Cao Lanh Travel Guide: Explore the Heart of Vietnam’s Delta

 In Adventure, Best Time to Visit, places to eat, Places to stay, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel, Vietnam

Welcome to Cao Lanh travel guide, a hidden gem in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. If you’re looking for a destination that’s off the beaten path, brimming with charm, and bursting with local flavor, then Cao Lanh is your next stop. 

While Vietnam tour packages often focus on Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, this small city offers a unique magic that will capture your heart. 

Let’s dive into what makes Cao Lanh special and why it should be on every traveler’s radar.

What’s in a name? ( Well everything )

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First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room (or maybe the clay pot in the market). Cao Lanh translates to “high field,” but it’s also famous for something called “cao lanh,” (kaolin) a type of clay. 

Don’t worry, you won’t get stuck in a sticky situation here. This clay is a superstar in ceramics, used to make everything from delicate teacups to sturdy roof tiles.

 But Cao Lanh isn’t all about staying grounded. This city is like a chameleon, changing its personality depending on the time of day.

The second part of the name, “Lanh,” is thought to refer to the local landscape. The word “Lanh” in Vietnamese can mean “cool” or “cold,” possibly describing the region’s climate or the refreshing quality of the waterways and the surrounding environment. Given the location of Cao Lanh in the Mekong Delta

What is the Best Time to Visit Cao Lanh?

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Cao Lanh boasts a tropical climate, so expect hot and humid weather throughout the year. Don’t let the rainy season (May to November) discourage you though! 

The showers are typically quick and refreshing, and this period offers the most vibrant display of lush greenery, as highlighted in many Cao Lanh travel guides. The dry season (December to April) is generally considered the peak time to visit, with sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures.

How to Reach Cao Lanh?

Cao Lanh isn’t the most off-the-beaten-path destination in Vietnam, but it’s not crawling with tourists either. Getting there is pretty straightforward.

By Plane: The closest airport is Can Tho International Airport. From there, you can catch a bus or taxi to Cao Lanh, about a 2-hour drive.

By Bus: Several buses run daily from Ho Chi Minh City and other major cities in Vietnam to Cao Lanh. This is a budget-friendly option and a great way to see the Vietnamese countryside.

By Boat: Feeling adventurous? Hop on a hydrofoil from Can Tho and enjoy a scenic ride along the Mekong River to Cao Lanh.

 What are the various Places to Visit in Cao Lanh?

Cao Lanh, nestled in the heart of the Mekong Delta, offers a variety of attractions that showcase its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and vibrant local life.  To help you plan your escape, many Cao Lanh travel guides recommend these must-visit places:

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1. Tram Chim National Park

A haven for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, Tram Chim National Park is home to over 200 bird species, including the rare Sarus Crane. Explore the park’s vast wetlands via boat tours, and immerse yourself in the serene landscape and diverse wildlife.

2. Nguyen Sinh Sac Memorial Site

Dedicated to the father of Ho Chi Minh, this site features a tranquil garden, a traditional house, and a museum. It offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of Nguyen Sinh Sac, as well as the historical context of the area. For a unique historical experience, be sure to include the Tomb of Nguyen Sinh Sac in your Cao Lanh travel guide.

3. Gao Giong Ecotourism Area

Gao Giong is an eco-tourism destination that provides a unique experience of the Mekong Delta’s natural environment. Enjoy a boat ride through the lush canals, visit bird-watching towers, and savor local cuisine in this serene setting.

4. Xeo Quyt Forest

Explore the historical and natural beauty of Xeo Quyt Forest, a former Viet Cong base during the Vietnam War. The forest features a network of tunnels and shelters hidden among dense vegetation. Guided tours offer insights into its historical significance and the surrounding flora and fauna.

5. Dong Thap Museum

Enrich your Cao Lanh travel guide by visiting the Dong Thap Museum. Learn about the history, culture, and biodiversity of Dong Thap province at this museum. It houses various artifacts, including ancient relics, traditional costumes, and exhibits on local wildlife.

6. Cao Lanh Bridge

The Cao Lanh Bridge, spanning the Tien River, is a modern engineering marvel. It offers stunning views of the river and surrounding areas, especially at sunset. It’s also a great spot for photography.

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7. Sa Dec Flower Village

Located a short drive from Cao Lanh, the Sa Dec Flower Village is a vibrant destination famous for its extensive flower gardens. Visit during the blooming season to see a dazzling array of flowers, or explore the nurseries and learn about traditional flower cultivation.

