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Tay Ninh Province reveals the wild beauty of the South

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:16 am




Tay Ninh Province reveals the wild beauty of the South


QĐND – Sunday, January 02, 2011, 20:18 (GMT+7)

Being a citizen of the North, I’ve always been curious about people, life and the countryside in the South, but it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I had the chance to visit one of the most popular tourism destinations in Tay Ninh Province – Dau Tieng Lake.


The lake, which is located in Phuoc Minh Commune, 20km from the provincial centre, covers 27,000ha and has a capacity of 1.5 billion cu.m, irrigating Tay Ninh Province as well as neighbouring localities. 


Dau Tieng Lake is famous firstly because it is the largest man-made irrigation reservoir in Viet Nam and secondly, given its remote location, for its breathtaking landscape of mountains and mysterious islets. The crystal-like lake provides clean water and a fresh, pure atmosphere that visitors can relax in.


Rising majestically out of the lake, Mount Cau dominates the landscape, covered in a thick primeval forest. Scattered across the lake are a number of islets and the green banks offer inviting camping and fishing spots.


Mt Cau is 198m high and boasts diverse flora and 1,600ha of protected forest. At the top of the mountain stands the Thai Son Pagoda, which attracts many pilgrims at full moon.


Next to the mountain buried deep in the rubber plantation is Cau Nom Lake, where the combination of the clean water and fresh air create a tranquil atmosphere.


In my opinion, the area around the two lakes is a great place for tourists who either want to relax after a hard days work, go camping with family and friends or try out water sports.


However, despite its beauty, a shortage of basic infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants and services mean this is a day trip at most (unless you decide to camp).


From Dau Tieng Lake, my friends and I walked for about 5km through the rubber plantation and reached Truc (small bamboo tree) Stream, which runs down from Mt Cau into Binh Duong Province’s Dau Tieng District. 


The name of the stream originates from its source further up the hill in a small bamboo forest, and my friends and I decided to try and find it.


The first thing I saw were huge flat rocks that nature had arranged into stairs leading to a shelter for a giant, according to a legend told by local residents.


Passing through the huge shelter was like walking through a stone maze, with millions of small stones arranged in all sorts of different shapes.


One friend had the bright idea of stopping there for a picnic lunch, so we made makeshift chairs and a table out of the rocks, and spent a leisurely couple of hours enjoying the peaceful surroundings.


The fresh air and cool atmosphere enhanced by the murmuring stream and twittering birds were like something out of a fairy tale.








Promenade: Dau Tieng Lake is one of Tay Ninh Province’s most well-known locations, although it needs more investment to improve facilities. (Photos: VNS)


Leaving the maze, we reached the giant’s stone bed which covers an area of about 3sq.km. The ‘bed’ is covered with natural wrinkles that local residents say were made by the giant as he tossed and turned in his sleep.


A beautiful staired waterfall was awaiting us ahead, where visitors, including ourselves, did not miss the chance to take photos.


“I have been taking photos here for a long time but it wasn’t until 2003 that the area becoming a popular tourist destination for local residents and those from neighbouring Tay Ninh Province,” said Nguyen Van Den, a photographer.


Den said it was a beautiful setting and it was a shame that not many people from other cities and provinces knew about it. He added that only a small number of visitors were from HCM City and other localities although the number had increased recently.


Den said Truc Stream was a popular destination all year round but it was most beautiful during the sixth to tenth months of the lunar calendar. He said it was because the area had remained relatively untouched by humans that it retained its wild and natural beauty.


Den also showed us one of three small ponds around the stream where he said not many people could refuse the inviting waters on a hot summers day.


“Some of them even enjoy skinny dipping. It looks funny but it feels great to escape the hot weather in the cool water,” Den said and laughed.


Departing the stream at sunset, my friends promised they would return soon when it was a bit quieter, to enjoy a once in a lifetime naturalist experience.

Source: VietNamNet Bridge


Source: QDND

Basking in the unspoilt wild of tranquil Quan Son Lake

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 4:01 am




Basking in the unspoilt wild of tranquil Quan Son Lake


QĐND – Friday, September 24, 2010, 21:19 (GMT+7)

Quan Son Lake, with its many small islands surrounded by forests and hundreds of limestone peaks, retains its wild and tranquil beauty as an idyllic out-of-the-way picnic spot in My Duc District, 50km from central Hanoi.


The lake is considered a small Ha Long Bay on land.


