Vam Sat Ecopark (Vietnamese: rừng ngập mặn Vàm Sắt; rừng ngập mặn means mangrove forest) is an eco-tourism area inside Can Gio Biosphere Reserve in Ho Chi Minh City. This tourist area mainly exploits the wild element of the mangrove eco-region with unique and diverse flora and fauna. This is a perfect place where city residents take a weekend getaway away from the polluted, noisy city to find nature. 

General information about Vam Sat Ecopark

Vam Sat Ecopark located in the Can Gio mangrove forest (also known as Sac forest) is the first world biosphere reserve in Vietnam recognized by UNESCO. This forest is a harmony between terrestrial – aquatic ecosystems and freshwater – saltwater ecosystems, along with the influence of tides and alluvial deposits, so the vegetation here is very diverse… Among them, mangrove is the type of tree with the largest number thanks to its good adaptation to salinity and its effective anti-erosion root system.

Vam Sat Ecopark

The forest is also the “roof” of thousands of aquatic species, reptiles, vertebrates, mammals and birds with a large swamp system, playing an important role in researching ecological science and protecting the environment by filtering out toxins from the upstream of the river before flowing into the East Sea.

How to get here?

From Hochiminh city, it would be quite convenient to book a private car to Vam Sat as the driver know well about the road to get here, also he can pick up and drop off, easy for sightseeing activities as well.

private car to Vam Sat

Sample of model car to Vam Sat

Tourists who want to get here by themself still have a chance with 3 directions. You can go by road or by river, depending on your means of transportation.

By road for cars and motorbikes: from the city center, follow Huynh Tan Phat street to Binh Khanh ferry. Then, you cross the ferry, go about 14km to Ly Nhon junction. There is an instruction board on the right. You turn right and continue going another 20km. Here, you will see a sign at the intersection: turn right to enter the center of Ly Nhon commune, and turn left to reach the ticket counter of Vam Sat tourist area. You buy tickets at the counter and start your tour.

ferry to Can Gio

By waterway: from the city center, follow Huynh Tan Phat street to Binh Khanh ferry. Cross the ferry, go straight along Rung Sac route about 22km to the foot of Dan Xay bridge (do not cross the bridge). Turn right onto the small road right next to the sign of Vam Sat Tourist Area. Go 100m to the end of the road and you will see Dan Xay passenger station where you can buy canoe tickets here. The staff will guide you to the opposite wharf, get off the canoe and start the journey to explore Vam Sat.

Things to do when visit Vam Sat Ecopark

Vam Sat Ecopark site was established in 1999 with an area of 2,000 hectares, lies in the buffer zone of Can Gio Mangrove Forest that UNESCO recognised the first biosphere reserve in Vietnam which is ideal place for researchers and tourists come to visit

Vam Sat Bird Sanctuary

This is the only bird sanctuary in Ho Chi Minh city. It covers an area of 602.5 hectares. There are more than 30 species of birds including 11 species of water birds, such as oriental darter, little egret, pacific Reef-egret, black-crowned night heron, cattle egret…

Vam Sat Ecopark

In particular, there is a species of painted stork, a rare species, listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world. Every year from Apil to October, this is the time when birds migrate here to nest.

Some experiences you should not miss when coming here include:

Bird watching on the observation tower

On the path leading to the watchtower about 200 meters, you will hear the sounds of birds and the sound of rustling mangroves. Then you will have a panoramic view of the vast space on the 25m high tower.

Vam Sat Ecopark

Standing on the bird observation tower, you will witness an extremely vivid natural picture of thousands of birds here.

Bird watching by electric boat

If you want to explore further, board Vam Sat’s special catamaran electric boat for the opportunity to get closer to the bird’s habitat. When you get close, thousands of birds will fly up from both sides of the creek.

Vam Sat ecopark

If you come here after 17 pm, you will admire the scene of flocks of birds returning to their nests in an arrow formation like fighter planes, then they will “show off” by circling many times over the nest. Tram Chim Vam Sat will make you admire with its wonderful beauty that cannot be found anywhere else.

Bat Lagoon 

Contrary to the bustle of the bird sanctuary, Bat Lagoon has an unusually quiet space. Rowing a sampan is the only vehicle for you to explore this area. Going deep into the lagoon, visitors will encounter hundreds of large flying bats hanging from the canopy.

bat lagoon in Vam Sat
Especially the megabats or also called fruit bats, this type of bats have saffron yellow feathers, weigh about 0.5 kg, have a wingspan of 0.7 to 0.8 meters. They are very sensitive and easily frightened by noises, often hanging on mangrove trees to sleep and feed after 18 pm.

Crocodile Swamp in Vam Sat

In addition to the completely natural attractions, crocodiles in Vam Sat are raised according to a natural semi-wild model and are called crocodile swamps. This is a home of many rare crocodile species; especially Saltwater crocodile and Siamese crocodile.

Crocodile Swamp in Vam Sat
There are many equipped crocodile fishing boat service allow experience thrilling crocodile fishing. And you will have an opportunity to feed the crocodiles from a safe distance. In addition, Vam Sat also has a wildlife reserve such as deer, wild boar, python, snake, lizard, monkeys…

Other attractive things in Vam Sat Mangrove Forest

One of the most unique and strange games at Vam Sat is crocodile fishing as described above. In addition, you can also participate folk games such as rowing a basket boat, going across the monkey bridge, fishing, wading to catch crabs, slapping ditches to catch fish,… All will bring you exciting rustic experience.

Vam Sat Ecopark

Vam Sat tourist area is also a very suitable place for you to organize fun group games. Or if you like the wild and peaceful atmosphere, you can sit on a canoe along the water canals in the resort to watch trees, birds, breathe fresh air and enjoy wonderful moments of relaxation.

Enjoy authentic mangrove cuisine

Vam Sat tourist area is located in a saltwater area and near Can Gio beach, so the cuisine here is mainly fresh seafood caught on the spot. Vam Sat is an estuary area, so seafood here is raised in a natural environment rich in nutrients without using industrial products.

food in Vam Sat

Therefore, you can comfortably experience all kinds of fresh and firm seafood such as Vam Sat crab, Vam Sat tiger prawns, turtles, oysters, oysters… displayed on a giant tray

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Useful information

  • If you have children, keep an eye on them all the time. 
  • You are not allowed to bring drink or food from outside into the preservation area.
  • Do not arbitrarily feed the crocodiles or monkeys without the permission of the caretakers.
  • Follow all the instructions of the guide during your trip.

Source: collected by An

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