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Phan Rang – Land of sun and wind

Tue, 07 Apr 2015 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:04

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Phan Rang, the land of sun and wind has been becoming a famous tourist destination of Vietnam where visitors can visit scenic spots such as Cham Tower, Vinh Hy Bay, Ninh Chu beach, grape gardens…, explore the unique Cham culture and enjoy diverse cuisine.

Ninh Thuan is a province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. There are both plains and mountains in the province. In addition, the province borders the East Sea to the East, which creates favorable conditions for it to develop its sea tourism. Along its coast of 105 kilometers, there are many extremely beautiful inlets and bays. Original cultural features of the Cham ethnic group are still preserved in Ninh Thuan province, with many architectural sculptural works, craft villages, folk cultural festivals and famous Cham towers.

Phan Rang city is located on the intersection of the three strategic roads including the North – South Railway, National Road No. 1A and National Road No. 27 which connects the city and Dalat (Lam Dong) and Dak Lak (Buon Ma Thuot).

Vinh Hy Bay is located in Vinh Hy village, Vinh Hai commune, Ninh Hai district, about 40 kilometers away from the center of Phan Rang city. From the city, we get on a boat to explore the Bay. Vinh Hy Bay is surrounded by mountains in which there are many beautiful caves. Especially, the water of the Bay is so clear that we can see shoals of fish swimming.  And it’s really interesting to stand on the boat’s prow and enjoy cool gusts of wind.

Indeed, this bay is surrounded by many stone mountains with strange shapes. And there are small crevices on these mountains. And swifts often build their nests in those crevices. When you come here, you can see local fishermen climbing mountains to take nests. The boat takes us to a small bay. There are 307 precious species of coral, 50 of which have been discovered in Vietnam.

On nice days, visitors can buy a diving-suit for themselves and jump into the water to admire the most beautiful kinds of coral in this sea. Earlier, people in the village earned their living by catching seafood. However, now they are willing to serve visitors with seafood they catch. You can catch lobsters or crabs or ask fishermen to catch fish.

After passing a bridge and taking a 15-minute walk, visitors will come to the Nui Chua nature reserve and then a village of the Cham people. Following a small path, visitors see small children holding bags going to the fields with their mothers and small cute dogs. On both sides of the path are full of colorful flowers and fruit. In addition, visitors can see small houses and fields that have just been harvested. Some cows are grazing and calves are sucking milk.

Then visitors will see a beautiful stream named Lo O. This stream begins from small water sources. And there are flat stones on both sides of the stream. And tiredness will fade away when we touch the cool water of the stream. On nice days, this place looks like a fairyland. Standing on the two sides of the stream, visitors can admire Vinh Hy Bay from a distance.

After that, we come to Nam Cuong sand hill. And we can feel the beauty of the hill when we go for a walk here. And the moon begins to come out. Nam Cuong sand hill is waiting for you to explore.

The windows of each room in the resort face the East or West so that visitors can watch the sunrise or sunset from their rooms. The resort is located near Ninh Chu beach so it takes visitors some minutes to reach the sandy beach, admire fishing boats and take morning exercise or simply enjoy their breakfast to give them more energy.

We visit another famous place of interest: Po Klong Garai towers which were built in the late 13th century and early 14th century. Located on Trau hill, Po Klong Garai towers consist of 3 towers. And the towers are surrounded by a square wall. The towers were built in the 13th century to worship a Cham king names Po Klong Garai. The main tower is 20.5 meters in height and has many floors.

There is a statue of the King in the tower. Behind the main tower is a temple in which princess Kut, also known as To Ly, is worshipped. The second tower is 8.56 meters in height. This tower has the same shape as the main one. In the south of the two towers is another tower called “Fire god” which is 9.31 meters high. The tower is where priests hold ceremonies to give offerings to gods so it is called “Fire god” tower. Po Klong Garai towers have a high architectural and sculptural value with statues of Shiva and Nandin gods. Po Klong Garai towers were recognized as a national historical and cultural relic.

Legend has it that, in ancient times, in Play Chakling, there was a couple named On Paxa and Muk Chakling. They did not have a child although they were old. And they accidentally met a child and took her home and named her Karit. Karit became a beautiful girl when she grew up. And everyone loved her so much. One day, Karit came to the woods to find wood with her father. They were thirsty but there were no rivers and streams around them. Accidental, Karit saw water in a stone so she came to drink. Strangely, she could not drink all water in the stone. And when her father came to drink, there were no water in the stone.

After that, Karit gave birth to an ugly and greedy son. Her parents named her son Jatol. Then Karit left her son to her parents to bring up. The more Jatol grew up, the uglier he was. So he did not have many friends. He became mature when his grandparents passed away. And then he and his friend, Po Klonchanh, traded in betel leaves. One day, on their way home, Jatol felt tired so he stayed by a stone. Po Klonchanh came home and then brought rice to his friend. When Po Klonchanh returned, he saw two white dragons licking Jatol. Po Klonchanh rushed to Jatol and the two dragons disappeared and strangely, Jatol became a handsome and intelligent man. Then that story spread everywhere and King Nuhol heard of it.

The King knew that Jatol would become an outstanding genius so he invited him to the court. Then the King kept Jatol in the court and then Jatol got married to his daughter, princess Thakol. In 1167, King Xulika passed away and members of his court did not know who could take the throne. And then they chose Jatol. Jatol took the throne with the title of Po Klong Garai. 5 years later, he removed the court from Balcribanoi to Hangau. At that time, Panduranga, his hometown, was often destroyed by Cambodian soldiers. Po Klong Garai took his soldiers to drive away the enemy.

According to historical documents, at that time, King Po Klong Garai chose Panduranga the place where he would have towers built. However, when he and his soldiers came to Balhul, they were stopped by general Hakral (Burma) and his soldiers. King Po Klong Garai did not want to fight with general so he challenged him to a game in which one who could have towers finished first would become the winner. And the general accepted the challenge. King Po Klong Garai had his towers built on Balha hill and Hakral had his towers built in Balhul. Finally, Po Kolng Garai’s towers were finished first so he became the winner of the game.

It is scorching hot when I set off for the grape garden 5km away from Po Klong Garai towers. At the moment, grapes are ripe. Grape frames look very beautiful and attractive. I feel the wine producing process simple when I hear it from Moi. In harvest, they chose the best grapes, wash them then ferment them for the first time. And then they keep grape water and ferment it for the second time.


Source: VTC10 – NETVIET

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