Our family love to go out of town once in a while and last month we decided to go to an eco-friendly spot in Dong Nai. My crew which consisted of my husband JC, my sons Ram and Paul and our friend Kim, and I went off for our quick getaway. This hidden beauty is not very popular amongst tourists/expats. Mango Garden (Vuon Xoai), just an hour of taxi-ride from (home) Phu My Hung, Ho Chi Minh City, is  located at Tan Cang Hamlet, Phuoc Tan, Long Thanh District, Dong Nai Province. Once you know where to find this place, it’s going to be much easier for you to just ride on your bike on the next visit.

We spent our weekend at the resort and the trip was comfy especially for the kids.  Near enough to home (Phu My Hung) and close enough to nature, it was absolutely refreshing to see GREEN around us.  Saturday was awesome; it was quiet and peaceful the whole day. The receptionist charged us 500,000 VND for a bungalow overnight. Our accommodation had an AC, 2 double beds, a TV and a fridge, and a decent bathroom. There was no Wifi or Cable connection that we did feel we were in a very remote area and there was no reason to stay in the room so we quickly explored outdoors. We visited the serene lakes, the spacious playground and invigorating swimming pool. We all had a mouthful of their savory crocodile and flavorsome ostrich dishes on our first meal in their restaurant and it was a divine! Food never tasted this good, I thought. We also watched the three black bears bathe, play and eat within the compound of grass, bushes and a creek. Dinner consisted of big palatable fried fish and the sweet-and-sour gustatory ‘running chicken’ (free-range chicken). Mind you, these foods are a rare commodity in Saigon, pigging out was necessary. Nature, food…It was so relaxing.

Came Sunday and it was madness! Guests, in big groups arrived and crowded the picnic areas. Then I reckoned Sunday is the special day when the Vietnamese spend quality time with friends or families at any site such as the park, a mall or a resort. Oh yes, Mango Garden has much to offer; it is packed with activities for adults and kids to play. You can ride on an ostrich which we didn’t dare to do. There’s grass-skiing, four-wheeled cart sliding (similar to a go-kart but without the steering wheel), and cycling which my boys enjoyed a lot. They also explored the lake with the water-pedal boat then they went up close to a duo of monkeys on a man-made island but they were too tired to try canoeing. Despite their exhaustion, they had the time of their lives! My younger son cried a bit after a crash from the cart slide plight but most of the time, we were filled with laughter. As our finale, we all went around on our rented bikes greeting the ostriches, the deer, the antelopes, the four-foot long fish which Animal Planet refers to as “Monster Fish” and the other animals. On the whole, the experience was revitalizing, the view stunning; what I enjoyed the most was taking photos. I had a blast!

Now, before you get too excited in going to the place, there are some reminders though.

  • Firstly, you should know that nobody speaks English there so it will come in handy if you have a Vietnamese friend with you or be sure to have your Vietnamese friend’s mobile number on your phonebook so you can call him to translate for you.
  • Also, after you pay for the accommodation, they’d give you tickets for the swimming pool and breakfast. We didn’t know this so we ended up paying for the pool although it wasn’t really expensive.
  • Thirdly, it is a must to bring a mosquito repellant.
  • Another thing is, if you go there by taxi, ask for the driver’s mobile number or you should have at least Mai Linh’s or Vinasun’s contact number to pick you up when going back home.
  •  Lastly, their bicycles were rusty and not well-maintained thus it would be best if you bring your own bicycles with you on the car/taxi.

  Mango Garden This is really a good place to hang out with friends, to go on a date with your boyfriend/girlfriend or spend time with the family.  (“,) Any other nearby places that you know of? We’d want to go there too. Hope you don’t mind sharing them to me (“,)

Tips? Recommendations? Questions? Just post them below.

Don’t GO to Mango Garden

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