All Things You Should Know Before Travelling to Ca Mau
Referring to Ca Mau, Vietnamese people still know that this is the southernmost land, the first place of the country. Ca Mau is a swampy wetland, famous for its crisscrossing terrain and water channels and the vast green and melaleuca forests of the U Minh forest, bearing a wild character. Go to Ca Mau is to follow the call of the wild nature, opening a wonderful experience before the idyllic landscape but also very spectacular.
It is the last province of the S-shaped strip of Vietnam, with a narrow width with 3 sides bordering the sea. The East borders the East Sea, the West and the South borders on the Gulf of Thailand. This is also the reason why Ca Mau is the province with the longest coastline with nearly 254 km. It can be said that thanks to that prime location. Ca Mau is Vietnam’s key gateway for international exchanges via sea.
What is the best time to travel to Ca Mau?
In the Mekong Delta region, the climate is obviously characterized by the tropical equatorial monsoon with 2 distinct seasons. The rainy season (from May to November) and the dry season (from December to December). However, the heat background in this area is higher than that of other Southwest provinces. Specially with an average annual temperature of 26.5 degrees Celsius, strong light intensity. Therefore, when traveling to Ca Mau, you should carefully prepare sun protection clothing. Such as: hats, jackets, sunglasses, sun cream … to protect health under the harmful effects of solar radiation.
Ca Mau’s climate is sunny but not hot. It’s quite fresh and cool wind from the sea, so visitors can visit at any time of the year. However, the best time is in the dry season. Let come from November to April. Because the landscape and ecosystem are quite unique at the moment.
Transportations to Ca Mau
Tourists from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau often choose to travel by plane, passenger car or personal vehicle.
If your trip start in central provinces or surrounding Hanoi. You can take a plane or train to Ho Chi Minh City then choose one of the following vehicles to go to Ca Mau.
Aircraft: Currently there is only Vietnam airline: Vietnam Airlline operates Ho Chi Minh City – Ca Mau. Every day there are only 1 to 2 flights, so it is quite limited.
Publish bus: Most of the routes going to the West and Ca Mau provinces leave at Mien Dong bus station. So you can go directly to the bus station. It is quite far from Tan Son Nhat airport or Saigon station to the Mien Dong bus station. So if you go from North or Central to Ho Chi Minh City, you can move to the bus station by taxi. Or you can ride a motorcycle taxi. If traveling by bus, it will be more economical. But the waiting time is longer.
The fare from Ho Chi Minh City is 150,000 – 200,000 VND. Some reputable car firms include Phuong Trang, Phuong Thao and Kumho.
Private car: You start from Phu Lam roundabout, District 6 or Trung Luong Expressway, District 7 and move with the following schedule: Highway 1A – Tan An – Trung Luong – Can Tho – Bac Lieu – Ca Mau.
Top Sightseeings in Ca Mau
Ca Mau Floating Market
Travelling to Mekong Delta without attending floating is a missing an interesting part. As the same to step on Ca Mau, the tourists should pay a visit and shopping on floating market together with go around the famous places for sightseeing. The Ca Mau floating market is located on the end of Ganh Hao river which is in center of Ca Mau. The floating market is as brustle as other floating markets in the Western area.
There are hundreds of big and small boats with full of goods which used for bargain and make exchange deals in floating market. No one knows history of this floating’s establishment, everyone only know that the dealing way on the river is a cultural identity of the Mekong Delta specialized by many rivers.
Like other floating markets, such as Phong Dien, Cai Rang, Can Tho or Cai Be – Tien Giang province, Ca Mau floating market are used to exchange a variety of products including food-stuff and necessary tools, however, it mainly makes deals of fresh agricultural products, Mekong Delta orchards’ fruit with merchandisers
Thi Tuong lagoon
Thi Tuong lagoon is a big pond raising fishes and schrimps at Ca Mau. During recent years, Thi Tuong lagoon becomes a travel point of many tourists. This lagoon has an very interesting story about it which is very famous in Ca Mau. When arriving there, let’s ask the native for it.
