Tra Su Forest is an ecosystem of cajeput trees that line dusty dirt roads and provide a habitat for a wide variety of birds and other wildlife.

The Tra Su Forest is located in the Van Giao commune, Tinh Bien district, An Giang province, about 10 km from the Cambodian border.

For those who love the beauty of the wild, Tra Su is an ideal place to explore the typical ecosystem of the Mekong Delta. During the flood season, the forest is adorned with the seductive appearance of a green water fern carpet covering the entire large surface.

Overview of Tra Su Forest

foret tra su vue du ciel

Before 1975, Tra Su was destroyed by American bombs and became a deserted area. After the war, the authorities of An Giang province invested to reforest the cajeput and build a system of dikes 12 km long, 4 m wide, and 4 m high to prevent the area from being flooded during the flood season. The forest has been designated a special restoration area since 1983, with the goal of becoming a renowned scientific forest and nature reserve.

Today, with an area of 850 ha and a very rich ecological ecosystem, Tra Su offers a wondrous beauty of vast wetlands, emerald green water fern carpets, and dense cajeput forests. Visitors will be overwhelmed by the magnificence of the forest as they enter inside. Lines of cajeput trees along the waterway make the view more attractive. Moreover, it is pleasant to see wide rice fields dotted with Palmyra palms near the forest.

entree foret tra su an giang

Tra Su Forest has a significant effect on the aquatic environment and climate regulation for the entire Seven Mountains (Bay Nui) region. It is the habitat of more than 70 species of birds and storks, including two species named in the Red Book of Vietnam, the painted stork (Giang Sen) and the oriental darter (Dieng Dieng). In addition, there are 22 species of reptiles, 11 species of mammals, 23 species of aquatic animals. Not only rich in animals, there are up to more than 140 species of flora that spread in the forest.

The forest is subdivided into several sites to facilitate movement, which includes a fishing area of 3,000 m2, a bird sanctuary of 3,200 m2, and a bat sanctuary of 2,500 m2, all of which meet the individual demands of different types of tourists.

Best Time to Visit Tra Su Forest

foret tra su Melaleuca

The best time to discover the Tra Su cajeput forest is from September to November – when water covers the entire forest. This allows boats to navigate and provides an incredible spectacle, especially when sunlight hits the water’s surface.

To admire the most vibrant perspective of the forest, you should be here from 7:00 to 9:00 AM because the weather is quite pleasant and you are rewarded with seeing thousands of birds flying to feed and sing wildlife songs. Between 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM is also a good time to see the birds return to their nests. Otherwise, you can hike up to the observation tower to closely observe the life of birds and storks through binoculars.

During the dry season months, you can only enter the areas allowed to visit due to many factors such as shallow water, inaccessibility inside, conservation, fire prevention, and many other reasons; the experience will be slightly different from the floating season.

How to Get to Tra Su Forest

foret tra su chau doc vietnam
  • From Ho Chi Minh City, you can buy a bus ticket at Mien Tay bus station to reach Chau Doc or Long Xuyen City and it takes about 6 hours. Some recommended local buses are Phuong Trang, Thao Nguyen, Hung Cuong, Trong Tin Limousine… The ticket price is about 150,000 – 250,000 VND/one way.

Then, you still need to rent a taxi or a motorbike to get to Tra Su Forest.

  • If you are in Can Tho, where all visitors come to explore the Mekong’s largest floating market – Cai Rang, you can get to Chau Doc by bus. The journey is much shorter than from Saigon (3 hours) and the ticket is cheaper, about 100,000 VND/one way.

Same for the above-mentioned information, another vehicle is necessary to come to Tra Su.

What to See at Tra Su Forest

1. Tac Rang Boat Ride

foret tra su an giang delta mekong

A trip to explore the Tra Su cajeput forest starts aboard a long small motorboat called “Tac Rang” by the locals. It’s a very common means of transportation in the Mekong Delta region.

Along the small canals bordering the forest, you will admire the lush greenery of lotuses and water lilies over the water. You also see locals harvesting cajeput flower honey, which costs 300,000 VVND/liter.

foret tra su balade bateau

To get to the heart of the forest, you will be switched to a small wooden rowing boat, just enough space for 4 people. Drift gently along the water and go deeper, through small channels, you will be impressed by different kinds of birds that scatter all around.

You can observe thousands of white storks and other colorful bird species flying above or perching on the branches. The further you go, the more serene you feel. The sampan rower will help you to better understand the forest and show you where the birds are.

Discover the Ecological Diversity of Animals

foret tra su an giang delta mekong

The ecosystem is also very rich with 22 species of reptiles, 11 species of mammals, and 23 aquatic species, including 2 species that have scientific value and are in danger of extinction, namely the white catfish and the cobia.

Not only rich in animals, the Tra Su Melaleuca forest is also very diverse in flora with 140 species belonging to 52 families and 102 genera, including nearly 80 medicinal species.

3. Cross the Longest Bamboo Bridge in Vietnam

foret tra su pont bambou

In early 2020, Vietnam’s longest bamboo bridge was officially opened by the Chau Doc tourism authority, and it is a must-see in Tra Su Forest.

Walking on each span of this unique 10-kilometer bridge, you will be immersed in the nature of the delicate fragrance of white cajeput flowers, a stark contrast to the bustling city life. It is also the longest bamboo bridge in the world to date. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

4. Bird Watching from the Watch Tower

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Climb up to a 14-meter-high watch tower where you can enjoy a fantastic panorama over the vast Tra Su cajeput forest, dotted with birds against the silhouette of the forbidden mountain (Nui Cam) in the background.

In particular, there is also a telescope for those who want more details on the birds’ nests or to look closer at the birds below as they find food or build nests. The rhythm of life in the forest seems to be exposed to visitors and even becomes more vivid and alive. Go there when the sun is about to set, it will be the most memorable scene of this trip.

Ticket Prices to Visit Tra Su Melaleuca Forest

  • Entrance ticket price (mandatory): 100,000 VND/per person. Visitors will be free to visit and enjoy the entire landscape of the resort. Additionally, you can also experience the sensation of walking through the forest on the longest bamboo bridge in Vietnam.
  • Ticket price for boat service (optional): 50,000 VND/per person. Visitors will be able to visit the Tra Su Melaleuca forest ecosystem by motorboat for round trips.
  • Ticket price for the rowing boat service in the forest (optional): 50,000 VND/pax. Visitors can experience the sensation of navigating themselves in a rowboat, quietly sightseeing and taking photos.
  • Ticket price for the use of the telescope on the observation tower (optional): 5,000 VND/hour.

I am a history teacher who traded the classrooms of Marseille for expeditions across Vietnam. Fascinated by the country's ancient and contemporary history, Marc resides in Saigon, where he dedicates himself to studying and writing about the imperial dynasties, colonialism, and the impact of the Vietnam War. His in-depth knowledge of the Mekong Delta and southern Vietnam enables him to guide readers through authentic experiences while preserving the natural beauty of the region.

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