Mahatup Pagoda

Mekong Delta

Mahatup Pagoda, also called the Bat Pagoda, is a large, peaceful Khmer monastery compound with a resident colony of fruit bats. Hundreds of these creatures hang from the trees – the largest weigh about 1kg, with a wingspan of about 1.5m. Around dusk hundreds of bats swoop out of the trees to forage in orchards all over the Mekong Delta.

The Bat Pagoda is 2km south of Soc Trang – a 20,000d xe om ride.

The monks don’t ask for money, although donations won't hurt. The pagoda is decorated with gilt Buddhas and murals paid for by overseas Vietnamese contributors. In one room there’s a life-size statue of the monk who was the former head of the complex.

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