There are no famous landscapes or attentive service, but Thanh An Can Gio island will give you a peaceful feeling, utterly different from the bustle of Saigon.
Thanh An island is located in Can Gio district, over 70km east of Ho Chi Minh city. There are about 5,000 people living here. In particular, you can explore the island in 1 day. Coming here, you will forget about Saigon with lots of dust with friendly people and delicious food at an affordable budget.
Life on Can Gio island
Although this island is more populated than other ones in Vietnam, it is poor due to geographical distance from the mainland. It still retains the peaceful, primitive nature, and people are honest, rustic. They mainly rely on fishing, salt making, and forest protection.
The salt fields on Can Gio island
How to get to Can Gio island
You can come to Thanh An in many ways. If you go by motorbike or car, you can go to Binh Khanh ferry. It takes about 40 minutes to Can Thanh town. Let's ask for directions to Coopmart. From here, you can park your vehicle and take a boat to the island.
If you go by bus, from Ben Thanh, you can take the bus of route number 20 to Binh Khanh ferry, then go on a bus of route number 90 and stop at Coopmart to take the boat.
The departing time of a boat to Thanh An Can Gio island is 6.30 am, 9.30 am, at noon, 2.00 pm, and 5.00 pm. It will return to the mainland at 6.30 am, 7.30 am, at noon, at 2.00 pm, and 5.00 pm. Note that on Saturday and Sunday, when guests are crowded, the boat may depart earlier.
Can Gio embankment
Also, pay attention that there are 2 different piers on the island, so you need to ask the local people. Usually, the time the boat going from the island to the mainland is 5.00 pm, so you still have enough time to catch the bus to return home. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be crowded so you should get to the pier earlier.
Staying on Can Gio island
There are many clean guest houses on the island, equipped with fans and air-conditioners. You can cook here and also rent a boat to rest and explore the nightlife on the island.
Discover Thanh An Can Gio island
Admiring the dawn on the island
Tourists coming to Thanh An often want to go in one day, eat seafood, go to the embankment, and take a picture. However, you will miss the 2 most beautiful moments here, which are the sunrise and sunset. Hence, let's come here before sunset and go to the embankment to take pictures, enjoy the cooling air, stay overnight and go to the sea the next morning to watch the sunrise, experience life on the island before leaving.
The beautiful sunrise on Can Gio island
Kayaking and fishing
Thanh An island is also famous for its habitat of mangrove species. So, after discovering people's lives, you can learn about the mangrove ecosystem. Currently, on the island, there are many services, such as kayaking or fishing. Otherwise, simply witnessing people catch seafood is also exciting.
Exploring the landscape on the island
Such the simple rustic boats anchored at the pier will make you feel like touching some unspoiled wilderness, not in the most dynamic city in Vietnam.
Lost on the long dikes that cross the island, watching the sea, feeling the waves rattling in the cold wind, or more simply, you could wander through pure white salt fields. Of course, it is impossible to forget the small alleys, the simple living corners of the people on the island, etc. All will bring you an unforgettable experience when coming to Thanh An Can Gio.
What to eat
Arriving at Thanh An island, we must definitely eat seafood. If you're lucky enough to meet some new boats returning after a fishing night, you'll get a big bargain. Usually, around noon, these boats will dock in the port. Seafood on the island is mainly crabs, squids, and shrimps, etc.
Enjoying seafood on Can Gio island
Although being not as diverse as seafood in Can Gio district, the seafood here is very cheap which costs only VND 80,000-150,000/kg. You can buy it and ask people to process it on the island.
Snacks and cakes
Although the island is small, the cuisine here is very diverse. The eateries are concentrated on the main road in the center of the island. You can choose a variety of dishes such as banana syrup, sweet soups, Vietnamese mini savory pancakes, coconut malted rice paper, broken rice, noodles, pho, seafood porridge, etc. And you should definitely enjoy bread, banana ice cream, baby duck eggs, etc.
Also, if you want to organize a barbecue party on the island, it is also very convenient. You can buy seafood and food to eat on the embankment. However, in the evening, the wind is quite big; it is difficult to burn fire. You should also bring LED lights or other lighting fixtures.