It’s taken 2 hours by ship to come to Thị Tường lagoon which is next to Bà Kẹo channel and continues to Thailand Bay. The lagoon is an area of 700ha, length off more than 10 kilometers, overlap three landing districts namely Tran Van Thoi, Phu Tan and Cai Nuoc.
Thi Tuong lagoon is divided into three sections that are the upper lagoon, the middle lagoon and the bottom lagoon.
Silver stone islet (Hon Da Bac)
Hon Da Bac is in Kinh Hon, Khanh Binh Tay, Tran Van Thoi, Ca Mau and it is 50 kilometers by boat from Ca Mau city. This is a nice series of islands including 3 islands nearby coastline. It is said that Hon Da Bac and Hon Khoai are over 180 millions years old. This island has a potential of eco-tourism. It take 90 minutes from Ca Mau city to Hon Da Bac by motorbike following the way from Minh Ha through Coi Nam.
If using canoes or boats from Ca Mau city then floating follow Tac Thu channel and going through Hoi Dong Thanh channel on the West direction, then continues going 40 kilometers, the tourists set food on Khanh Binh Tay commune, Khanh Hai, Tran Van Thoi district. Hon Da Bac has an area of 6.43ha. There are many beautiful sights for the tourists, for example, San Tien, Gieng Tien, Ban Chan Tien, Ban Tay Tien, Ca Ong pagoda.
Lighthouse in Khoai island
Hon Khoai is a part of Ngoc Hien District, Ca Mau province, distance from the landing about 14.6 kilometers. Situated at the Southwest of Nam Can town. This is one of the most charming island in Ca Mau. Hon Khoai is the biggest island surrounding by 5 pretty islands. It take 3 hours to pass the sea by 90CV ship from Rach Goc (the first point of Ngoc hien districts facing Bien Dong), the tourist can freely contemplate the beauty of Hòn Khoai sight.
The tourist will be impressed by natural and glamorous beauty with the rolling rocks like goose’s egg, the carpet of primitive forest and a range of precious wood and animals here. There are over 100 types of plants and hundreds of animal’s types still existing on Hon Khoai island.
On the highest peak of Hon Khoai, there is a lighthouse built by the French in the late of nineteenth century.
Nam Can mangrove forest
The speciality in topography and geology is that a part is overlapped by sea-water and a part is affected by river-water.
There is Nam Can mangrove forest at Ca Mau. Multi-biology area Lam Ngu Truong 184 is a center of mangrove forest in Cha La, Tam Giang commune, Nam Can district, it is about 1 hour from Ca Mau floating market by high-speed train.
Lam Ngu Truong has an area of 6.300ha, has a potential place of eco-tourism products. It is not only this place but also mangrove Nam Can forest has a various system of plants and animals with mangrove forest eco-system’s typical features. Multi-biology Preservation area comprises 252 ha of Lam Ngu Truong area that has over 44 kinds of plants in which there are some precious one such as, white ambarella.
Ca Mau Cape Vietnam
Cape Ca Mau – the land of the beginning of the country. Where the landmark coordinates GPS 0001 is the conquest goal of many travel lovers. Located about 100 km from Ca Mau city, to set foot in Ca Mau cape, you must sit a 3-hour high-speed boat from the pier in the sea ward. At this place visitors will visit the national landmark, view the sea and the forest, visit the village to simulate the resistance and admire the symbol of Ca Mau Cape.
U Minh Ha National Park
U Minh Ha National Park or National Park of Lower U Minh is a national park of Vietnam. The park is located in Ca Mau Province. The park has an area of 82.86 square kilometers and was established on 20 January 2006 to protect low wetland ecosystem in the region. U Minh Ha National Park brings typical features of Southern mangrove forest, trees in U Minh are mainly mangrove melaleuca, pimply lasia (a type of water grass), eleocharis, reed and vines… with varied fauna such as: freshwater fish, pangolin, wild boar, deer, monkey, squirrel, lizard, python, snake, turtle … Many rare species listed in Vietnam Red Book should be preserved.
