Dam Mon
A virgin land on the central coast

The deep blue sea and white sand dunes at the foot of a deserted rocky mountain are not the only reasons that Kolkrikler, a young Briton, and his Swiss girlfriend decided to travel more than 80 km from Nha Trang to this tranquil area. Initially, both of them came to Dam Mon out of curiosity. But they now often frequent the fishing village, which they call "the little heaven," to relax.

Small as it is, Dam Mon has been put on the list of tourist attractions by the Nha Trang branch of HCM City-based Vietravel since March of the year 2003.

Situated at the end of the newly-built 19-km road leading to the Hon Gom Peninsular, Dam Mon, covering 128 sq. km, remains untouched with casuarina forests and the primitive wetland forest of Tuan Le.

Apart from the new 12-room hotel, visitors to Dam Mon can temporarily leave behind comfortable yet bustling life to indulge themselves in nature and an almost desolate land. After bathing in the blue sea in the Van Phong Bay, which is well known for coral reefs said to be more beautiful than those at the Hon Mun Nature Reserve in Nha Trang, one can rest in a hammock under the shady coconut trees, reading or talking with children of the fishing village.

While waiting for hotel staff to prepare dinner, tourists can walk across the sand dunes towards Dam Mon. There they can stop for a while to learn about how the local fishermen smear chai (a type of material made from plant) on the bottom of fishing boats to make them waterproof. When reaching the top of the hill, they can sit to enjoy the sunset on the horizon, take a deep breath and maybe feel surprised at how the fresh air is wonderful and "delicious".

At night, visitors return to the hotel and enjoy dinner with a wide choice of seafood, including fresh squid and grilled shrimp.

Other sea services at Dam Mon include diving to discover coral reefs, rowing or fishing for squid at night.

Vietravel's tour to Dam Mon and Van Phong Bay of Nha Trang also takes in tourist attractions along 70 km of national Highway 1a from Nha Trang to Van Ninh before arriving in Hon Gom Peninsula. The sites include Doc Let beach, Co Ma pass and shrimp farms in Van Gia. Visitors can drop by Khoi island to witness the remnants of a boat used to transport weapons for the Vietnamese revolutionary forces during the American war, one of the boats creating the legend "The Ho Chi Minh Trail at sea".

From Nha Trang, one can rent a boat to reach Dam Mon and visit a number of islands in Van Phong Bay such as Hon Lon, Bai Lach and especially Xuan Dung-which has recently been discovered to be home to Ha Dang, an ethnic minority group that has been living separately from civilized life for a long period


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