Story: Huong Quynh
Photos: Canh Hung, Thanh Hai, Ba Ngoc
Explore the land of Nghe, where pristine natural landscapes shine like unpolished gems
The birthplace of many national heroes, the land of Nghe is associated with scholarship and history. The Nghe region was not only blessed with bright and talented natives, but also with vast seas, far-stretching rivers, and majestic mountains – the subjects of many poems, songs, and paintings. Yet, the land of Nghe remains a mystery on Vietnam’s tourism map. Join Heritage to explore destinations in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces and discover “picturesque green mountains and blue water”.
Located in Central Vietnam, despite its notorious “Southwest wind and white sands”, nature has endowed the Nghe region with charming rivers and mountains, as well as vast seas and deep forests. Therefore, whichever route you take, you are bound to encounter poetic grandeur. The raw beauty of these unpolished gems conquers the hearts of travelers seeking wild beauty and authentic local experiences.
High mountains and deep forests
Parts of the legendary Truong Son range, which run through the provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, add to the diverse landscapes of the Nghe region. Vu Quang and Pu Mat national parks form two giant green lungs and provide shelter for rare ecosystems. Take an eco-tour to the west of Nghe An, to Pu Ma National Park, recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. The itinerary may include exploring the Giang River by motorboat; passing through deep green forests; crossing streams and rapids; resting your feet by majestic yet poetic waterfalls in Que Phong District like Sao Va Waterfall and Seven-layer Waterfall; trekking through amazing caves in Quy Chau District, such as Bua, Tham Chang, and Co Ngun; and enjoying the local cultures in the ethnic minority villages of the Thai, Dan Lai, and so on.
Despite the lack of tours on offer to Vu Quang National Park in Ha Tinh Province, travelers will see its rich tourism potential after taking a waterway day tour to explore Ngan Truoi Lake and its countless islands of all sizes. The lake’s water is so pure and still that its surface resembles a broad mirror reflecting the deep forests hidden among never-ending mountain ranges. In this pristine space, travelers may discover many streams, waterfalls, endemic native flora and fauna, and thrilling stories about the thousand-year-old forests.
Rippling blue seas
Some renowned beaches in the land of Nghe, such as Cua Lo (Nghe An) and Thien Cam (Ha Tinh), are popular summer choices for travelers. But there are many other pristine beaches along this coastline, which is more than 80km long in Nghe An and nearly 140km long in Ha Tinh. Some are surrounded by high-end resorts, while some are only frequented by the locals. Unlike some bustling touristy beaches, these local beaches offer a peaceful ambience, endless white sand, and the sound of the wind whistling through pine-covered hillsides. The seas are sometimes gentle, like a young lady flaunting her flawless beauty, and sometimes tolerant, like a mother protecting her children who sail and fish for a living. Standing on a sandy beach, feeling the waves hit the shore and retreat, you may fall into a peaceful state where only the sea, the sky and the wind remain.
It is easy for travelers to Nghe An to find Cua Hoi Beach, just 6km from Cua Lo; Dien Thanh Beach in Dien Chau District; or the Quynh Sea in Quynh Luu District, home to seven adjacent beaches whose names all start with “Quynh”, i.e. Quynh Phuong, Quynh Bang, Quynh Lien, Quynh Nghia, etc. As far as Ha Tinh is concerned, beautiful beaches stretch from Nghi Xuan District to Ky Anh District, offering travelers a wide range of options, such as Thach Hai Beach, about 10km from Ha Tinh City; the beaches of Loc Ha District; or further ones like Ky Xuan Beach and Hoanh Son Beach (Ky Anh District), less than 2km from Ngang Pass. These beaches boast crystal-clear blue water surrounded by mountain ranges, are unbothered by strong winds, and as calm as in a bay. This unspoiled coastline is adorned by rocks of all shapes and the silhouettes of local fishermen industriously spreading their nets on the water’s calm surface.