Built on the swampy shores of the Ganh Hao River, Ca Mau is the capital and the only city in Ca Mau province, which covers the southern tip of the Mekong Delta. It’s a remote and inhospitable area that wasn’t cultivated until the late 17th century. Owing to the boggy terrain, the province has the lowest population density in southern Vietnam. It incorporates the country’s largest swamp and is known for its voracious mosquitoes.
Given that, it’s perhaps surprising that Ca Mau city is such a pleasant place. The overall impression is of wide boulevards, parks, busy shopping streets and (if you don’t look too closely at the river and the shacks lining it) cleanliness. Ca Mau has developed rapidly in recent years but the city doesn’t have many actual sights. Consequently it doesn’t get a lot of tourists – so you might well feel like a celebrity due to the stares and greetings you’ll garner, especially from the local kids.
The main attractions here are the nearby swamps and forests, which can be explored by boat. Bird-watchers and aspiring botanists get excited about stork-sighting opportunities and swamp ecology.