Thi Tuong lagoon, 40 kilometers south of Ca Mau city, is the biggest and most beautiful lagoon in the Mekong Delta, and a major tourist attraction in Ca Mau province.
Thi Tuong lagoon (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Legend has it that Thi Tuong lagoon was named after Mrs. Tuong, a brave lady who helped locals chase away aggressive tigers when this region was first reclaimed.
Thi Tuong lagoon is located in three districts - Cai Nuoc, Tran Van Thoi, and Phu Tan. It was formed by alluvial sediment from the My Binh river, the Ong Doc river, and numerous canals.
The lagoon is 12 kilometers long, 1.5 meters deep, and 2 kilometers at its widest point. It is divided into three parts - Dam Trong (Inside Lagoon), Dam Giua (Middle Lagoon) and Dam Ngoai (Outside Lagoon), of which the Middle Lagoon is the largest.
To reach Thi Tuong lagoon, visitors used to traverse a paved zigzag path with lush green foliage on either side. Canoes glide through the calm water, taking visitors around the lagoon to enjoy the cool breeze and stunning views.
On the lagoon are the scattered stilt houses and canoes of oyster farmers. The lagoon is fringed by green nipa palms swaying in the wind.
The lagoon is surrounded by nipa palms. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Nguyen Van Ngo of Kien Giang province said, “This natural lagoon has existed for a long time. The mangrove and nipa forests are all natural. Locals are engaging in aquaculture in the lagoon, which has a primeval beauty.”
Thi Tuong lagoon has varied fishery resources. In addition to the Thi Tuong Lagoon Cooperative, there are several individual households offering community-based tourism services, which allows tourists to catch fish and cook the fish themselves.
Huynh Thuy Kieu, a service provider at Thi Tuong lagoon, said, “The number of tourists has doubled in the 15 years since I first opened my business. They love the natural setting and local specialties, including fish, oysters, shrimps, and crabs, at a reasonable price, just 4 USD per person. The Thi Tuong Lagoon Cooperative offers boat trips around the lagoon.”
The entrance to the Xeo Duoc historical relic (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
The nearby provincial Party Committee base at Xeo Duoc is a historical relic site, which recalls the hardships and bravery of Vietnamese revolutionaries during the American war.
Phan Van Me, a boatman from Thi Tuong lagoon, noted, “People living in the Thi Luong lagoon are proud of its amazing seascape and the Xeo Duoc revolutionary base which teaches younger generations about Vietnam’s patriotism. The boat trip usually takes about an hour, but can be extended to two hours upon request. The lagoon attracts about 10,000 visitors during the peak season in summer.”
The Thi Tuong Cooperative plans to build a floating bridge to connect the stilt houses and upgrade accommodation services to induce more visitors to stay overnight. VOV5