Tra Su Bird Sanctuary
Beyond Sam Mountain, the varied attractions at Tra Su, Tup Duc and Ba Chuc could all be covered in a busy day’s travelling, though this remote area is not a place for hurrying. This bird sanctuary is located about 23km from Chau Doc and consists of a protected forest of cajuput trees and wetlands that attract a great variety of birds including storks, egrets, cormorants, peafowl and water cocks.
A boat ride around the sanctuary combined with a walk to a viewing tower takes a couple of hours and costs around $7 per person depending on how many in the group. Even if you’re not a dedicated birder, you’d probably enjoy floating around this watery wonderland with its huge lily pads and moss-shrouded trees. The Mekong Delta’s high population density and extensive agricultural lands have not left a lot of space to nature.
There are a handful of nature reserves and bird sanctuaries however and Tra Su’s proximity to Chau Doc makes it very accessible. Tra Su is home to a rich array of bird and other wildlife that live among the canals and cajaput trees (tea trees) – all planted since the end of the Vietnam War. The best months to travel to Tra Su is when the Mekong is peaking between September and November.
I visited in April at the height of the dry season and it was still a very worthwhile trip and saw lots of birds – though only a handful of species. Travel through the park is mostly by boat – which adds to the the experience. Travel tips Tra Su is around 45 minutes (25kms) from Chau Doc. 1 hour boat excursion is around $7USD. In the wet season, longer visits are recommended.