Tam Giang Lagoon – Complete travel guide blog for the best sunset view in Hue

As the largest brackish water estuary in Southeast Asia, Tam Giang Lagoon offers a wealth of experiences for adventurous travelers. From its pristine mangrove forests to its vibrant floating markets, this is one of the most alluring attractions to explore the rich fishing culture in Central Vietnam when coming to Hue.

What do you know about Tam Giang Lagoon?

In the past, Tam Giang Estuary was one of the main waterways to reach the imperial city of Hue (alongside the Perfume River and the Thuan An Estuary). Anyone who wanted to go to the imperial capital had to cross this area. However, this place is also the meeting point of several rivers flowing into the sea. The narrow mouth of the estuary often created whirlpools. When the wind was strong and the waves were high, it was easy to capsize boats.

During the Nguyen dynasty, an official named Nguyen Khoa Dang ordered the military to deepen the river bed and widen the mouth of the estuary. After that, the risk of capsizing boats and sinking ships was significantly reduced.

Today, Tam Giang Lagoon is known as the largest brackish water lagoon in Southeast Asia, covering an area of about 52 km2 across four districts: Phong Dien, Quang Dien, Huong Tra, and Phu Vang in Thua Thien-Hue province. This vast lagoon system is one of the largest in Vietnam.

Charming sunset on Tam Giang Lagoon
Charming sunset on Tam Giang Lagoon

What can you expect in Tam Giang Lagoon?

  • Vast expanses of shallow, brackish waters
  • Numerous small fishing villages dotted along the shores with rich Vietnamese fishing culture
  • Rich biodiversity, including various species of fish, shrimp, and aquatic plants
  • Scenic landscapes with mountains in the distance
  • Vibrant fishing activities and a thriving local fishing community

How to get there?

Tam Giang Lagoon is located in Thua Thien-Hue province, about 30 km from the center of Hue City. To reach the lagoon, you can choose between a motorbike, private car, or taxi from the Center City of Hue to reach the lagoon. The price for renting a motorbike in Hue is around VND 100,000 to VND 150,000 (around US $4 to $6).

There are two main routes you can take to get from Hue City to Phá Tam Giang:

Route 1:

  • Start on Le Duan Street
  • Turn left onto Huynh Thuc Khang Street
  • Continue straight to the ancient village of Bao Vinh
  • Proceed to the town of Sia
  • Reach the Con Toc ferry landing
  • Take a ferry across to access Tam Giang Lagoon

Route 2:

  • Head towards Thuan An Beach
  • Find your way to National Highway 49B
  • Continue straight until you reach the Tam Giang Bridge
  • Cross the bridge to arrive at Tam Giang Lagoon

There is no admission fee to enter Phá Tam Giang. However, you will need to pay for any services or activities you wish to use within the area.

What to do here?

Tam Giang Lagoon is where you can observe traditional fishing practices and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of this unique coastal ecosystem. Let’s see what is waiting for you here to explore:

1. Admire the charming sunset and sunrise

The most beautiful times to visit Tam Giang Lagoon are in the early morning and late afternoon. This is when visitors can capture the most serene and picturesque moments of nature. Hence, Tam Giang Lagoon is renowned for its stunning sunsets and sunrises. Spend time watching the sky light up in a breathtaking display of colors as the sun dips below the horizon or rises over the tranquil waters.

2. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the fishing season at Chuon Lagoon

Covering an area of over 100 hectares, Chuon Lagoon is an integral part of the Tam Giang Lagoon system and a popular destination for young travelers in Hue. During the fishing season from April to July, visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere as the local fishermen engage in their lively catch.

Additionally, if coming here around August, you’ll have a chance to admire a unique festival called the Chuon Village Festival is held annually from the 15th to the 17th day of the 7th lunar month, offering a truly special cultural experience.

Chuon Lagoon in Tam Giang
Chuon Lagoon in Tam Giang

3. Visit Thai Duong Ha fishing village

Thai Duong Ha fishing village is the last remaining fishing village on the Tam Giang Lagoon. In the mornings, visitors can witness the lively buying and selling of various goods on the small boats. In the evenings, the boats return enthusiastically after a day of fishing.

