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Bat pagoda



Bat Pagoda or Chua Doi is also known as Chua Ma Toc (Pagoda of the Ma family), and is named for the thousands of bats in the sur­rounding trees. Soc Trang is also the home of Chua Chen Kieu (Pagoda of Decorative Bowls) with thousands of bowls of all sizes attached to its roof, walls and pillars; and Chua Vang (Gold Pagoda), a gorgeous example of Khmer architec­ture.

Chua Doi was built during the 16th century, and has been renovated several times. It's known for its architecture, an ancient Buddha and a number of Buddhist books written on sugar palm leaves. However, its main claim to fame is the presence of a large numbers of fruit bats. These bats have wingspans of more than a meter and roost in the trees behind the pagoda, resembling large ripe pears as they hang upside down from the upper branches. 

The presence of the bats has not affected the surrounding vegetation (although their drop­pings can have a marked effect on tourists' clothes), and they seem oblivious to the people wandering around below them. The best time to see them is in the late afternoon when they fly away to search for food.









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