Tra Su spans nearly 850 hectares. Located approximately 250 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, Tra Su is nestled in Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province.
It plays a crucial role in regulating the water environment and climate across the region.
This dynamic eco-destination is traversed by a four-km bamboo bridge. Visitors can take motorboat tours, and engage in unique wildlife activities and experiences.
The area has been developed into a sanctuary for a variety of rare and exotic birds and wildlife native to the Mekong Delta, making it an integral part of Vietnam's special-use forest system.
Local guides steer boats through meandering waterways, taking tourists into the center of the forest. As you glide along, you'll witness birds perched on tree trunks and vibrant lotus blossoms in many hues.
The Tra Su cajuput forest also enjoys the distinction of being featured in the film "Southern Forest Land," directed by Nguyen Quang Dung, which recently premiered in Vietnam.
The longest bamboo bridge in Vietnam
The bamboo bridge traversing the forest holds the distinction of being the longest in Vietnam, recognized by the Vietnam Record Organization. It now boasts an impressive length of four kilometers.
The first phase of the bridge was completed and operational in early 2020, with a length of nearly four kilometers. This section of the bridge used over 500,000 bamboo trees of various types and cost more than VND5 billion (US$204,900) to build. The construction of the second phase, spanning approximately six kilometers, is currently underway.
The bamboo bridge is divided into five branches. As you venture deeper into the forest, the scenery on both sides of the bridge becomes increasingly beautiful, and the environment grows quieter and cooler. The bridge leads to the motorboat wharf, providing visitors with a point to embark and disembark.
Exploring the forest by motorboat or canoe
Motorboats offer a swifter and longer journey, taking visitors through canals and deep into the heart of the forest. Along the way, you can witness locals collecting cajuput flower honey from containers placed within the forest.
Touring the cajuput forest by motorboat or canoe also presents an opportunity for visitors to capture beautiful photos in the midst of the lush surroundings. On sunny days, the sunlight filtering through the trees creates a truly enchanting atmosphere.
For a panoramic view of the cajuput forest, visitors are encouraged to visit the watchtower and make use of a telescope. From this vantage point, with a range of 25 kilometers, you can observe the entire forest. Additionally, visitors can catch sight of the Khmer Village a few kilometers away.
Close to the entrance, just across the Tra Su Canal from the main ticket office area, visitors will come across pigeon houses featuring around 400 birds. The bird sanctuary creates a charming atmosphere where visitors can take photos, as well as engage in activities like bird-feeding.
Within the Tra Su cajuput forest, you'll find 12 stalls offering a variety of souvenirs and local specialties. These items include palm sugar, cajuput flower honey, assorted dried fruits, soft drinks, cajuput oil, brocade towels, straw hats, and art furniture.
Tra Su Restaurant provides two main dining areas. One is outside the forest gate, on both sides of the pier, and the other is a floating hut area on the water within the forest, adjacent to the watchtower.
In these dining areas, visitors can savor southern-style specialties such as grilled snakehead fish, ca linh fish (henicorhynchus) and river hemp flower hotpot, fermented fish hotpot, coconut core salad, and crispy pancakes.
From September to November annually, the flood season showcases the cajuput forest's splendor. Abundant water turns the forest lush, and a layer of duckweed blankets the water, a captivating sight. The flood season also fosters ideal conditions for fish and shrimp growth and invites various bird species.
To fully experience the Tra Su cajuput forest, spend a day exploring its various areas and enjoy a southern-style lunch.
For convenience, consider an overnight stay in Chau Doc City. Depart for the forest in the morning and stay until the afternoon. Located approximately 30 kilometers from Chau Doc, the journey takes around 30 to 40 minutes by car or motorbike on a convenient road.
The best times to explore the forest are early morning and sunset. And between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., various bird species and storks gather in the forest, creating a beautiful natural spectacle.
The sightseeing ticket, which covers the entire cajuput forest and access to the longest bamboo bridge in Vietnam, costs VND100,000 ($4) per person. The ticket is obligatory for entry but free for children under 1.3 meters and individuals over 70 years old.
For motorboat services, the cost is VND50,000 per person, and the same rate applies to the row boat and canoe services.
- Chau Doc City - Tra Su cajuput forest: 1 day
- Cam Mountain - Tra Su cajuput forest - Chau Doc City: 2 days
- Can Tho City - Cham Village - Tra Su cajuput forest: 2 days
- Ho Chi Minh City - Chau Doc City - Tra Su cajuput forest: 2 days
During the flood season, which is also the rainy season, visitors are advised to carry raincoats or umbrellas to prepare for sudden showers. It's also recommended to bring sunscreen, bug spray, drinking water, and snacks when exploring the forest.
Story by Linh Huong