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Vam Sat Salt-Marsh Forest Ecological Tourist Center

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Tours and Tickets by Vam Sat Salt-Marsh Forest Ecological Tourist Center
Overview
Mekong Delta’s Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a haven for wildlife, but difficult to access independently from Ho Chi Minh. This small-group tour whisks you there by speedboat to explore its wildlife-rich mangroves and lagoons. Ride a rowboat, follow trails, and see monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and gibbons in one smooth, guided excursion. A light breakfast, lunch, and hotel transfers are included in this day out.
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Lauramike1972 wrote a review Sep 2017
23 contributions4 helpful votes
I had combined trio with vam Sat and Monkey island ( Dao Khi) 1st half of trip was okay but Monkey island really went downhill and Please WATCH OUT the naughty monkeys as they attached me badly need more improvement.
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Date of experience: September 2017
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bennett2006 wrote a review Jul 2017
Ho Chi Minh City573 contributions84 helpful votes
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Much has been written about the the Vam Sat Ecological Tourist Center (VSETC) in the Can Gio Biosphere Reserve (Vietnam) ... the bats, the crabs, the monkeys, the crocs but nothing much about the birds (at Vam Sat Bird Sanctuary) for the poor birders trying to dig out some information. I'm one of the poor birders and so decided to check out the sanctuary from a birder's perspective. I've done a blog entry (as I wrote, it became an essay!) - please do a Google search for "Vam Sat Bird Sanctuary" - it covers how I planned my solo bike trip, the route on Google Maps, and all the details. The roads in Can Gio are in a pathetic condition and I had to drive very slowly. No worries about petrol, food and water though. You can top up and buy your food/water along the way. I'd recommend doing that just after disembarking from the ferry, if you need to. I took 3+ hours to drive there and another 3+ hours to drive back. (Note : You need to get water and food before you get to the bird sanctuary. The nearest place is VSETC - not that far away - and you probably have to pay tourist prices for that.) As for the bird sanctuary, you could follow a day tour, or get yourself a personal tour guide, or take a boat tour, or take the public buses-and-then-boat, or like me ride a bike there. Those on a tour might find it slightly restrictive as you have an itinerary to follow unless it's a personal guide. And if it's for birding alone, then you need to ensure your guide has some local birding knowledge. That's why I went on my own. For details on the different ways to get there, the internet has lots of advice - please look up on your own. TripAdvisor has a lot of info. Vam Sat Bird Sanctuary - So yes, you can get there by bike, car, bus or boat (for boat, disembark at VSETC and walk to sanctuary). I read so many accounts of visitors arriving at the VSETC/sanctuary by boat that I wondered whether it was on an island. So it isn't. It's about 200m before the VSETC entrance. There's an arch on the left that says "Bird Sanctuary" (Khu Bao Ton Tram Chim) but it is quite inconspicuous. You can hardly see the words hidden in the shadows. Walk through it and there's a shelter with information on the right, some boats on the left (probably for paid rides) and a single track ... just one way in and out. (Note : There's no proper place to park your bike at the bird sanctuary. What I did was just parked at the side and locked my bike with a bike lock - not that it's of much use if someone is intent on stealing the bike. So very important - remember your bike lock. You can also park at the shelter and chain your bike to the seat or the beams - I think that's much safer than what I did on hindsight. Otherwise, you could park at the ranger station at VSETC - which is probably the safest option - and take a short walk to the sanctuary.) Walk down the track for about 200m until you see a "Do Not Enter" sign (which leads to someone's house ... don't ask how I know ... lol). There's a wooden gate leading to a small wooden bridge on your left. That's the entrance to bird heaven. A single narrow footpath leads you to the Bird Observation Tower. You'll hear all the bird sounds at ground level but it's difficult to spot the birds. On climbing the tower to above tree top level, my jaws dropped. All the birds were sitting on the tree tops 360 degree with many swooping around!!! It was indeed a sight to behold for an amateur birder ... even though there are only a few species. I spent the better part of an hour at the top but damn, damn ... had to run as the rain was coming. I would have loved to walk beyond the tower to see what else was in store. Actually one can either pay for a boat and guide, or put on hired boots & guide to explore the birding scene in the marshes - so I read. That way, you'll be able to get real close to the birds and their nests. And supposedly, birds flying back at dusk will drive birders wild with "birdal" estacy, and make for lovely bird photography. I guess for that, it will have to be an overnight trip. That'll be on my wish list if I ever return. On the whole, the birding was a bit disappointing for me. I couldn't/didn't spend much time there because of the rain. Problem was there weren't many different birds to "shoot" in the first place. I was so excited to see my first Collared Kingfisher in Vietnam, only to find that they're a dime a dozen in Can Gio. In the sanctuary, I only saw lots of 3 kinds - Black-capped Night Heron, Little Cormorant and Little Egret. I "shot" a Laced Woodpecker and what I thought was a Racket-tailed Treepie. Saw a Greater Coucal and that was it. Outside the sanctuary and along the roads, I saw bulbuls, egrets/herons flying, doves, collared kingfishers, munias, sparrows, fantails and one Japanese/Oriental White-eye ... and one quail-like bird. That was all. Would I visit again? Not on bike, that's for sure. I might consider the boat trip if it's just to see the birds, and trekking through the marshes to catch the birds up close sounds interesting ... but I'll think twice about a second trip there. There is actually quite an impressive list of birds in Can Gio. But as we birders know, what's on the list and what's reality is really quite a stretch.
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Date of experience: July 2017
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Buiduong wrote a review Apr 2017
Hanoi, Vietnam23 contributions8 helpful votes
It takes us around 2.5 hour drive to get there, the road is a little bit rough. We need to cross by a ferry then continue driving to Can Gio mangrove forest to visit Monkey island, Crocodile, enjoy cano trip through Rung Sac (mangrove forest, each cano is available for 6 tourists). The children will have chance to take closer to wild life and some entertainments such as: swimming at pool, walking around, see wild animals...
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Date of experience: November 2016
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Wanderers Homestay wrote a review Oct 2016
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam12 contributions6 helpful votes
Canoe on the river surroundings of the forest was very fantastic. We saw a variety of animals in their natural surroundings, fruit bats up in the trees, a spectacular view of the bird sanctuary from above via a viewing tower, wild monkeys were very cute and feeding crocodiles. A quite place to escape the chaos of city. Highly recommend!
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Date of experience: October 2016
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Line Lee J wrote a review Jul 2016
Budapest, Hungary18 contributions9 helpful votes
A couple of two young danes. We went from Ho Chi Minh City, with bus no 20, changed to the ferry and took another bus no 90 to the destination. Maybe we had a bad experience, but there were nothing to see or do. We came ourselves, independent and not wanting to have to follow a big tour group. Only to meet 5 grown men who knew absolutely no English. We had to translate back and fourth through google translate. There were no sign of opening hours, or any help to get. So we felt helpless. Then we were advised to check into a hotel 20 km from vam sat. Though there were no chance of getting a taxi out here. Luckily a Vietnamese couple had seen our struggle and offered to give a ride back to hcmc. We will never come back.
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Date of experience: July 2016
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