Con Son Islet, nestled along the tranquil Hau River between the provinces of Can Tho and Vinh Long, is an ideal destination for a one-day getaway. With fewer than 100 households on the island, Con Son offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. From scenic boat rides to exploring the island's unique culture and landmarks, there is plenty to discover on Con Son Islet.
1. Where is Con Son Can Tho Vietnam? How to get there?
1.1. Location of Con Son Islet
Con Son Islet is located in Bui Huu Nghia Ward, Binh Thuy County, Can Tho City. The islet is situated in the heart of the Hau River, occupying an area of 70 hectares that is fertile and alluvial throughout the year. Its idyllic scenery, rich cultural heritage, and friendly locals make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Mekong Delta region.
Coming to Con Son Islet, you can have the chance to visit lush green orchards and enjoy sweet and fragrant fruits. The islet is home to a diverse ecosystem that is unique to the Southern countryside, offering visitors a glimpse into the region's rich biodiversity.
1.2. How to get to Con Son?
Con Son Islet is about 8 kilometers away from Can Tho City. To reach the Con Son Tourist Village in the middle of Hau River, you must first travel from Can Tho city to Co Bac Wharf and then take a boat to Con Son.
- From Can Tho City to Co Bac Wharf:
To get to Co Bac Wharf from Can Tho city center, take Nguyen Trai Street and cross over the Nguyen Trai Bridge onto Cach Mang Thang 8 Street. From there, continue onto Binh Thuy Bridge and onto Le Hong Phong Street. At the intersection of Le Hong Phong and Dang Van Day streets, turn right and drive straight for about 100 meters until you reach Co Bac Wharf.
- From Co Bac Wharf to Con Son Islet:
From Co Bac Wharf, you can take a ferry to the Con Son Tourist Village. The boat ride takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes along Hau River. The boat fare costs between VND 10,000 and 20,000 per person for a round trip, depending on the number of passengers.
2. The history of Con Son Can Tho
2.1. The origin of the name “Con Son”
Con Son Islet, also known as Son Islet, was named after the abundance of gardenia trees (Son trees) that populated the area during its early years. The trees were valuable for their sap, which was used in lacquer art, ship painting, and gilded wooden furniture.
In the past, the local community’s main livelihood was extracting gardenia tree sap and woodworking. However, as time passed, this practice became less common, and they turned towards fish farming and cultivating fruit trees instead.
2.2. The formation of Con Son tourist village
The idea for developing Con Son tourist village in Can Tho, Vietnam was initiated in 2014 after a group of students filmed for the program "One Day as a Farmer" on the islet. The locals were impressed by the students' enthusiasm as they participated in farming activities, and the local government saw an opportunity to promote tourism in Con Son.
In 2014, the locals began planning and developing a model of community-based tourism here. After a year of hard work, Con Son tourist area officially opened in 2015. Despite initially attracting only around 40 visitors, this place has since become a well-known tourist attraction in Can Tho.
Con Son Islet's tourism model is built upon the unique characteristics of each household. Families with fruit orchards invite visitors to enjoy fresh produce, while those with fish rafts offer fishing experiences. Additionally, households with specific skills, such as cake-making, provide tourists with the opportunity to learn and participate in traditional activities. These tourism activities have successfully contributed to the local economy here.
>>> Read more: An insider’s guide to Cai Rang floating market in Can Tho
3. Best things to do on Con Son Islet Can Tho
Con Son Islet will surely quench your thirst for travel with its natural sceneries and life-enriching experiences. So, do not miss out on the opportunity to discover local life here by participating in the following activities:
3.1. Visit the floating fish farm of Mr. Bay Bon
- Entrance fee: VND 10,000/ person
Bay Bon's floating fish farm has expanded its role beyond simply supplying local restaurants. With its growing popularity over the years, it has become a must-visit attraction for tourists in Con Son. This unique attraction is situated at the gateway of Con Son, just 500 meters away from the wharf.
Comprising more than 30 large and small fish rafts spanning 5,000 square meters, this floating farm is nearly a kilometer long. Here, you can observe a diverse range of fish species, including Pangasius (tra fish) and Strabismus fish (lac fish), being raised with care.
Also, watching colorful Koi fish is especially enjoyable. You can also find some fish that are not meant to be eaten here, like the Ho fish which can grow up to 50 centimeters in length.
One of the highlights of visiting Bay Bon's floating fish farm is the unique opportunity to feed the fish. This exciting experience involves feeding rice to catfish and Basa fish, providing visitors with an unforgettable memory.
