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Travel GuideMonday, 08/28/2006, 02:54

Living in harmony with nature at Tra Su Cajuput Forest 

The Tra Su Cajuput Forest situated in southern An Giang province is gaining an international reputation as an attractive destination for ecological and scientific research tours in the Mekong delta, thanks to its wonderfully diverse wildlife
Living in harmony with nature at

Living in harmony with nature at Tra Su Cajuput Forest 

 

A view of Tra Su Forest in An Giang Province

The Tra Su Cajuput Forest situated in southern An Giang province is gaining an international reputation as an attractive destination for ecological and scientific research tours in the Mekong delta, thanks to its wonderfully diverse wildlife.


The Tra Su forest, located 15km northeast of the Mekong River and 10km northwest of the Cambodia border, includes a 845 hectare special-purpose forest surrounded by a 645 hectare buffer zone.


The forest has been designated as a special restoration zone since 1983, with the target of becoming a renowned scientific forest and nature reserve. The ecological hot spot is the habitat for many colonies of water birds colonies, bats and various other such rare and endangered animals and reptile species.


Scientists estimate that it is home to over 70-80 bird species, including two very rare species of Indian stork - Mycteria leucocephala and the Dieng Dieng or Anhinga Melanogaster - and 11 other animal species. The flora is equally abundant and splendid with 140 species, which represents the second largest number of plant species in the Mekong delta region, only after the Xeo Quit Cajuput Forest in Dong Thap province.


The forest is sub-divided into several sites to make getting around easier, that include a fishing area, a bird sanctuary and a bat sanctuary, all of which cater to the specific individual demands of different types of visitors.


If visiting the key tourist sites by foot, visitors must spend pretty much the whole day in the forest. However, if one jumps in a motor-boat it will save a lot of time, and permit a leisurely five hour round trip of all the significant sites throughout the ecological forest.


Most visitors say that they most enjoy relaxing during a long, lazy boat trip, enjoying the fresh country air as listening to the magical music as performed by the birds of the forest and other jungle insects and beasts. Apart from the birds and beasties, the adventure also provides a great day out looking at the wonderful countryside and farmers busily attending to their paddies, orchards and so on, but still happy to stop for a chat and sit down.


In the midst of the tropical forest there is a special ornithologist�s watch tower, standing some 10-meter high, that allows visitors to enjoy a fantastic panorama of the vast greenery below, dotted with birds in the silhouette of the Cam Mountain in the background.


Most visitors like to go for a cruise in a motor-boat and make up their own itineraries when viewing the lovely landscape as the scenery drifts along both river banks, so that they can best absorb the beautiful wild flowers and animals about the canals in tranquility. However, as night settles and the sun sets, the view changes and becomes enlivened as the birds return home for the night, covering the night sky in a huge screeching mass of feathers.


The natural aspect of the landscape is given a wonderful dimension by the few small farm houses that are irregularly placed here and there, perched high up on stilts above the flood plain with their rudimentary bamboo ceilings made out of cajuput trees, providing a charming and unique setting as the forest is slowly consumed by the dark skies of night amongst the ambient noise of jungle beasties.


Obviously, the mighty Mekong floods every rainy season between September and November, bringing with it a multitude of migratory birds and ecologically orientated tourists to the region around the Tra Su Forest. The forest wardens are extremely helpful and go out of their way to help visitors and show them to the best places for sightseeing, fishing or rowing boats. Indeed, rowing along the green mysterious canals is a particularly good idea, since visitors are able to stop as they chose to pick wild berries or fruits or go for a bit of fishing in quiet contemplation.


To get to Tra Su Forest, first go to Chau Doc Township in An Giang Province in the depths of Mekong Delta, and then either jump on the nearest friendly xe om or grab a taxi to take you the 17-km to Nha Ban Township. From there it is only 4-km to Cam Mountain, which is right next to the Tra Su Cajuput Forest.

For more detailed information give the nice people at An Giang Tourism Department a call on 076. 952541 or fax them at 076 956703. 


Endowed with peace and tranquility, the Tra Su Forest will certainly grow in ecological significance as time passes given its truly unique attractiveness for nature lovers and those want to �escape� to the real countryside for a day or two, or longer.


Location: Tra Su Forest, Van Giao Commune, Tinh Bien
District, An Giang Province �
Tel: 076. 877423

 


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