8. Phuoc Kien Temple (Lotus Temple)

Known for its unique lotus pond where giant lotus leaves can support the weight of a small child, Phuoc Kien Temple is a tranquil and picturesque place. This is one of the most peaceful temples in Vietnam known for its beautiful gardens making it a perfect spot for relaxation and reflection.

9. Tan Thuan Dong Bird Sanctuary

Another fantastic destination for bird lovers, this sanctuary offers opportunities to observe various bird species in their natural habitat. The area is lively during the breeding season.

10. Cao Lanh Market

Experience the local culture and flavors at Cao Lanh Market. This bustling market is the perfect place to sample fresh fruits, street food, and local delicacies. It’s also a great spot to pick up souvenirs and interact with friendly locals and is a must-add to your Cao Lanh travel guide.

11. Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House

In nearby Sa Dec, visit the historic Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House, which inspired Marguerite Duras’ novel “The Lover.” The house is an exquisite example of French and Vietnamese architectural fusion and offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s colonial past.

12. Mekong Delta Boat Tours

Embark on a boat tour to explore the picturesque waterways of the Mekong Delta. These tours often include visits to floating markets, fruit orchards, and local craft villages, providing an immersive experience of delta life as told in various Cao Lanh travel guides.

What are the Places to visit near Cao Lanh?

Broaden your horizons beyond Cao Lanh with these nearby gems! If you’re extending your stay, your Cao Lanh travel guide can include some fantastic side trips. Here are a few must-visit places near Cao Lanh, offering a variety of experiences and attractions.

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Long Xuyen

Distance from Cao Lanh: Approximately 60 km

Long Xuyen, the capital of An Giang province, offers several attractions:

  • Long Xuyen Floating Market: Experience the vibrant and bustling market life on the river.
  • Ton Duc Thang Museum: Dedicated to Vietnam’s second president, showcasing his life and contributions.
  • Tay An Pagoda: An impressive temple known for its unique architectural style blending Vietnamese and Indian influences.

Vinh Long

Distance from Cao Lanh: Approximately 90 km

Vinh Long is known for its lush orchards and peaceful islands:

  • Vinh Long Market: A lively market offering local produce, crafts, and street food.
  • A Binh Island: A tranquil island with fruit orchards, homestays, and traditional crafts.
  • Cai Be Floating Market: Nearby, it’s one of the best-floating markets in the Mekong Delta, known for its fresh produce and local delicacies.

Can Tho

Distance from Cao Lanh: Approximately 100 km

Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta, offering a mix of modern and traditional attractions:

  • Cai Rang Floating Market: One of the largest and most famous floating markets in the region making it one of the best shopping places in Vietnam.
  • Ninh Kieu Wharf: A bustling riverside area with parks, restaurants, and boat tours.
  • Binh Thuy Ancient House: A beautifully preserved French colonial house with historic significance.

What are the things to do in Cao Lanh?

Immerse yourself in the heart of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta with a visit to Cao Lanh. For an unforgettable experience, be sure to include these top activities in your Cao Lanh travel guide.

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Explore Tram Chim National Park

Bird Watching: Home to over 200 bird species, including the rare Sarus Crane, Tram Chim National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Boat Tours: Navigate through the wetlands on a guided boat tour to experience the park’s diverse flora and fauna up close.

Discover the Gao Giong Ecotourism Area

Boat Rides: Take a boat ride through the canals of Gao Giong to see the rich biodiversity and lush greenery.

Local Cuisine: Savor local Vietnamese food at the eco-tourism area’s restaurant, featuring dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.

Admire the Cao Lanh Bridge

Scenic Views: Walk or drive across the Cao Lanh Bridge for stunning views of the Tien River and surrounding areas, especially at sunset.

Photography: Capture beautiful photos of the bridge’s modern architecture and the river below.

 Relax in Local Cafés

Coffee Culture: Experience the local coffee culture by visiting one of Cao Lanh’s charming cafés. Try Vietnamese iced coffee (cà phê sữa đá) and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

Local Sweets: Pair your coffee with local sweets like bánh tằm bì (silkworm noodles with pork and coconut cream) or bánh xèo (Vietnamese savory pancakes).

Experience Festivals

Dong Thap Lotus Festival: If visiting in May or June, attend the Dong Thap Lotus Festival to see vibrant parades, traditional music, and dance performances celebrating the region’s iconic flower.

