Mekong Delta Travel in Vietnam 2017
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Bac Lieu & Around

 Few travellers stop in  Bac Lieu, but bird – watchers pass through en route to the remarkable sanctuary near town. There is a few beautiful  but forlorn French colonial buildings which line the waterfront, yet little else of interest.

The most famous buildings is the Cong Tu Hotel ( 0781-395 3304; 13 РDien Bien Phu; r 300,000-500,000d; ), which was built  in 1919 as a private mansion with materials imported from France. The family’s oldest son was a notorious playboy (cong tu) whose fabled exploits included burning money to boil an egg in an effort to impress a woman. After squandering the family fortune, the house was sold and  converted into a hotel at which visitors can still stay. Alternatively, inexpensive guesthouses line the road into town from Soc Trang (rooms cost around US$10).

Sights

Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary NATURE RESERVE

(0781-383 5991; admission 15,000d;  7.30am-5pm) This bird sanctuary, 6km southwest of town, is famous  for its 50-odd species of bird, including a large population of graceful white herons. Bird populations peak in the rainy season –  approximately May to October. The birds nest until about January, then fly off in search of greener pastures. From February, there are no birds here until the rainy season starts again.

Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary NATURE RESERVE

Travellers could pass  dense (and often muddy) forest : bring many  of repellent, good shoes, water and binoculars.  Pay the admission fee when you get to the entrance; an observation tower is set within the sanctuary. Visitors can (and should) hire a tour guide  here, as you may get lost without him/her. The guides are unlikely to receive money, so tip them discreetly; most of the guides cannot speak English. The Bac Lieu Tourist office can arrange transport and guides for you (at a mark-up).

Eating & Drinking

Pho Ngheu Thanh Huong VIETNAMESE $

(43 Tran Quynh; mains 25,000-47,000d) When  you are likely to be able to buy similar pho (noodle soups) and banh mi (filled baguettes) from a street stall, this nice  eatery serves a fairy-lit rooftop from which  to watch the traffic zoom by.

Kitty CAFE, BAR

(cnr Ð Tran Phu & Ba Trieu; 10am-11pm) This 1st-floor cafe overlooking one of the many busy roundabouts on Ð Tran Phu is black and white and chrome all over, together with chic chairs and a wall of TV screens. It’s a good site  for Vietnamese coffee and cake, or something a little harder.

Information

Bac Lieu Tourist (0781-382 4273; www.baclieutourist.com; 2 Ð Hoang Van Thu; 7-11am & 1-5pm)  Helpful tourist office with simple  town maps and information about  trips to the bird sanctuary.

Post Office (20 Ð Tran Phu).

Getting There & Around

The bus station (Ben Xe Tinh Bac Lieu) which is 1km north of the center is on the main road into town . From  here you can catch regular buses to Ho Chi Minh City (130,000d), Soc Trang (65,000d), Ha Tien (130,000d), Ca Mau (30,000d) and Can Tho (65,000d).

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Mekong Delta Travel 1, 2 and 3 Days – Mekong River Vietnam

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