Passing the East Bridge, visitors reach a wharf where, for only VND60,000 (3 USD), they can be taken around the 850ha lake area by an enthusiastic boatwomen.


The interesting tour gives tourists a chance to behold the captivating scenery and enjoy the fresh air. The site is also the home of many varieties of birds, including the white egret.


During the trip, tourists will also see unique white flowers floating on the surface of the lake. It’s a strange plant native to the lake, with leaves as round as the moon and blossoms shaped like starfish.


In Quan Son, there are many wonderful destinations, including Trau Trang (White Buffalo) Mountain, Su Tu (Lion) Island, Doc Lap Island, Voi Phuc (Kneeling Elephant) Hill and Hoa Qua Son (Flowers and Fruits Hill), each with its own natural attractions.


The area is also famous for Linh Son and Ngoc Long caves, which are not large but are dramatic, with stalactites and stalagmites in various shapes of eagles, dragons, phoenix, unicorns and tortoises. Tourists who arrive in the rainy season in June and July may not have a chance to visit the caves, because the water level rises.


But in this season, waterfalls run down into the lake from the high mountains, creating white spumes that add to the splendid scenery.


After the boat tour, a rest on the islands is suggested, where stilt-houses serve as places to stop for a picnic. Visitors can bring meals from home or ask the ferrywomen to buy food for a delectable midday feast. Local specialities include chicken and goat raised on the island, as well as fish, crab and snails from the lake.


Standing on the shore of Quan Son Lake, visitors marvel at the magnificent and peaceful environment, with imposing cliffs overlooking the green water and flocks of white egrets leisurely stretching their wings.


From October to March, Voi (Elephant) Valley – the bird watching point in Quan Son – is especially appealing, with a great number of species flocking to build nests and shelters.


There are also some pagodas in Quan Son, such as Cao and Ham Yen. However, Linh Son Pagoda, built during the Mac dynasty in the 16th century, is located at the foot of the mountain near Linh Son Cave and reflects on the surface of the lake.


About 20 rowboats and several motor boats are available at the lake to serve tourists, Huyen said.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Youths launch activities to protect wild animals

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm




Youths launch activities to protect wild animals


QĐND – Monday, July 26, 2010, 21:39 (GMT+7)

Aware of endangered wildlife, several members of the Education for Nature Centre set up the Action for Wildlife Volunteers’ Club (AWVC).


The club aims at calling on people to join forces to protect wild animals and work with relevant agencies to prevent wild animal from being hunted and smuggled in Vietnam.


According to Nguyen Thanh Hung, head of the club, there are 600 member volunteers in the club, including mainly students and pupils who are interested in wild animal protection.


The members will watch companies with signs of wild animal smuggling, and report to relevant agencies if that is the case. In addition, they will also launch activities to raise awareness of the public on this issue.


 “If we don’t act early, the next generations will only see wildlife on films or posters” is the message of the club.


Source: Tuoi tre


Translated by Duy Minh


Source: QDND

China sends pandas into wild to bring up cubs

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

 Four pregnant pandas bred in captivity have been released into an area of forest in southwest China to prepare their cubs for life in the wild, state media reported.


The pandas, aged four to five, have been taken to a tract of forest at a training base in Sichuan province that was built to help the endangered animals adapt to the wild, the official Xinhua news agency said.


They are expected to give birth to their cubs in the woodland, which covers two hectares (five acres), and live there until the young animals turn three or four, the report said late Saturday.


“All of the carefully-chosen pandas have experience of living in the wild and three of them… have given birth to cubs,” Tang Chunxiang, an expert at the Wolong panda reserve that is behind the initiative, was quoted as saying.


“We hope the mothers can teach their cubs life skills to help them survive in the wild.”

A giant panda is seen playing at a panda reserve in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan province. Four pregnant pandas bred in captivity have been released into an area of forest in southwest China to prepare their cubs for life in the wild, state media reported.

There are only about 1,590 pandas left in the wild in China, and authorities would like to increase that figure to save the endangered species.


But so far, the only attempt at releasing a captive-bred panda into nature ended tragically.


Xiang Xiang, a male cub who was trained to adapt to the wild and released in 2006, was found dead 10 months later, apparently killed by wild pandas native to the area.


This new attempt aims to see the four pandas give birth and raise their cubs on their own, while workers keep watch through surveillance cameras.


“If they need help, the workers will show up dressed in costumes that make them look like giant pandas, in order to reduce the animals‘ reliance on humans,” Tang was quoted as saying.


