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Ninh Thuan’s simple charms

Cập nhật: 30/4/2009 | 12:00:00 AM

Ninh Thuan’s reputation as the driest place in Vietnam deters many people from visiting the tiny province on the lower central coast. But this is the land of the famous Cham towers.

The area is steeped in both history and the simpler charms of the countryside.
From Thuan Bac in the north to Ca Na in the south, the province is bordered by mountains on one side and the sea on the other.

It looks small on the map but Ninh Thuan has more livestock, mostly sheep, than any other Vietnamese province.

On one side of the road you can see sandy soil stretching to the sea, on the other to the foothills, and on both sides sheep that wander for miles across barren ground in search of food.

The image of little shepherds and their hungry flocks passing through fields of cactus is striking. Through the eyes of a photographer, the life of Ninh Thuan’s Vietnamese, Cham and Raglai children is captured in its honesty and simplicity.

The region is also famous for its grapes, which grow in the alluvial soil by the Dinh River.

From the provincial center, Phan Rang-Thap Cham, it’s a short run to the shady vineyards with their swinging bunches of red and violet fruit.

Anyone who has been bewitched by the vineyards of Europe should feel content among the wine gardens of Ninh Thuan.

The winegrowers here are looked upon as soldiers protecting their special grapes, which are notoriously difficult to cultivate.

In their hard lives they must contend with drought in the dry season and flash floods when the rain arrives, all the time keeping their eyes on the fluctuating markets and praying that their grapes will fetch a good price.

Ninh Thuan is 350 kilometers or about seven hours by car from Ho Chi Minh City. It can also be reached by train.

(Nguồn tin: Vietvaluetravel)