(No.2, Vol.7,Apr-May 2017 Vietnam Heritage Magazine,Advertorial)

From the rocks to the sea to the plant life,
Otter Lair paints a pretty picture.

In recent years, Hang Rai (Otter Lair) became a famous place that has mesmerized many tourists and photographers for its mythical, untouched beauty, especially at dusk and dawn.
Hang Rai is actually a seashore field of myriads of rocks and stones of all shapes and sizes overlaying each other above and under the water, just outside the famous Nui Chua (Lord’s Mountain) National Park.
Spreading over 29,865 ha, which includes 7,352 ha of sea water, Nui Chua National Park is one of the most unique ‘drought forests’ of Vietnam, and perhaps of Southeast Asia too, one that houses a diverse fauna and flora system.
From the Phan Rang city of Cham Towers, follow the beautiful coastline highway to Tri Thuy Bridge, turn right to Provincial Highway 702, go 35km, and one will see Hang Rai at Thai An Village, Vinh Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District of Ninh Thuan Province.
Looking from afar, one may be disappointed at the sight of dark, unassuming rugged terrain. But coming nearer, visitors get more and more excited by the fabulously arranged rocks and stones that stand there for millions of years, proudly facing nature’s elements.
The colours alone at Hang Rai are enough to envoke wild associations. Some even think that this place reminds them of Mars’ surface.
Wave after wave rams onto the rocks, throwing up white, foaming masses that look like dead coral reefs.
As the waves recede, water oozes from between the rocks and stones as if squeezed out of a sponge.
Sunlight also has its effect on the colours and shades of Hang Rai, making it change constantly from glorious morning to dreamy evening.
As the first rays of the sun paint the horizon rose and reflect on Hang Rai stones, the whole scenery becomes otherworldly and surreal. Many tramping sightseers and professional photographers camp overnight here just to catch this glorious moment.
A seasoned photographer named Trung said, ‘Hang Rai is most alluring from Nov. to Feb. when the sea is rough. It’s the algae and sea weeds that do the magic. Masses of seaweed that grow on the rocks beneath the water look like enormous emerald carpets and dance nonstop with the waves. The algae also change the shades of sea water as the sun makes its journey through the sky.
Here and there, big rocks build up dykes to embank natural pools of calm and cool water, so refreshing that even the hydrophobic feel the urge to take a dip
In addition, Hang Rai is surrounded by huge coral reefs. With just some simple diving gear, one can submerge into the deep blue to see the spectacular hidden treasures of the ocean.

One can combine exploring Hang Rai and Nui Chua National Park with many other exciting activities, such as watching sea turtles lay their eggs, hiking to the 1039m-high peak of Nui Chua, seeing particularities of a drought forest, learning the lifestyle and customs of Raglai ethnicity, visiting Ving Hy Bay just a few kilometers from Hang Rai, scuba diving or seeing coral reefs from glass bottom boats.

To book a tour, please contact the Ecotourist Center of the Nui Chua National Park Management: Tel: (068) 3507-613 / Mobile: 0946720697 (Ms Quynh) – 0913.658474 (Mr Xiem) / Email: vqgnuichua@gmail.com

Text by Khanh Le; Photos by Nguyen Tan Tuan