At Vietnamese Language Studies, we always encourage our students to explore and experience Vietnamese language and culture during their time studying Vietnamese in Hochiminh City. That’s the reason why VLS organized a fieldtrip to Can Gio Mangrove forest on 09.04.2016 to help our students immerse into local life and environment, as well as helping them have a closer look at some local destinations.
We started our fieldtrip at 8:00am and headed toward a salanganes house at Nha Be District. This area is around 200m2 and is a house of more than 500 pairs of salangane birds. Mr.Danh, a famous writer, also the owner of this house, have shared with us some of his thoughts and the taught us the process of raising and harvesting the product. He was very hospitable when inviting us to try some homemade sweet tofu and gooseberry.
It took us around 30 minutes to arrive at Binh Khanh ferry. Unlucky, we had to wait for around 30 minute more to get on the ferry (it was in the weekend, but still very crowded). This is the only way to get to Can Gio. Some people told us that the reason we don’t build a bridge there (which we obviously can, but we choose not to) is because we want to preserve this green area and prevent it from urbanization.
We arrived at Can Gio at 11:15am and had lunch. Surrounded us are monkeys and although we love them, we still had to be careful because these monkeys are very smart and can steal things from us at any time.
These canoes took us deeper inside the jungle so we could have a closer at Revolutionary Military Base.
After visiting the forest, we headed back out and went to 30.4 beach and visited local market. On the way home, we also passed by a salt field of a local farmer to learn the process of harvesting salt from sea water. The harvesting season only lasts around 5 months, from October to March/April. After collecting salt, a local buyer will transport all the salt to a ferry and deliver it to a local factory for processing.
The fieldtrip, in general, was a great experience for many of us, and also an opportunity to run away from the heat of Saigon. We hope that the fieldtrip brought to our students new experience and help them understand more about Vietnamese people and culture.