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Thứ Năm, 1 tháng 10, 2015

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. Residents   As well as being an important habitat for waterfowl, the U-Minh Forest – the  largest mangrove forest around 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, causing enormous destroy to the  forests. Thanks to the heavy rainfall, the dioxin was washed out to sea and the forest is returning. Many eucalyptus trees have also been planted here because  they have proved to be relatively dioxin-resistant.

Yet the mangrove forests are being further destroyed  by clearing for shrimp-farming ponds, charcoal production and woodchipping, though  the  government has  made efforts 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 visitors  will  enjoy a boat trip around Ca Mau,  though  the feathered flocks aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as the swarms of mosquitoes. It takes visitors around thirty minutes to get a boat trip and costs 100,000d.

Ca Mau Tourist can arrange an 140-US dollar boat tour , but  try to find better deals with locals down at the ferry pier  where 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, these 130 hectares form one of the least developed and most protected parts of the Mekong Delta region. Shrimp farming is banned here. You can access by boat .

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