Immersing in nature's grandeur: Dakrong Nature Reserve
Dakrong Nature Reserve offers a captivating trekking experience amid its ancient woodlands, abundant wildlife, and magnificent waterfalls.
Encompassing 42,000 hectares, Dakrong Nature Reserve is nestled in the western region of Quang Tri Province in central Vietnam.
Within the forested area of Huc Nghi Commune lies a paved road that once served during wartime. Today, this road serves as a pathway for forest rangers and guards to conduct patrols. Meandering through dense primeval forests, the route resonates with the melodies of chirping birds.
Standing out among the natural wonders of Dakrong Nature Reserve is Do Quyen Waterfall in Huc Nghi Commune. This waterfall remains untouched and unexplored by tourism. From the nearby La To Forest Protection Station in Huc Nghi Commune, located close to the Ho Chi Minh Road, visitors embark on a 5-hour trek along a paved road, enveloped by the forest canopy, until they reach the waterfall.
Sitting at an elevation of approximately 750 meters above sea level, the Do Quyen Waterfall boasts a height of around 30 meters, with white foam that persists throughout the year. At the base of the waterfall is a circular, expansive, and tranquil lake.
About two decades ago, the Quang Tri forest rangers discovered this waterfall and noticed the abundance of rhododendron flowers surrounding it. Consequently, they named it after this beautiful flower, do quyen. Currently, the flowers are no longer harvested by locals.
At the waterfall's summit, a gentle and crystal-clear stream meanders among numerous pebbles, forming an ideal location for camping and overnight stays.
Forest rangers and guards patrol the reserve regularly, preventing encroachments and safeguarding the biodiversity of this natural treasure.
A small, moss-covered waterfall adds to the reserve's mystique and allure.
Traversing the Ta Lao, A Lao, and Bap rivulets, visitors will encounter similar waterfalls, each offering an opportunity for ecotourism and adventure.
The reserve is adorned with several streams teeming with rare carp (onychostoma laticep). This fish species thrives exclusively in the clean waters of the watershed areas.
During their stay, visitors can relish in a range of culinary delights crafted from forest leaves and trees, including bitter leaves, tamarind leaves, and spices like chili and ginger, infusing each dish with natural flavors.
In the evening, guests have the option to camp or rest in hammocks alongside the nearby stream.
The reserve boasts a diverse array of flora, including tree ferns, evergreen trees and orchids.
A millipede wriggles its way through a blanket of decaying leaves.
In addition to the ancient paved road, the reserve offers other opportunities for exploration, such as caves, trails, and waterways.
A shallow stream winding its way through the nature reserve.
Truong Quang Trung, director of Dakrong Nature Reserve Management Board, recognizes the immense potential for eco-tourism in the area. However, the reserve has yet to undergo widespread development.
"As part of our tourism development plans until 2025, we aim to focus on the development of Do Quyen Waterfall. We are actively working on a project and seeking collaborations with businesses," Trung said.
The nature reserve also provides guidance and facilitates opportunities for small research groups and exploratory visits interested in uncovering the region's tourism potential.