One of the most scenic spots in the Mekong Delta, Ba Om Pond is located in Hamlet 3, Ward 8, Tra Vinh town, approximately 5 km West of the town centre. With its surface covering 39,000 square metres, the pond enjoys a cool climate all year round. It is surrounded by trees aged hundreds of years whose roots protrude from the underground, making a beautiful view. With its still surface and the lotuses, water-lilies, schools of fish and wild ducks which it accommodates, the pond is a lovely scene. The pond is square, hence it is also named the Square Pond.
There have existed many legends about the formation of Ba Om Pond, the most widely accepted among which is the one that tells the story about a pond-digging contest between a group of men and a group of women in the village. The legend goes that once upon a time, men and women wanted to marry each other, but neither side wanted to propose marriage because doing so would mean having to pay a huge cost of the wedding donations and party incurred by both sides. When the villagers ran out of water due to a drought, Mother Soc came up with the idea that men and women in the village should be in a pond-digging contest with the rule that within the period of one night, starting at dusk and ending when the Morning Star appears in the east, whichever side finished with a larger and deeper pond would win. It aslo meant the losers would have to make the marriage proposals.
After making an agreement, both of the parties commenced the contest. The female group was led by Lady Om, whose trick was that the women entertained the men with drinks right after the sunset.
Too confident about their physical strength and despised their rivals, the male contestants did not heed the digging job and only kept drinking. At midnight, when the men were getting drunk, Lady Om had a lamp hung in a very tall tree. Upon seeing the lamp, the males thought it was the Morning Star, so they went home. Ms Om continued leading her group with the digging until the Morning Star appeared and so they won the contest. Since then, the pond has been named after Ba Om (Lady Om) and a tradition has held that men propose marriage towomen, incurring all the costs involved.
Ba Om Pond, along with Ang Pagoda and Khmer Cultural Museum, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and campers in the spring,especially on such occasions as Ok Om Bok Festival and the Lunar New Year. (Ba Om Pond and Ang Pagoda were granted to be cultural vestiges in August 1994.)