The refreshing town of Cao Lanh is the capital city of Dong Thap Province of Vietnam located on the southeastern coast of the country along the Mekong Delta. The newly flourishing city has a pretty good trade scene, especially in rice. The city does not give off a touristy vibe for the simple reason that there aren’t many tourists there.
Located around 145 km southwest of Ho Chi Minh, this young city of Vietnam was in fact singled out from swamp and marshlands surrounding it. Xeo Quyt Forest and Tram Chim National Park, are some of the important attractions that are the highlights of Cao Lanh's Tourist attractions.
Its connectivity to Ho Chi Minh City aside, Cao Lanh is fast gaining ground among travellers and tourists for being a mixture of city life and laidback culture. Refreshing, calm and quite under the radar, Cao Lanh is a worthy stop to add on your 'To Visit' list.
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Xeo Quyt Forest
Around 35km southeast of Cao Lanh is the magnificent 52-hectare Xeo Quyt Forest near My Hiep village. One vast swamp beneath a beautiful thick canopy of tall trees and vines, it hides the remains of Viet Cong bunkers, which can be seen both on a canoe tour inside the forest and on foot along the walking trails. A taxi from Cao Lanh, including waiting time, costs around 800,000d. For much of the year, a marvellous 20-minute canoe tour (15,000d) takes you past old bunkers and former mine fields along a narrow canal loop choked with water hyacinths (luc binh) beneath the forest canopy.
Tram Chim National Park
Tram Chim National Park is around 40km due north of Cao Lanh and notable for its rare red-headed cranes (Grus antigone sharpii), though more than 220 species of birds live within the reserve. The cranes nest here from about December to May; from June to November they migrate to northwest Cambodia. Seeing them requires a considerable commitment (time, effort and money), with Dong Thap Tourist organising expensive trips by car and small boat (5,000,000d); it's cheaper to go if you make friends with locals.
War Martyrs' Monument
The socialist realistic-style sculpture is of a decorated soldier holding flowers in front of a star and is made up of white concrete. The rear of the statue is illustrated with storks, a symbol of the Mekong. The War Memorial is located on the eastern edge of town off Hwy 30.
Van Thanh Mieu
At the heart of the city and encompassing a temple and lake with a topiary outline of Vietnam in the middle, this lush park is a wonderful place to observe local life: from early-morning exercise on the strange-looking contraptions to the twinkling lights after dark, there is only beauty in the sights it offers.
Dong Thap Museum
The Dong Thap Museum is among the Mekong's best museums, despite having no English captions. The ground floor of the handsome building displays an anthropological history of Dong Thap province, with exhibits of tools, sculpture, models of traditional houses and a few stuffed animals and pickled fish. Upstairs is devoted to war history and Ho Chi Minh.
Tomb of Nguyen Sinh Sac
The tomb of Ho Chi Minh’s father, Nguyen Sinh Sac (1862–1929), is the centre-piece of a pretty 9.6-hectare park and the model heritage village of wooden houses, peopled by mannequins depicting traditional pursuits, but observable only from outside. The tomb itself is located under a shell-shaped shrine set behind a star-shaped lotus pond. The complex is located at the southwest approach to town; turn right after Hoa Long Pagoda and follow the fence around until you get to the entrance.
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