Aside from the famous and often touristy floating markets of the Mekong, An Giang province is also an excellent destination in the South of Vietnam. It's not only a great place to stop on your way to Cambodia but there are also numerous beautiful pagodas to visit. In this region, you will see vast rice fields dotted with sugar palm trees, creating a stunning panorama that you should not miss while in Vietnam.
The Tra Su Cajuput Forest is one of the most impressive places to visit in the An Giang region. This is where you can discover the flooded forest by taking a small boat through the hyacinth-covered river, which looks like a beautiful green carpet.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about visiting the Tra Su Forest. We've included the best time to visit as well as the cost. Also, don't forget to check out our top visiting tips that will help you plan your trip to Tra Su Cajuput Forest better.
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What is Tra Su Forest
Tra Su Cajuput is an 800 hectare mangrove located in An Giang Province. In Tra Su forest, there are approximately 140 floral species, but cajuput trees are the most visible, hence the name. Aside from the trees, the forest is home to around 70 different bird species, including storks, crakes, and herons. But it is the forest's small boats that are famous, as they allow you to explore the mangroves while floating on a bed of vibrant green duckweed.
Best Time to Visit Tra Su Forest
The best months to visit the Tra Su Cajuput Forest is during the flooding season which occurs in September to November. During this time, the entire mangrove is submerged in water, and duckweed blankets the entire forest. The intertwining cajuput trees above the duckweed carpeted water create a tunnel-like greenery that is spectacular in every way.
However, visiting outside the flooding season is also worthy on its own. We visited the Tra Su Cajuput Forest in April and the landscape is still magnificent. A large part of the forest is still covered by duckweed and you will still enjoy your time in the mangrove.
Best Time of the Day to Visit Tra Su Forest
No matter what month you visit, get to the forest as early as possible. We recommend arriving as soon as they open. The best times to visit are early in the morning (they open at 7:00 a.m.) or late in the afternoon (around sunset). We suggest arriving before 4 p.m. because the forest closes at 5:30 p.m. Avoid going during the middle of the day because the heat can be uncomfortable and you won't be able to fully enjoy being on the boat.
How to Visit Tra Su Forest
To visit the Tra Su Cajuput Forest on your own, head to the ticket booth located here. There is free parking in front of the entrance, as well as plenty of staff to direct you.
Tip: Avoid using the restroom near the parking lot. A much cleaner toilet is located next to the ticket booth of the forest and it's free!
How Much is Tra Su Forest Ticket
You will be given three tickets at the entrance. The cost of admission is 100,000 VND (4.30 USD). A roundtrip motorboat costs 50,000 VND (2.15 USD) and a small rowing boat costs 50,000 VND (2.15 USD). Tra Su Forest costs 200,000 VND (8.60 USD) in total to visit.
Things to do in Tra Su Forest
1. Row on the Sampan Boat
When you arrive at the Tra Su Forest, go straight to the sampan boat. It's a small wooden boat that can fit up to 5 people and is rowed by a local. Also, the boat only takes one group at a time. So if you're traveling as a couple, you'll have the entire boat to yourselves. Observe the many birds and enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of the forest as you row in a sampan for about 15 minutes.
2. Enjoy the Motorboat Ride
After the sampan boat, head next to the motorboat that will take you deeper into the forest. The motorboats are bigger than the sampan and will take multiple groups. So, if you're interested in photography, sit at the front of the boat for the best view. If it’s taken, wait for the boat to fill up and get on the next one.
The motorboat will then take you deep into the mangroves. In this area, you will find some restaurants as well as snack bars. Walk around and discover the place for as long as you want. Once you've finished exploring, you can board another motorboat to return.
Tip: We recommend riding the rowing boat first, especially if you arrive early in the morning, as the afternoons can be quite hot. So ride the sampan first and then take advantage of the breeze from the motorboat as the weather warms up.
3. Take a Stroll Across the Bamboo Bridge
The bamboo bridge in the Tra Su Cajuput Forest is the longest bamboo bridge in Vietnam. It was built for sightseeing inside the forest. After the motorboat, you can take a stroll across the bridge for 15,000 VND (0.65 USD). This is a great afternoon activity because a portion of the bridge only opens between 4 and 5:30 p.m.
4. Climb the Bird-Observation Tower
Head to the bird tower for a panoramic view of the forest with its green canopy and to observe thousands of birds. The tower also has telescopes that you can use for 10,000 VND (0.45 USD).
5. Enjoy a Local Cuisine at the Restaurant
Don't miss out on trying some local cuisine at one of the restaurants near the Tra Su forest's entrance. The Ban Xeo, a crispy stuffed rice pancake cooked in a hot skillet, is a must-try. It's usually stuffed with pork and shrimp, with mung bean, onion, and bean sprouts.
How Long do you Need to Visit Tra Su Forest
It all depends on how long you want to spend exploring, but at least an hour and a half is what we recommend. We suggest spending the night in Chau Doc and driving to Tra Su Forest first thing in the morning. The drive takes about 40 minutes and you will pass through endless rice fields, making for a beautiful ride.
We hope this guide has provided you with all of the necessary information to visit Tra Su forest.
If you've been to Tra Su Cajuput Forest before, tell us about what your experience was like in the comments below!