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Ca Mau, Vietnam: Highlights of the southernmost province of the country

23/01/2024 5.581

Ca Mau is a coastal province in Vietnam's southern reaches. As a tranquil gem that harmonizes nature and culture, Ca Mau entices with lush mangroves, serene waterways, and vibrant markets.

Ca Mau

Nestled in the southernmost reaches of Vietnam, Ca Mau stands as a captivating testament to the enchanting beauty of South Vietnam. With its lush mangroves, intricate waterways, and bustling markets, this coastal province offers a unique blend of natural splendor and cultural vibrancy.

1. Where is Ca Mau, Vietnam?

Ca Mau is nestled at the southernmost tip of Vietnam. This province is bordered by the Gulf of Thailand to the west and the South China Sea to the south. It also shares borders with Bac Lieu Province to the north and Kien Giang Province to the east. 

Ca Mau, Vietnam boasts a diverse geography. This coastal province is situated within the Mekong Delta region, which is renowned for its intricate network of waterways, fertile plains, and rich biodiversity.

Regarding the Ca Mau, Vietnam's map, Ca Mau's geography is also defined by various waterways, including the Ca Mau River and numerous canals. This intricate network fosters a thriving fishing industry and sustains the iconic Ca Mau Floating Market, where local life and commerce intermingle. The province's landscapes feature expansive mangrove forests, such as those found in U Minh Ha National Park, providing a sanctuary for diverse wildlife and acting as a vital buffer against coastal erosion.

Ca Mau

2. How to get to Ca Mau from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City?

From Hanoi

The quickest way to reach Ca Mau from Hanoi is by taking a flight. Ca Mau Airport (CAH) is the nearest airport to Ca Mau. However, there are only connecting flights from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi to Ca Mau Airport, which has a layover at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). Alternatively, you can fly directly from Hanoi to Rach Gia Airport (VKG), which is the second nearest airport to Ca Mau. From Rach Gia, you can continue your journey to Ca Mau by road.

From Ho Chi Minh City

To get from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau, there are several options for transportation, including:

  • Flight: You can take a direct flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau (Tan Son Nhat Airport - Ca Mau Airport). 
  • Bus: Several bus companies operate long-distance routes between Ho Chi Minh City and Ca Mau. You can catch a bus from Mien Tay Bus Station. The journey usually takes around 8 - 10 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. You can book a sleeper bus for a more comfortable overnight journey.
  • Private car/taxi: You can hire a private car or take a taxi to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Ca Mau. This option provides more flexibility and comfort, and you can freely make stops along the way. However, the fare will be higher than taking a bus.
  • Motorbike: This option allows travelers to traverse through picturesque landscapes at their own pace, but is only suitable for experienced bikers due to the long distance between Ho Chi Minh City and Ca Mau.
Ca Mau

3. When is the best time to visit Ca Mau?

The best time to visit Ca Mau, Vietnam is during the dry season, which typically extends from September to April. Ca Mau weather during these months is pleasant with lower humidity and minimal rainfall, making it ideal for exploring the province's natural beauty, including its mangroves and waterways. Additionally, this period aligns with the migratory bird season in U Minh Ha National Park, providing excellent bird-watching opportunities.

However, it's worth noting that Ca Mau's proximity to the coast means that it can experience occasional storms and typhoons, especially from August to November. It is hence advisable to monitor weather forecasts and travel advisories before planning your trip to ensure a safe and enjoyable Ca Mau travel.

4. Best places to visit on your Ca Mau trip

4.1. Ca Mau Cape

Nestled at the southernmost tip of Vietnam, Ca Mau Cape stands as the furthest point of the country's coastline. The cape boasts lush mangrove forests, serene waterways, and picturesque landscapes. Here, you can discover the iconic Dat Mui Landmark, an artistic representation symbolizing the maritime heritage of the region. 

The cape is also home to a striking lighthouse, providing a vantage point to witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets over the sea. Additionally, boat tours along the intricate waterways provide an opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the mangrove forests and witness the daily life of the local fishermen.

Ca Mau

4.2. Ca Mau Cape National Park

Covering approximately 41,862 hectares, Ca Mau Cape National Park is renowned as Vietnam's largest expanse of pristine mangrove forests. This park boasts a diverse and thriving ecosystem, home to approximately 28 to 32 mangrove species, 93 bird species, 26 mammal species, 43 reptile species, 9 amphibian species, and an impressive array of 139 fish species, along with numerous other rare flora and fauna.

