Travel Travel

13/10/2022 - 08:35

Gorgeous sunset in Chuon Lagoon

At the boat parking lot at Chuon Lagoon, golden sunlight dyed a lagoon corner. “What beautiful Autumn days! Oh, my goodness, how mixed my emotion is!” shouted a friend of mine amid the airy space. The group laughed, despite the wind messing their hair.

Quickly taking a few photos, the whole group got on board of “Mr. Dzung – the owner of Chuon Lagoon Restaurant” to “have a tour before enjoying Chuon Lagoon cuisine”, as announced by a guide.

A composite boat steered by uncle Long gently left the shore, floating on the quiet lagoon. A red ribbon was seen fluttering on a high bamboo top every short distance.  It was the banner hung by fishermen to pray for fish.

The afternoon golden sun shines the last rays of the day leisurely as if it wants to prolong the sunset, and when the ray hits the lagoon, it melts into the water, creating an iridescent streak. The scene is so peaceful and calm, creating a picture of a quiet lagoon in contrast with the hustle and bustle of life.

The boat was steadily moving forward. I felt happy, looking at my friends laughing, talking and taking pictures. I suddenly thought that I was walking in a picture – a beautiful natural picture of the famous lagoon of Hue that has been noted by many people in their bucket list of “check-in” sites in Hue.

Relaxing and purchasing specialties of Chuon Lagoon

Only by watching the floating cottages made of bamboo and rattan in the sunset on Chuon Lagoon can one see how intimate the rustic soul being entwined with nature – the wind, the cloud, the sky and the water. The whole group went trap-fishing and Stand-up Paddleboarding, and seemed unaware of the sun setting. When the light purple color quickly spread on the surface of the lagoon, then the whole water turned black and a few stars rose early in the distance, it reminds everyone of dinner time. When it comes to dining time with delicious food, everyone realized that they were so playful that they forgot about hunger.

Nguyen Tien Dung, the owner of Chuon Lagoon Restaurant is from Chuon Lagoon, Phu An. As a native of the waters, he is so knowledgeable about the lagoon and creeks. Life in Chuon Lagoon is a story associated with nearly fifty years of his life.

His family used to live on a boat, and his parents used to take turns to get up and drain water during the night lest the boat sank. The 1985 typhoon destroyed the sampan village of Chuon Lagoon and the people living in the waters were brought ashore to settle down. His family was among these households.

It has been 37 years since the typhoon. The residents of the sampan village all have their houses firmly constructed onshore, continuing fishery for their livelihood and children’s studies. Nguyen Tien Dzung chose to do fish farming on the lagoon and serve cuisine to tourists.

Dzung is the very pioneer in founding the cuisine service in Chuon lagoon. The idea came from his friends’ desire to enjoy seafood right on his small fragile floating cottage. A meal with fresh seafood from Chuon lagoon served in the middle of coastal water and wind really helps blow away the cramp and constrain of city life.

Then far spreads the good news. His friends took their friends to his place and ordered more and more meals. Naturally, Dzung had his cottage expanded and gradually into a restaurant. It is recognizable in that restaurant owner a will for hard work and development. He learns bit by bit from the way of cooking to serving guests.

Dishes at the Chuon Lagoon Restaurant are not prepared by professional chef, but by Dzung and his wife. Many people like the taste because it is original of the style, shown in the rustic flavor, the salty taste of pure fish sauce and the smell in the algae salads.

The atmosphere on the boat returning to the shore was not as merry as the departure. Everyone became quiet after so much fun. The lights from restaurants on the lagoon brought a secure feeling to everyone during the night. A few fish and shrimps seeing the phone flashlight jumped to catch the bubbles.

After an evening of enjoyment of lagoon breeze and water, I had a feeling of relief, though a little salty touch in my hair, when Uncle Long said goodbye. “The rainy season almost comes but I don’t have to worry about food and shelter during rainstorms. The hard time is over and now it’s only happiness,” he said.

Story: Xuan An. Photos: Khanh Nhat