Talking about Bac Lieu Province in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, many people will think about an uninteresting province for tourism; however, it actually has many beautiful places worth visiting.
Located to the east of the Ca Mau Peninsula, the southern tip of mainland Vietnam, Bac Lieu has a diverse topographic feature including plains, rivers, and canals.
While not many people choose Bac Lieu as their first option for traveling, this province is full of unique, interesting things that can impress even the pickiest tourists.
Nearly 270 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, a trip to Bac Lieu will take visitors about six hours by road.
When arriving in Bac Lieu, visitors will get awesome opportunities to visit a range of historical sites and destinations of ecotourism and spiritual tourism associated with the local folklore, all the while enjoying many famous specialties here.
Bac Lieu Museum
|Artifacts inside Bac Lieu Museum in Ward 3, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
Admission to Bac Lieu Museum, located at 25 Hai Ba Trung Street, is free.
The museum displays artifacts and subjects of art which highlight the cultural specifics of the four ethnic groups in Bac Lieu: Kinh, Khmer, Cham, and Chinese.
Despite the cultural diversity, local people here live in harmony and are very friendly toward tourists.
Cong tu Bac Lieu House (Prince of Bac Lieu House)
|Tourists visit Prince of Bac Lieu House, located at 13 Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 3, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
When it comes to Bac Lieu, ‘Prince of Bac Lieu’ is probably the most memorable name that springs up in people’s minds.
While his title is loosely translated as ‘prince,’ the man — whose real name is Tran Trinh Huy — did not come from a royal family but was the son of a local landlord.
He was a well-known playboy in Bac Lieu and across southern Vietnam in the 1930s and 1940s.
Tales have it that he once burned money for fire to cook in a competition with another local playboy to see who was richer.
His mansion, inherited from Huy’s father Tran Trinh Trach, was built in 1919 and designed by a French architect with all construction materials imported from France.
The house is now one of the most popular attractions in Bac Lieu, whose admission fetches VND30,000 (US$1.30) per adult person.
'Nem nuong banh hoi' (grilled pork sausage with Vietnamese rice vermicelli sheets)
Besides its attractions, Bac Lieu is also home to many delicious specialties, one of which is the signature ‘nem nuong banh hoi’ dish.
Popularly sold at an eatery called Tu Van on Ha Huy Tap Street, the dish will surely leave an indelible impression on visitors.
The pork sausage is charcoal-grilled, creating a fragrant aroma that makes it hard for diners to ignore.
Each sausage is rolled with chewy ‘banh hoi’ (Vietnamese rice vermicelli sheets), topped with a spoonful of ‘mo hanh’ (scallion-infused oil), and wrapped in fresh vegetables before being dipped in sweetened fish sauce for a combination of flavors that explode in one's mouth from the first bite.
A serving of this delicious dish costs only VND80,000 ($3.45), which is enough for two adults to fill their stomachs.
Cao Van Lau Theater
|This image shows Cao Van Lau Theater, located in Ward 1, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
Cao Van Lau Theater has the special architecture of three giant conical hats surrounded by a gorgeous lotus pond. The combination of the two Vietnamese symbols brings amazing feelings for both locals and foreigners.
Traditional arts and folk songs are performed regularly by great artists inside the theater.
This building set a record as the theater in the shape of the three largest conical hats in Vietnam at its inauguration in 2014.
The construction was named for Cao Van Lau, the composer of many popular songs in the ‘don ca tai tu’ genre, a style of traditional music of southern Vietnam.
‘Don ca tai tu’ music was officially recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
The theater is open to visitors without any charge.
Xiem Can Pagoda
|This image shows Xiem Can Pagoda, located in Vinh Trach Dong Commune, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
The Xiem Can Pagoda with Khmer architecture in Bac Lieu was built in 1887 on a 50,000-square-meter plot of land.
Xiem Can Pagoda is one of the largest and most beautiful Khmer temples in the Khmer pagoda system in southern Vietnam, making it an attractive cultural place of interest for visitors.
Tourists can spot the pagoda’s golden gate from a distance due to its distinctive features.
The top of the gate features three Angkor-style towers decorated with multi-headed snakes elaborately sculpted by professional sculptors.
Bac Lieu Wind Farm
|A tourist poses at the Bac Lieu Wind Farm in Vinh Trach Dong Commune, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
The wind farm in Dong A Hamlet, Vinh Trach Dong Commune of Bac Lieu is the largest in Vietnam.
Although it is about 20 kilometers from the center of Bac Lieu City, from a distance, visitors can see the white wind turbines spinning evenly like giant pinwheels against the azure sky.
The entrance fee is VND30,000 ($1.30) per adult person.
Quan Am Phat Dai Buddhist Temple
|This photo shows Quan Am Phat Dai Buddhist Temple, located in Nha Mat Ward, Bac Lieu City, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam. Photo: Tuyet Kieu / Tuoi Tre|
Twenty minutes away from the wind farm, Quan Am Phat Dai is crowded with people who come to worship all day and night.
Standing by the temple's white lotus pond at sunset brings visitors a relaxed feeling and will help refresh one's energy for the coming week.