Local Celebrations: Check the local calendar for other festivals of Vietnam and cultural events that may be happening during your visit.

Food Scene of Cao Lanh

Cao Lanh, situated in the heart of the Mekong Delta, boasts a vibrant and diverse food scene that reflects the rich agricultural heritage and culinary traditions of the region. From savory street food to sweet treats add it to your Cao Lanh travel guide for an unforgettable foodie adventure!

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Local Specialties

1. Hu Tieu My Tho (Hủ Tiếu Mỹ Tho)

A delicious noodle soup that’s a staple in the region. Made with clear and flavorful broth, rice noodles, and a mix of pork, shrimp, and sometimes quail eggs.

2. Banh Xeo (Bánh Xèo)

These savory Vietnamese pancakes are made from rice flour, turmeric, and coconut milk, filled with shrimp, pork, and bean sprouts. 

3. Banh Tam Bi (Bánh Tằm Bì)

Silkworm-like rice noodles topped with shredded pork, herbs, and a creamy coconut milk sauce.

4. Grilled Snakehead Fish (Cá Lóc Nướng Trui)

A popular dish in the Mekong Delta, the snakehead fish is grilled over an open flame until the skin is crispy and the flesh is tender.

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Fresh Produce and Fruits

Cao Lanh’s fertile land produces a variety of fresh fruits that are a must-try:

Mangoes: Cao Lanh is particularly known for its sweet and juicy mangoes.

Mangosteens: Known as the “queen of fruits,” mangosteens have a sweet and tangy flavor.

Dragon Fruit: This vibrant fruit is not only visually appealing but also refreshing and mildly sweet.

Rambutan: With its hairy exterior and juicy, sweet flesh, rambutan is a tropical delight.

Tips to keep in mind while visiting Cao Lanh

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Embark on an enriching and unforgettable adventure in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta with a visit to Cao Lanh! To help you make the most of your trip, be sure to include these helpful tips in your Cao Lanh travel guide:

  •  Visit in May or June for the blooming lotus flowers and the Dong Thap Lotus Festival.
  • Rent a bike or scooter, or use taxis and motorbike taxis for short trips.
  • Choose from budget guesthouses to more comfortable hotels, and book in advance during peak seasons.
  •  Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated in the hot and humid climate.
  • Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
  •  Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Be polite and learn basic Vietnamese phrases like “hello” (Xin chào) and “thank you” (cảm ơn).
  • Enjoy local specialties and street food, ensure food is cooked thoroughly, and drink bottled or filtered water.
  • Carry enough Vietnamese Dong as many places prefer cash.
  •  Purchase a local SIM card for connectivity, with Viettel, Mobifone, and Vinaphone being good providers.
  • Minimize single-use plastics to help protect the environment, especially in reserves and parks.

Also read: Vietnam travel tips

Cao Lanh may not be as famous as some of Vietnam’s other cities, but that’s part of its charm. It’s a place where you can slow down, soak up the local culture, and experience the natural beauty of the Mekong Delta without the crowds. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, Cao Lanh has something to offer. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure you won’t soon forget.

 Cao Lanh is waiting to welcome you with open arms and a warm smile. And to ensure you don’t miss a beat, be sure to include this comprehensive Cao Lanh travel guide as your trusty companion!

What are some must-visit attractions in Cao Lanh?

Some must-visit attractions in Cao Lanh include Tram Chim National Park, Nguyen Sinh Sac Memorial Site, Gao Giong Eco-Tourism Area, and Xeo Quyt Forest

What local delicacies should I try in Cao Lanh?

In Cao Lanh, you should try the delicious Hu Tieu My Tho, a flavorful noodle soup, and Banh Xeo, crispy Vietnamese pancakes filled with shrimp and pork. Don’t miss Banh Tam Bi, silky rice noodles with shredded pork and coconut milk.

What are some exciting activities I can do in Cao Lanh?

In Cao Lanh, you can explore the rich biodiversity of Tram Chim National Park, take tranquil boat rides through the Gao Giong Ecotourism Area, delve into history at Xeo Quyt Forest, and savor the vibrant local culture at Cao Lanh Market.

What festivals are celebrated in Cao Lanh?

Cao Lanh celebrates various festivals throughout the year, including the Dong Thap Lotus Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Tet Nguyen Dan

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