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The diverse offerings of Ninh Thuan
 
Ninh Chu Beach  

With most tours only stopping over in Ninh Thuan to visit the Po Klong Garai Towers or spend a night at the Ninh Chu Beach outside of Phan Rang, visitors end up missing much of the diversity the area has to offer.

As the driest province in the country, with annual rainfall totals between 700 mm and 1100 mm, Ninh Thuan is endowed with a diverse topography of coastline, deltas, mountains, rivers, and sand dunes.

Located 344 km northeast of HCMC and 147 km south of Nha Trang, Ninh Thuan boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. The 10-km long Ninh Chu Beach is prime for development because of its proximity to Phan Rang. For more seclusion try the remote Ca Na and Binh Tien beaches.

Forty-two km northeast of Phan Rang is Vinh Hy Bay. From the main-land in Vinh Hy visitors can take a boat trip to the Hon Do coral beach. Hon Do is a gorgeous beach that contains 307 varieties of coral.

TIPS

Avoid touring in the harsh afternoon sun

Round-trip bus between Mien Dong Bus Station (HCMC) and Phan Rang:
Minh Dung Bus: Tel (08) 511 5234
Quoc Trung Bus: Tel (068) 830 200

Phan Rang local bus station: 23 Thong Nhat St., Phan Rang - Thap Cham, Tel: (068) 822 926

Train Agent: 351 Thong Nhat St., Phan Rang - Thap Cham, Tel (068) 834 008

Taxi Agents:
Ngoc Hoa Taxi: (068) 838 383
Ninh Thuan Taxi: (068) 888 111
Mai Linh Taxi: (068) 898 989

Ninh Thuan boasts a number of interesting sand dunes along the shoreline. The most well-known is the Nam Cuong sand dunes a few kilometers south of Phan Rang near the Lu River. At Nam Cuong visitors can watch the colors of the sand changing as the sun sets in the evening. The local children will goad tourists into playing games with them.

Other provincial attractions include the salt fields in Phuong Cuu and Tri Hai, and the vegetable gardens in the villages of Van Hai and Van Son.

Ninh Thuanís Cham culture

The culture of Ninh Thuan is deeply influenced by the 50,000 or so ethnic Cham living in the province. Cham festivals are considered provincial public holidays.

The Cham are well-known for their traditional handicrafts. In the village of My Nghiep, 12 km south-east of Phan Rang, visitors can see firsthand the weaving techniques of the Cham as they make decorative cloth. For a display of ceramic production, head to the village of Bau Truc about 10 km south from Phan Rang. It is believed that the composition of the clay from the Quao River is one of the secrets behind the beautiful Bau Truc ceramics.

The history of the Champa Dynasty shines through with a visit to any of the three-tower sites of Hoa Lai, Po Klong Garai or Porome.

The Hoa Lai Towers, dating back to the ninth century, can be found 15 km north of Phan Rang on Highway 1A. This three-tower site is considered the oldest relic of Cham architecture.

Po Klong Garai Tower, located 6 km west of Phan Rang, sits atop Trau Hill. Po Klong Garai was built by King Simhavarman III at the end of 13th century. The towers were dedicated to King Po Klong Garai, a king legendary for his protection of the Champa Kingdom. The main tower faces the east and is a good representation of Cham architectural and decorative style.

Porome Tower is located about 17 km south of Phan Rang. Construction on these towers began at the end of fifteenth century. The site includes an 8-meter high main tower dedicated to King Porome, the last king of the Champa Kingdom.

Reported by Thu Giang - ThanhNienNews 28 Oct 2007


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