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Travel GuideTuesday, 08/22/2006, 04:34

Waterfalls say sad love stories  

The long car ride home over rough roads was excruciat-ing, though the scenery was lovely, driving past picturesque wooden Highland houses, many with pretty red tile roofs and ornately carved woodwork
Waterfalls say sad love stories

Waterfalls say sad love stories  

Two foreign tourists at the beautiful Draysap Waterfall, Daknong Province 

The long car ride home over rough roads was excruciat-ing, though the scenery was lovely, driving past picturesque wooden Highland houses, many with pretty red tile roofs and ornately carved woodwork. The rich, red basaltic soil provided a vivid contrast against the brilliant green rice fields, the coffee farms and forests.

 

The countryside was also sprinkled with occasional splashes of red, from hibiscus flowers or flame trees, and striking violets from lavish bougainvillea bushes that grew in abundance between the rural smallholdings with their banana, cashew nut, pepper, coconut or jackfruit trees.


Welcome to the glorious multi-colored patchwork that is the Central Highlands of Vietnam, guaranteed to bring a touch of Joie de vie to anyone who visits.


We traveled to Daknong and Daklak provinces from HCMC via the Bau Lach Grasslands in Binh Phuc province, where we met up with a larger group of tourists who had visited the area many times before. Some of them said that although it was their second or third visit to the region, they always left with a gloriously different impression of the landscape, especially from around Trinh Nu and Draysap waterfalls that are situated in Daknong Province.


We arrived at the Trinh Nu Waterfall, 25km southwest of Daklak Province�s Buon Ma Thuot City, just in time for lunch, which proved to be a perfect timing. After a hearty feed we were all up for a bit of exploring and we weren�t disappointed.


The waterfall is located on the Knong No River, close to where it joins the Srepok River, just past a series of rapids formed out of the rugged rocks that pile up either side of the riverbanks.


However, thanks of these obstacles, nature has created a wonderful natural sight, with the romantic name of Trinh Nu or Virgin Girl Waterfall.


After having contemplated the beauty of nature, some in our group asked, �Why is it called Trinh Nu?�


Well, according to local legend, there once was a beautiful young girl, who overcome by grief caused by romantic obstacles and difficulties, decided that her life was too hard to bear, and that the only solution was to jump off the waterfall. Out of pity for the poor young thing, the locals decided thenceforth to name the waterfall in her memory, thus we have Trinh Nu waterfall.


After listening to this rather sad story, several of the more delicate members of tour group cried their eyes out.


�I am really moved by the story,� said one, adding, �I must take a photo to remember.�


Obviously time to crack on, so at about 2:30 p.m. the gallant band of explorers pressed forward towards our next destination, Draysap or �Smoke� Waterfall, widely considered to be the one of most beautiful sights in the Central Highlands.  


The waterfall gets its name from the heavy mist that often gathers around the 10-meter high, 80-meter wide natural feature, that is located in a remote, relatively untouched and densely forested part of the Srepok River, a tributary of the mighty Mekong river.


The waterfall is formed at the conjunction of the Krong No and Krong A Na (or Husband and Wife in Ede ethnic culture) rivulets, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, also has a romantic story to tell. The gorgeous Miss H�Mi from the Ede ethnic group was as beautiful as an angel.

 

Many rich and important men asked for her hand in marriage but she refused them all, because she was also in love, only with a poor but good-natured farmer. Then, one day when they were both working hard on his farm together, a huge hideous monster appeared from the sky above and plunged into the nearby river. The abominable creature made an enormous splash that hit the young farmer making him unconscious.

When he woke up he searched everywhere for his beloved Miss H�Mi but couldn�t find her. Inconsolable with grief, he remained rooted to the spot and turned into a big tree. The tree then grew into the forest and the river turned into the waterfall. More tears.


The area around the waterfall is covered with many big rocks and so an ideal place for a picnic or a few photos whilst listening to the gentle sound of the water falling from above.


One young foreign couple in our group said that the stories were both very sad but romantic, and on our way back home most of the group agreed with them, adding that it had been a lovely holiday and well worth the visit.

 


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