One of the top destinations you must experience when making an excursion to Ca Mau is U Minh Ha National Park. Especially if you are a wildlife lover, here is an opportunity to learn about the mangrove forest with different species of fauna and flora and also obtain unforgettable experiences of a wet area.
The best time to explore U Minh Ha National Park
Ca Mau does experience two seasons through one year; the rainy season is from December to April, and the dry season is from May to October. During the rainy season, water level is quite high, exploring the park by boat is an ideal way. Nevertheless, the dry season seems better for a trip to this destination since there is no muddy and sticky pond.
How to get to U Minh Ha National Park from Ho Chi Minh City
There are two ways to gets to U Minh Ha National Park from Ho Chi Minh City, comprising motorbike and coach.
Travel along National Route 1A, and cross Cau Mau Bridge – Ngo Quyen – Vo Van Kiet. When you spot the instruction sign to U Minh Ha National Forest, just follow those directions. If you aren’t confident about the sign, come to ask the locals as they are always friendly and helpful.
At Mien Tay Bus Station or Mien Dong Bu Station, or An Suong Bus Station, you’ll easily find out different coaches departing from Ho Chi Minh City for Ca Mau, such as Lien Hung, Mai Linh, Phuong Trang, Giap Diep, and Ngoc Ha. The bus fare is from VND 180,000 to VND 200,000/adult. Upon arrival in Ca Mau, you take a motorbike taxi or taxi to U Minh Ha National Park.
What to do at U Minh Ha National Park
From the entrance to the park – Vo Doi Hamlet, Tran Hoi Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, you are taken on a smooth street to a 24m lookout tower. Climb up to the top of the lookout tower, and you can get a great view of the whole national park surrounded by river and witness a dreamy prospect of blue sky, far horizon, and green tree.
A boat ride to the mangrove forest
It’s an awesome experience when you are guided to explore the national park by boat. However, this service is not always available. You are not allowed to have it when the water level is too high or too low. Ask for an agent offering a boat ride at U Minh Ha National Park before having a trip there. What satisfies any traveler is that the forest shows off a diversity of fauna and flora, and even species listed in Red Data Book of Vietnam. At times, you are told fascinating stories or legends concerning the locals’ period of exploiting new lands.
Fishing and hunting honey in the park
Another service is to rent a boat moving deep into the forest for fishing. In summer and weekends, the number of visitors always increases, compared to other seasons. The fishing price is VND150,000/ticket. Excitingly, several travelers can catch snakehead about 1kg or other fish up to 3kg. In the forest of U Minh Ha, there are lots of fishes and it’s indeed an ideal place for fishing. Another recommendation is that you should ask the local to go with you as you’ll get a chance to use their traditional tools for fishing.
Hunting honey in the park is absolutely fantastic. Honeybees are always hard-working to produce a large amount of honey every year. If your trip to U Minh Ha is from December to June, it’s surely the best time to follow the locals for hunting honey. Not only are you entitled to join their hunt, but you also taste a dollop of delicious sweet honey. It’s possible to state that here is an unforgettable experience.
What to eat at U Minh Ha National Park
After you come out of U Minh Ha National Park, there is nothing more amazing than enjoying the most luscious local delicacies. Some of them consist of snakehead smoked in straw, grilled snakes served with green chilli salt, fermented fish hotpot with perch, hotpot with snakehead, eels cooked leaves, non-venomous cobras porridge with green bean, non-venomous cobras stewed with lemongrass or grilled non-venomous cobras, fried paddy rats, and black Giac wine – this wine is labeled as the king of specialties in U Minh Ha National Park.
Special notes for a trip to U Minh Ha National Park
- If you go in the rainy season, remember to wear long sleeves and bring insect repellents with you as there are mosquitos in the forest.
- Have hats or umbrellas in case of rain or hot and sunny days
- Call the local agent to book a boat ride in advance.
- Come back to Ca Mau City or U Minh Town for an overnight stay since there is no accommodation at the park
- Further information about U Minh Ha National Park:
Address: Vo Doi Hamlet, Tran Hoi Commune, Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province
Tel: (+84) 7803.910.070 or (+84) 780 3 910 020
Entrance fee: VND10,000/ticket
Boat ride: VND150,000/adult/hour