Long Xuyen

Long Xuyen is a regional capital with an interesting history and a rather bland present-day reality. Like My Tho it was founded by the ancient Funanese, or Oc Eo, civilization. Until 1975 it was also the center of the Hoa Hao Buddhist sect, which, like the Caodai, had its own standing army to protect its interests against other sects and armies of the time. The Hoa Hao Buddhists often refer to themselves as Vietnamese Buddhists—that is, practicing a version of Buddhism distinct to Vietnam. Hoa Hao adherents are proud and fiercely independent; during the 1950s and '60s they fought both the Saigon regime and the Vietcong with their own army. They were disarmed after the reunification of Vietnam.

The city, the capital of An Giang province, is noteworthy for another reason: it was the birthplace of Ton Duc Thang (1888–1980), North Vietnam's president after Ho Chi Minh's death and the first president of the unified country after 1975.

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