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Vinh Te Canal

vinh te canal, far east vacation
Vinh Te Canal

Vinh Te Canal is an 87-kilometre-long canal in southern Vietnam, designed to give the territory of Chau Doc a direct access to the Ha Tien sea gate, Gulf of Thailand.

After the construction of Thoai Ha Canal, Emperor Gia Long of Nguyen Dynasty ordered the mandarin Nguyen Van Thoai to dig a new canal along the Cambodia – Vietnam border. The construction of the canal was started in the end of 1819. The project used about 80,000 local Vietnamese and Khmer workers. After the death of Emperor Gia Long, the succeeding Emperor Minh Mạng continued the project. The workers, especially the Khmers, were heavily exploited by being forced to do hard work, which resulted thousands of deaths from fatigue and consequent disease during the canal’s construction. Consequently, Vinh Te Canal became a symbol of Vietnamese mistreatment of the Khmer and was used later by the Khmer Rouge in anti-Vietnamese propaganda. The construction was completed in 1824 and Emperor Minh Mạng named the canal after Chau Vinh Te, the wife of its builder Nguyen Van Thoai. From that point on, the canal plays an important role in the southern Vietnam's communication, transportation and the definition of the border of Vietnam and Cambodia.