TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN PHU THO
- Ao Chau Lagoon:
Ao Chau lagoon is the first tourist attraction in Phu Tho. Ao Chau Lagoon is located in Ha Hoa town, Am Ha commune, Y Son commune and Phu Khanh commune of Ha Hoa district. The Lagoon is 65 km northwest of Viet Tri city and 150 km far from Hanoi Capital.
Ao Chau Lagoon covers an area of about 1,500 hectares and surrounded by diversified kinds of plants growing on mountains and hills with the height ranging between 60 meters to 700 meters. On the sides of mountains and hills are terraced fields. Mountains and hills are surrounded by large paddy fields. Such a terrain helps form hundreds of water channels flowing around mountains and hills, which makes landscape in Ao Chau Lagoon become primitively impressive. The average water level of the lagoon is 5.5 meters. The deepest level is 30 meters. What’s interesting is that Ao Chau Lagoon is always covered with water. On the map, Ao Chau Lagoon is described like a head of buffalo with two horns sloping to Thao and Lo rivers. The lagoon has 99 channels extracting water from 99 small streams. Ao Chau is affected by climate of the mountainous area of the Northwest with annual medium temperature of about 230C. January is the coldest month as medium temperature in the month reaches about 150C while the hottest month is June with medium temperature of over 280C. Annual average rainfall is around 1,850 mm.
- Kings Hung Temple:
Location: Located on Nghia Linh Mountain, 175 meters by sea level, Viet Tri City, Phu Tho Province. It is an interesting tourist attraction in Phu Tho.
Characteristic: Kings Hung Temple is a complex of majestic architectures that consist of Ha Temple and Thien Quang Pagoda, Gieng Temple, Trung and Thuong temples, and King Hung Tomb.
Ha Temple: 225 brick steps lie between Dai Mon Gate and Ha Temple, which was built in the 15th century. According to the legend, in this place, Au Co gave birth to a pouch containing 100 eggs, which later hatched to become 100 children. Her husband, Lac Long Quan, led 50 children down to the coastal region to populate the land and propagate the race. Au Co brought 49 children up to the mountainous area. The eldest child, Hung Vuong, was left to become King; he founded the capital in Phong Chau and named the country Van Lang.
In front of the Ha Temple, there is a 700-year-old tree. It is in this temple where late President Ho Chi Minh had a talk with the soldiers on their way to Hanoi in 1954. He told them “The Hung Kings had the merit of founding the country. You and I must stick together to safeguard it. Trung Temple: Over 168 brick steps must then be climbed to get to Trung Temple. According to legends, the Kings Hung built the house as a place to rest and hold political meetings. It is also where Prince Lang Lieu presented sticky rice cakes (Banh chung and banh day) to his father the King on the occasion of Tet Holiday.
Thuong Temple: Over 102 brick steps from Trung Temple to get to Thuong Temple, where exclusively used for the kings to have offerings to the Sun God, the Earth God, the Rice God, and Saint Dong, a legendary hero, defeated the An invaders of the ancient Chinese Dynasty. This is also the place where King Hung, the 18th, abdicated in favor of Thuc Phan, who erected a stone pillar and swore to take care of the temple and of the Hung family’s inheritance.
King Hung Tomb: It was the tomb of the 6th King Hung. Legend has it that, after defeating the An invaders, the 6th King Hung took off his clothes and left it on the branch of the kim giao tree and died on the spot.
Gieng Temple (Well Temple): At the foot of the mountain is the Gieng Temple, where worshipped Ngoc Hoa and Tien Dung, the 18th Hung King’s daughters. It is said that the two princesses used to comb their hair and look at themselves in the water of this well.
Nowadays, the nearby public reception house, Cong Quan, houses the Kings Hung Museum, built to present numerous artifacts from the dawn of the nation when the Kings Hung founded and ruled the country.
- The Temple of Au Co Mother:
The Temple of Au Co Mother was established in Hien Luong commune, Ha Hoa district, Phu Tho province, where possesses heaps of mountains, a large reservoir and a range of flat plain along the river. It is a famous tourist attraction in Phu Tho.
Legends said that Au Co mother, after leaving his first son on the Nghia Linh Mountain, took other 49 sons to Hien Luong commune for living. She and her sons broke fresh ground and founded villages. One day, Au Co Mother flied to the sky and left a pink blouse at the foot of a banyan tree. Hien Luong’s peoples built a temple at the foot of the tree to memorize the mother’s merit called the Temple of Au Co Mother. On the left side of the temple is locating Loan well and on the right side is Phuong well. Opposite the temple is lovely Giac Mountain and behind is winding Hong River. Luxuriant trees are growing surrounding the temple. The Au Co Mother Temple consists of 5 large sacrifice rooms and 3 harem rooms. Inside the temples has a system of ancient relics of high arts like Au Co Statue, Duc Ong Statue, etc., which are embossed carefully. Au Co Statue is 85 centimeters high and put in a 3-side glass cage, which is put on an altar located at the height of 2.2 meters in the last room of the temple. Au Co Mother Temple is an important worshiping relic amongst historical relics of Phu Tho. The temple annually receives the visits of a large number of pilgrims.
