Irrigation canals of Khanh Hoa Province

Nha Trang Travel Blog

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Irrigation canal

Irrigation canals are the lifeblood of Khanh Hoa Province. They bring precious water from foothill lakes and reservoirs or flowing rivers to distant plantations, farms, and rice fields. The integrity of these intricately woven networks seems to surpass that of the region's haphazard highway system. Controlled and regulated by reservoir spillways, and channeled by manual shut-off valves, water eases through countless interchanges to branch off in many different directions. By the time the canals reach the low-lying rice paddies they are little more than narrow trenches eighteen inches wide and two feet deep.

The man-made canals sometimes criss-cross each other and even pass under natural streams to resurface on the other side and continue their important journey. In Cam Duc, a water bridge thirty feet above ground stretches for nearly a mile along the edge of town before resuming its course across sandy terrain toward more fertile farmlands.

Elevated water bridge at Cam Duc

It's easiest to intercept the irrigation canals west of Highway 1 - far from treacherous traffic and blaring horns. In fact, the only horns out there are on oxen pulling carts or on water buffalo silently working a rice paddy. You can follow the canals upstream to discover reservoirs lined with the cool shade of banana, pine, or aromatic eucalyptus trees. I've found nine reservoirs between Ninh Hoa and Cam Ranh but there are many, many more. I'd rarely seen kids swimming in them but a few times people fishing. One day, cattlemen relaxed under a mango tree while their buffalos lapped water and bathed. Lakeside trails lead to rocky streams and make for further exploration into higher rugged country.

Following the canals
Downstream, the narrow waterways lead to farms and villages supported by more fertile lands.

Where the canals go underground in the countryside, a track or footpath usually marks their location until they eventually reappear on ground level. Through small towns or villages, they may pass along beneath a neighborhood street; one raised just a little higher or paved with a different asphalt than the other streets. They usually resurface somewhere on the edge of town and can easily get you back on track toward more countryside exploration and discovery. Following the canals can be a most rewarding experience. They truly are the lifeblood of the province and provide a gateway to fascinating first-hand views of Vietnamese life in the countryside. 

reikunboy says:
Interesting blog
Posted on: Mar 29, 2013
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Irrigation canal
Irrigation canal
Elevated water bridge at Cam Duc
Elevated water bridge at Cam Duc
Following the canals
Following the canals
Chilling at the lake
Chilling at the lake
The Am Chua reservoir west of Nha …
The Am Chua reservoir west of Nha…
Canal out of Cam Duc
Canal out of Cam Duc
The farmer was cleaning the canal …
The farmer was cleaning the canal…
Control valve
Control valve
Lake fishing - one in the net
Lake fishing - one in the net
Reservoir west of Ninh Hoa
Reservoir west of Ninh Hoa
Fishing
Fishing
Canal near Phan Rang
Canal near Phan Rang
Control gate
Control gate
Bridge over a canal
Bridge over a canal
Irrigation canal control house on …
Irrigation canal control house on…
Water buffalos in the water
Water buffalos in the water
Nha Trang
photo by: rotorhead85