Bạc Liêu – The Wealthy Wild Child of Mekong Delta

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Visiting the Mekong Delta is your wise choice to discover the beautiful treasure of Vietnam. It is a prosperous region in terms of “Agri-and-Culture” aspects. There are yet many wonderful places to discover in here. Last time, we got to know Cần Thơ – the city of floating markets. This time, let’s travel further southwards to Bạc Liêu City – the hometown of many wealthy landlords of South Vietnam.

In this article, I will suggest 5 worth-seeing destinations in Bac Lieu, I have categorized them into nature and heritage. But you should check them all out. They’re fantastic! Trust me.

Nature

Bac Lieu converges with rivers and sea. For that reason, its natural sightseeings are various. There are Strict Nature Reserve for those who love expeditions, fruit farms for the ones who enjoy a picnic full of delicious food and fruits. But hold on, for anyone who wants the most unique picture to fill in their travel journals, you should not miss the visit to the salt field.

*Vuờn Chim Bạc Liêu – Bac Lieu’s Bird Sanctuary

Enjoy the unique trekking experience in the primaeval tropical forest and observe the wonderful biodiversity in Bac Lieu’s Bird Sanctuary. It is the home for reptile, amphibian, fish and approximately 46 bird species, many of which are listed on the Red Book. The best time to witness the parade of the birds is at the break of dawn. Standing on the observatories high above, you will listen to the fantastic music sung by the animal orchestra and all of a sudden there comes flocks of birds soaring and swinging in the pinkish blue sky. This spectacular scene makes you admire the beauty of nature and later will become the memory that lasts forever in mind.

Address: Cao Văn Lầu, Hiệp Thành Dist, Bạc Liêu city.

Rare birds in Bac Lieu. Photo: mytour.vn
Ancient Longan Garden

In the early 20th century, the Chinese immigrant – Mr.Trương Hưng – brought the longan crops from China and started planting them in Bac Lieu. The result was that they adapted quickly and provided tasty fruits that have become Bac Lieu’s speciality since then.

Until now, the 100-year-old longan tree still lives well and produce its fruits annually. While picnicking in the garden, you will taste not only the succulent fruits such as longans, rambutans, mangoes, etc. but also the delicious cuisine prepared by the local cooks. Furthermore, during the day, you will listen to Đờn ca tài tử – the local music performed live by the native artists with Vietnamese music instruments. And there you are, enjoying a wonderful afternoon under the light sunbeams on the trees. When your belly is filled with goodness, your eyes will start half-closing from sleepiness. Feel free to nap cause you worth it!

Address: 2,  Hiệp Thành – Vĩnh Trạch Đông, Bạc Liêu city.

photo: giongcayanqua.edu.vn
The Salt Field

Bac Lieu is not only gifted with rivers and flat lands but also coastlines. When travelling along the shore, the salt harvest scene is the splendid view that you’d better bring a camera to capture it.

In large ponds of seawater lying in lines many heaps of salt, on which hard-working farmers are marching one by one to collect bits by bits of the white gift from the sea. Looking from outside, it feels like they are playing with snow. But let’s face the reality: under the vigorous sunshine, no snow could exist. However, despite the heat, this amazing scene is too mesmerizing for you to leave. Keep taking as many pictures as you like. And at the end of the day, this is what you’ve been longing for: sunset on the beach. Oh, what a beautiful day! A trip to Bac Lieu salt fields gives you the most satisfying photos that you’ve ever wanted.

Address: Hòa Bình and Đông Hải district, Bạc Liêu province.

Salt harvest in Bac Lieu. Photo: didauchoigi.com
Architectural heritage

Bac Lieu is home to 3 major ethnics: Kinh (Vietnamese), Hoa (Teow Cheow – Chinese) and Khmer. Together, they have created such a wonderful unique blending living environment. In every corner around towns, it is interesting, yet, very bizarre to see French-inspired buildings and Khmer temples mixing up randomly. Here are some heritages that you must visit in Bac Lieu.

Xiêm Cán Pagoda

In 1887, the Khmer people built this religious architecture complex. It has several buildings, all of which serve specific religious functions. There’s an interesting fact that you must know: the architecture of the pagoda adapted the Angkor style from the Khmer, however, its name “Xiêm Cán”, meaning “near the water”, is indeed a Chinese name.

The pagoda is decorated with meticulous details in vibrant colours from the inside out. The most eye-catching decoration is the five-head-snakes carved on the edges of the roofs, on the arches, walls and stairs. People believe that the Buddha had tamed this treacherous species and made them guard the sacred place. It takes around 2 hours to explore this marvellous pagoda. Walking in a pure and serene atmosphere, you should take a moment to zen. Just simply close your eyes, control our breath, think slowly, and let your stress drift out to the breeze.

Address: Tỉnh lộ 31, Xã Vĩnh Trạch Đông, Thành phố Bạc Liêu, T. Bạc Liêu.

Interior decoration at Xiem Can Pagoda. Photo: gody.vn
Công Tử Bạc Liêu’s Villa

 For Bac Lieu, the late XIX-early XX century was its era of wealth as many prosperous landlords had settled their families there. At that time, the “ Công Tử Bạc Liêu” – ( Bạc Liêu Sons) were notorious for their lavishness. There were many anecdotes about their uncontrollable spendings, but the truths behind those stories were not yet proven. Still, there is one true and famous legacy of the “ Công Tử Bạc Liêu” remains until now: the villa of Trần Trinh Huy (1900-1974).

Trần Trinh Huy had lived the wildest dream. As a consequence, he went bankrupt and left his descendants nothing but misfortunate. Today, the villa belongs to the city and has transformed into a hotel/ tourist attraction. The villa was built French-style with all the materials imported from Paris, and it was the fanciest villa in Southern Vietnam. The place reserves the original fancy belongings of Trần Trinh Huy. There are luxurious items of furniture, cars, and rare decorations that will make you burst out: “How could he be that rich?”. Unfortunately, the legacy wasn’t passed down to his children. The Tran family has then been struggling for their lives. You can hear the true story told by Trinh Huy’s grandson, who is now a tour guide for the villa that once belonged to his family.

Address: 13 Điện Biên Phủ, Ward 3, Bạc Liêu

Fancy furniture pieces inside Cong Tu Bac Lieu’s villa. Photo: vietfuntravel.com.vn

Levi.


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