AROUND BAC LIEU
Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary
Five kilometres from town, Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary ( Vuon Chim Bac Lieu) Tel: 835991, admission 15000d) is most natable for its 50-odd species of birds, including a large population of graceful white herons. THis is one of the most interesting sights in the Mekong Delta, and is surprisingly popular with Vietnamese tourists. Foreign visitors are rare, probably because Bac Lieu is in such an out of the wayplace.
Whether or not you get to see any birds depends on what time of year you visit, Bird populations are at their peak in the rainy season – approximately May to October. The birds hang around to nest until about january, then fly off in search of greener pastures. There are basically no birds from February until the rainy season begins again.
Because of Flooding, most travellers try to avoid the Mekong Delta during the rainy season, so it’s better to aim for a December visit/
Although the drive is only 5km, the road is in bad shape. The rest of the trek is through dense jungle. Bring plenty of repellent as there are lots of mosquitoes. There is some mud to slog through so don’t wear your expensive Italian shoes and white socks. You should also bring bottled dringking water, binoculars, film and camera/
Pay the admission fee when you reach the entrance of the bird sanctuary. You can hire a guide here – you’ll probably get lost without one. Actually, the guides aren’t supposed to take any money, so give tem a tip ( US$2 is enough) discreetly guides do not speak english. Transport and guides can also be arranged at the Bac Lieu tourist office, but hiring a guide here will cost you around US$10c ,mfdc,x c,x ,mxc., mdc,dc,m. md,c,m dcv d,c. ndkc m/.
Xiem Can Khmer Pagoda
Following the same road that takes you to the Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary, drive 7km frim Bac Lieu to reach this pagoda. As Khmer pagodas go, it’s OK, but you can definitely see better ones in Tra Vinh or Soc Trang ( Not to mention Cambodia)
Bac Lieu Beach
The same road leading to the Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary and Xiem Can khmer Pagoda eventually terminates 10km from Bac Lieu at this beach ( Bai Ben Bac Lieu) Don’t expect any white sand – It’s hard-packed Mekong Delta mud. Quite a few shellfish and other slimy ( and probably poisonous) things crawl around where the muck meets the sea. Tidal pool enthusiastis might be impressed. Locals may be willing to take you for a walk on the tidal flats where they harvest oysters.
Moi Hoa Binh Pagoda
This Khmer pagoda ( Chua Moi Hoa Binh or Se Ray Vongsa) is 13km south of Bac Lieu along National Hw1. The pagoda is uniquely designed, and chances are good that the monastery’s enormous tower will catch your eye even if you’re not looking for it. As pagodas in Vietnam go, it’s relatively new, having first been built in 1952. The tower was added in 1990 and is used too store the bones of the deceased. There is a large and impressive meeting hall in front of the tower
Most Khmer people in the area head for monastery schools in Soc Trang to receive a Khmer education. Apart from the small contingent of student monks, very few students study at the Moi Hoa Binh Pagoda.