Can Gio - attractive tourist destination
Thanks to the local people's hard work to rebuild, Can Gio which was severely damaged by defoliants and herbicide sprays during the US war in Vietnam, it has now become a natural reserve and an attractive tourist destination with a large variety of flora and fauna.
Located in Can Gio District, less than 60km east of Ho Chi Minh City, the Can Gio mangrove forest is home to around 160 flora species, more than 700 spineless species, 137 fish species and more than 40 vertebrate animal species.
The number of its water birds species currently constitutes 34% of the country's total population with nine species listed in the World's Red Book of Endangered Species.
Can Gio salt-marsh forest is the best recovered, protected and managed in Southeast Asia, said foreign experts.
As a result, Can Gio was the first mangrove forest in Vietnam to be admitted to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in January 2000.
The locals' culture is closely attached to their traditional craft villages such as the fishing village and the forest village. Can Gio is also the first place in Vietnam and Southeast Asia where a sepulchre with more than 300 ancient Oc Eo artefacts were excavated.
Can Gio has become an ideal place for ecological tours and scientific research. Visitors will be attracted by an island with thousands of monkeys, a natural bird sanctuary within an area of more than 100 hectares or the rare naturally beautiful landscape in Dam Roi.
Sightseers will have a chance to visit Vam Sat salt-marsh forest which was recognised in mid-2003 by the World Tourist Organisation as one of the world's two sustainable ecological tourist zones in Vietnam.
Its natural scenery includes a bat swamp, a crocodile farm and a unique swimming pool in which swimmers do not have to worry about drowning since the salt concentration in the pool is 10 times higher than that of the ocean.
Tourists can not only enjoy fresh air here but also food specialities that are made from the locally available shrimp, crab, fish and shellfish.
The Prime Minister has recently approved a scheme on the sea encroachment area at around 872 ha in the region. The project is expected to turn Can Gio into a tourism-trade service centre in 2010.
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