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Thứ Năm, 1 tháng 10, 2015

Around Ca Mau

Around Ca Mau

U-Minh Forest
The town of Ca Mau borders the U-Minh Forest (admission 10,000d; 6am-5pm, closed Mar-May), a vast mangrove jungle  which covers  1000 sq km of Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces. Local people use certain species of mangrove  as a source of timber, charcoal, thatch and tannin.

As well as being an important habitat for waterfowl, the U-Minh Forest – the largest mangrove jungle in the world beyond the Amazon basin – which was a favourite hideout for the VC during the American War. The Americans responded with chemical de foliation, which caused enormous destroy  to the  forests. Thanks to the heavy rainfall, the dioxin was washed out to sea and the forest is returning. People have also planted many eucalptus trees because  they have proved to be relatively dioxin-resistant.

Unfortunately the mangrove forests are being further destroyed by clearing for shrimp-farming ponds, charcoal production and woodchipping, though the authority has been trying to limit these activities. In 2002 an area of 80 sq km was preserved as U Minh Thuong (Upper U-Minh) National Park.

The forest is  known for its birdlife, and travellers will  enjoy a boat trip around Ca Mau, even though the feathered flocks aren’t nearly as common  as the swarms of mosquitoes. Thirty-minute boat trips around the forest cost 100,000d.

Ca Mau Tourist can arrange  a boat tour for around US0, but  try to find better deals with locals down at the ferry pier at which  you can get a speedboat to Thu Bay (two hours), followed by a motorbike to U-Minh Forest for 70,000d.

Ca Mau Nature Reserve
Sometimes referred to as Ngoc Hien Bird Sanctuary, this place which is 130 hectares is one of the least developed and most protected parts of Mekong Delta region. Shrimp farming is  prohibited here. Access is by boat.

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