Exploring the Dong Bo River

Nha Trang Travel Blog

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Nha Trang Shipbuilding Company cranes
 

After the taxi-boat ride on the Cai the other day, I wanted to do the same on Nha Trang's other major river - to the south of the city - the Dong Bo. It was just over a three-mile pedal to the Binh Tan Bridge which crosses that river on the new road to the airport at Cam Ranh Bay. Giant yellow hoisting cranes of the Nha Trang Shipbuilding Company dominate the northeast end of the bridge. A deep channel marked by numbered buoys leads to that shipyard from the eastern South China Sea which is several miles downstream. I was more interested in the western side of the bridge where dwindling city limits have given way to countryside.

 

 Expecting to find rich green rice paddies, I saw only sparsely-settled dry earth stretching toward high hills to the west that were badly scarred for rocks or gravel.

On the Dong Bo
There were no taxi boats, but really nowhere to go by water in that direction, so I continued across the bridge. Wide Vee-shaped fish traps spanned the river. I didn't see any of the blue fishing boats upstream from the bridge. Just off the bridge, I took a right turn at the T-intersection and headed inland along the Dong Bo River, accessing the waterfront wherever I could. I found a cool and shaded riverside stop for future afternoon beers - preferably by motorbike, being four miles from home.

 

The narrow and nicely shaded riverside lane angled back to the highway whose surface was wide and smooth with year-old blacktop and bright white lines. Barriers separated vehicle and motorbike traffic while a stubby wall divided direction. There was very little traffic. At the top of a long upgrade, a brightly flowered shrine stood at the roadside like a red oasis in a sea of green.

Loading timber
An equally long downgrade let me coast further into the country. At the bottom, a trail led to a wide open dirt field along the river so I took it. I snapped a few photos of stilted shacks with the Nha Trang skyline in the background. The only activity I spotted was a dozen workers heaving two-meter logs, in two-man teams, to load a blue and yellow truck. They picked from the end of a long row of neatly stacked timber.

 

As the loaded truck headed south, I doubled back to the bridge then continued east, hoping to find where the Dong Bo emptied into the sea. Nicely spaced buildings lined one side of the wide street. It looked like the bustling hotels, shops, and eateries of a thriving port town had been abandoned and converted into a quiet residential area. The only chatter came from townspeople gathered at a shaded street-side coffee stand.

Off-loading nets
No one lounged the concrete park benches or strolled the tiled walkway that hugged the river for nearly two miles. Maybe the Binh Tan Bridge opened an easier door into Nha Trang and business shifted there. It was like a town was built, a nice one, and no one came.

 

Fishing boats increased in number the further east I advanced and activity began to stir. While a woman did laundry on steps to the river, three men tinkered with the rudder of a fishing boat. Other women collected small dried fish pieces from spread-out nets. Cloud-looking white nets were being off-loaded from one boat and stretched across the promenade. An alert security guard called me back as I entered an open gate toward a huge building that I took to be a fish market. But it must have been a processing plant; boats clustered on one side, semi trucks the other.

Fish
The town continued to narrow between the river and steep green hills. Where it turned to village, I only proceeded to the first two houses. Hefty fish filets were being washed and set out in the sun to dry. Those dried and sprinkled with spices were being cut into six or eight-inch lengths and sent to customers or markets. I could see the open South China Sea another mile east.  

 

 

Lord_Mike says:
thanks for sharing, Dan!
Posted on: Feb 13, 2009
rhonda724 says:
Hi Dan,
Happy to see you are doing so well, and I appreciate your entries. It must be wonderful to see all this, but I must say I am scared for you.
The girls are going to Hot Springs to the horse races this weekend. It may be kind of scary.
Posted on: Feb 10, 2009
Biedjee says:
Hi Dan, I like these almost daily updates to your blog. Keep it up!
Posted on: Feb 06, 2009
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Nha Trang Shipbuilding Company cra…
Nha Trang Shipbuilding Company cr…
On the Dong Bo
On the Dong Bo
Loading timber
Loading timber
Off-loading nets
Off-loading nets
Fish
Fish
On the Binh Tan Bridge
On the Binh Tan Bridge
Fish traps
Fish traps
Laying nets
Laying nets
Shacks on the river
Shacks on the river
South end of Binh Tan Bridge
South end of Binh Tan Bridge
Nice shaded lane
Nice shaded lane
The road to Cam Ranh Bay
The road to Cam Ranh Bay
Roadside shrine
Roadside shrine
Shrine flowers
Shrine flowers
5 miles out
5 miles out
Big Buddha from the Dong Bo
Big Buddha from the Dong Bo
Taxi home from school
Taxi home from school
Taxi-boat
Taxi-boat
Boat and Binh Tan Bridge
Boat and Binh Tan Bridge
Nha Trang from the Dong Bo
Nha Trang from the Dong Bo
View west from bridge
View west from bridge
New and old Nha Trang
New and old Nha Trang
Shack on stilts
Shack on stilts
Loading the truck
Loading the truck
Loaded truck
Loaded truck
Movin out
Movin' out
When the truck was loaded, crew le…
When the truck was loaded, crew l…
Timber heading south
Timber heading south
Quiet street
Quiet street
The Nha Trang shipyard
The Nha Trang shipyard
Map of buoys
Map of buoys
Colorful sidewalk
Colorful sidewalk
Cleaning nets
Cleaning nets
Taking a break
Taking a break
Laundry and boat repairs
Laundry and boat repairs
Rudder repairs
Rudder repairs
Off-loading
Off-loading
White nets
White nets
Basket boat
Basket boat
Dry dock
Dry dock
Boats in dry dock
Boats in dry dock
Ship repair
Ship repair
Washing fish
Washing fish
Cutting fish
Cutting fish
Spiced fish
Spiced fish
Going to market
Going to market
Easy traffic
Easy traffic
Nha Trang shipyard cranes
Nha Trang shipyard cranes
High and dry
High and dry
Boat in dry dock
Boat in dry dock
Dry docked boat
Dry docked boat
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85