One of the best places to visit in Tien Giang Province, the Mekong Delta is Thoi Son Island. You will be overwhelmed by fascinating activities , people, the lifestyle, and the atmosphere there. Don’t hesitate to grab some hints and guides before you go.
The history of Thoi Son Island
Thoi Son Island is referred to as the biggest of four islands in the Tien river. It has the area of about 660ha, 570ha of which are used for agriculture. There are up to 1,000 households and 6,000 inhabitants in the island. 90% of them work as farmers. Most houses in the island are designed in the style of the South, always including ying-yang tiled roofs, three compartments, and a big garden full of fruit trees. In the front of the house also has a small yard where there are bonsai trees, giving a serene view.
The inhabitants of the island have started to develop the tourism industry since 1988. With their enthusiasm, they make the island more beautiful every single day. The island’s charm with lush fruit gardens is supposed to be an impressive characteristic many visitors want to explore. The visitors can come anytime of year as the fruits are all year round.
How to get to Thoi Son Island from Saigon
It’s just 70kilometers from the heart of downtown Saigon to Thoi Son Island. You can choose one the following ways to your destination.
+ By car
From the city center of Saigon, travel along Vo Van Kiet Avenue (18km), and then turn left to National Route 1A. Keep moving along National Route 1A about 3.5km. Turn right to Trung Luong Expressway. When you arrive at an intersection of Trung Luong, go on Ap Bac Street to My Tho City.
Move along Ap Bac Street about 2.6 km, you’ll see the roundabout of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. Just turn right to Nam Ky Khoi Nghia 1km, and then turn left to 30/4 Street. Go about 300 meters to Thoi Son Island.
+ By coach
You can catch a bus from the bus line of Hung Hieu – 173 An Duong Vuong Street, Ward 8, District 5. The bus will direct you to Thoi Son Island. The bus runs every 30 minutes from 5:00AM to 8:30PM.
+ By tour
If you want a more comfortable way to Thoi Son Island, it’s supposed that you should take a tour from some travel agent in Saigon. Apart from taking you to Thoi Son Island, it’s also a way for you to explore more fascinating places in the Mekong Delta.
What to do in Thoi Son Island
Being rowed on a boat for sightseeing
When you begin a sightseeing boat trip, you’ll leisurely cruise on the Tien river and witness a vibrant prospect in which the locals are working in their fish farm. The houses in the island bring you a peaceful feeling when they are surrounded by lush fruit gardens and the river. While in the cruise, you can see the beauty of Rach Mieu Bridge and perceive the calm lifestyle there.
Kicking back in the center of orchards
After strolling through village paths of the island, you can unwind in huts or in hammocks. Not only that, it’s amazing to take a sip of honey tea and listen to folk music performed by local ladies. Those songs are about boys and girls in love or expressing their love to the country. Just imagine how wonderful it is when you are in the center of orchards with cool breeze and shadow down on your face.
Exploring the local family businesses
Not only do you enjoy a sightseeing boat trip and kick back in the orchards, but you also visit the local family businesses where they make coconut candies, handicrafts, cakes, etc. Here is your chance to explore the process of making those products and buy what you love. You also understand more about the life of the locals as well as the way they earn their livings
Draining ditches for fish
One of the most impressive activities in Thoi Son Island is draining ditches for fish. This activity enables you to know about tools for catching fish in the wet area and learn how to use them. It’s possible to say that the moment when you can catch big fish and throw it into the ground will get you excited. You can ask the host to smoke fish with straw and enjoy right in the garden.
What to eat in Thoi Son Island
+ Deep-fried “elephant ear fish”
Elephant ear fish is the name the locals give to a kind of big fish. It’s fried until fish scales are golden and crispy. It will be wrapped with vegetables and rice noodle in a rice paper. It’s soaked in the sour and sweet fish sauce before it’s enjoyed. It’s fantastic in texture and taste.
+ Chicken stewed with lemongrass
The chicken is stewed with lemongrass, so it’s flavored and aromatic. The chicken is tender and sweet. It’s best to enjoy with basella alba. The fish sauce is chilly, sour, and sweet, so it goes well with the chicken stewed with lemongrass.
+ Fermented fish hotpot with water-fern flowers
Fermented fish hotpot is surely an excellent specialty of the Mekong Delta. In Thoi Son Island, you can find it popular. Often, it’s served with water-fern flowers. It’s with regret that you miss it when you make a trip to the Mekong Delta.
There are also other delicacies you shouldn’t ignore, such as snakehead porridge, snakehead stuffed with ground meat, duck porridge. All of the dishes will leave you unforgettable experiences.