Bac Lieu

The capital of southern Bac Lieu province. Bac Lieu is 280km from HCMC. Of the 800,000 people living in the province, about 8% are of Chinese or Cambodian origin

The town has a few elegant but forlorn French colonial buildings, like the impressive Fop House (now used as a community sports centre), but not much else.

Farming is a difficult occupation here because of saltwater intrusion, which mean that the town has remained fairly poor. The province is, however,  known for its healths longan orchards. In addition to this, the enterprising locals eke out a living trom fishing, oyster collection and shrimp farming, as well as salt production (obtained from evaporating saltwater ponds that form immense salt flats).

For the Vietnamese people, Bat Lieu's main claim to fame is the grave site of Can Van Lau (1892-1976), famed composer of 'Dai Coa Hoai Long' ('Night Song of the Missing Husband').

Most foreigners give the tomb a miss and instead use Bac Lieu as a springboard to reach the outstanding bird sanctuary out of town. If you're keen on seeing it, head out on Cao Van Lau st. towards the bird sanctuary lor about 1km. turn right and follow the dirt road for 150m to the grave.