Xeo Quyt Forest

Top choice in Mekong Delta

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 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 minefields along a narrow canal loop choked with water hyacinths (luc binh) beneath the forest canopy. It's an exquisite experience, but splash on the repellent. A walking trail parallels the canal and allows you to duck into the Z- and L-shaped VC bunkers (if you're compact enough) and to admire the expertly hidden, tiny trapdoors through which the VC disappeared underground.

During the American War the VC had a base here, where top-brass VC lived in underground bunkers. Only about 10 VC were present at any given time; they were all generals who directed the war from here, just 2km from a US military base. The Americans never realised that the VC generals were living right under their noses. Naturally they were suspicious about the patch of forest and periodically dropped some bombs on it to reassure themselves, but the VC remained safe in their hideouts.