Turtle Island is one of the most appealing attractions in Ben Tre, a province in Mekong River Delta. This island used to have an area of about 65 hectares. It is about 22 km of water way from the center of Ben Tre City. Turtle Island belongs to two communes, Tan Thanh and Quoi Son of Chau Thanh District (Ben Tre Province). This is one of four islands located on My Tho River – a part of Tien River. These islands are named according to four mascots reflecting happiness and wealth; they are dragon, unicorn, turtle, and phoenix. Con Long Island is Dragon Island, Thoi Son Island is Unicorn Island, Con Quy Island is Turtle Island, and Tan Vinh Island or Con Phung Island is Phoenix Island. Turtle Island is the smallest one in Ben Tre.
Turtle Island was formed for over one hundred years. For a long time ago, this island was a small and deserted land with full of bushy plants. By 1950, the island was firstly exploited. In 1955, Mr. Pham Cao Thang was the first person coming here to explore and settle here. He planted many sonneratia trees to keep soil from being eroded. Over years, by dint of alluvial, Turtle Island is expanded more. Therefore, there are more and more households coming here to settle, plant and produce. In this island, there is a temple of Ba Chua Xu, one of the ancestors founding this island. In 1990, the entire gardens in this island had a complete construction of closed levees system. Thus, todays, in rainy season, gardens are no longer flooded. Life of people in Turtle Island depends on gardening and producing coconut candy – provincial specialty. In recent years, local people have also develop husbandry: wild pig and raising bees for honey, etc. with its own flavor.
As being a new land, Turtle Island remains its untouched beauty with white flowers of sonneratia, green lush coconut trees, and rustic houses hiding in fresh orchards. Once coming to Turtle Island, tourists will have chances to experience many interesting things such as visiting orchards, discover Ben Tre cuisine, and enjoy Don Ca Tai Tu. International tourists come to Turtle Island more, as it has many attractions and appealing experiences on rural and tranquil southwestern life, not as noisy as urban areas. Local people are hospitable and honest.
Seemingly, in Turtle Island and other three ones are portrayed by large orchards and rivers. There are many famous fruits in this island such as longan, sapoche or Vietnam Sapadilla fruits, grapefruit, plum, mango, and jackfruit, etc. Local ladies in gentle traditional southern shirts fast carry fruits to inland or floating markets by "ghe", the popular means of transportation in this island in particular and in Mekong Delta in general.
Traveling along Tien River by boat about 30 minutes, you can reach this island. Turtle Island fascinates travelers by its pristine beauty of Mekong River Delta, fresh atmosphere, and temperate climate. Coming to Turtle Island, you will catch sight of the immense orchards of longan, oranges, grapefruit... After early-season rains Turtle Island is more beautiful with lush green trees. You will feel the sense of coolness and strong vitality of this island. Boating on the river to tourist spots in this island such as Hong Van, Turtle Island, and New Turtle Islet, enjoy fruits in the garden, drink honey tea and admire Don Ca Tai Tu, a traditional Vietnamese folk music which is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Don Ca Tai Tu has been existed for years in the land of Ben Tre. It is a charming point for this wetland.
Coming to Turtle Island, apart from tasting fresh fruits, getting around the island, and listening to traditional folk Vietnamese music, you have a chance to enjoy delicious food here. Fried Tai Tuong fish is one of the most outstanding dishes in this island. Besides, you can savor other special and rustic dishes such as coconut fried shrimp, fish cooked with sour soup with spinach, red tilapia steamed with mushroom... Also, visiting coconut candy production facilities, and coconut handicraft villages will bring new experiences to you. There, tourists can see many diverse products, and then choose a meaningful gift for friends and relatives after traveling Ben Tre. There are many other fascinating attractions awaiting for your discovery.