The workers will also simulate the sounds and smells of the panda’s natural enemies, in a bid to improve their vigilance and raise their chances of survival, the report said.

Source: SGGP

Wild elephants seen in Yok Don National Park

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm




Wild elephants seen in Yok Don National Park


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

A herd of 32 wild elephants has been spotted in the Yok Don National Park in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, said the park’s Director Truong Van Truong on May 21.


The herd includes 5-6 fully grown tuskers and 4-5 baby elephants, said Truong, adding that this is the first time such a large herd of wild elephants has migrated to the park, which is mainly due to the improvement in the parks biodiversity.


Source: VNA


Photo from cuocsongviet.com.vn for illustration only


Source: QDND

Wild features of sea, islands and specialties of Tri Nguyen fishing village

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2010 at 3:27 am




Wild features of sea, islands and specialties of Tri Nguyen fishing village


QĐND – Sunday, May 02, 2010, 21:32 (GMT+7)

Relaxing in cool and pure sea water is a favorite activity of both adults and children on these summer days to escape the heat and noise of bustling cities. Tri Nguyen fishing village in Nha Trang City is an ideal location this summer with its attractive seascapes, islands and cuisine in new and special cooking methods of the local fishermen.


Tri Nguyen fishing village is a small village consisting of about 50 households hidden behind a mountain in the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands in Vinh Nguyen Ward, Nha Trang City. Old people say that a long time ago the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands had no residents. Then strong storms brought fishermen’s boats from the central provinces of Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Quang Nam to hide in this place. After that, these fishermen chose the Tri Nguyen cluster of islands to settle down and lived by fishing in the sea.


In between the immense sea wind and endless ocean, the village looks tiny and scintillating in the sunlight with many boat houses to feed shrimps and fishes. In the village, there are some restaurants serving local specialties but tourists can challenge themselves by fishing for their meals and letting the fishermen do the cooking. Especially, there’s a kind of good-tasting wine made from noni fruit being soaked under the sea that goes well with seafood. 


After a meal, tourists can enjoy the ocean in a coracle (small round boat). Tourists will find it hard to control these coracles because they will spin around and do not follow a straight line. Or tourists can take a boat trip to visit floating houses to try various kinds of fishes, shrimp and cuttlefish. Each floating house is more than 150 meters in width and is divided into different cells to feed different kinds of creatures including white bass, shellfish and cuttlefish among others. Some tourists find it an interesting method for relaxation looking at these creatures of the ocean swimming around.


Sitting in one of Tri Nguyen fishing village’s floating houses overlooking the sea when the sun goes down and the sea changes color and savoring steamed and grilled shellfish could be an unforgettable experience for tourists. In the shade of sunset, this village looks seductive and shy with its gentle waves, with boats bobbing on the sea and voices and laughter of friendly fishermen and tourists.


Source: VietNamNet Bridge


Source: QDND

Vietnam’s Generation 8X – Born to be wild

In Social life on October 15, 2009 at 9:35 am




Vietnam’s Generation 8X – Born to be wild


QĐND – Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 22:10 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s twenty somethings are headed out on the highway and looking for adventure.


They are calling it  Phuot –  a slang term describing a new kind of tourism Vietnamese youth are embracing in large numbers — traveling on motorbikes to discover Vietnam.


Phuot and du lich bui, meaning “dusty travel”, are the holidays of choice for the “8X” or eighties generation, reports Saigon Tiep thi, a business paper with a keen eye for trends. 


Du lich bui means opting for backpacking tourism, self-designed and low-cost tourism with four ‘nos’: no tour, no guide, no bus and no hotel. 


Meanwhile the phuot travellers are adventurers and explorers. They like traveling to mountainous areas, where normal Vietnamese tourists would not think of going. They want to discover new lands, culture and people. 


Their motorbikes are a means of escape allowing them to breathe fresh air and admire beautiful landscapes on their way. 


Westerners may see the trend as replicating what first happened in Europe and North America in the fifties and sixties. Now, in Vietnam young people with money in their jeans and bikes of their own are becoing eastern easy riders. They want to marry later and are bored with traditional youth group activities. 


There are many phuot groups in Hanoi organised around a common love of travelling on motorbikes, reports Saigon Tiep thi.  Generally, a young man who calls himself TtvnSpace, an experienced member of the phuot community, said that phuot groups always prepare well before trips. Born to be wild they may be – but they still carefully plan routes to follow and draw up itineraries.  


