MEKONG RIVER DELTA – CA MAU PROVINCE 2

Mui Ca Mau National Park

Mui Ca Mau National Park lies in Dat Mui and Vien An communes of Ngoc Hien District and Dat Moi Commune of Nam Can District, about 400km from Ho Chi Minh City if travelling on the national backbone Highway 1. Covering a land area of 41,862ha, the park boasts an ecosystem of naturally-grown man­grove forests noted for high biological diversi­ty, diverse natural landscapes, and rich cul­tural and historic values. Being an important location in Viet Nam’s national biodiversity preservation program, the park is where scientists have conducted research on sea birds in Viet Nam and Asia Pacific region. Every August, huge number of birds has flocked to the park to nest. Scientists have found here the species that were listed in World’s Red Book, such as Chinese egret (Egretta eulophotes), the Spot­billed Pelican (Pelecanus phillipensis), and the Eastern Curlew Numenius madagas- cariensis. The most ecological value of the park is the gene pool of 22 endemic species of salt-marsh plants discovered by scientists. The fauna here is quite plentiful, with 13 ani­mal species belonging to 9 families, including long-tailed monkey and ca khu, which have been listed in World’s Red Book. In 2009, Mui Ca Mau National Park was listed on World Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. And in December 2012, the park was also recognized as the 2088* Ramsar site in the world.

Da Bac Island

Da Bac Island is situated in Khanh Binh Tay Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, 700m from Kinh Hon Estuary. From a distance as far as Da Bac B hamlet, one can see the magnifi­cent sight of Da Bac Island. Da Bac compris­es three islet named Ong Ngo, Troi and Da. Da Bac covers 6.34ha. Its highest point above sea level is 50m. Different granite lay­ers make up strange forms with such exotic names as San Tien (Fairy Yard), Gieng Tien (Fairy Well), Ban Chan Tien (Fairy Foot), or Ban Tay Nam Ngon (Five-fingered Hand). In San Tien stand the stele and statue of victory. Atop the opposite rock is the temple dedicat­ed to the cult of whale. Inside the temple there is a big skeleton of a whale. On the 23rd day of the 5th lunar month, the local people hold the festival of whale procession in Da Bac Island. Da Bac Island still preserves its primitive forests and vegetal cover. It is no wonder why coming here, tourists may hear the rustling of leaves all year round.Atop Da Bac Island, tourists can figure out the fishermen amid rugged rocks from afar. This rustic landscape is attracting more and more people to this island.After a busy sightseeing day, tourists can enjoy marine specialities, including shrimps, crabs or oysters, which are cheap yet deli­cious. The service is not yet well-developed but tourists can still feel convenient. Da Bac now is a well-known eco-tourism attraction in Ca Mau. Visitors come there to relax after exhausted working days. Da Bac Island is 80km from Ca Mau. If one takes land route, ride a bike from Ca Mau City to National Highway 1, passing Ganh Hao Bridge, Cai Nuoc, Tran Hoi, U Minh and Tran Van Thoi districts. If one chooses river way, from Ca Mau City, take a boat along Tac Thu Canal, go west to Hoi Dong Thanh Canal, sail for 40km more to reach Khanh Binh Tay Commune, Tran Van Thoi District.

Khai Long Beach

Khai Long Beach is situated to the south east of Ca Mau Cape, surrounded by beautiful mountain and sea landscape. Tour operators have put this new tourist attraction to their itineraries.Covering an area of 150ha, Khai Long lies at a geographical location of special signifi­cance. Tourists should go to the seaside to see the sunset and sunrise. Khai Long has a vast sandy beach, spanning over 3km, which advances to the sea every year. It seems that whenever you go to the beach, you will notice that the distance from there to Hon Khoai Island is shortened.Khai Long Beach still retains its pristine and original beauty. The mangrove forest ecosys­tem here is second to none in terms of diversity. Khai Long is also proud of many poplar trees along the seaside, whistling night and day. More and more people are coming to Khai Long which is upgraded to be a forest-sea eco-tourist site in Ca Mau Province. A 3-km road is constructed, together with many other constructions, including those for eco-envi- ronmental researches.

FESTIVAL             

Ky Yen Ceremony

Ky Yen Ceremony is a popular festival and an important spiritual cultural activity for the peo­ple in the Mekong River Delta. It is held annu­ally in all communal houses in the South, on the 15th, 16th, and 17th days of the lunar month chosen by each area where the festi­val is celebrated. In most villages in the South, there is a com­munal house dedicated to the village deity. This deity can be a person credited with great services to the region, someone who was bestowed upon the village by royal decree of an emperor, or a heroic legendary character. In the remote villages, where there is no com­munal house, people travel to nearby villages to worship. The worshipping ceremony begins with a ritu­al to request the deity to arrive on the day of the full moon. It continues with a staged pro­cession for a throne. The offerings include a roasted pig, a tray of steamed violet sticky rice, and a white hoi cake. Following the procession, there are lion danc­ing performances and drums are played all night long. After worshipping, visitors enjoy a feast and then watch hat boi (classical drama performance). The classical drama perform­ances take place from noon to night, from evening to midnight, and after the night-time meal. There are always many people watch­ing from the stands. After the three days of festivities, drums, music and prayers to the deity, the villagers return to work and look forward to the follow­ing year’s festival.

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