Viet Nam News
By Hoàng Linh
Hòn Bà mountain is compared with Đà Lạt for its mild climate, primeval forests and high peaks, but it provides glories all of its own.
Hòn Bà Mountain is 1,578m above the sea level, bordering on Khánh Phú Commune (Khánh Vĩnh District) and Suối Cát Commune (Cam Lâm District) of Khánh Hòa Province.
Adventurous backpackers have shown that Hòn Bà is a destination worthy of all four seasons. However, you should avoid rainy season that lasts from October to December if you want to experience waterfalls, streams, and mountain trekking.
It takes about 2 hours to reach Hòn Bà Mount Top from Nha Trang City. Take National Highway 1A towards Suối Cát Commune (Cam Lâm District) for about 1km then you will see the first milestone which shows 37km left to get to the mountain. The road to the mountain is quite rugged and narrow, with many steep slopes.
The closer you get to Hòn Bà, the cooler you can feel. The area is untouched, with numerous wildlife creatures and running streams. Ancient trees stand along the road, waving their leaves among white clouds and fog.
Eating and accommodation options
Hòn Bà is a pristine area that lacks much tourism investment, so you will have few options in terms of eating and accommodation services. Some households offer local food, such as boiled and grilled chicken, vegetable soup or stir-fried vegetables if you make an order in advance.
Therefore, you are suggested to bring food and drinks along for the trip.
In terms of accommodation, you can ask to sleep with local people, rent a room in the area’s one guest house or camp at the mountain top. At night, it gets much colder, so pack accordingly.
If you set out from Nha Trang City, the total cost for a day in Hòn Bà can be 200,000VNĐ/pax including fuel and food.
Hòn Bà Mount Top is surrounded by white clouds all year round. From the top, you get a view to the beautiful Nha Trang. Beyond the main view, Hòn Bà offers a chance to go into the forest and discover nature. Listening to bird songs and the sound of streams can ease anyone’s mind. Some young people often come here to take picture of the ancient jungle, admiring wild flowers in full bloom. Others come to enjoy the breezy atmosphere and to feel its mystery.
Hòn Bà is said to be most beautiful at dawn, when clouds go down near the earth and the first sunlight hits the leaves. However, many people find the mountain more attractive when the sun goes down and the jungle begins to sleep. Whatever the time, Hòn Bà will always satisfy your lust for beauty and adventure.
Alexandre Yersin’s house
In 1915, the French scientist Alexandre Yersin came to Hòn Bà to live and work. According to documents provided by Yersin Museum, he rode a horse from Suối Dầu (Suối Cát Commune, Cam Lâm District) to Hòn Bà Mount Top. He constructed a wooden house and grew new plants, including the one which is used to produce malaria medicine. He also set up a scientific monitoring station.
Now, you can find the old wooden two-storey house of Doctor Yersin and see his herbal garden, horse stable and ancient tea tree.
Suối Dầu Lake
Suối Dầu (Dầu Stream) begins from Hòn Bà Mount Top and runs down to the valley. In some areas, the river forms big lakes. In addition, some parts of the stream suddenly fall to make a waterfall.
Suối Dầu Lake is located at the foot of Hòn Bà Mount, Diên Khánh District. It is a man-made lake that provides water for local farming. The lake is huge with an amazing green colour.
Suối Nguồn Waterfall
Suối Nguồn Waterfall can be seen along the road to Hòn Bà Mount Top. The waterfall area is large with huge rocks, and its water is clear blue.
Right beside the waterfall, you can find Uncle Hiệp’s cottage. He is a friendly local man who provides food to visitors.
There are no fuel stations on the road to the mountaintop, so you need to fuel up your bike or bring fuel along.
In addition, you need to be careful with flames to prevent forest fires.
Suối Dầu Lake and waterfalls are deep and dangerous, so you need to watch out to avoid accidents.
Sometimes, the authority forbids tourists to come to the mountaintop, but you should not miss other spots like Suối Dầu and Suối Dầu Lake. — VNS