Coming to the Mekong Delta, you will be overwhelmed with the richness and beauty of the natural landscape here. Especially, apart from the popular tourist destination, Mekong Delta also possesses many hidden charms – places that are almost unspoiled by humans and pristinely preserved by the Nature Mother. One of those places that you should not miss when visiting Can Tho is the Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary – the home to many storks species in the Western Vietnam. A visit to the sanctuary will surely make your trip unforgettable because of the relaxing, fresh and nature-like feeling that it brings.
- Location: Thuan An, Thot Not, Can Tho, Vietnam
Opening hours: 5AM - 7:30PM
Entrance Fees: 10.000VND - 20.000VND
1. Overview of Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary
Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary was established in 1983 by a local man called Mr. Bay Co. According to him, in 1983, a herd of storks flew from somewhere, landed and nested a corner of his garden. After a while, they went away. About a year later, they came back and even outnumbered before. Since then they have turned this place into their home and no longer left, to this day.
Since founded, the sanctuary has been sustained and preserved until today, with the total of around 300.000 storks belonging to more than 20 different species. It is located in Binh Thoi Hamlet, Thot Not District which is 52 kilometers far from Can Tho city center, and has a very large area of 12.500m2 .
The name of the sanctuary is “Bang Lang” – which means “Crape Myrle” (a kind of tree with blooming purple flowers in the summer). This name originated from the fact that in the past, the roadside to the sanctuary was filled with many Bang Lang trees. Although nowadays, most of the trees have been cut down, locals and visitors still call it “Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary” or “Bang Lang Stork Garden”.
2. What to Do in Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary?
2.1. Explore the Life of Storks
Obviously, you will have an opportunity to watch and explore the life of storks whjen visiting Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary. Each year, a stork lays eggs four times, and it will take 6-7 months for a chick to fully mature. Therefore, the number of storks is gradually rising up annually.
When a young bird falls down from its nest, Mr. Bay Co would bring it home and feed it until it matures, then return it to the right nest. In fact, not all of the storks live in the sanctuary at the same time. Two months after the eggs hatch, mother storks and their young are likely to leave the sanctuary to make room for others.
To witness the vibrant “life” of the stork community here, you should visit it on the breeding season – which is from August to January of the lunar calendar every year. Particularly in spring, you can take a boat to the stork garden, watch the flowers by the mausoleum blooming along the two sides of the river and enjoy an extremely romantic atmosphere
The best time to visit if you want to see storks is the afternoon, when they come back to their nest after a long day. Around 5-6AM, the storks will begin to leave the nest to eat and only return in the afternoon. Thus, the time of sunrise and sunset is when the scene of the stork garden will become extremely lively, and you will be able to see the full beauty of Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary.
2.2. Enjoy Fresh Air among Beautiful Natural Landscape
Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary is surrounded by immense rice padding fields as well as the interlacing canals of Can Tho. Apart from watching the storks, tourists can join a cruise tour along Hau River, or cycling past the orchards, craft villages and green fields to access the garden. Also, if you want to have panoramic view of the sanctuary, there is a watching tower which is 3 metres high inside. From this tower, you will be able to look around the gardens and admire the peaceful scenes of theMekong Delta’s countryside, fiddled by thousands of storks.
2.3. Try out Delicious Typical Western Vietnam Specialties
Not only visiting and admiring the stork and beautiful natural landscapes, Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary is also a place for you to enjoy the wonderful delicacies of Vietnam. The most prominent specialties are the dishes made from palm sugar such as: palm sugar, palm tea, palm rice… In addition, you can also try some other popular dishes in the main meals: grilled pork chops, banh mi Can Tho, Western pancake, snakehead fish porridge, Can Tho pomelo tea … You can also buy specialties made from jaggery to bring home as gifts for your family and friends
If you don’t want to go to far, we recommend that you have a meal at Anh Thu Beer Restaurant – a restaurant that belongs to the stork garden which is only about 63 meters away from the sanctuary. In case you want to try the dishes at larger restaurants, you can go to NH91 road (about 1.6 km away) to find more restaurants and eateries. Along NH91, there are many shops/ restaurants such as Long Bang Lang Congee, Phuong Nam Restaurant, Bang Lang Stork Garden Coffee, etc.
3. Extra Tips When Visiting Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary
Because the sanctuary apparently has many trees, and everything is still wild and natural,you should wear discreet clothing to protect yourself from insects. You should also bring special medicines for first aid in case of being bitten by insects. Do not forget to bring complete identification as well. Besides, a bottle of water is necessary to keep you hydrated during the walk and sightseeing.
Currently, Bang Lang stork garden is calling for help against the alarming hunting of many unconscious people. Many rare storks species here are thus on the verge of extinction. Right now, it is necessary to support the agencies as well as the collective awareness of everyone to soon end the situation.
4. How to Get to Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary?
From Ho Chi Minh city, visitors can travel to Can Tho using bus, passenger cars or rent motorbikes and continue traveling along Highway 91 through O Mon to Thot Not in Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary. From Bang Lang Bridge, you will be shown a smaller road that leads to the garden which is 2 kilometers long, and you can either ride a motorbike, cycle or walk there. Especially, if you go in the water-floating season, you will have the opportunity to experiencea boat tour floating straight into the Bang Lang stork garden.
If you like to take an off the beaten track tour in Can Tho, don’t forget to add Bang Lang Stork Sanctuary into your schedule. The experience will definitely give you so much fun and a relaxing, soothing mind among the pristine nature.