Can Gio is located 40 km south-east of Ho Chi Minh City and it is listed by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. It is a great place to visit if you like monkeys and want to see an authentic mangrove forest.
We decided to take a one day trip to Can Gio by motorbike which is a 2 hour ride. At a moment, you have to cross a river by ferry then ride 2 hours on a 3 lane road completely empty; a strange thing given the fact that traffic in Vietnam is so awful.
However, it was a great ride since everything looked quiet and the mangrove forest appeared soon after we left Saigon.
The entrance ticket is 30.000 VND for Vietnamese and 60.000 VND for foreigners. That is kind of discrimination, isn’t it?
The place is spectacular, pretty clean, and there weren’t many visitors; everything looked very rustic. A trip by boat through the mangrove forest costs you 600.000 VND (around $30) which I considered too much, so I skipped it.
The place is fulfilled with recalcitrant monkeys. Pay much attention to your belongings because those monkeys are experts in stealing things. Whatever you hold in your hands is a target.
This monkey has stolen my beer and it drunk it faster than I ever could. If you have a photo camera or a bag then you have to keep an eye on them.
We had lunch at a local restaurant (in the city) where we decided to try different kinds of dishes, something more special.
We started with fry octopus which I found very delicious. It looks strange at the beginning but it is really good.
I am not a big fan of seafood but these shells with cheese were fantastic. Of course, rice and a couple of beers must be present as well. We paid a very affordable price considering the quality and quantity of the food.
Just 7 km from the restaurant and you are on the beach. You can see Vung Tau city from the beach and we expected to have a relaxing time.
Business owners and vendors are waiting for you way before getting to the beach just to invite you to their restaurants. It is quite impossible to have quiet time since all these vendors are around you trying to convince you to buy their products.
Fish, seafood, mango, and different fruits are the things mostly offered. We spent more than 600.000 VND (around $30) on fish and mango but then we were left alone so we could have some quality time.
We waited for the night to take some photos but the results were not spectacular. However, it is a great place for capturing the sunrise so hopefully one day we will be there early in the morning.
Late in the evening we came back to Saigon and of course we stopped for dinner, my favorite goat breast.
I got home after 16 hours, tired, but with a tone of photos and a wonderful experience.