Tourists to the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang often overlook the interesting island district of Kien Hai. The district has 23 islands that stretch for about 30 kilometers. Tre Island, which is at the center of the scenic island group, is being developed as the new eco-tourism site by the province.
At 8:30 a.m., we set off on a boat from Rach Gia City and reached Tre Island in 20 minutes. Seen from a distance, Tre Island looks like a turtle with a mass of clouds over its head.
|A pagoda on a rocky point of Son Rai Island in Kien Hai District, Kien Giang Province|
When we arrived on the island, many people were drying or repairing fishing nets around the wharf. Some boys were loading squid traps onto boats.
For about VND20,000 we hired a motorbike taxi to look around the island, so we could see Non Islet, Ong Ta River, Viet Mount, Lon, Nho and Vang streams.
The motorbike taxi took us south for a half an hour to where we could get a small wooden boat to Son Rai Island.
Son Rai Island has no wharf so we and the other passengers were taken to shore in dinghies. At the landing there were some interesting examples of local architecture and culture – Than Lai Son Temple, Co Chu Shrine, Cao Dai Cathedral and Hai Son Pagoda. Covering over 11.7 square kilometers, Son Rai Island is mainly forest with seven mountains, of which the 450m tall Ma Thien Lanh Mountain is the most popular mountain for climbing
The island also has five beaches where travelers can play in the waves and show off their new bikinis.
Tourist services and facilities in the island are still limited so it’s mainly suitable for backpackers and adventure groups.
There is no hotel on the island – just a few guest houses priced at VND30,000 per room. To enjoy seafood, visitors have to order from the restaurants in advance. By Tran Kiem My Xuyen in Kien Giang of SGT