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Archive for December, 2017

During your journey to Mekong Delta in the South of Vietnam, there is one the most famous flooded forests that leaves a great impression on any tourists’ mind: Tra Su Mangrove Forest or Tra Su Cajuput Forest in An Giang Province, just 25 km southwest of Chau Doc City.

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With an area of 850 hectares, Tra Su Forest is home to an ecosystem of cajuput trees living in dusty paths and a submerged mangrove forest where you can find a wide variety of colorful birds and other animals: storks, bats, snakes, turtles …

Normally, the local boatmen and tour guides advise tourists to visit this enchanted paradise in the high water season from August to December when the whole area is covered by the cajuput forest allowing boats to ride around there. But from my own experience, traveling to the Mekong Delta and the Vietnam tours from Australia should be from November to January for the most pleasant weather conditions with less rain than other time of the year.

 

Tra Su mangrove forest is a flooded forest ecosystem formed by the construction of a special dyke system in An Giang province, belongs to 3 communes: Van Giao, O Long Vy, Thoi Son (Tinh Bien district, An Giang province), only 10 km from Vietnam – Cambodia border. Being directly affected by floods in the Mekong River annually, Tra Su forest plays an important role to prevent unusual flooding: when the flood level increases, the long roots will partially absorb the flood water and the vast area of mangrove forest may weaken the storm and flood. Apart from being a huge air-conditioner to provide the clean atmosphere for the whole area, this is also an ideal shelter of 140 types of flora, 70 species of birds, 11 types of animals, 25 species of reptiles, and 23 kinds of fish making the forest a nature lover’s dream.

In addition to the rich natural resources, Tra Su forest also has its own unique cultural elements from the community living along the forest with many traditional handicrafts such as brocade weaving, thot not sugar making, melaleuca oil distillation, bee honey keeping or fishery for living or tourism activities. Having a chance to visit Tra Su forest, tourist will be surprised by the surprising peace but the lively life that not every place has.

I came to Tra Su in the late afternoon of mid-December and immediately fell in love with the stunning landscape dyed in warm sunshine and painted in green duckweed.

The journey at Tra Su forest may start from getting on the big motorboat for up to 20 people which departs from the entrance of forest and moves along the cajuput forest for tourists to admire vast greenery including lotus and water lilies before they get it off and be transferred to a small rowing wooden boat, which sails you through green duckweed and deep into the forest for around 30 minutes. On the small boat of only 3 people, the boatmen will sail you very slowly for your opportunities to catch the most memorable photos of floating on a living carpet of green water where sometimes we must remind ourselves that we are not on the real road but a waterway.

When the sun hides away behind the tall cajuput trees is also the time to pass a plenty of water birds storks nesting in the specialized forest. I told myself to stop breathing for a while to keep the silence of the natural lives here because I am afraid that they will fly instantly when knowing our presence in their habitat.

For the best wildlife photographs, luck and patience is the most important thing with the help of a good camera. When a bird looks like it is taking a rest, descending or about to do something exciting, be ready with the burst mode to catch the bird in movement.

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Soon the small boat finished its round, my wish was to sit in boat for the whole day to keep the most romantic sceneries in my eyes.

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When reaching the stopping point, we can choose to stop at the 25 meter high watchtower to see the deeper view of the whole immense forest and the birds coming home after a busy day, enjoy the unique drink of the Khmer Seven Mountain called sweet “thot not” drink and hunt the fabulous moment of the sunset and the dawn here.

If visitors would like to try the great specialty of the locals, the tents on the edge of the forest is a nice stop for you to be served the South River’s best food such as roasted fish grilled fish, chilli salted fish, fried fish wrapped in lotus leaves, grilled crab dip, tamarind casserole in the space.

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Endowed with peace and tranquility, Tra Su Forest will certainly become a unique and attractive destination for tourists who love the beauty of nature so do not hesitate to give it a try and share with me your nice photos.

Happy traveling!

 

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