Packing is not a simple business either: tools to mend punctures, dried alcohol for cooking, pots for preparing meals, coffee, fast food, medicine and dressings in case of injuries. Everyone is assigned duties. 


“When we travel on motorbikes, we can do many things during our trips,” said Thanh Nga, a phuot enthusiast. “I can touch branches of trees and blades of grass, and breathe the fragrance of mountains and forests,” she said. 


“We can stop for a while on our way if we like, perhaps to brew a cup of coffee,” Nga continued. “We can admire beautiful landscapes at any time we want, take pictures or relax.”


Accidents are the thing phuot travelers fear most.  Because they typically travel to remote areas in the northwest, northeast or central region, and go over bumpy roads, they face big risks: motorbikes may break down, or travelers may be thrown from the bikes. 


However, the phuot groups are ever optimistic and they never shrink from challenges. One traveler said: “Thanks to the trips, I have experience of traveling on long-distance roads, and dealing with troubles”. 


Thu Hoai, another member of the phuot community, does not remember accidents. She remembers instead the moment when she was so excited as her group crossed a pass and saw far below, the smoke of cooking fires rising from a valley village, children and dogs, mountains and forests and terraced fields. 


Romances are common too. A bond forged over thousands of kilometers. All the Phuot community in Hanoi know of the love story of TtvnSpace and his bride.  The honeymoon Phout’s first couple was also spent on bikes, a trip to four provinces in the northwest, including a first ever circuit of remote Mu Cang Chai (Yen Bai). 


Le Trieu Duong, nicknamed Dugia, now in his fifties, was a pioneer among phuot travelers.  


Duong is not an indifferent traveler. When he hears about the damages caused by typhoons and floods, Duong collects money, food and clothes from other people and takes them on his motorbike to areas where people need aid. 


Source: VietNamNet/Saigon Tiep thi


 


Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Vietnam must focus on protecting its 50 wild tigers: conference

In Social life on October 5, 2009 at 3:37 am




Vietnam must focus on protecting its 50 wild tigers: conference


QĐND – Sunday, October 04, 2009, 20:26 (GMT+7)

Tigers are disappearing from their natural habitats in Vietnam and authorities need to protect them better, experts told a Friday conference in Hanoi.


Pham Mau Giao, a professor who has roamed forests nationwide for 45 years studying Vietnam’s Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti), said authorities should invest in preservation efforts at a few spots where larger natural tiger populations still remain, rather than spreading funds too thin over every place a tiger is found.


Nguyen Manh Ha from the Environment and Resources Research Center at the Vietnam National University-Hanoi (VNU-Hanoi) told the conference that Vietnam now has less than 50 tigers living naturally within its borders.


“Without optimal conservation measures, our tigers will be extinct in 10 years,” Ha said.


Giao said that he could easily see tigers or their footprints in several of Vietnam’s forests only 20 years ago. But now he has to trek for weeks before finding even a trace of a tiger, he said.


Tigers are hardly existent deep in Vietnam, but only around the Laos and Cambodia borders, he added.


“I’m seeing a very bad picture. The path towards extinction for our tigers is very clear already.”


The reasons, according to Ha, are that Vietnam’s forest area is shrinking, as are the supplies of the animal’s natural prey such as deer, muntjac and boar, which have all been overhunted.


He said measures should be taken to minimize profits on the tiger trafficking blackmarket and to convince people that tiger products are not the panaceas that many local residents believe they are.


From 2007 to July 2009, police seized 11 frozen tigers and six tiger skeletons, colonel Luong Minh Thao from the Ministry of Public Security said at the conference.


The Vietnam Red Book, a catalogue of endangered species here, listed the Indochinese Tiger as a species facing extinction in Vietnam in 2007.


The country has another 95 tigers kept in captivity at zoos, farms and circuses, according to figures from the ministry.


Source: VNN


 

Source: QDND

Heroic couple become billionaires by breeding wild animals

In Vietnam Lifestyle on September 10, 2009 at 8:03 am

Both husband and wife are former soldiers who were permanently injured through fierce Southeastern battles during the war against the US invasion. After the war, they started breeding porcupines and wild boar for meat. The business has become so successful that the married couple, who were very poor in the beginning, have now become billionaires.

Than Quang Vinh and his wife, Pham Thi Bich Ngoc, are residents of Linh Xuan Ward, Thu Duc District, HCM City. They are considered pioneers in breeding wild animals in the city.

