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Reminisce about the old days on Son islet with a brand new tour
Date: 31/05/2021

In preparation for the summer and the return of international visitors (when permitted), the people on Son islet launched a new tourism product named “Con Son back then” or “Son islet back then”. By restoring and recreating the old way of life, this tour is reminiscent of the old days on Son islet.
Visitors are releasing baby fish into Hau River.

This tour will offer tourists 5 experiences associated with old customs, traditions, stories regarding Son islet and its people over 20 years ago up to now.

Mr. Ly Van Bon, the owner of Bay Bon fishing raft, is a well-known and respectable old farmer on Son islet for his vast knowledge of the fish species in the Hau River and the Southern region. With over 20 years of experience in fish farming on the Hau River, Mr. Bay Bon understands clearly the characteristics of each species, so the stories he tells about the life cycle and habits of fish are always attractive to tourists. With normal tours, you can see many species of fish on the fishing raft such as Bronze featherback fish, koi fish, air-breathing catfish, redtail catfish, archerfish, etc. However, the “Son islet back then” tour is a completely different experience. You can talk to Mr. Bay Bon about the river life and the relentless journey of an old farmer who dreams of building a living museum of freshwater fish on the Hau River. This time, Mr. Bay Bon tells the story about the Mastacembelus favus fish and the journey to raise this breed in fishing rafts in the middle of the Hau river. You will also be able to release the baby fish into the river, as a way to contribute to preserving the natural habitat. It is one of the activities to raise people’s awareness and meet the criteria of tourism activities associated with the environmental responsibility of the locals on Son islet.

The main highlight of “Son islet back then” is Cong Minh garden - which still retains the rustic features of the old Southern house. Ms. Bay Muon, whose real name is Phan Kim Ngan, the owner of Cong Minh garden, says: “Although our house has undergone many repairs and renovations due to degradation, its tile roof and three compartments remain intact. We don’t want to change much since our family lifestyle has been attached to this space for a long time”. Bay Muon's family still keeps the recipe for traditional and handmade Southern cakes. That's why it appeals to Steven, a special guest in this new experience program. Steven is interested in the stories of the ancient Southern culture and customs, especially the recipe for making cakes or hammocks made of banana fibers, and baskets made of nipa palm leaves.

Visitors learn about how Mr. Tam and his wife weave a hammock.

Continuing the journey, you will see Mr. Le Van Tam and his wife making handmade products that look simple and idyllic but reminiscent of the old years. These are everyday items made from materials available in the garden, but today only a few people still use them. For example, making a hammock from banana fibers takes a lot of time, but it is very durable, strong, and environmentally friendly. Because of such hard work, not many people make it today. Consequently, many do not know about this item, and some forget about it. You can try weaving hammocks or learn how to weave baskets with Mr. Tam and his wife to experience how rural life in the South was once.

Furthermore, Thanh Tam garden will offer visitors a homely yet modern experience. The garden displays agricultural tools associated with the farmer's life in the old days and still being used today in daily life for fishing. Here, you can try becoming a farmer and use these agricultural tools to empty the ditch to catch fish.

Welcoming you at the end of the “Con Son back then” tour is a cozy meal with simple yet delicious dishes and a Southern folk music performance at Song Khanh garden. With the desire to bring Southern traditional art closer to visitors, many talented artists take part in the Southern folk music performance with the backdrop designed in the style of a green garden, thus creating a heartwarming feeling of the Southern countryside for visitors.

Traditional Southern folk music performance.

“Con Son back then” tour starts from 15:00 to 19:00, which is a suitable time for visitors to have a multidimensional view of the daily life of the people in the river region. For example, only when listening to traditional Southern folk music in the garden in the evening, can you feel the unique beauty of this genre wholeheartedly. “Con Son back then” is a special tourism product aimed at tourists who like to experience the local life and want to learn deeply about the Southern culture by building on a storyline following the flow of memories of the locals. “Con Son back then” tour is in the process of testing. Currently, more than 5 companies in Ho Chi Minh City specializing in international customers want to exploit this tour.

It can be said that “Con Son back then” is the product of the efforts of the community in Son islet in building tourism products and attracting tourists to Can Tho. The people on Son islet are constantly changing, approaching visitors in different directions with diverse products. “Con Son back then” is not a completely new product. However, on the basis of old products, it is renewed, improved, refined, thus creating its own character with new stories and experiences. It is the adaptation to increasing the value of local tourism products, demonstrating the dynamism of the people working in the tourism sector in the new context.


Source: Can Tho Newspaper - Translated by Hoang Dat


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