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Vietnam Travel guide

nha-co-huynh-thuy-le

Sa Dec

It trumpets a minor claim to fame as the setting for The Lover, a semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras, made into a film by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Sights Huynh Thuy Le Old House HISTORICAL BUILDING (Nha Co Huynh Thuy Le; 0939 533 523; 225A Ð Nguyen Hue; admission 10,000d) This wonderfully atmospheric 1895 house on the riverfront [...]

Xeo Quyt Forest

Around Cao Lanh

Sights & Activities Xeo Quyt Forest NATURE RESERVE (Xeo Quyt, Xeo Quit; admission 5000d;  7am-5pm) Southeast of Cao Lanh and accessible by boat tour is the magnificent 52-hectare Xeo Quyt Forest (also called Rung Tram) near My Hiep village. One vast swamp beneath a beautiful thick canopy of tall trees and vines, it’s one of [...]

Cao Lanh

A newish town carved from the jungles and swamps of the Mekong Delta region, Cao Lanh is big for business, but draws few tourists. Sights Dong Thap Museum MUSEUM (226 Ð Nguyen Thai Hoc;  7-11.30am & 1.30-5pm)  The Dong Thap Museum is among the Mekong’s best museums, despite having no English captions. The ground floor [...]

Blue Sky Crocodile Land

Long Xuyen

Beyond a few minor sights and a lively market, the capital of An Giang province offers little to detain travellers. It’s a relatively affluent city, making its money from agriculture (particularly cashew nuts) and fish processing. Until 1956 the Hoa Hao had an army and constituted a major military force in this region. The town’s [...]

Miếu Bà Chúa Xù

Around Chau Doc

Sam Mountain A sacred place for Buddhists, Sam Mountain (Nui Sam, 284m) and its environs are crammed with dozens of pagodas and temples. A strong Chinese influence makes it particularly popular with ethnic Chinese, but Buddhists of all ethnicities visit here. The views from the top are excellent (weather permitting), ranging deep into Cambodia. There’s [...]

nui-cam-chau-doc

Chau Doc

Draped along the banks of the Hau Giang River (Bassac River), Chau Doc sees plenty of travellers washing through on the river route between Cambodia and Vietnam. A likeable little town with significant Chinese, Cham and Khmer communities, Chau Doc’s cultural diversity – apparent in the mosques, temples, churches and nearby pilgrimage sites – makes [...]

Mui Nai

Around Ha Tien

Mui Nai The beaches in this part of Vietnam face the Gulf of Thailand. The water is incredibly warm and becalmed; great for bathing and diving but hopeless for surfing. The best of them, Mui Nai (Stag’s Head Peninsula; admission person/car 2500/10,000d), supposedly resembling the head of a stag with its mouth pointing upward, is [...]

Ha-Tien

Ha Tien

Ha Tien may be part of the Mekong Delta but lying on the Gulf of Thailand it feels a world away from the rice fields and rivers that typify the region. Plantations of pepper trees cling to the hillsides. On a clear day, Phu Quoc Island is visible to the west. The town itself has [...]

Nhà tù Phú Quốc

Phu Quoc Island

Beyond the resorts lining Long Beach, it’s still largely undeveloped, so there’s ample room for exploration and escaping. Dive the reefs, kayak in the bays, eat up the back-road miles on a motorbike, or just live the life of a lotus eater by lounging on the beach, indulging in a massage and dining on fresh [...]

Nguyen Trung Truc Temple

Rach Gia

A thriving port on the Gulf of Thailand and something of a southern boom town benefiting from a serious injection of Viet Kieu money, Rach Gia is home to significant numbers of both ethnic Chinese and ethnic Khmers. Most travellers zip straight through for boats to Phu Quoc Island, but the lively waterfront and bustling [...]

Rừng U Minh

Around Ca Mau

U-Minh Forest The town of Ca Mau borders the U-Minh Forest (admission 10,000d; 6am-5pm, closed Mar-May), a vast mangrove forest covering 1000 sq km of Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces. Local people use certain species of mangrove as a source of timber, charcoal, thatch and tannin. As well as being an important habitat for waterfowl, [...]

Rung Duoc Ca Mau

Ca Mau

On the swampy shores of the Ganh Hao River, Ca Mau is the capital and sole city in Ca Mau province, which covers the southern tip of the Mekong Delta. It’s a remote and inhospitable area that wasn’t cultivated until the late 17th century. Owing to the boggy terrain, the province has the lowest population [...]

Vuon Chim Bac Lieu

Bac Lieu & Around

Few people stop in Bac Lieu, but bird – watchers pass through en route to the excellent sanctuary near town. The town has a few elegant but forlorn French colonial buildings lining the waterfront, but little else of interest. The grandest of these buildings is the Cong Tu Hotel ( 0781-395 3304; 13 Ð Dien Bien [...]

Soc Trang

Soc Trang

 It’s a useful base for exploring Khmer temples in the area, although you can probably skip these if Cambodia is on your radar.  Sights Bat Pagoda BUDDHIST TEMPLE The Bat Pagoda (Chua Doi) is a large, peaceful, Khmer monastery compound with a resident colony of fruit bats. Literally hundreds of these creatures hang from the [...]

Bang Lang

Around Can Tho

Arguably the biggest drawcard of the delta is its colourful floating markets, which hug the banks of wide stretches of river. Most market folk set out early to avoid the daytime heat, so try to visit between 6am and 8am and beat the tourist tide. The real tides, however, are also a factor, as bigger [...]

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