3.2. Watch flying snakehead fish
- Entrance fee: VND 20,000/ person
When traveling to Con Son, one of the most captivating experiences is watching the flying snakehead fish. These remarkable creatures are raised in rafts and trained to follow a specific feeding routine set by their caretakers.
To showcase their impressive skills to visitors, the owner trains the snakeheads to jump out of the water and catch food thrown at a high distance. It takes a considerable amount of bait to train these fish to jump up to 40 centimeters high and bite the bait as directed by their owner.
On weekdays, the "flying snakehead show" attracts a plethora of visitors who are eager to witness the spectacle. Each school of snakehead can perform up to 20 times for visitors, but once they are full, they no longer need to jump for food.
3.3. Experience making traditional cakes of Southern Vietnam
In Con Son Islet, visitors can participate in all stages of making traditional cakes from preparing raw materials and kneading dough to decorating. You can make several delectable Southern cakes such as Vietnamese mini pancake (banh khot), Vietnamese sizzling cake (banh xeo), jackfruit leaf cake (banh la mit), and so on.
You can pre-order a variety of traditional cakes if you travel in a large group to enjoy. However, if your group contains four people or less, it is recommended to learn to make only one to two types of cakes.
3.4. Pick your own fruits at Con Son fruit gardens
- Entrance fee: around VND 15,000/ person
Thanks to its fertile land, this islet boasts an abundance of fruit orchards with a variety of fruit trees such as pomelos, rambutans, plums, and star apples. The period between April and July is the peak season for ripe fruit, making it the perfect time to visit.
Nothing can compare to the sweet, juicy taste of freshly picked fruits straight from the garden. Do not miss out on the chance to purchase these high-quality, chemical-free, and reasonably priced fruits as gifts for your loved ones.
3.5. Enjoy Southern amateur music
Do not forget to enjoy Southern amateur music (or don ca tai tu) performances in Con Son. Don ca tai tu is a genre of traditional folk music that emerged in Southern Vietnam at the end of the 19th century. Admiring the poetic rural life while listening to don ca tai tu would be a memorable experience on your trip to Southern Vietnam.
3.6. Explore local cuisine
Fish is definitely a must-try food when visiting this place. Con Son offers visitors the chance to savor delectable traditional fish dishes, including fish hot pot, braised snakehead fish, grilled snakehead fish, and grilled fish straw. Other dishes you can try are hot pot with fermented fish (lau mam), steam chicken with knotgrass, and grilled snails. Make sure to save room for mouth-watering desserts such as jackfruit leaf cakes, which is the perfect way to end your meal.
To ensure a memorable culinary experience, it is recommended to ask locals for recommendations and make reservations in advance.
4. Essential Con Son tips for first-time visitors
Here are some notes for your enjoyable trip to Con Son Islet, Can Tho:
- Con Son Islet, located in the Mekong Delta, boasts a consistently cool climate throughout the year. The peak tourism season on Con Son Islet is typically from April to August. During this time, the island's gardens are abundant with a variety of fruits, including rambutan, mango, longan, guava, jackfruit, and more.
- You can drive motorbikes around Con Son Islet but the road here is relatively narrow and dangerous. It is recommended to park your motorbikes at the wharf and leisurely walk around to admire the scenery here.
- Bring umbrellas, sun protection jackets, hats, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the scorching weather.
- Most people on Con Son Islet travel either by three-leaf boats or on foot due to the region’s terrain. Wearing a comfortable pair of shoes will make your journey more convenient and enjoyable.
- Since Con Son can only accommodate a limited number of visitors per day, it is advisable to contact local households in advance to arrange for food and transportation for your hassle-free trip.
- Ideally, you should plan to spend at least one day on Con Son to fully experience its beauty and charm. Do not forget to pack your camera and phone to capture stunning photos.
While visiting Con Son Islet can be a wonderful cultural experience on your Can Tho tour, Vietnam has a lot more to discover and admire. Do not miss out on the chance to visit some renowned tourist hubs such as Phu Quoc, Hoi An, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ha Long, and so on.
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Con Son Islet in Can Tho is undoubtedly an off-the-beaten-track tourist attraction that promises unforgettable memories. With its vibrant fruit orchards, mesmerizing fish farms, and idyllic rural sceneries, this islet is truly a treasure that cannot be missed out on your trip to the Mekong Delta region. So, why hesitate to add this awe-inspiring attraction on your bucket list for upcoming trips to Vietnam?