All Things You Need to Know About Can Gio Monkey Island

Monday, 11/09/2023

A biodiverse conservation area home to a UNESCO-recognized mangrove forest, Can Gio (known as Monkey Island) is a prominent tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City. Before visiting Can Gio, look through our guide — All Things You Need to Know About Can Gio Monkey Island.

Situated 50 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh CityCan Gio is the sole coastal suburban district within HCMC. It is home to a mangrove forest, a world of fresh seafood, a monkey colony, and an abundance of bats, crocodiles, and various bird species.

Beyond the allure of Can Gio's tropical forest exploration, tourists are eager to enjoy the delectable seafood and local cuisine offerings. To ensure you get all the fantastic experiences in Can Gio, let's delve into all the things you need to know about Can Gio Monkey Island.

The Best Time to Visit


Can Gio has two seasons: a dry season (from December to April) and a rainy season (from May to October). Therefore, the best time to visit Can Gio is from December to April, when the weather is sunny and excellent for outdoor activities (temperatures are 26–32 degrees Celsius). 

How to Get Can Gio Monkey Island From Ho Chi Minh City.

Can Gio is a coastal suburban district of Ho Chi Minh City, and until now, it's been accessible only by ferry from the rest of the city. Regardless of which vehicle you use to reach Can Gio Island, you must arrive at Binh Khanh Ferry to board the ferry with your car to Can Gio.

Binh Khanh Ferry

Address: Huynh Tan Phat Street, Phu Xuan Commune, Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Operation hours: 5 am - 8 pm daily

Frequency: every 15 min - 45 mins (depending on the amount of guests)

Ticket price: pedestrian (2,000 VND/person), guest with a motorbike (7,000 VND/person), guest driving car (15,000 VND - 46,000 VND/car, depending on the car type)

By motorbike

Traveling by motorbike allows you to manage your time, relish the pleasant weather, and enjoy the magnificent scenery. However, the Can Gio district roads are often deserted, with dense forests on both sides. For your safety, you must be proficient in navigation and ensure you have a full gas tank before embarking on your journey.

Furthermore, traffic police are commonly positioned at the roadside to monitor speed and lane usage. If you violate traffic regulations, the police will request your ID and driver's license, and you may be subject to fines. Therefore, this mode of transportation is better suited for residents.

With 50km away from the center of HCMC, you spend about one hour and a half to reach Can Gio Island by motorbike. To get there:

  1. Follow the Google Maps route.
  2. Begin your journey by heading towards Tan Thuan Bridge in District 7.
  3. Make a turn onto Nguyen Van Linh and continue along Huynh Tan Phat Street until you reach Binh Khanh Ferry.
  4. After crossing the ferry, follow the road to Can Thanh Commune and stop by the attractions such as Can Gio Beach or Vam Sat ecological tourist site.

By taxi

Using a traditional taxi is a way to Can Gio Province. However, the taxi fare is high (around 0.85 USD/km), and the total cost from the HCMC center to Can Gio island is approximately 42.5 USD for 50 km one-way. 

Below are some famous brands of traditional taxis:

  • Vinasun (

Hotline (Ho Chi Minh): +84 28 38 27 27 27

  • Mailinh (

Hotline (nationwide): 1055

In addition, you can opt for a ride-hailing service like Grabcar or Gocar to reach Can Tho Monkey Island. The fee is relatively high but might be more affordable than a traditional taxi. 

By bus

Starting from Ben Thanh Market, you can catch Bus No. 20, which will take you to Binh Khanh Ferry. After crossing the ferry, continue your journey by taking Bus No. 90 to Can Gio Island. Be sure to inform the bus driver about your intended attraction since there are no designated bus stops on the island.

Alternatively, if you depart from 23/9 Park, you can board Bus No. 75, bringing you to Can Thanh Bus Station in Can Gio District. This bus route also provides access to renowned attractions on Can Gio Island.

The travel time by bus is around three hours, and you're pretty passive in moving to the following spots. 

By a rental car with a driver

Renting a car with a driver is the ideal way to reach Can Gio Monkey Island. Private car rentals offer time savings, privacy, and schedule flexibility and ensure your comfort in any weather conditions on Can Gio Island.

