Friday, December 14, 2012

Beauty of Xuan Thuy national park

Xuan Thuy is an internationally important wintering area for migratory waterbirds and many rare species of fish, animal.

Xuan Thuy National Park is 150 km south-west of Hanoi in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta, belongs to Nam Dinh Province.  It take about  three and half hours by car.

This national park comprises of three islands and mudflats, the most important habitat being the intertidal mudflats and natural mangroves. Being the home to many important species, Xuan Thuy National Park plays an important role in preserving ecological system and developing eco-tourism of the Red River Delta.

More than one quarter of the park's 12,000ha is covered with mangroves that support many aquatic species - including fish, crustaceans and molluscs. These species provide food and livelihoods for the poor, local people of the area.

Traveling to the national park, tourists can find “Cá mòi co” (Clupanodon thrissa), a fish listed in Vietnam's Red Book as vulnerable and at risk of extinction. It is also recognized as a platform for migratory water birds, including the “Cò thìa” (Black-faced spoon-bill), and eight other listed endangered species.

More than 200 bird species have been recorded at Xuan Thuy. The site is the most important staging and wintering area for migratory waterbirds in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. It regularly supports large numbers of commoner migratory waterbird species, including black-tailed godwit, spotted redshank and Eurasian curlew. Many rare species can also be found at Xuan Thuy, including the largest wintering population of Black-faced Spoonbill in Vietnam, with around 60 birds each winter in recent years. Other rare species that regularly occur at the site include Saunders's gull, Spotted greenshank, Spoon-billed sandpiper and Asian dowitcher.

Tourists can ask for assistance from the national park staff, who know the site well, and can advise on places to look for particular species. Hiring a guide from the park is recommended.

Tourists in Vietnam travel can travel by foot to some places of interest; others can only be reached by boat at high tide.

Walking through the shrimp ponds on Con Ngan island, where the park headquarters is located, can be rewarding, especially at high tide when Black-faced Spoonbills and various gulls, ducks and waders come to roost and feed in the shrimp ponds.

At high tide, boats can be chartered to reach the offshore mudflats and sandy flats, where Spoon-billed Sandpiper can be found among large flocks of waders. Saunders's Gull can also be found here during December and January, as well as other gulls and ducks.

An alternative boat route involves visiting Con Xanh island, which is planted with Casuarina, which shelters migrating passerines, including pittas, and the outer edge of Con Ngan island, where waders, ducks and herons feed in the Tra river mouth.

Contemplating the lovely species of bird, fish, animal at Xuan Thuy National Park is an interesting experience for tourists.

Quynh Lam Pagoda - Quang Ninh

Before the pagoda is a great lake, while the three remaining sides are surrounded by hills and mountains. It was embellished and completed in Ly, Tran Dynasties. During the 11th and 14th centuries - the end of Le Dynasty and in the 17th and 18th centuries, it developed into the main centre of Buddhism for the entire country.

In the 14th century the Quynh Lam Pagoda became an even more important Buddhist centre with the activities of the monk Phap Loa Dong Kien Cuong: a member of the second generation of the Truc Lam Buddhist sect. It was the centre for sacred books and for preaching Buddhism, as well as a training-site for future pagoda wardens. Many associations, famous in Vietnamese literature and history, were organized here.

The ritual festivities of the Quynh Lam Pagoda are held from the first to the fourth day of the second lunar month, but the festive atmosphere lasts through spring. Buddhist faithful flock here from all corners of the country.

In 1319, Phap Loa calls for blood donation from Buddhist followers to print over 5,000 copies of Dai Tang sutras, which are kept at Quynh Lam Buddhist Institute. In 1328, he had a statue of Maitreya cast. A year later, he brought a part of the bone ash of Nhan Tong (the 1st patriarch of the Truc Lam Zen sect) to put into the stone stupa in Quynh Lam Pagoda. In early 15th century, the pagoda was reduced to ruins and had to undergo many restorations. In 1727, the 7-storey Tich Quang Stupa (grave of monk Chan Nguyen, who made great contribution to the pagoda) was set up, which measures up to 10 meters. The stupa's top takes the shape of a banyan bud. To the stupa is attached a plate which notes down the biography of monk Chan Nguyen. In mid-18th century, the pagoda underwent a major restoration. It now also has bronze bells and stone gongs.