When visiting the fishing village, don’t forget to also stop by the ancient Thai Duong Ha communal house and the most beautiful temple in the Tam Giang Lagoon area, the Tran Quoc Pagoda.

4. Explore Ru Cha mangrove forest

Ru Cha is the only remaining pristine mangrove forest in the Tam Giang Lagoon, boasting a highly diverse ecosystem. The name “Ru” means “forest,” and “Cha” refers to a distinctive tree species that covers 90% of the area. Visitors will be captivated by the breathtaking sight of a vast 5-hectare expanse blanketed in the lush, verdant canopy of the Cha trees, an unforgettable natural wonder.

Fascinating Ru Cha mangrove forest
Fascinating Ru Cha mangrove forest

5. Enjoy the seafood specialties of Tam Giang Lagoon

Coming here don’t miss a chance to feast on a variety of fresh seafood harvested from the lagoon, including fish, shrimp, crabs, and mollusks. Seafood in Tam Giang Lagoon has fresh and sweet of seafood in brackish lagoons. Here are some dishes for must-try:

  • Bún riêu (crab and tomato noodle soup)
  • Cháo cá dìa (spicy porridge made with a type of fish)
  • Bánh khoái (a savory pancake made with Kình fish)

6. Rowing a sup boat

Glide across the calm waters of the lagoon on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for a unique and peaceful experience. Enjoy the stunning scenery and tranquility as you row through the serene waterways will be one of the most unforgettable memories when you come to Hue.

The price for rowing a sup boat is VND 100,000/person (around US $4/person)

Rowing SUP to admire the significant of the lagoon
Rowing SUP to admire the significant of the lagoon

7. Discovery of local life on the lagoon by boat

Visitors traveling in groups can hire boats from the locals in the Thuan An beach area or Thai Duong Ha fishing village. Many tour packages also offer this service. Aboard the wooden boats, guests can take a leisurely tour of the Tam Giang Lagoon, admire the scenic landscapes, and even experience the harvesting of aquatic products alongside the local fishermen. The boatmen serve as knowledgeable guides, providing valuable insights into this unique wetland ecosystem.

8. Blend in the vibrant Tam Giang floating market

Unlike the lively floating markets of the Mekong Delta, the floating market in the Tam Giang Lagoon is not as bustling and crowded. This is where local fishermen come to buy and sell goods, gathering as early as 4 AM.

The wooden boats, their lights flickering, gradually congregate in the vast expanse of the waterways. While not as vibrant and chaotic, visiting this floating market offers an insightful look into the lives of the fishermen who make their homes among the sprawling rivers and lagoons.

Tranquil floating market on Tam Giang Lagoon
Tranquil floating market on Tam Giang Lagoon

9. What’s on a Tam Giang Lagoon tour?

Many local tour operators in Hue provide Tam Giang Lagoon tours in half a day to admire the marvelous sunset on the lagoon. A typical Tam Giang Lagoon tour may include the following activities:

  • Boat tour of the lagoon, providing panoramic sunset views of the scenic landscapes
  • Visit to a traditional fishing village to observe the local way of life
  • Exploration of the Ru Cha mangrove forest by boat or kayak
  • Opportunity to participate in fishing activities or learn about traditional fishing techniques
  • A sampling of delicious seafood dishes at local restaurants

Besides a half-day tour, the Tam Giang Lagoon also offers a full-day excursion, allowing you to immerse yourself even deeper into this captivating region. Depending on your interests and the activities you wish to include, you can customize your experience.

But the Tam Giang Lagoon is just one of the many unusual things to do that make Hue a must-visit destination. When planning your trip to the former imperial capital of Hue, be sure to consider all the unusual and enriching experiences on offer.

For a seamless and memorable journey, don’t hesitate to contact with Indochina Voyages. Our team of experts can help you craft an itinerary that showcases the very best of Hue and the surrounding areas, including the stunning Tam Giang Lagoon.

Whether you choose a half-day or full-day tour of the lagoon, Indochina Voyages team will welcome you warmly and ensure you have the chance to fully immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty and vibrant local culture. So why not start planning your central Vietnam adventure today? The lagoon and all its wonders are waiting for you!

Thuy Dang – From Indochina Voyages

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