Usually, when it comes to Con Dao, people think of spiritual tourism. But with Nguyen Thu, there is a very different Con Dao. Here, she and her family had an interesting experience that was watching sea turtles lay eggs.
Although she has been to Con Dao twice, it was not until the third time that Ms. Nguyen Thu (36 years old, currently an office worker in Hanoi) “bursts” with happiness when she has an experience. very different in this spiritual land. It is watching sea turtles (Vic) lay eggs and wade through the forest looking for tank crabs.
“My family went to Con Dao together for the third time this time. The previous times we also went with the mindset to learn and explore, but we did not have enough necessary information. After the previous 2 visits, we had quite a lot. experience and knowledge about Con Dao, so the whole family wanted to come back and explore again. The first time I happened to choose a canoe tour to visit the islands around the island. about the forest-sea system of Con Dao, how to manage and exploit very effectively from forest rangers, flora and fauna and how people here coexist and protect the environment. Most of the information I found on the internet only talked about the spiritual area in Con Dao, so I didn’t discover much. When I came here, I saw the scenery of Con Dao, which must be said to be the most beautiful among the places I’ve been to.
Magnificent nature in Con Dao
Magnificent nature in Con Dao
My 3rd trip is only 3 days. But the family’s wish was granted a long time ago. It is for our little friends to participate in the rescue of sea turtles and learn about the work of the rangers here. Fortunately, this time my family went to Con Dao coincided with the sea turtle spawning season, so this plan was quite favorable. My daughter can directly watch turtles come to the beach on Hon Bay Canh to give birth and tank crabs come ashore to find prey and lay eggs,” said a young Hanoi mother.
Despite the feat and the loss of strength to cross the forest, when standing in front of this beautiful natural scene of Con Dao, Ms. Thu could not help but be moved.
Con Dao is unique in the season when turtles lay eggs and tank crabs move
Sea turtles are considered as one of the priorities protected species by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This is a very fertile species. Female turtles can lay hundreds of eggs in a single breeding season. However, it is estimated that on average, for every 1,000 baby turtles born, only 1 can survive to adulthood. Vietnam currently has 5 out of 7 species of turtles in the world, including: leatherback, tortoiseshell, terrapin, turtle and pineapple tortoise. But by now, many species are almost extinct. Con Dao is considered to be the place with the largest concentration of turtles in Vietnam’s sea, but now there are almost only green turtles left.
Sea turtles in Con Dao
Ms. Nguyen Thu shared: “Con Dao National Park is very interesting and rangers are allowed to both preserve, protect and exploit. They have tours for visitors to learn about turtles as well as experience them directly. This is to widely propagate and raise people’s awareness about the protection of marine environment and wildlife in general, and Vietnam’s sea turtles in particular.
During the 3 days of the 3rd visit to Con Dao, my family went to Bay Canh Island and stayed here for 1 night. Around 6-8 pm is the time when tank crabs go to feed and move to the sea.
The tank crab is the largest land crab in Vietnam along with the Indochina peninsula and only lives in the mangrove area of Con Dao. The spawning season of this crab coincides with the spawning season of sea turtles. Although this species is a shallow crab, it is very large, with a carapace diameter of up to 20cm and a weight of 1kg. They look very funny, certainly, the feature is that there are 1 as big and 1 as small, cutting branches into “gods”. Tank crabs in Con Dao have a shy nature, crawling quickly and hiding well. Hearing the footsteps of guests rustling on the leaves is hiding. Although they live in terrestrial burrows on sandy beaches, intertidal zones, or rocky outcrops above tidal level, tank crabs have to go to Con Dao sea to lay eggs because the sea water temperature in Con Dao is stable and rich in food. , suitable for larval growth.
Thu’s daughter is very interested and curious when watching tank crabs come ashore to hunt for food
After having dinner, our family walked to the entrance to watch the tank crabs move to find food on the island. Fortunately that day, at 9pm, a turtle came ashore to give birth, so after watching the crabs, we went back to watch the turtle give birth.
