ROCK AND SOUL

Soak in the raw and un­touched beauty of na­ture at Hang Raùi

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE - Quyønh Trang

There are no long sandy beaches to en­joy. But you will miss out on stun­ning seascapes if you pass up a chance to visit Hang Raiù.

There are no long sandy beaches to en­joy long walks on, no high moun­tains to climb and en­joy panoramic views of the ocean from.

But you will miss out big on stun­ning seascapes if you pass a chance to visit Hang Raùi in Ninh Thuaän Prov­ince.

Lo­cated within the Nu ù i Chuùa Na­tional Park in a prov­ince fa­mous for its vine­yards and salt fields, Hang Raùi is a stretch of rocky out­crops on the coast that of­fer end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties to gasp at the beauty of sun­sets and day­breaks, not to mention re­flect on life it­self.

The fact that it has be­come a light­house for pho­tog­ra­phers who find “end­less in­spi­ra­tion” there is an in­di­ca­tion of what awaits vis­i­tors.

Get­ting there from Phan Rang City is it­self a vis­ual treat, with the coastal road run­ning by in­nu­mer­able white mounds of salt that re­mind us how vi­tal the sea is to our ex­is­tence. Imag­ine a life with­out salt!

And af­ter pass­ing by many road­side salt fields, we were lucky to come upon a peace­ful scene of sev­eral herds of sheep leisurely wan­der­ing on rocky out­crops that glis­tened in the ra­di­ant sun­light.

The first im­pres­sion I had on reach­ing our des­ti­na­tion was that we were lost in a po­etic paint­ing of wa­ters pour­ing down from the Chuùa (God) Moun­tain.

The pure, clear stream­line could be eas­ily seen on the sand, re­flect­ing im­ages of the rows of co­conut palms hid­den be­hind blos­som­ing cacti.

Con­tem­plat­ing the beauty of ev­er­green moss min­gling with sil­very waves, I could not es­cape the feel­ing that we were in the pres­ence of a mas­ter­piece sketched by na­ture.

The moss that gath­ered densely on an­cient coral reef that seemed to float on trans­par­ent wa­ter looked like a hu­mon­gous jade green gem from afar.

Even af­ter these sights, the most beau­ti­ful mo­ment in the area is per­haps at dawn when the wa­ter mag­i­cally changes colours as the sun’s cre­ativ­ity runs riot. At this time, the cliffs etched against the back­ground of a pure blue sky as­sume hues that I am not able de­scribe.

The cam­eras clicked end­lessly and there were au­di­ble sighs and gasps as we climbed down from the out­crop called God Moun­tain to get wowed by the “wa­ter­falls in the sea”.

The spe­cial ter­rain of piles of rocks heaped over cen­turies by na­ture cre­ates many large and small caves that are homes to many ot­ters, giv­ing the place its name, Raùi.

Other things to do

Be­sides tak­ing pho­to­graphs and gaz­ing won­der­struck at the land­scape, vis­i­tors can also go scuba div­ing to see the coral for­est on the seabed, said to be most beau­ti­ful in Ninh Thuaän Prov­ince.

And if you like, you can catch moon snails hid­ing among the rocks af­ter the tide has ebbed away, or ask lo­cal fish­er­men to give you a fun ride.

And when there is wa­ter and there are rocks, there are many fish­ing spots.

Hang Raùi is home to a va­ri­ety of both ot­ters and fish, and sev­eral of us had the chance to show off our catch and be­cause we came equipped with cook­ware, we were able to con­vert the seafood into a de­li­cious meal right on the beach.

An­other op­tion is to get to one or more of sev­eral float­ing restau­rants in the bay mouth area that are ac­ces­si­ble by boat.

Fol­low­ing the ad­vice of pre­vi­ous vis­i­tors, we tried the renowned lo­cal dish called

go ûi ca ù mai (Viet­namese raw fish salad) both in dry and wet ver­sions. It was well worth try­ing, the sweet­ness and greasi­ness of the fish com­bined well with raw veg­eta­bles. To taste the dry salad, we squeezed lime juice over the fish, mixed it with herbs and crushed peanuts and shov­eled the mix­ture into grilled rice pa­per. The sweet and sour dip­ping sauce was a per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

And the fruits of our trip, be­sides count­less ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, are so many pho­tos of the beau­ti­ful land­scape that we had just set foot on. —

Rocky land­scape: Rocks of all shapes and sizes on Hang Raùi beach. — VNS Photo Buøi Quyønh Hoa

You’ve ar­rived: The en­trance to Hang Raùi. — VNS Photo Buøi Quyønh Hoa

Sushi, lo­cal style: Goûi caù mai or Viet­namese raw fish salad is a Hang Raùi spe­cialty. — Photo di­adie­man­uong.com

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