The Oc Eo culture existed in the downstream and delta regions of the Mekong River in what is today the southwest region of Vietnam and southeast region of Cambodia. The Oc Eo culture was the foundation for the ancient Phu Nam kingdom that existed from the first century AD to the seventh century AD, in a larger area which included in what is today the southern part of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. A strong economy, based in regional trade and strong cultural exchanges with India, China, countries in Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean Sea required trading ports to be established early in the culture's history (Oc Eo trading port), making Phu Nam the most powerful kingdom in Southeast Asia in the early centuries of the period. Hindu and Buddhist statues as well as collections of gold jewelry and precious stones were soon well-known internationally and became the rare and precious cultural heritage of Vietnamese culture.
Metal coins, 5th – 6th centuries AD., Oc Eo culture