Tortoise Islet (Vietnamese Cồn Quy; cồn means islet, Quy mean the Tortoise) is one of four islets located on the Mỹ Tho River (a section of the Tiền River) which is named after the concept of the “Four Spirits” that bring good luck and happiness: Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise, and Phoenix. The Tortoise and Phoenix islets are in Ben Tre province meanwhile Dragon and Unicorn are belonging to Tien Giang province. This islet has an area of around 70 hectares and is famous for its pristine beauty in nature, and comfortable climate.

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How to get here?

Tortoise Islet is a piece of land located along the romantic Tien River, about 23km from Ben Tre city, also known as Cat Islet (Sand islet). From the center of Ben Tre City, it will take visitors about 45 minutes by car to reach Rach Mieu wharft. Then, from the mainland, visitors will take a boat for about another 20 minutes to reach the islet.

Rach Mieu Wharf

Rach Mieu Wharf in Ben Tre

For visitors from Ho Chi Minh City, you can also rent a boat on route 30/4 to My Tho wharf to visit the islet. If you’re traveling with a group, private car for rent with a driver would be the best option for pick up and sightseeing options.

What could be more wonderful than sitting on a car for a long journey in hot weather and sitting on the boat here and inhaling the fresh air.

Address: Tan Thach and Quoi Son communes, Chau Thanh district, Ben Tre province.

What to do in Tortoise Islet?

The islet has been becoming a tourist attraction not only for local people but also for foreigners by activities you should join and get the experience as below:

Take a cruise along Tien River

If you want to explore every corner of Tortoise islet – Ben Tre, motorboat and sampan are great means of transportation for all tourists. What could be more wonderful than sitting on rowing sampan, passing through cool canals; admire the rows of green coconut trees and enjoy the fresh air. This is definitely an ideal opportunity for you to relieve stress after stressful days of work and study. In addition, don’t forget to bring home “virtual living” photos of the charming river scenery here. 

cruise along the river

cruise along the river

A sampan can carry a maximum of 6 people. The people rowing the sampan are local residents living around the area, wearing Ba Ba clothes – a traditional style clothes, and conical hats,…very cheerful. You can also ask them to try rowing a dinghy on the canals yourself. 

rowing boat in Mekong Delta

Rowing boat trip along canals of groups in Tortoise islet

The boat rental price will be start from 500,000 VND/a motor boat which carry up to 10 people. Note that this is just the price to take you to the entertainment spots and does not include food and entertainment fees at the islet.

Visit the orchards

Your trip to Tortoise islet will be truly incomplete if you miss exploring the lush and fruitful fruit gardens here. This is the ideal destination for you to enjoy many fruits such as pomelo, orange, longan, rambutan, banana, coconut, mango, jackfruit, and durian, sapote, papaya, melon…

orchards in Mekong

lush tangerine garden

Many tourists come to Tortoise islet with their only wish to enjoy delicious fresh fruits right from the garden at affordable prices.
Meanwhile, other just want to come to visit and check-in for virtual living, hang out in a hammock for a nap or simply relax under the shade of cool green trees.
orchard in Mekong

Visitors are free to explore and enjoy rambutan at the orchard

Visit beekeeping farm and enjoy honey production

In recent years, in addition to growing fruit trees, local people have also developed animal husbandry. In particular, beekeeping for honey is bringing high economic efficiency.
Visit beekeeping farm

Coming to the beekeeping farm, visitors will be introduced to the process of raising and collecting honey. In particular, cups of sweet, golden honey tea will also help you dispel the heat of the delta. Besides sightseeing; enjoying honey, visitors can also buy bee products such as: honey; beeswax, pollen, and royal jelly to take home as gifts for friends and relatives.

Visit coconut candy workshop

Another experience that you should not miss when traveling to Tortoise islet is visiting the handmade coconut candy village. Coming here, you will learn firsthand the process of making coconut products and taste coconut candy.

Coconut candy workshop
This is also a rare opportunity for visitors to witness and understand how to make a traditional coconut candy. The coconut candies are cut evenly and carefully wrapped in thin rice paper.
Coconut candy workshop

A tourist trying to make coconut candy by herself

In addition, in this craft village there are many handmade souvenirs such as patches, statues, and wooden chopsticks for you to choose from as gifts for family, friends and relatives.

Experience a day as a farmer

Besides sightseeing activities; Visitors can also participate in interesting activities such as: finding crabs and catching snails, bathing in the river, experiencing walking across the monkey bridge, etc. These activities not only help visitors understand the lives of the people here but It also helps visitors relax after stressful days of studying and working.

slapping ditches to catch fish

Tourist experience slapping ditches to catch fish game

Especially when visiting the islet, tourists can also dress up as farmers participating in “slapping ditches to catch fish”… experiencing the simple life of the river countryside. The snakehead or catfish be caught during the game would be turn into your lunch and served as grilled fish – “the most favorite and rustic dish” in Mekong delta region.    

grilled snakehead fish

Enjoy rustic dishes

Besides exploring and experiencing activities on the islet, there are many delicious dishes waiting for you to enjoy. Some specialties that can be mentioned include:

  • Pancake mixed and cooked coconut
  • Fried fish rolled with vegetables
  • Fried giant gourami
  • Coconut worms
  • Steamed red tilapia with termite mushrooms and pumpkin flowers
  • Roasted shrimp with coconut milk
  • Fish cooked with spinach
  • Braised snakehead fish.

elephant ear fish fried

While enjoy your lunch, the traditional folk music shows – “đờn ca tài tử” which is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, will be served for you.

don ca tai tu show

A “don ca tai tu” show

Turtle Islet still retains its natural beauty with its rustic houses, local handicraft workshops, fruit gardens and coconut trees and flowers. Sure enough, visiting the islet will bring you fascinating experiences with several amazing attractions and appealing activities in rural life.

Source: collected by An 

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