Ca Mau – Vietnam’s southernmost province
VietNamNet Bridge - This 300-year-old land is the ending point of the S-shaped Vietnam. Ca Mau Cape, 180 kilometers from Ca Mau City, is the only place in Vietnam where people can see both ocean sunrise and sunset in one day. A place where humans and nature co-exist in harmony, Ca Mau is dotted with bird parks, swamplands, channels and forests.

With its dense rivers and canals system, Ca Mau is home to well-known forests: U Minh forest and Nam Can forest. Its interlacing rivers and canals have generated tangled flows in the province. Some offshore islands are Hon Da Bac, Hon Khoai and Hon Chuoi. There are two types of forest in Ca Mau province: salt marsh and cajuput. The cajuput forest has the highest biological value among other types of natural forest, with high economic value and environmental protection. 

Ca Mau has great potential in developing ecological tourism thanks to the salt-marsh ecological system and diversified flora and fauna system. Ca Mau is well-known for U Minh cajuput forest and Nam Can mangrove forest. Besides, there is also a historical vestige, Khoai Island, which is closely related to the insurrection led by hero Phan Ngoc Hien. Ca Mau is also well known for its bird sanctuaries: Cai Nuoc, Dam Doi, Ngoc Hien and others. Most of all, the Ngoc Hien bird sanctuary attracts more and more visitors. 

Visiting Ca Mau, the southernmost of Vietnam, tourists will meet friendly southerners and join in the peaceful living atmosphere there.

Here are the must-see sites in Ca Mau:

Hon Khoai Island

Ca Mau – Vietnam’s southernmost province, ca mau travel, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news

Hon Khoai, the biggest of a group of islets, is a rocky island including hills and forests which have different kinds of precious wood like “Star” wood. It attracts many tourists who come to admire its natural landscapes.

The local people used to call it Hon Khoai because it looks like the shape of a giant potato. The island is not only a well-known landscape of Ca Mau Province but also a revolutionary site in the south-western region. In 1940, under the leadership of the Communist Party, the locals and soldiers retook the island from French invaders.

A path to the top of the island zigzags around the hillside and is shadowed by high and big trees. Jackfruit and mango trees are lush and many of them have become century-old trees.

Various wild flowers blossom in rock cavities as though specially placed there as part of some artistic arrangement. The sound of running water and the chirping of birds complete a heavenly beauty. On the Hon Khoai coast, there are numerous algae used to cook delicious dishes. There are many species of birds, some of which are wild geese and swallows, which have made Hon Khoai their home.

On the Hon Khoai coast, there are numerous algae which can be cooked into delicious dishes. There are also many species of birds on the island, including wild geese and swallows.

On the Hon Khoai Island stands a significant lighthouse in the Eastern Sea and Thailand Bay. Having invaded Vietnam, French colonialists built a system of lighthouses from Can Gio, Phu Quoc to Hon Khoai to lead ships.

The architecturally intact 318 meter-high lighthouse on Hon Khoai Island unfailingly puts on its best postcard behavior for visitors. Moreover, the lighthouse tower was one of the earliest construction sites in Vietnamese territorial waters.

Bird Garden

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The Bird Garden is situated inside the Cultural Park, also known as Lam Vien May 19th Park, in Ca Mau City. Only 2km away to the West of the center of the city, this garden is a place where many precious types of bird reside and gather every year.

The Cultural Park covers a total area of 18.2 ha including amusement parks, monuments, botanical gardens, stilt houses, Ho Chi Minh pond. Besides, there are also many tropical species raised in this park such as crocodiles, monkeys, snakes, lizards, pythons. However, the bird garden is the most popular spot of the park. 

This is a 2-ha forest where thousands of birds and storks gather every afternoon. Recently, there are also other types of bird such as teal, swan that choose to reside and procreate in this area. For the last couple of years, the garden has been newly expanded to an area of 6ha circled by fences. 

At the moment, as a separate ecological site, the City Bird Garden has a harmonious beauty made of natural ponds, forests, flower bushes and the most valuable birds in Southeast Asia.

The Cape of Ca Mau

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The Cape of Ca Mau belongs to Ngoc Hien District in Ca Mau Province. It is located only 118km away from the center of Ca Mau City. This is a unique spot of Vietnam Tourism not only because of its southern-most location, but also because is the only place in Vietnam where one can see the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.

The cape was discovered at the end of the 17th century. As it is the residential area of three ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, and Khmer, it is the place where many aspects of the three cultures interact and converge, reflecting in many unique traditions and customs.

The natural scenery full of mangrove forests featuring a plethora of birds, wild animals, and fish gives Ca Mau a very distinctive beauty of a newly discovered land: mysterious and fresh at the same time. With a diverse system of wild plants and animals, the giant mangrove forests are the most noticeable feature of this land, as they are the intersection of the East Sea and the West Sea. 

