Story: Huynh Phuong
Photos: Tuan Nguyen, Quy Coc Tu, Nguyen Thanh Cuong

Nowadays, Tay Ninh has transformed into a colorful tourist attraction in Vietnam’s Southeastern region. Eco-tours that allow visitors to delve into nature are especially popular. Tay Ninh’s wild destinations are sure to bring unforgettable experiences.  

Dau Tieng Lake

Enjoy cool winds and a bright moon

Summer is the best time to plan an “escape” with your friends and enjoy the fresh air at Dau Tieng Lake, 25km (15.5 miles) from Tay Ninh City. Vietnam’s largest artificial lake, it’s also known as “the wave-less bay” of Tay Ninh. The scenery is a pristine emerald canvas with the occasional fishing boat quietly drifting by. The lake is bordered by long green fields. In the distance lie lush marshes filled with grazing buffalo herds, flocks of birds seeking food, and blooming water lilies. Just like in a famous Vietnamese folk song, visitors can enjoy “summer nights of cool winds and a bright moon” as they camp beside Dau Tieng Lake. This is perfect for those who long to hear the music of insects humming at night and enjoy a romantic sunrise and sunset by the lake.

Sunset over the fields around Go Duoi Village

Admire the “lonely” leafless black plum tree

Upon arriving in Go Duoi, Long Thanh Nam Commune, Hoa Thanh town, visitors can easily spot a leafless, solitary black plum tree among the vast paddy fields. The picturesque scenery around this old tree changes at different times of day. Today, this black plum tree is no longer isolated and lonely, having become a favorite thing for young people to photograph. Though locals have little idea of the tree’s age, they reverently call it the “elder tree”, as if greeting an old friend as they leave to work in the fields each day.

Lo Go – Xa Mat National Park has always been a popular eco-tourist destination

Discover Heritage Trees and carnivorous plants 

Lo Go – Xa Mat National Park, 35km (21.7 miles) from Tay Ninh city, has always been a popular eco-tourist destination. Here you can find diverse topography and habitats, from low mountains, dunes, and grasslands to dipterocarp forests and natural rivers. After feasting their eyes upon the magnificent scenery from the observation deck, visitors can camp by Da Ha Stream, cycle across the plains, and explore the Ta Not spike-rush fields. They can also travel upstream on the Vam Co Dong River to reach the natural border of Vietnam and Cambodia. As they enjoy this river trip, tourists can fill their lungs with fresh country air. They can admire ponds filled with lotuses, water lilies, water mimosas, wildflowers, and forest orchids, and listen to the choirs of local birds. 

Lo Go – Xa Mat National Park has always been a popular eco-tourist destination

In the forests, massive vines that have grown for centuries amaze visitors. Nature-lovers will enjoy seeing two giant trees that are over two centuries old and were recognized as Heritage Trees in 2016: an Anisoptera costata with a diameter of 2m (6’6”) and a Dipterocarpus alatus (resin tree) with a diameter of 2.2m (7’2”). As tourists go deeper into the woods, they will encounter a rare surprise: a carnivorous plant – the Thorel pitcher plant – in the flesh! They can learn how this strange plant’s leaves evolved into a teapot shape in order to catch insects.

A vineyard in Duong Minh Chau District

Famous Ba Den soursops and Tay Ninh wild grapes

Travelers can bring back specialties of Tay Ninh as gifts and souvenirs, such as Tay Ninh’s signature spicy salt or Trang Bang rice papers. This province is also famous for Ba Den soursops, a fruit named after Ba Den Mountain. Standing 986m in height, this mountain is a popular tourist destination, also known as the “rooftop” of the Northeastern region. The area’s soursops are large and meaty, with few seeds, a thin skin, and a sweet flavor. 

Visitors who wish to savor the taste of wild fruit can stroll among the wild grapevines in Duong Minh Chau District. Viticulturists have successfully cultivated thousands of vines that bear the sweetest fruit. Nothing is more exciting than cutting off a bunch of ripe dark black grapes, each weighing about 2kg. The ripe grapes have a sweet, slightly acrid taste that sets them apart from most other grapes. Travelers will fondly remember the taste of wild grape juice.