Beaches, wildlife draw tourists to central coast

Published:  01:27 Sunday - May 20, 2012 Son Tra Peninsula, about 10km from downtown Da Nang, is a favoured destination for local and foreign tourists in the summer holidays, with pristine, sunny beaches and various natural sites to attract wildlife watchers and adventurers.

Tourists can watch Pygathrix nemaeus – a rare species of langur which is listed in Red Book – up close during a half-day tour in the Son Tra Natural Reserve.

Nguyen Ngoc Hiep, who designed the tour, said tourists have two interesting options for touring around the peninsula in a single day at a price of VND450,000 (US$20) per person. The peninsula is a 10-minute bus drive from Da Nang in the morning, when traffic is quiet. The first stop is the top of the Vong Canh Hills, 693m above sea level, where tourists get an overview of the city, the Hai Van Pass, and Da Nang Bay, as well as visit a radar station and heliport.

After a 30-minute stop, tourists continue their adventure in jungles and approach groups of the endangered langurs.

"We have to divide visitors into teams of six or eight when trekking in the jungles because the langurs sense danger when the tourists make noise," Hiep said. "The trek route is just 1km, but tourists must move slowly, taking 45 minutes. Each team is allowed to stay watching the endangered langurs for 15 minutes only."

The langurs can also be seen from a range of 30m in the morning when they forage for food, and travellers are provided with binoculars.The primates often feed on leaves and fruit in jungles, so it means that we can see them only once in a day," Hiep said.
The next drive takes travellers to the eco-tourism site of Truong Mai, where they can eat lunch in a stilt-house.

"Tourists can arrange a prepared menu from a hotel or order hot dishes at the resort," said guide Khanh Lai. "The cook will prepare a quick lunch with grilled chicken or pork in the local style, which most tourists prefer because they get a sense of something they've never experienced.", After lunch, day travellers can kick back under a 1,000-year-old banyan tree for a small break after lunch.

In the afternoon, they can pay a visit to Linh Ung Pagoda, the home of the country's highest Buddha statue at 65m from the top of a mountain. The last stop of the day is My Khe Beach, the city's most beautiful, with long white sandy beaches, diving, fishing and sailing, and a blue sea at sunset. Boats can take travellers to Hon Nghe Islet, where the waters have plentiful exotic fish and coral. "Tourists can catch snails and walk around the wild islet," said Nguyen Hong Tuan, a freelance guide.

Tourists are provided with life-jackets, fishing rods and snorkeling gear for fishing and exploring the coral reefs. "We suggest tourist wear a snorkel while fishing because they can see the colourful coral reefs and fish taking the bait through the snorkeling mask," Tuan explained. "We have to set oysters as bait because they are a favourite for grouper or red snapper. A BBQ party can then be served on the islet, and tourists can grill their own fish, squid, crabs and snails on charcoal stoves."

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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