If don’t have so much time, you can arrive U Minh Ha on weekends, sit on “vo lai” (the local boat in Ca Mau) and drift on canals to inhale full of chest fresh air and go fishing. It’s interesting that you can fish some fishes which are weighed up to several kilograms. Then, you can wrap them by forest leaves and bake to make an attract dish with strong countryside flavor. People living in U Minh Ha forest are assigned land, forest by the State. They survive on their own forest by some other occupations such as: plating forest and logging, rising bee, fishing, putting heck, catching eels, dropping nets, slapping lagoon, planting fruit trees. Closing to the forest so U Minh Ha people love so much forest, love nature and keep the forest as their treasure.
Monivongsa Bopharam Pagoda
Monivongsa Bopharam Pagoda was built in 1964 and is located in Ward 1, Ca Mau City Center. It is one of the dominant pagodas with unique architectural characteristics representing Khmer people in Ca Mau. It can be said that Monivongsa Bopharam is a beautiful pagoda, bearing the architectural style of Theravada Buddhism pagoda. The main worshiped subject is Sakyamuni Buddha statue in various shapes such as Dang Sinh Buddha, Ascatic Buddha, Buddha teaching catechism to five brothers Kieu Tran Nhu, Buddha into nirvana, etc. Each Buddha statue is a different aspect to give visitors a sense of living in the past time to better understand the life of the Buddha.
Khmer people are attached to the pagoda since they were born and grew up until their death. When they were young, they used to go to the pagoda for entertainment. For males, when they are12-years-old, they often come to the pagoda to cultivate talents, virtue and wisdom to be become useful people for the village. At the age of marriage, all boys and girls meet each other and give each other gifts on the festivals held at the pagoda. When they are old and die, they are cremated and their ashes are sent to the pagoda. Monivongsa Bopharam Pagoda is a beautiful spiritual piece that clearly expresses the spirit and pride of the Khmer in Ca Mau province’s minority community.
Khai Long Tourism Area
Khai Long Tourism area is about 97 kilometers from Ca Mau City and located on the tourism route of Ca Mau City – Khai Long – Dat Mui. It has an area of 110 hectares. It was built in 2005 and has recently invested many works and tourist services to serve visitors. For those who fall in love with nature and sea, Khai Long tourism area in the Southern pole of Vietnam is an ideal destination. For many visitors, the mild climate and the wild beauty of the forest and the sea is the attraction of Khai Long. In Khai Long, you can see the full view of the wild beauty of Hon Khoai Island. Khai Long is given a very special geographical location. Standing on the coast at dawn, we will see a red round sun rising from the eastern sea and in the afternoon at that position, we see the sun slowly setting down to the sea in the west.
Steel Wire House Historic Relic
Steel wire house is located in Group 3, Ward 2, Ca Mau city, at the corner of Le Loi – Ly Bon Street, Ward 2, Ca Mau city. On June 02, 2011, the steel wire house was recognized as National Historic relic by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Steel Wire House is the French’s Post Office built around in 1910. In the anti- French colonialist resistance war in the 1930s, the revolutionary soldiers took it as a contact point and since then, the party bases in Ca Mau grew. It was from Steel Wire House, the directives of superiors were sent to branches, party members and directions for struggle released on a timely way and the uprisings were launched and won glorious victories.
Steel wire house has now been restored and embellished to become a destination to visit, study and exchange culture and educate traditions to future generations so that they can have a deeper understanding of Ca Mau people’s struggles in the anti- French resistance war
Quan Am Co Tu Pagoda
Phat To Pagoda (Quan Am Co Tu pagoda) is located at No. 84/4, Rach Chua Street, Ward 4, Ca Mau city, Ca Mau province. It was built in 1840 and restored and embellished for many times but still remains with the ancient architecture with tiled roofs similar to pavilion roof of the Mekong Delta. Unique features in architectural lines in Tam Dao is the use of ceramic products decorative layers of cement to form a church with the image of sacret objects (Long – Lan – Qui – Phung) around the Main Hall as a cover for Buddha statues.