Hứa Mountain, which is located in the middle of rice fields in Ruộng Village, Đại Bình Commune, Đầm Hà District, in the northern province of Quảng Ninh, is home to thousands of storks of various kinds.
Visiting the area, tourists will feel relaxed by the natural scenery and flying storks.
An areal view over the site. Photo thuviendientu.baoquangninh.com.vn
The stork sanctuary covers an area of some 1 hectare in the southern slope of the mountain, in the middle of a bamboo and eucalyptus forest owned by local man Phạm Văn Hà.
“At the end of the 1970s, the first few stocks settled down here,” Hà recalled. “Maybe the favourable weather and plentiful food sources lured the storks to stay longer and give birth to more babies.”
Hà said his family has cared a lot for the storks and over time, thousands have settled down here.
There are several kinds of storks, of various sizes and colours, he said.
Hà said in winter, they fly to warmer areas so the reserve is less crowded.
He suggested visitors come in summer to see the storks, especially between June and August, when they flock home and give birth.
Storks of various kinds flock to the garden. Photo baoquangninh.com.vn
“I was here last summer,” said visitor Phạm Thanh An, from Uông Bí City. “My children like small storks trying to stand on fragile bamboo branches. The baby storks can't stand firmly as they are just a few weeks old.”
An said to watch the storks, people should be at the site very early, at 4-5am, when they prepare to fly away to search for food, or late in the afternoon, at 5-6pm, when they fly home.
“The scene of white storks flying over high trees, together with their noisy sounds, is a fantastic memory,” he said.
The mountain also hosts a great value in terms of archaeology and revolutionary history.
According to researcher Trình Năng Trung, the local archaeological site was discovered first in May 1999, where scientists found many objects dating back 6,000-7,000 years.
“Early humans resided here, who were of the same period residents at Soi Nhụ Cave and Nhà Trò Cave in nearby Vân Đồn District, and those at Tiên Ông Cave in Hạ Long City,” he said.
The archaeological site at the foot of the mountain displays many objects that have been unearthed, including a pointed-two-head working tool found only here.
Đào Xuân Thủy, chairman of Đại Bình Commune’s War Veterans Association, said the area also hosted the establishment ceremony of Đầm Hà District’s communist party cell in 1948 with the first four members, a milestone in the local revolutionary movement.
The flagpole on top of the mountain. VNS Photo Thu Hiền
Since then, the revolutionary movement has been guided by the party. With favourable natural characteristics offering safe shelter for revolutionaries, Hố Đen Cave was chosen as a base during the fight against the French occupation.
In 2018, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first party cell here, local authorities inaugurated a flagpole on top of the mountain, together with a trekking road of nearly 500 steps from the foot to the top of the mountain, and a parking place at the foot.
“The area with fertile land and natural scenery really offers an escape from the urban areas,” An said.
In 2012, the site was recognised as a provincial-level historical relic site.
Đầm Hà District also hosts other unique landscape like Bạch Vân Waterfalls, Đá Dựng Island, a complex of the local communal house, pagoda and temple.
Nguyễn Thi Thu Hà, the district’s Party Secretary, said tourism activities in the district were still rather limited.
There are only two provincial relic sites, namely Đầm Hà Communal House and Hứa Mountain Stock Sanctuary, she said.
Three other sites namely Tràng Y Communal House, Black Military Station and Sâu Pagoda are still on the waiting list for official recognition and have not been exploited as tourism destinations.
She said the district authorities have issued a resolution which defines developing tourism based on local features, connecting with service centres in and outside the province.
Tranquil scenery seen from the mountain. VNS Photo Thu Hiền
The province hopes to make tourism a key economic sector by 2025 with diverse products that can compete against other localities.
The authorities have approved a project on ecological site in Tầm Làng Village, Quảng An Commune. Together with nearby Bạch Vân Waterfalls, the site will offer experience in agriculture and the life of the local Dao ethnic minority.
Party official Hà said that the annual Đầm Hà Communal House Festival (13th-17th day of the first lunar month) and Tràng Y Communal House Festival (25th-26th day of the first lunar month) feature various sport and tourism activities and draw thousands of tourists. VNS
The customs of the local Dao ethnic group have become popular among tourists. Photo huyendamha.vn