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Mekong Travel News » Let your imagination take to the sky at Bac Lieu Reserve

Let your imagination take to the sky at Bac Lieu Reserve

Let your imagination take to the sky at Bac Lieu Reserve A new eco-tourism park within the Bac Lieu Bird Nature Reserve has opened in the southernmost city of Bac Lieu to the delight of a growing numbers of tourists.

Free as a bird: More than 100,000 birds are living in the Bac Lieu Bird Nature Reserve.
Located just 4km from the city centre, the 130ha reserve is home to around 100,000 birds of more than 100 different species. Nine species living in the reserve have been listed in the Red Book including giang sen (painted stork), coc de (great cormorant), seu dau do (red-headed crane), co co ngan (short-necked stork) and others

The Bac Lieu Bird Reserve is the largest in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta as well as the only nature reserve in the country located entirely within city limits.

The reserve, which lies within a 100-year diversified mangrove forest was added to the list of Viet Nam's Nature Reserves in 1986.

After the recognition, a canal system was built surrounding the reserve in an aim to create a swampy environment that would attract aquatic species to make up the primary food source for the birds. A mangrove expansion project was also implemented to attract a diverse array of bird species.

Ugly ducklings: Two young birds in their nest in the reserve. The mating season for winged residents is from June to November.
Thanks to these activities, the number of winged residents has increased significantly over the past 20 years.

Bac Lieu Reserve is also home to more than 181 flora and 150 fauna species. While trekking along a jungle path, visitors may have surprise encounters with small rabbits, squirrels, snakes, racoons and otters, who then quickly flee into the underbrush at the first sign of humans.

Learning about bird nests is also an interesting activity while visiting the reserve. Grey heron nests are made from small tree twigs, and are built in tall trees, while bim bip birds build their nests out of dried leaves on the ground. Dong doc birds tear leaves to create a nest that dangles from tree branches and cha ca birds live in tiny caves they dig into small mounds near the swamp.

Cam Nhi, a visitor from HCM City, says she has her own reason for visiting the bird reserve: "I've been here once before. This time, I brought my little son to introduce him to the very basic knowledge of nature, such as which bird is the stork, which one is the pelican, which tree is the cajuput and which one is the mangrove."

Visitors can also enjoy a panoramic view of the reserve from the bird watching towers. An immense green zone stretches as far as the eye can see, and the harmonic melody created by the sound of the wind blowing and birds singing can purify the spirit of any visitor. However, people with a fear of heights should be warned – the towers are 12m high and not for the faint of heart.

Snake charmer: This huge 100-kg, 5.2m python was caught in the reserve, which is home to more than 331 species of flora and fauna.
Watching the birds flying back to their nests at sunset is also quite enjoyable. It's probably the noisiest moment of the day, when tens of thousands of birds flap their wings in tandem.

Director of the Bac Lieu Reserve Nguyen Trung Chanh says the rainy season, which last from June to November, is also the reproductive season for the winged residents. Tourists can see the bursting vitality of this green world during that time: vegetation is greener, freshwater species, making up the bird's food source, are more abundant, and the number of young birds increases sharply.

The opening of the eco-tourism park within the reserve aims to offer an interesting sightseeing spot for tourists, especially for those keen on bird-watching.

"However, to avoid harming the natural habitat, visitors are only permitted to enjoy a designated 4ha-area," Chanh says.

During the most recent week-long Lunar New Year Festival, about 20,000 tourists visited the reserve.

"I was among thousands of tourists visiting the Bac Lieu Bird Reserve. The large number of visitors proves that people nowadays are interested in being close to nature," Thanh Ha, a tourist from Ha Noi says.

Director Chanh said that the cheap entry fee of VND10,000 for adults and VND5,000 for children is also another reason people are attracted to the reserve. Daily visitors number from 300-400.
Free as a bird: More than 100,000 birds are living in the Bac Lieu Bird Nature Reserve.

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