Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary
Lonely Planet review
One of the more interesting sights in this sleepy corner of the Mekong Delta, Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary is notable for its 50-odd species of bird, including a large population of graceful white herons. It’s surprisingly popular with Vietnamese tourists, but foreign visitors are rare, probably because Bac Lieu is so out of the way.
Whether or not you see any birds depends on what time of year you visit. Bird populations are at their peak in the rainy season – approximately May to October. The birds hang around to nest until about January, then fly off in search of greener pastures. There are basically no birds here from February until the rainy season begins again.
The drive is only 5km but the road is in poor shape. The rest of the trek is through dense (and often muddy) jungle. Bring plenty of repellent, good shoes, water and binoculars.
Pay the admission fee when you reach the entrance of the bird sanctuary. You can (and should) hire a guide here, as you may get lost without one. The guides aren’t supposed to receive money, so tip them discreetly; most guides do not speak English. Transport and guides can also be arranged through the Bac Lieu Tourist office (at a mark-up).