats and barges;
4. Nhut Tao [Nhựt Tảo] (village of An Nhut Tan [Nhựt Tân]) 15 km from the chief town, has a market;
5. Binh Phuoc (village of Phuoc Tan Hung [Tân Hưng]) 15 km from the chief town, head quarters of an administrative delegation, market, post and telegraph office, maternity home;
6. Tam Vu (village of Duong Xuan Hoi) 12 km from the chief town-market;
7. Quan Tap (village of Tan Tru [Tân Trụ]) 18 km market.
The population of the province, totalling 120.000, is composed as follows; 60 Europeans, 118.500 Annamites, 450 Minh Huong [Minh Hương], 700 Chinese, 250 Cambodians and 20 Indians and others.
The province of Tanan [Tân An], situated between Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and Mytho [Mỹ Tho], is of no interest to tourists. It is devoid of beautiful scenery. Among historical monuments maybe mentioned:
1. In the village of Khanh Hau [Khánh Hậu] (canton of Hung Long [Hưng Long]) near the colonial route No. 16, is the tomb of Tien quan Nguyen-Huynh-Duc [Nguyễn Huỳnh Đức], Marshal Gia Long [Gia Long] having contributed to founding the dynasty of the Nguyen [Nguyễn]. Some relics belonging to this great Mandarin are in the pagoda close to the tomb;
2. In the village of Binh Lang (canton of An Ninh Ha [An Ninh Hạ]) is the tomb of Ong-Hong, a very rich Annamite, who, by sending large junks filled with paddy to the court of Hue [Huế], very effectively came to the help of the starving people of central Annam [An Nam]. The emperor Minh-Mang [Minh Mạng] bestowed on him the title of Tho-dan. This tomb is placed on the canal of the same name, which joins the two Vaicos, downstream towards Tanan [Tân An];
3. At Nhut Tho [Nhựt Thọ], on the eastern Vaico, downstream towards the bridge of Ben Luc [Bến Lức], is a small monument, raised to the memory of a “doi” and some agents who were killed by the partisans of the Annamite government, at the commencement of the French occupation.
MEANS OF TRANSPORT
The town of Tanan [Tân An] is served by the Saigon [Sài Gòn] – Mytho [Mỹ Tho] railway line with trains running five times a day (there and back); also by a large number of public transport motor cars, using the colonial route, with a prompt service at every hour of the day, running in co-operation with the railway for the benefit of travellers. To visit the tomb of Marshal Nguyen-Huynh-Duc [Nguyễn Huỳnh Đức], one can go by motor car direct from Saigon [Sài Gòn] to the village of Khanh Hau [Khánh Hậu], or one can take the train to Tanan [Tân An], and then a “pousse-pousse” or a “tilbury” to cover the 3 km which separate the station from the monument. To visit Nhut Tao [Nhựt Tảo], it is necessary to take a sampan at Ben Luc [Bến Lức], descending the eastern Vaico, or to go direct by water to this market place, either from Saigon [Sài Gòn] or from Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn]. From Nhut Tao Nhut Tao [Nhựt Tảo], one can easily reach by sampan the tomb of Ong-Hong, on the canal of the same name, which flows into the Vaico not far from this centre.
There are no hotels in Tanan [Tân An] owing to the proximity of the big towns of Cho Lon [Chợ Lớn] and Mytho [Mỹ Tho]. The administration can however offer to European travellers two rooms at the guesthouse, free of charge, but no meals are served. There is no bungalow, nor are there any rooms at the delegation. Provisions (preserves, wine, bread, ice) are sold in the market of Tanan [Tân An], at a few grocery stores.
The grant of vast expanses have been applied for by natives and Europeans in the plains of Jones, but as all cultivation is at the mercy of the floods, practically the only return obtained by the grantees consist in the revenues from fishing. The northern part of the province furnishes also rushes, and there is a fairly important industry in the manufacture of matting and coarse packing. Sugar cane plantations have developed fairly well in the last few years in several villages of the canton of Cuu Cu Thuong [Cửu Cụ thượng], especially in Thanh Loi [Thạnh Lợi], Binh Hoa [Bình Hoà], My Thanh Dong [Mỹ Thạnh Đông] and My Qui [Mỹ Quý], all situated along the eastern Vaico, where there are about 20 native sugar refineries.
BAN TU THU