24.06.2021, 09:09

The island is known as the “poor kingdom” in the West

SOC TRANG  – Cu Lao Dung is home to the largest and longest protected cork forest in the country, with an area of ​​about 2,600 hectares including primary forest and plantation forest.

Dung islet in Soc Trang province, located about 50 km from Can Tho along the South Song Hau national highway. There are rivers on all sides, so if you want to cross the island, you have to take a ferry for 15-20 minutes to get there. This strip of land is located at the end of the Hau River, dividing the river into 2 branches Dinh An and Tran De before emptying into the East Sea. In the Mekong Delta, Dung islet is one of the few islands with diverse natural conditions, affected by all three streams of salt, fresh, and brackish water.

Arriving on the Dung isle, visitors cannot help but be impressed with the immense green color of the cork tree. This plant is so familiar to Westerners, they grow naturally along rivers, canals and have strong vitality. In any environment, cork takes root and develops well, helps to keep the soil, balance the ecosystem, and is the home of many species of creatures such as shrimp, crabs, fish… Particularly, the cork forest in Dung islet. It is also home to monkeys, horse bats, and crow bats.

The cork tree has another name, water willow, no one knows since when this tree was attached to Dung isle. It blooms and bears fruit all year round, but usually ripens around May and June of the lunar calendar. Green cork fruit has a sour and acrid taste, when ripe, it has an aroma, sour and more powdery. Ripe cork fruit falls, waves rush where the tree grows there, so that it grows into a forest. Cu Lao Dung is home to the longest and largest area of ​​protected cork forest in the country with about 2,600 hectares including primary forest and planted forest.

The cork tree has been attached to Dung islet for many generations and is the livelihood of their relatives. Every time the cork is ripe, people invite each other to the forest to pick up the fruit, bring it back and sell it to the production facility from the cork fruit. Childhood cork fruit used to eat raw, cook sour soup, cook hot pot, make dipping sauce is now a specialty in the island because it can make more products such as cork powder, cork jam, cork juice… home brand.

Among the delicious dishes made from cork can be mentioned the cork cotton salad, which is delicious but stimulates the taste of diners. The new cork flower has small round buds, green outside. When the bud opens, it will show off the soft, fluffy rose petals nestled together. When the flowers bloom, each petal spreads out and flutters in the wind and emits a light fragrance.

The island is known as the “poor kingdom” in the West
The poor cotton salad is rustic but requires meticulousness and meticulousness of the maker. Photo: River Delta specialties/YouTube

To make coriander salad, people choose flowers that are slightly bursting, then pick them, wash them, and gently remove the petals to keep them separate. Delicious salad with grilled silver shrimp skewers with fragrant red cooked meat, thinly sliced ​​boiled bacon, golden roasted peanuts, sliced ​​sour star fruit, herbs, sweet and sour fish sauce, spicy chili mixed together together and served with shrimp crackers. Delicious dishes must add a cup of raw fish sauce that has been mixed and seasoned to taste. Eat cork cotton salad with raw fish sauce, eat and see the whole Western homeland in it.

In addition to the green cork forests, Dung isle also has a large alluvial ground reaching out to the East Sea, this is also the habitat of natural clams and mussels exploited by people for their livelihood. Guests who want to go to the mudflat can contact local people to use boats and boats to take them to the beach. This place is also an ideal picnic spot at low tide with flat sand and cool sea breezes blowing in.

EXPLORE DUNG ISLAND – SOC TRANG

Cu Lao Dung is the easternmost district of Soc Trang province, located at the end of the poetic Hau River, with Dinh An and Tran De estuaries flowing into the East Sea. Cu Lao Dung is only about 47km from Can Tho city along the South Song Hau national highway, a river from Tra Vinh province, takes about 10 to 15 minutes by ferry; about 20km from the center of Soc Trang city along National Highway 60. Standing on the mainland looking out into the distance, Cu Lao Dung looks like a green carpet stretching to the mouth of the sea.

Ben Ba Market in the center of the island

Cu Lao Dung is one of the lands with many names such as Huynh Dung Chau, Ho Chau, Kac Tung, Cu Lao Vuong, Cu Lao Chang Be, etc. Here, Nguyen Anh and his entourage once took refuge along the rivers. The canal is small, zigzag, crept deep into the island, so the name of Long An canal was formed from here.

The island strip is more than 23,000 hectares wide, famous as a heroic land, rich in revolutionary traditions. Traveling to Cu Lao Dung is to come to the luxuriant orchards laden with four seasons of fruit, the vast sugarcane fields, the straight squares of shrimp, the solid cork forests in the windy places,… unique.

People’s shrimp ponds

It has a mild and cool climate all year round, surrounded by four rivers. The average temperature in Cu Lao Dung is always a few degrees Celsius lower than the surrounding areas. The air is always fresh with cool winds bringing water vapor from the Hau River, unaffected by the noisy dust of the city. factories. This is really peaceful and peaceful countryside. Soc Trang tourist destination is very suitable for those who like nature and relax after tired working days.

