Thi Tuong Lagoon, which spans the two districts of Cai Nuoc and Tran Van Thoi in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau, offers a slice of quiet rural life to tourists.
The lagoon covers about 700 hectares, is about 10 kilometers long and two kilometers wide. It is divided into three parts – Dam Trong (Inside Lagoon), Dam Giua (Middle Lagoon) and Dam Ngoai (Outside Lagoon)
Dam Giua is the biggest part of the lake. The stilted houses of many shrimp farmers sit out on the lake’s surface while the surrounding shores of the lake are lined with water coconuts.
Early mornings at the lagoon are tranquil – the rays of the sun pierce the cover of palm leaves and the sapphire water that stretches for miles is as smooth as glass. Everything is silent except for the songs of birds.
Most of the people that live around Thi Tuong Lagoon have no idea about restaurants, resorts or entertainment areas. So it’s not the place to visit if you expect four star hotel doormen and modern facilities. But it is an Eden for nature enthusiasts. When you experience a visit to a stilt house on the lagoon you will feel the pace of life slow to a crawl.
The stilt houses are linked by old wooden gangways, that don’t look too safe, but when the friendly locals make it look easy, it helps you overcome your fear. After a few teas or wines the people that live in these stilt houses can tell some funny stories too and share about local customs. Or you can join them to go fishing.
The lagoon is named after Miss Tuong, one of pioneers of the area.
At night, by the light of the flickering oil lamp, hearing the sounds of crickets and insects and sitting together enjoying a meal made from the afternoon’s catch, you might imagine for a moment what it would be like to switch places with your host. By Phuong Kieu in Ca Mau of SGT.