VIETNAM TRAVEL

 

Mekong Delta

My Tho - Around My Tho - Ben tre - Around Ben Tre - Vinh Long - Tra Vinh - Around Tra Vinh - Sa Dec - Cao Lanh - Around Cao Lanh - Can Tho - Soc Trang Around Can Tho - Around Soc Trang - Bac Lieu - Around Bac lieu - Ca Mau - Around Ca Mau - Nam Can - Long Xuyen - Around Long Xuyen - Chau Doc - Around Chau Doc - Ba Chuc - Tuc Dup Hill - Ha Tien - Around Ha Tien
Hon Chong - Rach Gia - Phu Quoc Island

BAC LIEU

IDD code: ( + 84 ) 781 / pop 136,000
The capital of southern Bac Lieu province, Bac Lieu is 280km from HCMQ Of the 800,000 people living in the province, about 8% are of Chinese or Cambodian origin.
The town has a few elegant but forlorn French colonial buildings, like the impressive
Fop House (now used as a community sports centre), but not much else.
Farming is a difficult occupation in this region because of saltwater intrusion, and the province is better known for its healthy longan orchards. In addition to this, the enterprising locals eke out a living from fishing, oyster collection and shrimp farming, as well as salt production (obtained from evaporating saltwater ponds that form immense salt flats).
Most foreigners use Bac Lieu as a spring board to reach the outstanding bird sanctuary out of town.

Information
The helpful Bac Lieu tourist office (Tell: 824 272; fax 824 273; 2 Ð Hoang Van Thu; 7-11am & 1-5pm) is next to the Bac Lieu Hotel. Surprisingly, there's often someone on hand who speaks English, Pick up a town map (a rough photocopy) and inquire about trips to the Bird Sanctuary (right) here.
The
post office (Tell: 824 242; 20 Ð Tran Phu) is off the main roundabout downtown; up the same street is Sacombank (Tell: 932 200; fax 932 201; B2 Ð Tran Phu), which can exchange currency.
Sleeping
In addition to those listed below, there are numerous inexpensive guesthouses that dot the road into town (from Soc Trang), when rooms cost around US$10.
Bac Lieu Guest House (Tell: 823 815; 8 Ð Ly Tu Trong;r 130,000; One of the town's cheapies, this has small, worn rooms that lack natural light. There's a restaurant below.
Bac Lieu Hotel (Tell: 822 437; fax 823 655; 4 Ð Hoang Van Thu;r US$16-25; Near the river, this is a worn but serviceable option with polished tile floors and trim furnishings. Better rooms have bat conies and tubs. Next door, a newer Bac Lieu Hotel was under construction in 2006.
Cong Tu Hotel (Tell: 953 304; fax 953111; 13 Ð Dien Bien Phu; r US$16-30; Just west (50m) of the Bac Lieu Hotel, Cong Tu is a scruffy old colonial gem that's well worn but still popular with Vietnamese. The best rooms have a balcony and are spacious with tall ceilings (but sad carpeting).
Hoang Cung Hotel ( Tell: 823 362; 1B/5 Ð Tran Phu; r 80,000-200,000d; About 1km from the roundabout in the direction of Soc Trang (across from the Khmer pagoda gate), this hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms, the best with balconies overlooking a large palm in back.
Eating
Khai Ky (Tell: 820 312; 80 Ð Hai Ba Trung; mains 10,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner) Across the road from the Bac Lieu Hotel, this tiny restaurant serves excellent bowls of noodle soup.
Bac Lieu 2 (Tell: 824 951; 89/3 Ð Tran Phu Lo 1; mains 30,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner) About 700m north of the roundabout (en route to Soc Trang), this is a local favourite serving decent dishes in a clean environment.
Among hotel restaurants, the best is at the
Cong Tu Hotel (Ð Dien Bien Phu; mains 20,000-60,000d; breakfast, lunch & dinner), with traditional mains and a pleasant outdoor setting.
Getting There & Around
The bus station is on the main road into town, 1 km west of the centre. From here you can catch regular buses to Ho Chi Minh City (80,000d), Ca Mau (25,000d) and Soc Trang (25,000d).
For trips to outlying areas (including the Bird Sanctuary), you can arrange a taxi through the Bac Lieu tourist office or by calling Tell: 922 922. Rates are 40,000d for the first 2 km, and 6500d for every kilometre thereafter.