West of My Tho, and Cai Be, Highway 1 crosses the My Thuan Bridge on its way to Vinh Long and Can Tho. Just before the bridge, however, at An Huu, Highway 30 branches north, rolling into modest CAO LANH 34km later. The town is no oil painting and offers little unless you’re charmed by wading birds; its location beside the western edge of the Plain of Reeds makes Cao Lanh an ideal launching pad for trips out to the storks and cranes that nest in the nearby swamplands. Coming from Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll pass the two great concrete tusks (intended to resemble lotus petals) of the war memorial as you veer onto the main drag, Nguyen Hué. One tusk bears a hammer and sickle, the other a Vietnamese red star.

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