Beyond Soc Trang the landscape becomes progressively more waterlogged and water palms hug the banks of the waterways that crisscross it. A little over 40km southwest of Soc Trang, Highway 1 dips south towards the crown of BAC LIEU, before veering off west to Ca Mau. It may be the back end of nowhere, but Bac Lieu’s prosperity is evident in new shopping complexes and upmarket homes around the centre. The source of this prosperity is overseas Vietnamese, many of whom hail from this region. Although there are few sights to set the pulse racing, the town’s got the only accommodation between Soc Trang and Ca Mau and is in good proximity to the nearby Bac Lieu Bird Sanctuary.