1. An overview of information about Xeo Quyt forest
Xeo Quyt forest in Cao Lanh is not only one of the famous ecological areas but also a national historic site in the Mekong region. The place attracts the bulk of foreign and domestic tourists coming to relax and contemplate the beauty of the forest every year. Also, researchers come here to study species of plants and animals as well as historical relic sites.
Xeo Quyt forest is located around 30km from the center of Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap Province. Its square is approximately 50ha, including 20ha of cajuput forest, the remaining being lianas and tropical tree swamp. The forest belongs to both My Hiep and My Long communes.
Name of Xeo Quyt
Xeo Quyt forest is recognized as a national relic in Dong Thap province, well-known for a thick canopy of tall trees and lianas. The name Xeo Quyt consists of two words, namely Xeo and Quyt. In Vietnamese, Xeo means a narrow natural canal having a low water level and these canals interconnect with others. As usual, Quyt is literally a name of Vietnamese mandarin, a sort of fruit tree; however, in this context, it is not the case. The local people usually call Quốc (Cuculus poliocephalus) – a species of bird – Quyt, and there are a number of the birds living in a flock here. Thus, the forest is named Xeo Quyt.
Entering the forest, tourists need to pay several fees. The entrance fee is VND 20,000 per adult person and free for children under 16 years old.
Every different means of transport will have a particular fee as follows:
Bike or electric bike: VND 1,000/vehicle/turn
Motorbike, scooter or electric motorbike: VND 3,000/vehicle/turn
5-seater car: VND 15,000/vehicle/turn
5 to 12-seater car: VND 20,000/vehicle/turn
And, above 12-seater car: 30,000/vehicle/turn
Besides, the canoeing fee is only VND 25,000 per person.
2. Best time to visit Xeo Quyt
There are two main seasons in the Southern, namely a dry season and a rainy one. The former starts between November and the beginning of April next year while the latter lasts from mid-April to October. Thus, it is recommended that tourists should visit there in the dry season. In the season, they have a chance to follow a sinuous trail deep into the forest and be immersed in the beautiful natural scenery with a cool green color. Tourists also can contemplate lotus flowers in bloom.
3. What’s interesting in Xeo Quyt forest?
History – resistance base of Viet Cong Soldier
In the twentieth century, Xeo Quyt forest was chosen as a strategic revolutionary base of the liberation force during the anti-US resistance war between 1960 and 1975. It was difficult terrain with a wild swamp of weeds and full of creeks and reeds that suited guerilla warfare. At that time, Vietnamese soldiers, having fought for independence and freedom, were sheltered by the forest. For this reason, this place was recognized as a national historic relic in 1992.
Biodiversity of fauna and flora
The forest is covered by a diversity of plants, and it is home for a large number of animals. In detail, there are now 170 flora species and 200 species of wild animals. Particularly, thirteen of them are rare animal species listed in the Vietnam Red Book, such as burmese python, ptyas mucosa, cuora amboinensis, Stork-billed Kingfisher and sorts of Eurasian otters.
4. Top things to do in Xeo Quyt forest
Visiting the intact relic site in forest
Coming to Xeo Quyt forest, you cannot miss going to the military base where Vietnamese soldiers lived and combated during the anti-US resistance war. The base has named the Provincial Committee Base. Going deep into the site, tourists will see buildings such as bomb shelters, fighting fortification, underground hideout and so on. Although these buildings have been old and no longer used, they still bring strong feelings of national pride to domestic visitors.
Tourists will have two ways of moving. If you love to meander through forest trees, you can walk along the 1.5km-long pathway.
Or, you can take a sampan rowed by a guide to discover the beauty of nature full of green color and listen to songs of birds.
Taking photos at water lily lake and lotus lake
Coming here in the floating season, you get a chance to take a lot of photos with water lilies and lotus in full bloom. Lotus flower are beautiful both in appearance and smell.
Besides, there are also ‘King lotus’, or so-called ‘flat basket lotus’. Its large, thick, and thorny leaves cover the pond surface and tourists can sit and stand onto them.
Engaging in outdoor activities
Tourists are given a chance of experiencing crossing the footbridge firmly tying to agricultural life in the Southwestern.
Seeing photo galleries and watching documentary films, you can look back at a difficult period of history in Vietnam.
Seeing indigenous people making handicrafts from dry water hyacinths and experiencing the demonstration of knitting them.
Taking part in racing canoes, catching ducks on the river, spreading nets and other activities related to local lives.
5. What to eat in Xeo Quyt forest
After visiting the whole forest and participating in activities, tourists can eat at Xeo Quyt restaurant. The restaurant offers an extensive menu at reasonable prices. It includes many special dishes in the Mekong Delta such as grilled snakehead fish with lotus leaf, steamed snail with pepper, grilled frogs, red rice, and so on.
6. What to bring with you on the trip to Xeo Quyt forest?
Firstly, a travel size bug spray is a must in the forest, because it will help you protect yourself from insects like mosquitoes, ants, bees and so on.
When traveling around the forest, you need to bring a water bottle and a light meal in a bid to re-energize.