Usually when the tide is high, the turtles come ashore. To ensure space for turtles, rangers will not let canoes pass this side of the island, with no lights and no noise. My daughter witnessed the entire birthing process of the turtle, but unfortunately could not pick up the eggs, because when the turtle was born, the tide receded, and the turtle did not return to the sea immediately. Around 3 am, the turtles return to the sea and at this time, the rangers will pick up the eggs and return to Ap Lake. Currently, it is the breeding season of turtles, so on the night of September 2, up to 14 people went to the island to give birth. All the work of the rangers is to ensure the highest rate of eggs hatching into baby turtles and the maximum rate of baby turtles being released into the sea.
Image of sea turtles laying eggs in Con Dao
A year on the island, forest rangers release about 150,000 microscopic microchills to the sea, the survival rate is only about 1/1000 under different natural impacts. About 25 years later, the surviving Vic will return to the original place of release, the island to give birth. When watching turtles give birth, absolutely do not use white, yellow light, flash your phone, only use red and blue lights. The best season to stay on the island to watch turtles lay and release baby turtles is from May to the end of October.
The eggs are incubated in the Incubator Lake to ensure a temperature-appropriate male-female ratio and to protect against attack by other species. After 55 – 60 days turtle eggs will hatch. The rangers also let tourists participate in releasing turtles to the sea. This form also encourages visitors to learn, protect and love this sea turtle more.
Called Ho Ap is actually a sand pool protected by a net, one side is “open-air” and the other side has a canopy of shade trees. Because baby turtles will be sex determined by incubation temperature, hot will produce female turtles and cool will result in male turtles. This is very interesting information that I just came to know.”
Sea Turtle Hatching Lake
According to Ms. Nguyen Thu, the scene of releasing turtles into the sea is also quite interesting, so much so that her daughter is so excited that she can’t sleep. The ranger will put the baby turtles in a basket and bring them down to the sandy shore when the water is high and the sun is not too hot, because the light shining into the eyes will make the baby turtles lose their way. The scene of dozens and hundreds of baby turtles walking out to the sea for a distance of about ten meters, always being barricaded by waves but they are not subdued is very emotional and also very lovely.
Pictures of baby turtles about to be released into the sea
Discover other beautiful spots in Con Dao
In addition to having practical experience when participating with the forest rangers in maintaining and developing sea turtles, Nguyen Thu’s family also visited many other famous beautiful places in Con Dao.
“After releasing the turtles back to the sea, our whole family took a canoe a little further away to dive and see the coral. Because we don’t exploit fishery and there are not too many tourists to explore, there are still many coral reefs and coral reefs. The fish here are very brave. Even when I went to the island I saw dolphins, but it was far away and backlit so I couldn’t take pictures. I have seen corals in Nha Trang and some other places. , but I believe in Con Dao everything will be beyond your imagination.The coral reefs are very large and diverse, even though there are giant coral blocks that look beautiful.
Con Dao at night is beautiful and captivating
Any point in Con Dao is very beautiful to check in
Before that, Ms. Thu had learned about the flora and fauna in Con Dao in advance. According to the young mother, there is an interesting point that Treking in Con Dao is very safe for children because there are no poisonous or fierce animals. These species have specimens at the Con Dao museum or at the exhibition area of Con Dao National Park, along with information about their habitat, behavioral characteristics, etc. Walking in the forest is not dangerous at all. Because the Con Dao forest is sparse, and has a cool wind, it is also quite easy to move. Especially the tour guide here has lived in Con Dao for a long time and is also familiar with the terrain, you are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, love nature and are very conscious of environmental protection. This is very beneficial for the trip of Ms. Thu’s family.
Con Dao every corner is strangely beautiful. Dam Trau beach is very beautiful, the feeling of the plane flying over your head is both interesting and a bit scary. Some places like Tau Be Cape or Shark Cape must be called beautiful and heart-fluttering, both wild and magnificent. My family also went to the forest and down to Ong Cau Beach, there were many snails clinging to rocks. My little friend is very excited to go catching snails. On the way, I also met countless lovely animals in the forest,” said the mother of 8X.
“Actually, what I have learned after each trip, I usually don’t ask him. But I believe in the love and sincere empathy that he has for each person or creature during the trip, every time. I will always love everything around me and know how to protect and spread that love. I am also very happy that the child is always conscious of protecting the environment, from the smallest things to using a water bottle. Personally, I bring a cloth bag to buy things, and I think that’s what I can draw and convert into action in the most practical way of my child,” – Ms. Thu confided.
Keyword: Unique tourism in Con Dao during the sea turtle spawning season