With an area of over 845 hectares, the system of green melaleuca trees accounting for more than 80% plays an extremely important role for the forest ecosystem.
From the center of Chau Doc city, on a bon bon motorbike on the road to the melaleuca forest 22km away, we sometimes encounter green rice fields with palm trees growing in the middle of typical fields in An Giang. Less than 45 minutes later, we reached our dream location.
Complete the procedure to buy an entrance ticket and walk through a section of bamboo bridge with hyacinth mats crowded below. Do not linger too long, because everyone wants to quickly go to the marina, where the journey to discover the mysteries of Tra Master begins.
It wasn't my first time sailing, but I couldn't contain my excitement when the motorized canoe that the people here called a boot jam. The sound sounded like a siren to the mangrove forest visited by friends from far away. From the open wharf, the canoe turns into a small creek with many tall underwater melaleuca trees intertwined like a shelter for visitors.
After passing the "melaleuca dome", we were picked up by sisters dressed in ba shirts and traditional Southern hats and changed to a smaller canoe paddled by hand. Continue deep inside to reach the most beautiful areas of the melaleuca forest, home to more than 70 species of birds and 140 varieties of plants, not to mention a variety of fish and other animals.
The canoe gently glided through the green duckweed carpet that covered the water. The period of 7 to 11 months is the time when floodwaters bring with them a rich source of nutrition and food, attracting many birds to nest and feed right on the melaleuca trees. Therefore, you will easily see the image of a few storks standing nearby. Or three or four sisters and gongs scattered feeding on the water. The canoeists introduced the specific names of each bird that came into view, some of which we saw with our eyes for the first time.
The space was quiet, only the sound of beams stirring the water at every beat, and the distant birds echoing. At that moment, everyone silently observed the vivid footage as the boat passed by, capturing in sight the idyllic and closeness of the typical nature of mangroves in the West of Hau Giang River.
It is hard to believe that this was once a low-lying area heavily infested with alum, and then experimentally planted to help improve the soil and prevent flooding of the watershed. It was not until 2003, recognizing the natural and economic importance of this area, An Giang provincial government established the Tra Su forest landscape protection area and developed it into the eco-tourism area as it is today.
Besides the unique experience by canoe, on the way back, we visit the Gazette - an observatory with enough height for you to see and admire the vastness of the ecological area. If you're lucky enough through the built-in telescope, you can see some birds peeking out behind distant groves. If you wish, you can have lunch here with typical Western dishes such as crazy fir fish hotpot, grilled snakehead, bamboo leaf burning chicken, etc. . In particular, the longest "Van Step Bamboo Bridge" in Vietnam completed in 2020 promises to contribute to the Tra Su trip more impressive and memorable.
I have always believed that nature is always the medicine that heals mental wounds in the most miraculous way. Hopefully, Tra Su always retains its own wild idyllic character to not only be the home of all animals and plants but also a place to heal and transmit positive energy to nature-loving hearts.
Address: Van Tra hamlet, Van Giao commune, Tinh Bien district, An Giang province.
Pick up time: 7:00 -18:00 Monday to Sunday.
Writer: Tran Thao