[Review] Full Day Trip to Thanh An Island

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Hello everyone! I am an exchange student from Japan, and one member of Vietnam Track Team. From today, we would like to share our memories of Vietnam Track’s events through reports written by a participant, for example, me as an organizer and a participant. You can know what kind of activities we are holding and also get information about hidden places in Vietnam. 

This time, I will talk about our very first trip to Thanh An Island. Let me begin with general information.

Place: Thanh An Island, Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City

Date: November 26th, 2017

Cost: 250,000VND/person 

1/ How to get there?

Do you know a trendy traveling style in Vietnam called ‘Phượt’? It means traveling by motorbikes. And for this time, we chose ‘Phượt’ style to get nearer to the nature. Really, imagine you are on the back of a motorbike enjoying cool breeze and inhaling fresh air.  I bet it would be one of the most enjoyable moments ever for you!

>>>Details of the way to get to Thanh An Island, please visit here

This is called ‘Phượt’. I tried to ride the motorbike, and it turned out that it was not too difficult at all (at least for this road)

2/ Our trip:

6:40 : We gathered at District 7

At first, I thought 6:40 was too early, and I had no idea why we had to gather in the early morning. However, it was totally wrong. It would be a truly  long journey!

8:00 : Arrived at the entrance of the Binh Khanh Ferry

We arrived at the ferry about 8a.m. To reach Can Gio, it took only 10 to 15 minutes, very quick! I even did not notice it was moving. The fee for 1 motorbike was 4,500VND plus 1,000VND more for the one sitting at the back, so it was quite cheap for us. Inside of this ferry, there were so many motorbikes and cars as shown on the photo, however if you went upstairs and had a seat, you could enjoy good view and feel more comfortable. I really recommend going upstairs.

Binh Khanh Ferry, so many motorbikes, cars and buses

8:20~10:30 : Long journey by motorbike to Thanh An Island…

We needed to travel through the whole Can Gio to take the second ferry. Normally, it takes around 1 hour and a half; however, we used over 2 hours to get there. On the road, there were a few motorbikes and cars and you know what, Can Gio was actually a countryside in Saigon. So you could enjoy beautiful peaceful sceneries and fresh air along the way. Our group really enjoyed this journey. We stopped at some points to take pictures, talk with each other, and eat some food.

I thought ‘Phuot’ style traveling to here was so nice because we didn’t need to concern about heavy traffic and we could feel the cool breeze. But, you should be careful with the police when driving motorbikes. Don’t drive so fast and keep to the right side of the road!!

12:00: Taking 2nd Ferry to Thanh An Island

Because the ferry here was quite small, it was not strong enough to carry motorbikes. We parked our motorbikes at  Coopmart and took a rest. Then, we walked for 2km to the ferry port. Unfortunately, when we got the port, the ferry was already gone, so we had to wait for more than one hour and we spent that amount of time on recharging batteries and talking with other people in the group as most of us had not known each other before.

Finally the ferry came. It cost 10,000VND for each person. This ferry is smaller than the first one, so it looked much more similar to a fisherman boat. From the ferry, we could see the island and local people’s lives; how they traveled around each island and what did they did near the island. The sunlight was so strong at the time. So, don’t forget to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, especially women!!!

13:00 : We finally arrived at Thanh An Island 

How far the journey was!! We finally arrived at Thanh An Island at 1p.m. This island was small so that we could go all around on foot. My impressions on the island were that there were a lot of adorable dogs on the road. Some little children were playing outside with their friends. Many dried seafood was sold along the road. I really enjoyed seeing what the local people’s lives on the island.

Eating seafood is a must do on such an island as Thanh An. One of the special things here was that you could choose which kinds of seafood you wanted to eat. They served many varieties of sea foods such as crabs, shrimps, squids, fish, oysters, etc. And the dishes were cooked so delicious.

Here are some of the dishes that we enjoyed there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15:00: Enjoyed a beautiful ocean view!!

To see the great ocean view from here is the main part of this trip! Standing before the vast sea, I suddenly felt how tiny a human was, and also at the same time I wanted to go travelling more to see more and more beautiful sceneries like this. Probably, when you are sitting here and looking at the sea, you will forget the time is passing. I appreciated my friends taking me here.

Beautiful sea view

16:30~20:00: Back to Center of Ho Chi Minh City

Finally, we get back to the center of Ho Chi Minh city by traveling the same way. We took the last ferry to Can Gio at 5p.m and almost the last ferry to Binh Khanh at 7:30p.m. The road was quite terrible to ride motorbikes at night because of lacking street lights, so it would be safer if you go back earlier before the night fall down. Besides, the temperature at night became cooler than that of daytime. So, I recommend bringing a thin jacket with you.

>>>Details of the way to get to Thanh An Island, please visit here

Enjoy the dawn on the ferry back home

Conclusion:

I think this place is a little bit hard for foreigners to go alone because the way is complicated, and it is difficult to find the bus stops. However, participating in this event, I had many Vietnamese friends to go there together. So, I was so glad to go with them. And also, thanks to having friends from the US and New Zealand, we had a great time exchanging languages and culture during the trip. I was so satisfied  with the trip.

In addition, it is hard to find Thanh An Island from the guidebook for foreigners. I strongly recommend going there if you want to find a hidden part of Vietnam, especially Saigon. Till now could I know that there was a countryside in the modern Ho Chi Minh City. Anyway, this trip is a perfect opportunity to track to the heart of Vietnam.

I’m looking forward for our next trip. Finally if you have trouble in your trip to Vietnam, feel free to contact us!!

>>>Announcement of our next trip to Giang Dien Waterfall, please visit here.

Here are our happy moments ^^

On our way to Can Gio Market.
Recharging batteries before taking the second ferry.

Don’t forget to take pictures at any time ^^

On the ferry to Thanh An Island.
We, waiting for the ferry to run.
I am so ‘high’
So happy are we! ^^
Before the lunch
On the rock road

 

Kazuki Nishioka 

 


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