People admire the natural splendor of Nui Chua National Park in Ninh Thuan Province thanks to Vinh Hy Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam, where tourists can experience snorkeling, fishing and visiting the coral reef. But a key part of the park’s ecosystem is Lo O Stream in Vinh Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District, which lies northeast of Phan Rang-Thap Cham City.
To access the stream, tourists have to navigate a pass whose many sections offer beautiful landscapes, with the blue ocean and white sand sloping gently to the sea. Passing a typical suspension bridge built by ethnic minorities in the central region, climbing bumpy rock steps and tourists will arrive in Cau Gay Hamlet, where some 200 Raglay people live in simple houses nestled under the shade of cashew trees and other fruit trees.
Locals earn their living mainly by collecting medicinal herbs. From July to October on the lunar calendar, they pick fruits in the forest for sale. The local government used to try to help local inhabitants settle down in the plain, but most of them have chosen to maintain their mountainside lifestyle.
After leaving the village, the cement path takes tourists through the edges of the buffer zone of Nui Chua (literally means God Mountain) National Park. The park lies at the end of the Truong Son Range and the southeastern region, and covers a total area of nearly 30,000 hectares.
Ninh Thuan Province has been dubbed the desert of Vietnam, as it is hidden from the wind that causes precipitation, the land therefore lacks rainfall and is filled with hot sand. However, the province has the driest primeval forest in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia. Once in there, tourists may think they are in Africa, especially when they see the local low thorny plants and trees.
When passing by the forest with bushes, sometimes travelers can see small streams flowing along the sides of the roads. These currents of water pour into small green paddy fields of the Raglay people.
Going deeper into forest, tourists will hear the murmurs of the water. After a while, they will see many tall trees and their ears will be filled with the sounds of water echoing back once they overcome some slippery rocks. Lo O Stream then appears in all its glory.
Legend tells that once upon a time, whenever there was a full moon under a cool breeze, there was an angel who bathed in Vinh Hy Bay. A young fisherman caught fish in the bay and sometimes saw her bathing. He was love-struck by her beauty. On one of those full moon nights, he could not control his feelings and suddenly appeared in front of her. After that, they got married and the fairy stayed on Earth. But one day, the fisherman never came back from a fishing trip after getting caught in a storm. The wife climbed up the God Mountain to wait in desperation. Her teardrops flowed down and created a stream, which is now named Lo O.
Lo O Stream was formed from high waterfalls, with giant rocks offering shelter from the immeasurably high forest canopy. This is a place where tourists love to lie down and relax on the granite stone beds. Dipping their legs or body into the stream, the cool water provides its own form of massage therapy.
Travelers will feel as though they were in a heavenly place when they gather around stone tables to have barbecue seafood that they brought along. If they sleep here for one night on the swinging hammocks by the fire, and listen to the birds singing, they will surely forget their busy life.
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