Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall

 

Do Quyen Waterfall is a not-to-be missed destination on visiting Bach Ma. Photo: N. PHONG

Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall
 
Exploring Do Quyen WaterfallDo Quyen is viewed from the foot of the waterfall

Do Quyen (Rhododendron) Waterfall is a famous waterfall of Bach Ma (White Horse) mountain forest. The waterfall flows down a steep cliff about 300m high. It was named Do Quyen because many rhododendrons grow on both sides of the waterfall. In spring, rhododendrons are in full bloom with enchanting beauty. A little bird told me, but in fact, I did not have a chance to come here in spring to enjoy the charming picture.

I went to Bach Ma (White Horse) Mountain for the first time in around 1994. The path from the foot to the top of Bach Ma was then being invested to restore but not completed yet; the UAZ car carried us to the milestone 14, 15 or so, afterwards we had to go on shanks’ mare. Reaching a stream bank, we camped because there were not any accommodations. Strenuous but fun and exciting. Next day, following a forest ranger, we threaded our way through a forest full of reeds, shrubs higher than our heads, and then went along a small trail under the jungle canopy to discover Do Quyen. We finally reached the legendary waterfall. At that time, the last stopover was the top of the waterfall. We only heard the rumble of the waterfall, but could not view the panorama of the waterfall as high as 300m. Some people tried to move far from the rock top to take photos. However, finding it too dangerous, others had to watch out and reminded one another not to be “too aggressive." It started to rain. The whole team rushed to leave to avoid danger; we were unsatisfied and wished to have a chance to view the panorama of the waterfall one day.

A few years later, back to Bach Ma a few times, I heard that the traildown the foot of Do Quyen Waterfall was invested to build the steps, creating conditions for anyone that desires to explore. Very eager, but limited in time and involved in the planned work program, I had to miss my visit.

 
 

Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall

Truoi Lake is viewed from the top of Bach Ma

This summer, Hue enters the "scorching days" (as announced by the National Television) that also coincides with the time when our high school classmates will meet Bach Ma again as planned long ago. What luck! Only in the baking heat of a city in the plain and afterwards as far as the top of the "illusionary mountain" - as expressed by writer Hoang Phu Ngoc Tuong about Bach Ma sacred mountain - can we treasure the fresh and pure atmosphere here. Not involved in any work program or agenda like the previous trips, but just for meeting, resting, relaxing, I persuaded the whole group to make the determination to return to Do Quyen on this trip.

Exploring Do Quyen WaterfallMore and more visitors come to experience Bach Ma

Eating and taking a good siesta, the group dressed neatly, brought drinking water, some snacks and set out. Going leisurely, resting where we were tired, giving up the psychology of "traveling just to be known for having traveled, not to enjoy, experience the beauty of the destination" like the previous times, I and my friends headed for Do Quyen. The whole group walked leisurely. Seeing the beautiful scenery, strange flowers, limpid stream, they stopped to contemplate, take photos satisfactorily. The trail to Do Quyen was no longer as tree-dense and wild as before in addition to the leisurely walk, so no one felt tired at all.

 
 

Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall

The spectacular, charming scenery prompted the two young men not to leave, but to decide to camp overnight with Do Quyen

Here was Do Quyen. How virgin and grandiose it was!The path of steps leading down the foot of the waterfall lies on the left side.The steps of the path up and down are 1,378 in total. At first glance, it is very easy to be discouraged, especially for those who are over fifty like us. Some decided to stop at the top of the waterfall. While I and another group of 8 people were wondering if we should go or stop, a female friend said confidently, "Come on! It is a waste of effort not to go on when we are here. If not going on, we will no longer have a chance when older.” Too sensibly! So let’s go. The spirit was determined from the start: Moving leisurely, resting where we are tired. However, after climbing less than a hundred steps, we saw the steep positions and towering steps unlike normal steps.Also, the system of handrailto ensure safety and support tourists almost collapsed due to rusting iron. The 2 members of the group dropped out because of powerlessness to go on. The remaining 6 people, including me, still "persevered in the target" set. We walked observing, and suddenly felt the great admiration for the builders.

Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall

Some sections of handrail are left, but badly damaged​

I did not understand how the builders could transport sand, stone, cement and hang them in such a steep terrain to build the steps to meet tourists’ exploration need. Regrettably, when a construction is carried out, it costs a lot of effort and money. However, in the permanently humid environment of tropical forests, why did the designers, investors not choose the appropriate materials for the system of handrail not to be damaged, collapsed, while the value of the material wasless than both construction and installation costs?!! Our group of 6 including 4 men and 2 women went resting, laughing and cheering one another; all of a sudden the rumble of the waterfall was heard, and a cool breeze through the forest was blowing in. We knew we were about to reach the destination. Here it was - the last step. Welcoming us was an old, airy, and imposing forest as beautiful as the scene in the film. All our tiredness seemed to be fading away. We excitedly took some photos of the Bach Ma forest trees, and then threaded our way towards the foot of the waterfall. From the towering peak was pouring down a white column of water. Only by backing very far, pushing the lens far to the maximum and even lying down could we take the whole photograph of the water column of the waterfall. Fortunately, but for smartphones and digital cameras, the films in the cameras would have been not enough to take photos. After taking a rest, taking photos satisfactorily, we said goodbye to Do Quyen, the majestic waterfall to return to the path of steps. 689 steps leading up to the top of the waterfall was challenging us. It did not matter. If we could climb down, it was okay for us to climb up. And after nearly an hour of climbing and breathing, we came in the friends’ welcome and with the joy of "Overcoming ourselves."
 

Exploring Do Quyen Waterfall

So this time I did not miss the appointment with the legendary waterfall. However, although not leaving yet, I suddenly dreamt of returning here with friends one day, on the occasion of blooming rhododendrons to contemplate the flowers and to listen to the rumble of the waterfall in the endless echo of Bach Ma mountain forest. ...

 

Story: DIEN THONG

Design: QUANG THIEU