Orchid Stream (Heo Peninsula)
Within one day of your visit to Nha Trang city, you’ll have a chance to discover wild islands and enjoy what you can’t do in the mainland.
Monkey shines: A tourist feeds monkeys on Lao Island. When you are lying on the beach, don’t be surprised to see some monkeys lying nearby.
Rich in fauna: Tourists can feed wild deer from their hands, one of the many wildlife interactions to be experienced in Nha Trang.
Castaway: A pristine beach and pine forest on Thi Island where visitors can enjoy in water sports, such as parasailing, kayaking and jet skiing.
A tour to Nha Phu Bay, 12km from Nha Trang city by boat, is the most popular activity. Different from others, this tour offers a trip to three islands where you can come close to the nature and hide away from dusty life, said Anh Vu, a tour guide from Long Phu Company.
The first destination is Hon Thi, the 500ha island covered by pine trees. You can walk in the forest of decandrous persimmon, the tree that is the namesake of the island.
You can find ostriches and deer in the forest. The deer will approach you if you offer them a hand full of maize, their favourite food.
The island is clean and pristine, and if you are an adventurous tourist, you can ask the guide leading you to go deep into woods to discover the caves.
Orchid Stream on Hon Heo Peninsula offer tourists spectacular scenes. It is a picturesque sight from the sparkling mirror of the water to the mountain tops.
Walking along Orchid Stream, tourists reach a world of hundreds of wild orchids collected abroad and throughout the country.
The orchid garden is designed as a thousand-year forest. Continuing up the mountain, tourists can enjoy the pure water from the Orchid Waterfall at 900m above the sea level.
You may skip the trek for a swim at An Binh Beach, relaxing by a hot spring nearby, or enjoying an animal circus performance. Or, you could entertain yourself with water sports, such as parasailing, kayaking and jet skiing.
Vu affirmed that no island in the central sea has as many freshwater streams as Hon Heo Peninsula. He proved it by digging a hole in a forest near the seaside, then in front of our surprised eyes, scooped up a bowl of freshwater.
Orchid Stream is rooted in an old love story between a poor man and a girl born to a rich family. The man was asked to bring aloe and salanganes’, two of the region’s precious specialities, as betrothal gifts. The girl decided to go with her lover to find the offerings for her parents. They went but found nothing.
The girl dropped off to sleep as she was too tired. When she woke up, she didn’t see the man. Seeking him, she found blood stains everywhere. She believed that he was attacked by beasts. She cried again and again until she dissolved in her stream of tears. This is the legend of the stream that now runs throughout the peninsula. Where the man bled, now we find various orchids growing and blossoming.
“The legend of old explains the beautiful land,” Vu said, “Even though I think underground water sources from Hon Heo Mountain bring water for lakes and streams here.”
“The peninsula connects to Truong Son Mountain Range, which also receives running water. The wet environment is good for wild orchids to grow,” he explained.
Amy Morris from the US said she loves the tropical gardens on Hon Heo Peninsula.
“A beautiful garden with a running stream and good size fish, some enchanting bridges to walk across, and a log to lay on for a beautiful photo, this place is amazing.”
“Watching orchids in bloom and the other colourful flowers is a little bit of paradise in Nha Trang,” she said.
Hon Lao or Monkey Island, home to thousands of monkeys, is the final destination of this tour. The island is like a pearl in the ocean.
Monkeys are everywhere on the island and are taught to not steal tourists’ belongings and attack people. When you are lying on the beach, don’t be surprised when you suddenly see some monkeys lying nearby.
The monkeys are smart and friendly. Their origin on the island dates back to 1983 when Vietnam and the former Soviet Union did research on primates for vaccines.
Although the monkeys are trained, the tour guide will warn you to be careful while feeding and playing with them.
“Looking at them, you may feel interested but don’t grin, they may misinterpret it as a threat,” he said.
“You’ll find it fun to play with the wild monkeys, but remember to obey the tourist area’s regulations to guarantee your safety and protect the natural life of the monkeys.”
Green beautiful stretches of flowers and a long strip of fine sand, about 500m long, is an ideal place for you to feed the monkeys and take pictures of them.
You can rent jetskis and kayaks on the island. If you are an enthusiasts of speed and adrenaline, you can enjoy racing karts. From scuba diving to snorkelling, you have access to a view of the beautiful ocean floor and the possibility of exploring the castles of coral and marine life.
Moments spent relaxing in nature or approaching wild animals are unforgettable. If you have more time, don’t limit yourself to just one day. Simple houses and bungalows are available, if you can spend a night without modern conveniences, to enjoy a quiet atmosphere.