For wildlife enthusiasts, an exploration of Ca Mau Cape National Park is an essential addition to the Ca Mau travel agenda. Exploring the park involves navigating the waterways by boat, witnessing the sunrise and sunset, exploring Ca Mau Cape Culture-Tourism Park, immersing oneself in local life, and savoring delectable regional delicacies.

Ca Mau

4.3. Hon Da Bac Island

Hon Da Bac is located around 50 kilometers away from Ca Mau City. Despite its relatively compact size (6.34 hectares), the island proves exceptionally advantageous for fishing vessels seeking shelter from storms. Hon Da Bac features a natural blanket of tropical forest vegetation, which enhances its lush green appearance.

True to its name, Hon Da Bac (Silver Stone Island) is adorned with an intriguing spectacle - granite stones of varying sizes artfully arranged both on the water's surface and the ocean bed. This unique geological feature serves as a testament to nature's artistry.

Furthermore, the sea surrounding the island serves as both a nurturing sanctuary and a protective haven for a diverse range of marine species. Beneath the cerulean waters, shoals of mullet and brown fish intertwine, creating a captivating aquatic ballet.

Ca Mau

4.4. Ca Mau Floating Market

Visiting Ca Mau Floating Market is one of the top things to do in Ca Mau, Vietnam. Set on the waterways of the Ganh Hao River, this unique market showcases the vibrant culture and daily life of the local people. Here, colorfully adorned boats gather on the water, laden with a diverse array of products, including fresh produce, seafood, handicrafts, and household goods.

This floating market Ca Mau comes to life in the early morning, as boats from various parts of the region converge to engage in lively trading activities. Buyers and sellers exchanging goods create a lively atmosphere. This floating market is not just a place of commerce; it's a cultural experience that allows visitors to witness the age-old traditions of riverine trade that have been a hallmark of this region for generations on their Ca Mau travel.

Ca Mau

>>> Read more: Ca Mau map: Discover hidden gems in the south end of Vietnam

4.5. U Minh Ha National Park

U Minh Ha National Park in Ca Mau, Vietnam is a captivating wetland reserve renowned for its biodiversity. The park's lush landscapes feature intricate waterways, dense mangrove forests, and unique ecosystems, creating a haven for diverse wildlife. 

Home to numerous birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, including the rare silver langurs and long-tailed macaques, U Minh Ha National Park offers rich opportunities for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers to indulge. Guided boat tours reveal the park's enchanting beauty, while elevated walkways provide a glimpse into its ecosystem. The park not only conserves vital habitats but also offers an immersive experience that showcases the delicate balance of nature in Vietnam's southern reaches.

Ca Mau

4.6. Ngoc Hien Bird Sanctuary

Spanning a vast 130 hectares, Ngoc Hien Bird Sanctuary stands as one of the largest avian havens in Vietnam. This renowned sanctuary boasts an enchanting natural backdrop and vibrant ecosystem. This inviting environment has made Ngoc Hien Bird Sanctuary the Mekong Delta's prime destination for observing amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.

For nature enthusiasts, the sanctuary offers an idyllic retreat for Ca Mau travel. The forests provide a verdant canopy for a multitude of bird species. The picturesque mangroves rise gracefully from the clear waters, offering a tranquil and untamed tableau. During the rainy season, visitors can embark on wooden boat journeys to explore the lush landscapes and witness the elegant flights of numerous birds.

Ca Mau

4.7. Thi Tuong Lagoon

Thi Tuong Lagoon spans across three districts: Cai Nuoc, Tran Van Thoi, and Phu Tan in Ca Mau. Created by sediment deposits from the My Binh River, the Ong Doc River, and various smaller tributaries, this lagoon covers approximately 700 hectares and stretches over 12 kilometers. Stilt houses are perched along the lagoon's expanse. 

Exploring the lagoon during Ca Mau travel, visitors can embark on motorboat rides, immersing themselves in the genuine life of this region. Beyond the picturesque vistas, travelers can relish the delectable local cuisine while listening to engaging narratives shared by the community about the tranquil existence of the lagoon.