Peaceful village

Cu Lao Dung has a system of interlaced rivers and canals, a diverse ecosystem with many species of animals and plants. Coming here, visitors can take a boat ride, wriggle through the canals and admire the natural scenery on both sides.

Tourists enjoy riding a boat through the canals

At the beginning of the isle range, visitors will be surprised and attracted by the crooked orchards located in An Thanh Nhut and An Thanh Tay communes. The fruit trees here have many varieties with distinctive, sweet, and unforgettable flavors such as: mango, longan, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, custard apple, sapo, mangosteen, strawberry, plum, etc. Guava, coconut, banana ….In which, there is a special fruit that when coming here, tourists are very interested and often buy as gifts, which is Mango. This is a new mango variety that has been planted for about a decade now, the fruit is very large, about 1 to 2kg, the color is purple, yellow, green very beautiful and the taste is delicious.

The island’s mango

Towards the end of the island range, visitors will enjoy watching the vast sugarcane fields interspersed with tall green coconut trees, tall and straight sugarcane rows, green flower fields, so they are also destined the name “cane islet”.

Sugarcane field

People harvest sugar cane

Located at the end of Cu Lao Dung district is An Thanh Nam commune, where there is a flooded cork forest of about 1,500 hectares. This is the largest flooded cork forest in the Mekong Delta region with a rich and diverse ecosystem with many rare plant and animal species. 

The forest is flooded with water

Because it is a primeval forest, it still retains its pristine appearance, sometimes visitors will encounter a few monkeys hanging from the towering cork tree, or darting from branch to branch. In particular, in this forest, there are many flocks of bats, storks, birds with the number of thousands, plus a lot of wild bees, making nests in the forest, there are very large beehives, which can be squeezed out. ten liters of honey. It is very interesting that the phenomenon of “three aspects of association” still exists here. This is a natural phenomenon, on the night of the “Three Kham Assembly” there are many tridents from all over the place that gather to cover the roots and trunks of cork trees, often in a section along the river. The people just picked up the three ki and put it in the bag and brought it back, not from the children as usual. It is also from here that people have created many attractive dishes from the cork tree such as: sour soup of star goby, catfish, reed cotton, etc. cork pangasius cooked with ripe cork fruit; cork salad (mantle) Raw cork fruit eaten with raw fish sauce…

The bold scenery of the West River

The people of Cu Lao Dung are very gentle, generous, honest and especially very hospitable. Coming to any house, you will also be invited to specialties in the home garden such as a cool, sweet coconut, a basket of oranges or a bunch of longan… Sit and listen to the old farmers tell stories of the old days of reclaiming land, making land , the story of beating the West with a volley, a machete, the story of hitting the US by driving a stake, stretching a steel wire to catch “bo bo”… It’s these simple, simple things that hold tourists’ footsteps and do not want to leave!

poetic green village road

In addition, Cu Lao Dung also has many places associated with the legend of the vestiges of King Gia Long (Nguyen Dynasty) such as Long An canal, Truong Tien canal; or the sacred land called San Tien is located at the end of Cu Lao.

Mudflats

Tourism to the source in Cu Lao Dung is associated with revolutionary traditions and historical sites such as the National Relic of Uncle Ho’s Temple, Rach Gia Victory stele, An Hung Victory stele, and commemorative stele commemorating the founding of the University. The first party of Soc Trang province…, is very suitable for those who want to learn about the history of the heroic time of our ancestors in the struggle for national defense and construction.

Typically, Uncle Ho’s Temple is located in Temple hamlet, An Thanh Dong commune. This is one of eight national historical and cultural relics of Soc Trang province, recognized by the Ministry of Culture and Information on December 28, 2001.

 Uncle Ho’s temple was built in 1970, underwent many times of restoration and repair, until 2010, the People’s Committee of Soc Trang province decided to invest in embellishing Uncle Ho’s temple with a budget of over VND 30 billion, with items such as: : memorial house, exhibition house, synagogue, ceremony yard, lotus pond, fence, internal road, green tree…. on an area of ​​2.2 hectares and the opening ceremony was held on 02/02. 6/2013. This place has become a revolutionary traditional education center for the young generation, for the people in the province and an attractive tourist destination for tourists coming here.

Uncle Ho’s Temple

 Next is the Rach Gia victory memorial stele in Cu Lao Dung town, a provincial historical relic, where the glorious feats of the army and people of Cu Lao Dung in particular, and Long Phu in general in the resistance war against Vietnam took place. French.

Book a tour of Cu Lao Dung by Mekong Exploration, we will take you to experience the bamboo bridge under the forest canopy, crab fishing, fishing, visit the cork forest, clam beach by tourist boat, go to the mudflat to watch the sea … .

Having the opportunity to come to Cu Lao Dung, you will return to the memories of the dear and idyllic countryside, with delicious pancakes served with garden vegetables, enjoy the famous specialty of “star goby braised mink”, with fruits and local produce. Possessing poetic beauty, charming rivers with its own characteristics, Cu Lao Dung – Soc Trang in the future will be an attractive destination on the Western tourist map.