Since the beginning of summer, the number of tourists flocking to Con Son islet is two to three times higher than usual. Many tourists choose this destination to live the pure rural experience, by engaging in activities such as visiting fish rafts, watching the show of "flying" snakehead fish, picking fruit in a garden, learning how to make folk cakes, enjoying rustic cuisine ... but above all, to feel the kindness and simplicity of local people in their way of life.
600m from the shore, Con Son islet with a surface of more than 67 ha is seen as a pearl in the dragon mouth of the ancient village of Long Tuyen. From a distance, this island looks wild with its entourage of Sonneratia trees, in the immensity of the river. Being deposited with alluvial all year long, Con Son islet retains its ideal green space with lush and fertile gardens. To reach the islet, it takes only 5 to 10 minutes from Co Bac wharf, or 30 to 45 minutes from Ninh Kieu quay. At Con Son islet, visitors can see the Bay Bon fish rafts where freshwater fish from dozens of local species are raised: Siamese giant carp, clown knife fish, Mastacembelus Favus (Tire Track Eel), Biota modesta Bleeker, black sharkminnow, Hemibagrus (a kind of catfish), Pangasius larnaudii (Spot pangasius) and so on. The rafts of Mr. Ly Van Bon are one of the attractions for many tourists from far away. Here, visitors not only discover the characteristics of the freshwater fish aquarium species of the Mekong Delta, but also contemplate many strange species of fish, such as: Pink Clariidae (albino Air-breathing catfish), "Fire Eel", Red-tailed Catfish, Tiger fish, five-colored koi carp, Toxotidae (also called Archerfish because of unique their hunting style by firing very precise water droplets from their specialized mouths), etc. During the visit, many impressive shows surprise visitors, such as koi carps form images by moving in schools and Archerfish go hunting.
By leaving these rafts, visitors really put their feet on the land of the islet. This strip of land gives an impression of tranquility by its rustic beauty with gardens, ponds and jetties. The atmosphere on the islet is very airy and cool. On the islet live a few dozen families who are mainly engaged in horticulture, and who today enjoy this advantage to do business. It is not difficult to find a garden to visit. Depending on the season, you can visit rambutan gardens at Song Khanh, grapefruit at Phuong My, pink avocado at Co Sau, yellow-brown longan at Nam Minh, Edor longan at Sau Canh, guavas and Euphoria longan at Thanh Tam ... The fruit trees here are fruitful all year, visitors can easily pick the fruit and savor it on the spot. Tourists can also discover the life of these peasants through series of activities: fishing, draining ditches for fish, crab or snail ... After hours of work in the water, stained of mud, the result obtained is the catching of freshwater fish such as snakehead fish, Tilapia, Air-breathing catfish ... and that makes visitors happy. They can ask the locals to prepare their “prizes” on site with the ingredients available in the garden to make delicious dishes typical of the country, such as: grilled fish on straw or in banana bark, grilled snail, snail hotpot...
Not only exploit the gardens, the inhabitants of Con Son islet also know how to arouse the attraction that is the training of flying snakehead fish. To see these fish fly, visitors go to the garden of Tin - Hoa at the end of the islet or to Thanh Tam in the center. In ponds, hundreds of fish following the command signal, fly off at once, even a meter high, creating a very entertaining and spectacular show.
Once at Con Son islet, do not miss the chance to taste the traditional cakes there, that’s what tourists say to each other when they come to this place. There are artisans who prepare traditional cakes and who with their skills preserve the soul of the countryside in their recipe. Ms. Bay Muon (whose real name is Phan Kim Ngan) at Cong Minh garden, is one of the well-known artisans to many tourists. With more than 50 years of cake-making experience, Ms. Bay Muon has dozens of recipes for traditional cakes, such as: bánh cuốn (Vietnamese crispy waffle rolls), bánh lá mít (Vietnamese jackfruit leaves cake), bánh khoai mì (cassava cake), bánh da lợn - pig skin cake (Vietnamese steamed layer cake), bánh lọt ngọt (rice pasta with pandanus leaves, caramel and coconut milk) ... At Cong Minh garden, visitors could relive their childhood memories by learning how to make some traditional cakes passed down through generations. For this reason, Ms. Bay Muon is chosen by many groups of visitors; especially families want their children to live moments of a childhood in the countryside.
Located in the heart of the city, Con Son islet preserves its rustic beauty through community tourism. The experience here is rich in the "soul of the countryside" because it is nourished by the sincerity and the friendliness seen in the inhabitants’ way of life. Mr. Bay Bon, Ms. Nam Phuoc and Ms. Bay Muon are fond memories of visitors who have promised to return to live once again the rural life of the Western region. Many tourists from Hanoi, Dong Nai, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang ... came back to Con Son islet saying that they are returning to their home to relive childhood memories.
Source: Can Tho Newspaper - Translated by Hoang Dat