As the area of the forest expands greatly on a yearly basis, the most precious types of plant also develop, benefiting the wild animals residing there. It is estimated that there are over 240 types of plants, 36 species of animals, 194 species of birds, and 260 species of fish, with many endangered species.

From the Cape of Ca Mau, one can see the Hon Khoai Archipelago which is 20km away from mainland. This is a huge cluster of beautiful islands such as Hon Tuong, Hon Sao, Hon Kho, Hon Lon, Hon Doi Moi, etc., among which Hon Khoai Island is the biggest and highest with a width of 4km2 and a height of 318m. But don’t just stand still and look, come to this amazing island! This is where you can find the most important (and probably the most romantic) lighthouse in the Gulf of Thailand and the East Sea!

U Minh Ha National Park

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Ca Mau is the southernmost province in Vietnam. It is endowed by nature with an abundant source of seafood, vast green forests of cajuput and mangrove trees, large rivers and pristine beautiful natural scenery. These are resources that benefit economic and tourist development of the province.

With largely intact natural characteristics, U Minh Ha has become a popular destination, attracting a large number of visitors. U Minh Ha national park has more than 8,000 hectares of indigo blues and 25,000 hectares of buffer zone as well as rich fauna and flora.

Tourists can visit the observatory which is 24 metres high. Standing on the forest observation deck, visitors are surprised at endless forests and vast waterways.

U Minh Ha national park is one of three core zones of the Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape) World Biosphere Reserve. During the war against the US imperialists, the melaleuca forest was used to protect the revolutionary base, significantly contributing to the national struggle for freedom and independence.

With these specific characteristics, Ca Mau provincial authorities have paid more attention to the conservation and promotion of the value of the U Minh Ha forest, particularly building roads and enhancing forest fire prevention and control systems.

In U Minh Ha, visitors can rent a boat to go along interlacing canals or walk through the forest. The national park is also home to various wildlife species, including deer, wild boars, monkeys, weasels, snakes, turtles and pangolins, many of which were listed in the Red Book.

There are also around 60 kinds of freshwater and brackish water fish. Visitors can fish by themselves or ask local people to help spread the net to catch fish. After the forest travel, visitors together process and enjoy delicious rustic dishes such as grilled freshwater fish, fried field mouse, grilled snake with water lily and premature lotus leaves.

Coming to this land, visitors have a chance to listen to anecdotes and legends of uncle Ba Phi who was famous around the southern province for his cheerful, free-spoken and brave character, and especially his story-telling. Skilled hunters and forest workers here are always ready to tell mysterious and sensational stories.

In addition, visitors can lean back in cane chairs in houses on stilts to enjoy the lyrical melodies of Don Ca Tai Tu (traditional musical art form of the south).

The forest is a source of life for local people on this land, producing an abundant and rich resource of produce. The forest not only protects but also helps them create revenue to feed their families.

Travelling and discovering mangrove forests in daytime, along with catching voles can be a memorable experience for visitors to the southern forest land.

Hon Da Bac Island

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Hon Da Bac Island (Silver Stone Island), one of the most splendid landscapes in Ca Mau, the southern tip of the country, is becoming more and more attractive to travelers to the Mekong Delta.

The island is not only an ecotourism area endowed with fascinating scenery but also home to marine creature such as nau, chem, bop fish, oysters, clams and shrimp. The island was recognized as a national historical heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in June.

Hon Da Bac is located in Kinh Hon Hamlet, Khanh Binh Tay Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, about 50 kilometers from Ca Mau City with an area of 6.4 hectares and includes a cluster of islands, namely Hon Ong Ngo, Hon Da Le and Hon Da Bac.

Seen from afar, Hon Da Bac looks like a natural rock-garden amidst the immense sea. The island has ancient trees and under their shade are countless shiny granite boulders. Some of the rocks have weird shapes that people have named, San Tien (fairy yard), Gieng Tien (fairy well), Ban Chan Tien (fairy foot) and Ban Tay Da (stone hand).

Climbing the cliffs and slipping away into the groves, many secrets of nature are worth discovering. From September on, when the sea is the most beautiful with blue water and quiet waves, tourists can stroll the island or join the locals in catching squid or diving to find oysters in underwater caves.

Thi Tuong Lagoon

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Formed by alluvium from My Binh and Ong Doc rivers together with many canals in the three districts of Tran Van Thoi, Phu Tan and Cai Nuoc of Ca Mau Province, Thi Tuong has three main lagoons: Dam Trong (inner lagoon), Dam Giua (middle lagoon) – the largest – and Dam Ngoai (outer lagoon).

Thi Tuong lagoon is nestled in the heart of green fields and is surrounded by nipa trees. Shaped like a balloon swelling out, it is two kilometers wide, ten kilometers long and has the total water surface of around 700 hectares, Thi Tuong charms tourists with its picturesque beauty.

In the morning, tourists can experience the peace and tranquility of the lagoon while hearing the birds sing and watch the sunrise which creates a mesmerizing scene on the water. When the sun is up and the dew has disappeared, tourists can observe more clearly the daily life of local people in this coastal area with many unique customs.