Ca Mau

Ca Mau, Vietnam is home to many other appealing sites, such as Forestry Fishery 184, Hon Khoai Island, Khai Long Beach, Cai Tau Langsat Garden, Trem River, Rach Giong Pagoda, to name a few. These attractions collectively offer a multifaceted experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Ca Mau's unique blend of nature, history, and culture.

5. What to eat in Ca Mau, Vietnam?

Aside from breathtaking landscapes, Ca Mau, Vietnam also has a rich culinary culture. Some must-try dishes in Ca Mau are:

  • Grilled snakehead fish: Grilled over straw, the snakehead fish is scraped to reveal its aromatic meat. It is wrapped in rice paper with vermicelli, lettuce, and herbs, then dipped in a thick tamarind fish sauce for an irresistible flavor.
  • Grilled vop: These small clams are grilled with salt, pepper, lemon, and monosodium glutamate, enhanced by onion fat, peanuts, laksa leaves, and herbs.
  • Silkworm rice cake with curried chicken: This dish features "banh tam", a rice cake that resembles silkworms, served with curried chicken and accompanied by bean sprouts and salad.
  • Grilled mudskipper fish: Marinated and grilled, the firm and fragrant mudskipper is savored with salt and pepper, accompanied by a dip, and served with vermicelli, rice paper, broccoli, salad, and herbs.
  • Ca Mau crab: A specialty of Ca Mau, Ca Mau crabs impress with their size and versatility. They can be grilled, steamed, roasted with tamarind, put in hotpot, or served with crab rice soup.
  • Stone crab roasted with salt: Roasted to perfection, the stone crab meat is tender, slightly firm, and remarkably sweet, paired beautifully with a salted crust.
  • Young bee salad: Another specialty in any Ca Mau restaurant, this dish exudes a unique aroma and texture when roasted with spices and enjoyed with herbs and green bananas.
  • Ba khia: Resembling crabs, ba khia's distinct meat texture yields enhanced flavor when salted or lemongrass-boiled.
Ca Mau

>>> Also check out Tay Ninh, Can Tho, Ben Tre, Bac Lieu, Tra Vinh, and Vung Tau during your trip to Southern Vietnam!

6. What to bring home from Ca Mau?

For those seeking culinary delights, a variety of the day's freshest and reasonably priced seafood, such as sea crabs and Rach Goc mangrove crabs, are available for purchase. These are the ideal gifts to bring home from Ca Mau, Vietnam. Alternatively, if seafood is not your preference, consider pickled cattails and pure honey sourced from the U Minh Ha melaleuca forest.

7. Where to stay in Ca Mau, Vietnam?

For a convenient experience, the city center of Ca Mau is an ideal lodging choice. While limited options are found on online platforms, you can reach out directly to the hotels in Ca Mau, Vietnam for reservation. Prices of Ca Mau hotels vary, ranging between VND 200,000 to VND 600,000 per night.

A premier establishment in Ca Mau is the four-star Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel, offering a nightly rate of approximately VND 1,400,000. Alternatively, the three-star Anh Nguyet Hotel presents a lavish option at around VND 900,000 per night.

For a serene retreat amidst Ca Mau's natural splendor, consider staying at eco-tourism sites and homestays. Prices typically start at VND 70,000 per person per night, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquil surroundings on a budget.

Ca Mau

In addition to Ca Mau, you can further reach out to promising stops like the stunning beaches of Phu Quoc, the vibrant coastal city of Nha Trang, the charming ancient town of Hoi An, and the mesmerizing seascape of Ha Long Bay. Each destination offers a unique blend of culture, nature, and captivating experiences that will enrich your Vietnam travel journey.

In these destinations, you can indulge in a truly opulent stay by choosing Vinpearl’s hotels and resorts for accommodation. Renowned for exceptional and luxury hospitality, Vinpearl offers a haven of comfort and elegance. Also, do not miss the chance to explore the enchanting entertainment complexes of VinWonders for an added layer of entertainment and fun during your unforgettable getaway.

Ca Mau

 

Ca Mau

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, and Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long for a lavish retreat in Vietnam!

Ca Mau, Vietnam boasts a captivating blend of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and delightful cuisine. Whether you want to explore markets, savor local dishes, or immerse yourself in the region's charm, Ca Mau will offer an authentic and enriching experience in the heart of Southern Vietnam.

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