Tourists can take a boat tour to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful landscape of the lake with the surrounding mountains, fields, villages and palmyra palm gardens. — VNS Photo Quỳnh Trần
By Minh Đức
On a sultry summer day, Ô Thum Lake provides a relaxing getaway as the sunlight hits its silver waters.
Located in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, Ô Thum Lake is a popular attraction.
Travelling from the centre of Tri Tôn Town, tourists can find the lake at the foot of Phụng Hoàng (Phoenix) Mountain in Cô Tô Commune.
The lake, or reservoir, was built to retain water for production, deal with climate change and prevent forest fires.
I don't suppose the engineers supposed it would become a tourism site, but it seems to have inadvertently been their biggest achievement. The sparkling lake attracts people of all ages to the near untouched landscape, with several accommodation and eatery options.
Local people suggest the ideal time to visit the lake is in the rainy season, from May to August.
A wooden bridge connecting the two sides of the lake is a great place to take photos.
Tourists can take a boat ride to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surrounding mountains, fields, villages and palm gardens.
Grilled chicken - signature dish
Gà đốt lá chúc (grilled chicken with chúc leaves) is a must-try for tourists at Ô Thum Lake.
Cô Tô Commune doesn’t only offer tourists a beautiful backdrop, it also serves up dishes inspired by Cambodian cuisine. Gà đốt lá chúc (grilled chicken with chúc leaves) is a must-try.
It takes hours to marinade the chicken in various spices such as pepper, salt, lemongrass, chúc leaves, garlic and chilli. After being grilled, the chicken turns a shiny yellow. The spices penetrate deeply into the chicken so the dish preserves its natural sweetness and attractive fragrance.
The dish is special because the chúc leaves here are widely regarded as the tastiest in the region.
Châu Siêu, the owner of Siêu Gà Đốt (Super Grilled Chicken) near Ô Thum Lake, said the dish originated from Cambodia. He proudly said that people kept coming back to enjoy the dish.
“They have my number to order chicken for their next visit. The dish takes a lot of time to prepare so if they pre-order, we can make it perfect for them,” he said.
“I don’t use chicken raised at farms to make this dish, I just use free-range chickens that are raised on the mountain because their meat are more firm and sweet.”
Marinading the chicken is very important, but the grilling process is also a decisive part of creating a successful dish, he said.
“The chef has to take care of the fire to make the chicken cooked well but not make the meat too dry or burnt,” said Siêu.
The boat trip and the grilled chicken combine for a wonderful schedule and a memorable adventure. — VNS