I could say this was the fastest travel in 2018. My friends asked me to joined their trip to Chau Doc Temple and Tra Su Melaleuca Forest just 8 hours before they start. Additionally, the trip was only less than a day. For anyone looking for a short day or weekend getaway, this can be your top consideration.
The Itinerary to Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
This itinerary is primarily suitable for anyone who is traveling or living in Ho Chi Minh City, as I’m living and starting my trip from there.
- 10 pm the first day – going from Ho Chi Minh City to Chau Doc
- About 5 am the next day – arriving at Chau Doc
- 5-6 am – visiting Bà Chúa Xứ, Chau Doc An Giang Temple
- 6-7 am – having breakfast and coffee for a quick relax before going to the Melaleuca Forest at An Giang, Vietnam
- 7:30 am – arriving at Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
- 7:40-11 am – exploring the forest
- 11-11:45 am – coming back to Chau Doc, having lunch, and relaxing while waiting for the bus to come back Ho Chi Minh City
- 12-7 pm – coming back to Ho Chi Minh City
So the total time is less than a day going from 10 pm to 7 pm the next day.
How to go from Ho Chi Minh City to Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
We traveled by Hue Nghia bus from HCMC to Chau Doc. On the other hand, there are several alternative bus transporters that you could take such as Phuong Trang, Kim Ngan, Hung Cuong, Lien Hung. Or, you can even hire a private car to go to Chau Doc. They can take you to anywhere you want, a more convenient choice.
From Chau Doc, or the area around the temple, there are many ‘xe ôm‘ (motorbike taxi) that can take you to Tra Su Melaleuca Forest at VND 120,000 for a round trip.
In addition, there is also a way that a lot of globetrotters love to do while in Vietnam, riding the motorbike to discover this beautiful country. From HCMC to Chau Doc, you just need to add the words ‘Miếu Bà Chúa Xứ Núi Sam’ into Google Maps, then follow the direction to the spot. Moreover, if you want to directly go to Tra Su Melaleuca Forest, you can add ‘Rừng Tràm Trà Sư’, or Tra Su Cajuput Forest (I don’t know why they use this name on the map) into Google Maps. It will lead you to the ecological park.
Things to Do in Chau Doc, and Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
Bà Chúa Xứ Temple
Ba Chua Xu Temple, located in Chau Doc city, An Giang, Vietnam, is one of the sacred temples in Vietnam in general as well as the top spiritual destination of the land Mekong Delta in particular. It takes around 7 hours driving from HCMC to the spot.
With many Vietnamese who believe in God or Buddha, Bà Chúa Xứ is a very sacred god. Mostly the people come here wishing for prosperity, and successful for their jobs, businesses. Even a few people wish to win the lottery. With them, Bà Chúa Xứ can make their wishes become true.
At the peak season, a lot of people gather at the temple, making it very crowded and somehow a little dangerous. There could be thieves or cheater around. Therefore, make sure you are careful with the people, especially those who give you something.
Tra Su Melaleuca Forest
I didn’t know that Mekong Delta has many different melaleuca forests. I have visited one in Long An about 3 years ago. That Melaleuca Forest at Long An was very well-known and attractive at that moment.
The forest is located 20km away from Chau Doc Temple, or approximately 100km from Long Xuyen city. We took xe ôm to come there from Chau Doc. The best sudden thing is, our xe ôm rode us on the best route with rice fields around. And many farmers are working on to prepare for the next harvest season.
At the entrance, the ticket prices are varied to the number of people in a group. To elaborate, we had 4 people and it cost VND 60,000 for one person. There will be a ship taking visitors around the forest, surfing through a lot of water hyacinth floating above the water to the observation tower where you can see the whole ecological park. Tourists will be overwhelmed with many lines of melaleuca tree grew alongside the streamline. The best season for visiting is Sep – Nov. Even we were a little bit late, we can still enjoy the wonders of the forest.
From what I heard of, Tra Su Melaleuca Forest area is 845ha. There are 70 kinds of birds, 11 kinds of animals, 25 kinds of reptiles, and 10 kinds of fish are currently the residents of the forest. Furthermore, this nature park is home to 140 plant kinds, including 22 types of tree, and many other types. All together making Tra Su mangrove forest a symbol of beautiful nature with rich fauna and flora.
Besides that, they also have a restaurant that has a lot of good foods at the observation tower. It’s hard to describe how delicious the grilled chicken with honey, and the fried eel which I have tried. Trust me, it’s really good!
A Little More About An Giang’s Border Gates to Cambodia
Chau Doc is a city that belonged to An Giang province, which is next by Cambodia. At An Giang, there are three border gates connecting to Cambodia. Those are Tinh Bien – Phnom Den, Vinh Xuong – Kaosamnor, and Khanh Binh, Bac Dai with Binh Di river forming the third gates. Hence, for travelers who would love to take further steps to explore Cambodia from Chau Doc, remember to bring your passport, and cross the border gates.
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