Many travelers prefer car rentals with English-speaking drivers due to the affordability of such services in Vietnam. Having a local driver at your disposal allows you to relax and relish your journey without worrying about traffic conditions and weather on Can Gio Island. Additionally, a native driver can immerse you in the local culture, introduce you to popular attractions, and recommend dining and accommodation options in Can Gio.

To rent a car, look at Vietnam Car Rental - The Comprehensive Guide. This guide contains everything essential for your car rental needs.

What to Explore: Can Gio Monkey Island

Spread over an area of more than 310 square kilometers, Can Gio has a biodiversity of flora and fauna ecosystem. Its natural beauty and serene atmosphere offer tourists an enjoyable experience.

  • The Sac Forest tourism area (Monkey Island) 

Address: Rung Sac Street, Long Hoa Commune, Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Opening hours: 7 am - 5 pm

Entrance fee: 35,000 VND/ per local, 100,000 VND/per foreigner 

Other services (if you want):

A tram takes visitors a kilometer into the forest from the entrance for 15,000 VND/per person. 

A canoe ride through the mangrove forests costs 600,000 VND for eight people, or travelers can rent small wooden boats for 300,000 - 350,000 VND for four or more. It's an exciting experience if you visit the forest by canoe. (If you don't want to try, you can discover attractions inside the Sac Forest tourism area by road.)

Attractions inside the Sac Forest tourism area

Visit Monkey Island

Can Gio is home to a 75,740-hectare mangrove forest designated by UNESCO in 2000 as Vietnam's first Mangrove Biosphere Reserve, earning it the 'green lung' of HCMC.

More than 1,500 wild monkeys make their home in the Sac Forest Tourism Area, often approaching tourists searching for food and drinks. These monkeys are scattered on roadways, trees, and walking alongside visitors.

While the monkeys may beg for food or drinks from visitors, they should not be fed. Providing food can disrupt their natural foraging habits and even make them ill, as their immune systems are not equipped to handle human-provided foods.


All Things You Need to Know About Can Gio Monkey Island:

  • Consider wearing socks and long clothing to prevent the monkey's swipe.
  • Avoid styling your hair up, as monkeys may be tempted to grab your ponytail.
  • Do not feed the monkeys.
  • Refrain from bringing foods and drinks into the tourism area.

Watch Habitats of Other Species: Bats, Birds, Crocodiles.

BatsSac Forest Tourism Area stands out as one of the rare places in Vietnam where bats are preserved. Visitors can explore a lagoon inhabited by hundreds of large bats during a short boat tour. You can spot these bats in slumber by looking up at the canopy.

Birds: Unlike the quiet bat lagoon, the bird sanctuary is incredibly noisy, housing more than 20,000 individuals from 26 species. Some travel agencies offer bird-watching tours, allowing tourists to observe rare species such as the collared kingfisher, Indian white-eye, and black-tailed gull.

CrocodilesThe Sac Forest Tourism Area also conserves saltwater crocodiles. Visitors have the opportunity to feed them if they wish.

Guerrilla Base

During the wars of resistance against the American aggressors, Can Gio suffered extensive damage, as it served as a Vietnamese revolutionary base. After 1975, the entire Can Gio mangrove forest was bare due to the devastation of dioxin, famously known as Agent Orange, dropped by American soldiers during the Vietnam War. However, by the early 1990s, the local ecosystem began to recover under extensive reforestation efforts.

Visitors to Can Gio can explore the Sac Forest Guerrilla Base, occupied by Vietnamese soldiers during the war. Both Vietnamese and English signage narrates their lives during that period and how they survived the war. Additionally, a small shrine is dedicated to these soldiers, where locals offer food and votive money.

  • Vam Sat Ecological Tourist Site

Address: Ly Nhon commune, Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City

Opening hours: 7:30 am - 5 pm


The Vam Sat ecological tourist site offers a diverse range of entertainment options, including canoe tours (visiting the forest, bird reserve, bat lagoon, and crocodile tourist site), team-building activities (kayaking, cycling through the woods, and campfires), as well as dining options and accommodations.


There are various visiting packages, with many travelers showing great enthusiasm for the one-day canoe tour. During this tour, you can observe bat habitats, witness thousands of birds, including rare species, and participate in the exhilarating 'Crocodile Fishing Cruise' game. You also have the opportunity to conquer the 26-meter-high Tang Bong Tower, which provides a panoramic view of the Mangrove Biosphere Reserve from above. Lunch is provided at the Vam Sat restaurant, and before concluding the tour, you can explore a forest path and take on the challenge of crossing a suspension bridge.