Vinh narrated that in late 1980s, some of his comrades came over to his home and gave him a couple of small porcupines as gifts. He put them in a cage. A few days later, the porcupines still looked healthy and ate well. Vinh said to himself, “Why not try to breed them?”








A view of Vinh and Ngoc’s boar breeding farm (Photo: SGGP)

So said so done, Vinh made a big trellis cage for the porcupines. Every day, his wife went to the market to ask for withered turnips and vegetables from stalls to feed them.

After a few months, the female porcupine gave birth to two porcupettes (baby porcupines), which were sold at some ten million dong when they were two weeks of age.

Realizing that rearing porcupines was an easy and lucrative business, Vinh decided to setup a breeding farm. He borrowed money from his friends to buy a one-hectare plot of land where male and female porcupines were reared to be breeders.

The couple earned nearly VND30 million from the sale of their three first pairs of breeders.

Inspired by their initial success, Vinh and his wife decided to start another breeding business with boars. Vinh bought some sows trapped by hunters and then created a new crossbreed by breeding female wild boars with domestic boars.

The crossbreds brought more success to the married couple because the meat became a favorite dish of many gourmets in HCM City.

After twenty years of breeding the first pair of porcupines, Vinh and Ngoc now own seven farms rearing more than 100 female boars, 300 pairs of porcupines, more than 1,000 porcupettes and hundreds of hybrid boars in Cu Chi, Thu Duc and Binh Chanh districts of HCMC and in Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai provinces.

The married couple are now supplying breeding porcupines and boars to many breeding farms in cities and provinces nationwide, including Can Tho, Vinh Long, Long An, Quang Ngai and Hanoi. A kilo of boar meat sells for between VND150,000 and VND180,000 while a kilo of porcupine is sold at between VND 300,000 and 400,000.

After gaining enormous success with the domestic market, Vinh and his wife are now seeking to export their produce to foreign countries.

Vinh said that the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam is considering their application for their porcupines’ brand registration. Once they get the registered brand, they will export their produce to China.

Vinh also revealed that not long ago, after visiting his farms, a delegation from the agricultural sector in Hanoi announced their intention of cooperating with Vinh and his wife in seeking export markets, other than China, for their porcupines and hybrid boars.

Additionally, Vissan, a well-known local meat processing company, has also invited Vinh and his wife to cooperate with them to establish a boar slaughtering and processing line to supply safe and hygienic boar meat to markets in and outside the country.

Wealth and fame do not make Vinh and his wife forget the difficult and challenging days in battle fields and their comrades. They have helped their companions-in-arms escape poverty by supplying breeding porcupine and boars to them free of charge and teaching them breeding techniques.

Money will be refunded to Vinh and his wife only after their comrades have sold their produce. If the breeding fails, Vinh and his wife will incur the loss.

Thanks to experience gained through 20 years of breeding boars and porcupines, Vinh and Ngoc have written and published books about breeding techniques. Such books have been welcomed and used by many farmers and breeding companies as reference books because they are very practical and useful to farming work.  


Source: SGGP

More wild fauna and flora species listed as endangered

In Uncategorized on July 3, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Vietnam’s endangered wild flora and fauna species listed in the newly released Vietnam Red Book number up to 882 compared to 725 announced in the 1992-96 Red Book.

The Vietnam Red Book 2007, launched by the Vietnam Scientific and Technological Institute and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on June 26, updates the latest data of Vietnam ’s flora and fauna preservation.

Prof. Dr. Dang Ngoc Thanh, who led the compilation of the Red Book 2007, said the book reveals an alarming reality of the country’s natural resources with the increasing number of endangered species and the dangerous levels.

According to him, the new Red Book now has listed several species believed to be extinct, the highest level that was not seen in the previous publications. A great deal of species listed as vulnerable now become endangered.

There are some species that are thought to be extinct in Vietnam are still living in neighbouring countries, such as grey ox, two-horn rhino, and tapir.

The book also gives good news, that some endangered species are recovering thanks to Vietnam ’s preservation efforts, such as deer, white-headed langur, some species of pheasants, python and crocodile.

Dr. Vu Van Trieu, IUCN Representative in Vietnam, said the Red Book 2007 is a good contribution to the assessment of Vietnam’s biodiversity and the forecast of development trend in the future, serving as a basis for the completion and implementation of the Law on Biodiversity in Vietnam.