Thursday, January 24, 2008

The stunning cherry blossoms of Vietnam's Vung Tau, Long Hai



Visitors admire the blooming cherry trees in the southern beach city of Vung Tau
When I moved to Vung Tau from the north, I came to be by the sea in a peaceful and clean city.

But I got more than I expected when I saw the numerous cherry blossoms gracing the city’s landscape.

In the north, the peach blossoms are now in bloom, a signal to the people of the region that the Tet Lunar New Year is approaching.

While I was looking for those same peach blossoms, I was pleasantly surprised by the flowering cherry trees of Vung Tau.

None of the local residents I met could tell me when the cherry trees had been planted.

They must have been there for decades.

INFORMATION

1. Buses to Vung Tau are available at Ben Xe Mien Dong (East Bus Station) every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Try Rang Dong, Mai Linh or Thien Phu bus lines.
Cost: VND45,000 per person.
2. Mai Linh offers transit taxi for passengers to Vung Tau.
3. The Express Hydrofoil is available at Bach Dang Wharf for VND120,000 per person.
4. Hotels, bikes and motorbikes are available for rent in both Vung Tau and Long Hai.

Each year, the cherry blossom season falls near Tet and lasts for almost a month.

Cherry blossoms in Vung Tau differ from those in Japan in shape, but they have the same lovely pink and white col-ors and deliver the fresh feelings of spring.

Along Tran Phu Street, close to Nghinh Phong Cape, little pink buds appear on cherry trees being bent by the ceaseless winds coming from the sea.

For the most poetic scenes of cherry blossoms, wander along the roads near Nui Lon (Big Mountain) and Nui Nho (Small Mountain), the two mountains of Vung Tau.

For the most densely populated area of cherry trees in full bloom, head about 25 kilometers out of Vung Tau to Long Hai.

In Long Hai there is a newly constructed road connecting Vung Tau with Phan Thiet.

This is no doubt one of the most stunning roads of Vietnam, with the sea and beautiful beaches on one side and pines, mountains, and abundant cherry blossoms on the other.

As this road is newly constructed, it is in very good condition and suit-able for all methods of road trans-port, such as bicycles, motorbikes, cars and ox-drawn carriages.

Reported by Thu Giang