The price for a cano tour one day in Vam Sat:

The number of guests in the group

Reference price of tour canoe








04 - 07


08 -18


19 guests or more 


  • Visit Thanh An Island Commune.

Thanh An — the island commune where cars and motorbikes are uncommon - is one of six communes in the Can Gio District. To visit this commune, tourists from downtown HCMC and Can Gio District must transport to and fro on fishing boats due to the lack of high-speed boats from Can Gio Pier to Thanh An

The living space in Thanh An is tranquil and unhurried. The residents earn their living by fishing and making salt. Therefore, tourists can immerse themselves in the lives of local fishermen, witness the cultivation of oysters, and enjoy seafood delicacies amid the peaceful ambiance of this commune.

There are 5 - 7 trips that carry people back and forth to Thanh An commune daily. Each takes around 30 minutes, and the ticket price is 15,000 VND ($0.65)

Departure times from the mainland to Thanh An island commune are 6:30 am, 9 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 am, 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

What to Pack for the Journey to the Can Gio Island Tour?

  • Documents (must-have items): ID, Passport, visa;
  • Credit cards, USD cash, VND cash;
  • Mobile phone;
  • Chargers and Charger Cables;
  • Sunscreen, moisturizer, bug spray; 
  • Hand sanitizer;
  • Water, tissue.

What to Eat In Can Gio Monkey Island.

One of the things you need to know about Can Gio Monkey Island is the cuisine here. This island has Can Gio Beach, famous for reasonably priced fresh seafood. You can enjoy the local drink — Dừa nước (20,000 VND/cup), and indulge in the heaven of seafood in Can Gio.

For fresh seafood, Hang Duong Market is where you need to go in Can Gio. It operates daily and is crowded in the morning when the seafood catches arrive by boat.


Address: Thanh Thoi, Long Hoa, Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh City

Opening hours: 5 am - 6 pm (from Monday to Friday), 5 am - 9 pm (Saturday), and 5 am - 12 am (Sunday)

In the front and back of the market are cooking areas; customers can buy seafood and require the seller to cook them to their liking.


Reference prices of some seafood:


Reference price 

Mantis shrimp

500,000 (VND/kg)


800,000 - 1,100,000 (VND/kg)


400,000 - 500,000 (VND/kg)


430,000 (VND/kg)


120,000 (VND/kg)


20,000 (VND/per abalone)


Aside from seafood, you can try other local foods. Crab noodle soup (Bun rieu cua) is a famous breakfast in Can Gio. Address: 114/3A Duyen Hai Street, Can Thanh Town, Can Gio.

Fried seafood rice is another popular dish in Can Gio Monkey Island. A dish includes fresh seafood like prawns and squid, fried eggs, shredded carrots, and vegetables. You can enjoy the dishes at the address of Giong Ao Street in Can Thanh Town, with prices ranging from 30,000-60,000 VND.


Canh chua ca khoai, a soup cooked with Bumalo fish, pineapple, tomatoes, and green herbs, is present in families' daily meals in Can Gio. It's so delicious when eaten with rice vermicelli or noodles, and you can try this soup in some restaurants.

Where to Stay In Can Gio Monkey Island

The last thing in All Things You Need to Know About Can Gio Monkey Island is accommodation.

If you want to spend the night on Can Gio Monkey Island to enjoy the sea breeze, you have several choices to suit your budget.

For those seeking a high-end experience, resorts like Can Gio Resort, Mangrove Hotel Can Gio, Phuong Nam Can Gio Resort, and Gio Long Boutique Hotel offer accommodations surrounded by lush nature, with room rates starting from 700,000 VND per night.

Budget travelers will find homestays to be a suitable option. Some popular options include Eco Homestay, Tan Tan Homestay, Phuc Homestay, and Mangrove Homestay, with prices starting from 100,000 VND per night.

Residents can provide accommodation services to enhance their income in Thanh An island commune.


Can Gio is one of the captivating attractions of Ho Chi Minh City, boasting both historical significance and serving as a critical biodiversity preservation zone in Vietnam. Having read through 'All Things You Need to Know About Can Gio Monkey Island,' there's no need to hesitate. Embark on your journey to this beautiful destination and discover its remarkable offerings.


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