national park

Can Gio Mangrove Forest

    Known as the 'green lungs of Saigon', the Can Gio biosphere reserve to the south of the city covers around 80,000 ha of the river delta and is cloaked in rich mangrove forest that is full of wildlife, with over 200 species of fauna and 52 flora. This huge mass of green so close to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City helps clean the air of the city, and protect against coastal erosion and storms coming in from the sea.

    The mangrove forest in Can Gio was originally over 2000 years old, and so dense that the interior was cold, foggy and dark, and full of dangerous animals such as tigers and crocodiles. During the war the mangroves were a dense hiding place from which to launch attacks on the city, which both the Vietnamese and Americans found extremely difficult to penetrate or patrol. Sadly this lead to the Americans dropping a huge amount of chemical defoliant or dixoins on the area, significantly damaging the mangrove forest, in an attempt to maintain control.

    Now the mangrove is beginning to recover and is protected by the government and international law, and there are efforts to reintroduce much of the wildlife that fled the area. It is a great place to visit from Saigon, whether as a day trip or for a longer stay - there is a resort to the south with a pool and small (though slightly muddy) beach.

    Syndicate content