Tra Su Bird Sanctuary

Top choice nature reserve in Chau Doc

This immense 800,000-hectare forest is home to an astounding number of wading birds. Much of the wetland is off-limits to visitors so that the birds' breeding grounds are not disturbed, but visits include a short speedboat ride and a tranquil 20-minute paddle along narrow channels through the gnarled and green sunken forest. Even if you only spot a few birds, it's a beautiful, if short, green trip. The sanctuary is 23km west of town.

The best time to visit is December to January, when the babies hatch. Motorbike tours from Chau Doc cost around US$20 per person. Group tours organised by Mekong Tours cost US$12 per person, with pick-up in comfortable small buses, admission and rides included. While there's a greater likelihood of sharing rowboats, with three passengers per boat it's hardly a problem.


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