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You are here:      Home News The bay of wind and clouds
The bay of wind and clouds

Van Phong BayAn escape to an unspoiled on Van Phong Bay reveals the pleasures of the simple life.


The name of this beautiful bat is Văn Phong. Yet, in a play on words, most people call it Vân Phong (the changed accent gives it a different pronunciation and meaning: “the bay of wind and clouds”). That name gives a better sense of the dream like beauty of the area.

 

Two hours by car from the city of Nha Trang, the waters of the bay conceal a rich and varied sea life, such as dugong (a sea mammal similar to a manatee) and whales that migrate to the area every year. But what makes our trip most exciting is our guide’s promise of a lavish party that will “have no tablecloths, menus or cutlery – but will be unforgettable!”

Leading our cruise to Van Phong Bay is a father and son team who make their lives on the sea. Tough and tanned, the two puzzle us with their strong local accent as they pilot the ship through sandbars to our final destination: a deserted island.

In the past, Van Phong Bay was scarcely visited by tourist. Lately, it is attracting some visitors thanks to a small resort on Hon Ong Island, the Whale Island Resort. Yet the whole area remains unspoiled tourism boom that has transformed Nha Trang. Most of the people found in Van Phong Bay are fishermen who have lived there for generations.

Our boat passes Hon Ong Island, where we see some tourist sunning themselves on the beach, and continuous towards the deserted island that awaits us. In reality, the word “deserted” adds romance to the truth. There are actually 11 households on the island, each one attached to a shrimp – or fish region. The fences surrounding the farms are only mark against the wild beauty if this farm, which is fascinating. He scoops up a handful of fish and prawns, the creatures jumping and struggling to escape.

Van Phong Bay has an exclusive position, which facilitates the proliferation of mangroves, tropical forests, and aquatic organisms. It is a rare pleasure to swim in the sea without encountering any crowds, ships or trash. The stunning coral reefs around the island are as vibrant as a giant aquarium. Through the sapphire water, I can see tiny fish and transparent jellyfish.

Following a swim, we all chip in to prepare our meal. Visitors are promptly divided into two groups: the men collect firewood and the women cook. We sit contentedly around a table made of branches and canvas, on which Robinson Crusoe-style dishes are laid out. These include grilled squid with the black ink still inside, scorched snails whose smell tickles our nostrils, and types of fish I have never tried before, such as amberjack.

The meal was indeed as unforgettable; all of us up at island are only source of fresh water – a well in the center of the forest. This excursion left me with wonderful memories of a natural pool of clear water, a meal of freshly grilled seafood, and the pristine beauty of the wilderness.

 

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