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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Savor the reed hills of Phuoc Binh in Ninh Thuan

By Phung Quang Huy

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We spent two days on a trekking tour from forests in Lam Dong Province to the reed hills of Phuoc Binh in Ninh Thuan Province. Our new trekking route was characterized by scenes of mesmerizing hills of reeds.

The reed hills are part of Phuoc Binh National Park in Bac Ai District, Ninh Thuan Province. It is about 70 kilometers from Phan Rang City and adjacent to Bi Doup – Ba Mountain National Park in Lam Dong Province, which lies amidst a nature reserve boasting diverse biodiversity.

The reed hills are surrounded by majestic mountain ranges. From above, the view of white reeds swaying in the breeze reminds travelers of beautiful settings in Europe.
We made our journey in early April. First, we came to Dalat coach station at 5 a.m. The weather was rather chilly. We took a deep breath of fresh air, and off we went to the next leg.

To enter Bi Doup National Park, we had to receive permission beforehand and pay the entrance fee. After four hours trekking through the tropical rain forests on Hon Giao Pass, we reached an intersection where the borders of Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces meet.

From there, our walking trip continued through streams whose water was as cold as ice. The forest was replete with big moss-covered trees. It took us four hours more to get over slopes so long that we thought as if they never ended.

During the trek, we had to conquer a “dinosaur backbone”—the rocky path on the mountain top whose both sides are abysses. Occasionally, on our way were big trees we had to hold onto to continue. As beneath us were steep slopes, we had to exercise the utmost caution in every step.

We finished crossing the forests just in time to see off the last sunrays of the day. Finally, we could reach the reed hills with their white reeds.

A group of travelers pose for a photo on a hill with majestic mountains on the background

From December to February, the reeds turn into yellow while in March and April, the hills are covered with reeds whose fire-blackened color stands out among the green leaves. The blooming season of white reed flowers falls in May. From June to December, the hills become green again.

We ended our first day by enjoying a simple dinner. On the next day, the warm morning sunshine waked us up. Before leaving the reed hills of Phuoc Binh where we camped the night before, we spent time sipping a cup of hot coffee while contemplating the fantastic views.

We walked through the sea of reeds. Their white flowers and drooping yellow leaves were moving in the wind as if they wanted to say good-bye to us. But be careful with these thin leaves because they are as sharp as a razor blade.

In the afternoon, we actually left the reed hills behind to arrive at the Khe River in Ninh Thuan Province.

At sunset, we reached Ta Giang Village, which marked the end of our tour.

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