Oxen Racing Festival and Village Life

Southern Vietnam has a large Khmer population who celebrate a number of unique and distinct festivals throughout the year. One of the most memorable for those traveling in the country is Sene Dolta, or the Oxen Racing Festival.

This striking event takes place only in the Bay Nui (Seven Mountain) region of Vietnam and attracts people from all over the Mekong Delta. We first take guests to the Cai Be Floating Market for a river cruise amongst the floating barges of colorful foods. Our sampan boat winds amongst this hive of activity, passing through delightful scents of bubbling soups and freshly cut fruits. Leaving the market behind, our sampan continues to Dong Hoa Hiep where rural Mekong Delta life is effervescent as children play along the riverbank and farmers tend to their orchards.

The following day we attend the lively races as each rider attempts to control a pair of Ox as they pull a large harrow with the driver standing in between. The event is quite auspicious with the winning pair of Oxen believed to bring good luck to the village from which they belong. These early morning races are unlike any other occasion and of great significance to the Khmer people from this beautiful region of Vietnam.

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