Go Cong is a town and district of Tien Giang Province, 70km southwest of Saigon in the Mekong Delta. According to locals, Go Cong means “mound of peacocks”, referring to the birds that lived in the area a long time ago.
To reach Go Cong, you have to cross My Loi bridge — a 2.6km structure crossing the Vam Co river, which was opened to the public last year, linking Tien Giang to Long An and Saigon. Go Cong’s beauty is hidden in its old houses located in the centre, and fresh seafood from nearby Tan Thanh Beach.
According to a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) report from 2006, Tien Giang has 350 old houses, of which two-thirds are located in Go Cong. Most of the old villas and houses were built from brick and oil extracted from o duoc trees mixed with honey, from 1800 to 1900.
The villa of the former governor Nguyen Phu Hai (49 Hai Ba Trung, Go Cong) is the best known in town. It’s a combination of French colonial architecture on the outside with a traditional southern Vietnamese interior. It was built in 1890 and boasts a main hall, two square apartments and a barn. In 1994, it was listed as a national relic.
Other old architectural sites include Truong Dinh Temple, the villa of the first provincial chief of Go Cong, the Trung communal house and the royal mausoleums. As Go Cong is a small town, all are worth visiting.
Tan Thanh Beach
Tan Thanh is a 7km stretch of sand located 13km west of Go Cong. Although it is not a pristine white beach with a long green line of palm trees, Tan Thanh is still charming with an untouched landscape and a sense of stillness.
The beach has a 300m long dock where you can either catch the first rays of the sun or enjoy the salty breeze from the ocean. Or you can wait until the afternoon when the tide goes down and you can join the locals to catch clams.
When visiting Tan Thanh, you shouldn’t miss out on the seafood. You can either stop by the wooden stilt houses along the beach to try the food while looking out to sea or pick your own favourite seafood at the market at the welcome gate, and have it cooked according to taste.
If you are interested in having a seafood BBQ with friends at home, before leaving Go Cong, drive 10km west to Vam Lang Market — a wholesale market, stocking a wide range of seafood at reasonable prices.
Follow QL50 (Highway 50) out of District 7 to reach Go Cong. When you get to Go Cong, take highway DT862 towards the sea. This will bring you to Tan Thanh Beach.