On the lagoon there are about 20 floating houses where locals breed shrimp. Among them, Nguyen Van Hung’s is the largest home which is well equipped with modern facilities. He even has a wooden boat to grow vegetables and a cage to raise chicken, pigs and ducks.

At Hung’s homestay, tourists will be given a cruise around the lagoon. In the afternoon when the sun comes down on the west side, golden rays shine on the waves, bringing excursionists wonderful moments. Hung said that the water level is about one meter in the dry season and has reached the deepest level of 1.6 meters during the rainy season.

The lagoon also has a private area for Kien Giang businessmen who raise clams there. So around the lagoon area, tourists can learn about this practice as they watch farmers on the job.

At night, especially under moonlight, a barbecue party with locals telling tourists folklore about this land and some wine must be experienced. Sleeping in the house which has many entrances but no doors in this natural surrounding must be tried at least once.

Ca Mau Cape World Biosphere Reserve

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Encompassing Dat Mui, Vien An and Dat Moi communes in Ngoc Hien District, Ca Mau Cape National Park covers over 41,800 ha, including 26,600 ha of coastal areas and 15,200 ha of inland areas.

Cape Ca Mau National Park was originally covered by a natural mangrove forest; however, the vast majority was destroyed during the Second Indochina War. Most of the aquacultural ponds have been abandoned and now support extensive areas of re-colonizing mangrove forest. There are extensive mudflats which are also being colonized naturally by mangrove. These areas are continually growing due to accretion rates along the coastline of up to 50m per year in places.

The Park is a submerged area with a floral complex, mainly including mangrove and Mam (avicennia, black mangrove) trees. This is an ecological system of natural salt-marsh forests with high values in terms of biodiversity, landscapes, environment, culture and history.

It is home to 93 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 43 species of reptiles, nine species of amphibians, 139 fish species and 53 mollusk species, including many that are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book and the Red Book of the Association of International Nature Conservation (IUCN) of Threatened Species.

The mangroves at Mui Ca Mau perform an important coastal protection function, which was strongly emphasized on coastal protection in the management of the site to date. The national park also has high potential for recreation, ecotourism, conservation education and scientific research. Although present visitor use of the national park is low, visitor numbers are likely to increase in the future.

In 2009, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation recognised Ca Mau Cape National Park as a World Biosphere Reserve.

In 2013, the park became the 2,088th Ramsar site in the world (wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar convention) and the fifth Ramsar site in Vietnam.

Khai Long beach

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Khai Long beach is about 18km from Ca Mau cape. This is a curling sand bank along the sea shore of Khai Long ward, Mui Dat commune, Ngoc Hien district, with the area of 230ha and 3800m of seashore. Being favored by nature, group of islands has wild beauty and yellow sand banks.

Coming to Khai Long, visitors can listen to legends about the people from Central Vietnam who came to expand the land. When they stopped here, there was a light from the sky like a dragon shape. They supposed that is a good omen and they decided to settle down. The name Khai Long was also put to this area.

Coming to Khai Long, you could visit the floating market – typical culture of the water land. Right in the other side of the canal, visitors could enjoy a dish of specialty like boiled crab, hot pot of sour fish, and more.

From Ca Mau city, it takes one and a half hour on canoe; you can enjoy the landscape of sea and forest with the famous delicious fruit. Besides the natural beauty, visitors can enjoy the festivals of this area. In April, there is festival of Ca Duong and Ba Khia and a lantern night.

After freeing to enjoy the sea, you can also taste seafood like oysters, shrimp, crab, ba khia, etc.

In order to satisfy the demand, many tourist areas are newly built with a system of restaurants and services. A new urban area is coming to town. You can choose the route of Dat Mui – Khai Long – Hon Khoai in the hydrofoil, and watch the plentiful creature world in the sea bottom.

Ca Mau Floating Market

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Ca Mau floating market is located in the Ganh Hao River, Ward 8, Cau Mau city. No one knows when the market was established but many years ago, purchases in the market became a very popular activity and an integral part of the southern residents’ life.

Unlike other markets whose boats gather in an area according to similar products, Ca Mau Floating Market is extremely crowded with hundreds of boats trading a wide range of commodities. 

At first glance, as buyers, you will surely be dizzy by the goods diversity. Don’t worry, what you need to do is see goods hung on the pole at each boat prow. 

Ca Mau floating market is also famous for its uniqueness. It trades all kinds of typical fresh vegetables of the southwestern region like gourds, watermelons, papayas, green cabbages, Chinese squashes, potatoes, carrots and so on.

Ca Mau – Vietnam’s southernmost province, ca mau travel, travel news, Vietnam guide, Vietnam airlines, Vietnam tour, tour Vietnam, Hanoi, ho chi minh city, Saigon, travelling to Vietnam, Vietnam travelling, Vietnam travel, vn news