Lowlands of the Dong Bo River basin
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 63 of 126 › view all entries
Two rivers empty into the South China Sea at Nha Trang - the Cai on the north and the Dong Bo on the south. The Cai is best for exploring by bicycle. Its banks are shaded by coconut groves, bamboo forest, banana plantations, and a variety of other tropical trees. But the Dong Bo enters the sea from a wider, flatter, wetland that is covered by rice paddies and fish farms. Hundreds of narrow levies make a distorted checkerboard pattern across the lowlands. Countless aqua-farm basins are shaped by the bends of the tidal river and one of its branches.
I found a way onto the maze at its southern end - about four miles from town off the highway to Cam Ranh Bay. Google Earth showed a small bridge from a village less than a mile to the west and I managed to reach it after several dead-ends.
A dusty dirt road baked in the late-morning sun and led me back toward Nha Trang. It looked like the aqua-farms were of seawater on one side and fresh water on the other. The seawater canal was all but dry, being a low tide. A commercial shrimp operation lined about a mile of the road on one side. Black plastic lined the walls of their aqua-farm basins and paddle-wheel pumps stirred their waters. Most farms looked privately owned. One or two of those were drained, their bottoms dry cracked mud.
Scattered pumps, machinery, and fuel drums all reminded me of some of the remote and harsh places that I had worked in Alaska but maybe that was just wishful thinking by the scorching sun.
As the ground rose slightly, rice fields appeared on both sides of the road.
I finally came out on the paved Phong Chau Road. With my water bottle depleted, I stopped at a waterside eatery near its bridge for a cold beer, just over a mile from home. The morning ride covered eleven miles and took about five hours.
Related story: http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/59133/Mangrove-52