Mekong Delta Travel in Vietnam 2018
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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 was not until the late 17th century that this remote and inhospitable area was cultivated. Because of  the boggy terrain,  the province has the lowest population density in southern Vietnam. It incorporates the country’s largest swamp and is  well-known  for its voracious mosquitoes.

 Given that,  it’s perhaps surprising that Ca Mau city is  such a pleasant place. With wide boulevards, parks and busy shopping streets, the town witnesses a rapid development   in recent years but still attracts   few tourists. The most important  attractions are the nearby swamps and forests,  explorable by boat.

Sights

Ca Mau Market 

(Ð Le Loi) Lives of local people in Ca Mau are lives facing the water traditionally , and  as the floating market has disappeared  these days , the main market still sprawls along the streets to the west of Phung Hiep Canal, south of Ð Phan Ngoc Hien.

ca mau market

Cao Dai Temple 

(Ð Phan Ngoc Hien)  Like all Cao Dai places of worship, this temple (built in 1966) is a riot of colour and ornamentation.

cao dai tempte

Sleeping

Quoc Te Hotel $

(International Hotel;  0780-366 6666; www.hotelquocte.com; 179 Ð Phan Ngoc Hien; r from 280,000d)  Breakfast and airport pick-ups are included in the price at this business hotel  with  swimming pool, massage service and a lift. It falls short of international standards,  but rooms are  fine  enough.

Thanh Son Hotel  $

( 0780-355 0992; 23 Ð Phan Ngoc Hien; r 80,000-230,000d)  This light and bright five – storey mini hotel has clean rooms with tiled floors. Extras  include TV and hot water, and  bathtubs in the more luxurious  rooms.  Little English is spoken.

Anh Nguyet Hotel $$

( 0780-356 7666; www.anhnguyethotel.com; 207 Ð Phan Ngoc Hien; r US$29-49)  Romantically translating as the Moonlight Hotel, this  destination  attempts a glitzy look. There are perfectly nice rooms , even though  walls are thin and the carpets  rather cheap.

Eating

 Ca Mau is well-known for  shrimp, which is raised in ponds and mangrove forests. The  most delicious  food is to be  discovered  at the cluster of  small,  cheap roadside restaurants and banh mi stalls in the streets around the market, especially  at the end of Ð Nguyen Huu Le.  In the evening, the eastern end of Ð Pham Ngoc Hien  becomes  a big outdoor  café.

Pho Xua VIETNAMESE, SEAFOOD $$

(126 Ð Phan Ngoc Hien; mains 50,000-300,000d; 7am-10pm)  An atmospheric place set amid landscaped gardens draped in fairy lights, with a menu focus on  shrimp and other seafood dishes.

Information

Ca Mau Hospital (Benh Vien Ca Mau;  0780-383 1015; Ð Ly Thuong Kiet)

Ca Mau Tourist ( 0780-381 7057; www.camautravel.vn; 1B Ð An Duong Vuong;  9am-5pm)

Getting There & Around

Air

Vietnam Air Service Company (VASCO; www.vasco.com.vn),  a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines,  serves  two flights everyday  to and from HCMC (from 750,000d, one hour). The airport is 3km east of the centre, on Hwy 1A.

Boat

 At least three hydrofoils a day travel from Ca Mau to Rach Gia and vice versa  (125,000d, three hours) from Ferry Pier Can Ganh Hao,  where  visitors  can also arrange  a speedboat south to Nam Can (60,000d, one hour). Boats to Can Tho (150,000d, three to four hours), with a stop in Phung Hiep,  depart from Cong Ca Mau pier (Ð Quang Trung), 3km east of town.

Travel by Hydrofoil

 If you’re tossing up between taking a hydrofoil or a bus,  take the hydrofoil every time. They’re less crowded and generally more  enjoyable, and the trip  is also more  interesting.

There are low and long boats here , meaning views are just above the waterline. The journey  between Ca Mau and Rach Gia is rather  nice ,  as it switches from a green, undeveloped  region  dotted with rattan houses near Ca Mau to a heavily built-up and industrial stretch approaching Rach Gia.

Bus

There are buses depart from Mien Tay bus station to Ca Mau; express buses (130,000d) will take travellers about  seven hours.  Lots of  daily express buses depart  for HCMC between 5am and 10.30am.  Daily buses also leave for Rach Gia (50,000d), Ha Tien(89,000d), Bac Lieu (50,000d), Can Tho (65,000d), Cao Lanh (83,000d), My Tho (100,000d) and Ben Tre (103,000d). It’s approximately 2.5km to go from the Ca Mau bus station to the center of town ; head along Hwy 1A towards Bac Lieu.

Car & Motorbike

Hwy 1A now continues to Nam Can (50km), the southernmost town in Vietnam. Ca Mau is 176km far away from  Can Tho   (around three hours) and 329km far from  HCMC   (approximately seven hours).

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

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