- The Thanh Thuy Hot Mineral Water Mine:
The Thanh Thuy Hot Mineral Water Mine is located in La Phu and Bao Yen communes, Thanh Thuy district. The mine is 30 km far from Viet Tri city and 60 km far from Xuan Son district. It is one of interesting tourist attractions in Phu Tho.
According to a research, the mine is distributed on the area of about 1 square kilometer and like a calabash stretching towards Da river. The medium temperature of mineral water ranges between 370C and 430C. Hot mineral water contains sodium, calcium, etc, especially radon – a rare and precious kind of radon for the first time discovered in Vietnam, which is good for heath and can release diseases. Thanh Thuy hot mineral water mine is recommended an interesting destination for visitors to Phu Tho province.
- Xuan Son National Park:
Have you been to Xuan Son National Park in Thanh Son District, Phu Tho province? If not yet, you are strongly recommended to take a chance to visit primitive forests of the National Park. It is an amazing tourist attraction in Phu Tho. Possessing a diversified floristic composition with hundreds of plant and tree species, a range of wild rare animals and natural beautiful waterfalls and caves, Xuan Son National Park is an ideal destination of Vietnamese and foreign visitors.
Topography and hydrology:
Xuan Son National Park is located at the extreme south-eastern extent of the Hoang Lien Mountains, in the watershed of the Red River. Elevations at Xuan Son are lower than elsewhere in the Hoang Lien mountains: the nearest point above 2,000 m is 40 km to the north-west. Limestone karst covers 1,661 ha, equivalent to 30% of the area of the national park. The limestone karst contains a large number of caves, some of which contain river systems.
The natural vegetation types at Xuan Son are lowland and lower montage evergreen forest, as well as lowland and lower montage limestone forest. To date, 314 vascular plant species, 48 mammal species, 121 bird species, 13 reptile species and 14 amphibian species have been recorded at Xuan Son National Park. The investment plan reported the occurrence of one group of Black-cheeked Crested Gibbon Hylobates concolor with three or four individuals, and one group of Phayre’s Leaf Monkey Trachypithecus prairie with 15 to 18 individuals. However, the current status of these species at the site is not known, and it is possible that both are locally extinct. In addition, the extensive cave systems at Xuan Son are reported to support a high diversity of bat species. The flora of the Xuan Son National Park is very rich and diverse, including 180 families, 680 genera and 1,217 species of 6 vascular plant phyla. The taxon distributions of these taxes are different. The Magnoliophyta phylum has 151 families (83.88%), 633 genera (93.08%) and 1,130 species (92.85%); the Polypodiophyta has 22 families (12.22%), 38 genera (5.58%) and 74 species (6.08%); the Pinophyta has 3 families, 4 genera and 5 species; the Lycopodiophyta has 2 families, 3 genera and 6 species; the smallest taxa are Equisetophyta and Psilotophyta with 1 family, 1 genus and 1 species each. The Euphorbiaceae is the most diverse family (60 species), followed by Rubiaceae (49 species), Fabaceae, Moraceae. There are 26 genera with more than 5 species, made up 4% compared to the total genera of the flora but with 186 species (15.28% the total species of the flora); these genera are Ficus (24 species), Ardisia (13 species), Piper and Polygonum, each with 9 species; Diospyros, Elaeocarpus, Hedyotis. Psychotria and Dendrobium, each with 7 species; Begonia, Bauhinia, Desmodium, Maesa, Helicia, Solanum, Callicarpa, Clerodenrun, Carex, Cyperus and Dioscorea, each with 6 species and lastly Tectaria, Pteris, Schefflera, Garcinia, Rhododendron and Syzygium, each with 5 species. There are 40 endangered species (representing 3,4% of the total species of the flora of the Xuanson national park) listed in the Red Data Book of Vietnam (2004), that need to be given priority for conservation and protection.Useful plant resources comprise medicinal plants (665 species); timber plants (202 species); vegetables and edible fruits (132 species); ornamental plants (90 species); aromatic plants (26 species); bamboo, rattan, fern, jute (9 species); forages (12 species); floriferous plants (9 species) and poisonous plants (8 species).
The main threats to biodiversity are shifting cultivation and forest fire. These would appear to be bigger threats in non-limestone areas, where hillsides are suitable for cultivation. Communities inside the national park, which live in limestone areas, cultivate wet rice on flat valley bottoms. However, the limestone hillsides close to these communities are still covered with primary forest. One conservation issue at Xuan Son is that the national park is, perhaps, too small to support viable populations of several mammal and bird species in the long-term. Preventing negative impacts on forests, protecting biodiversity and developing sources of precious genes of rare flora for high economic value. Raising public awareness and improving forest-based incomes for the locals for sustainable forest and environmental protection and management, as well. Those are two most important tasks in Xuan Son National Park. A wide belt of land with difficult geographic characteristics and a high potential is waiting for exploitation. Xuan Son National Park needs creative, high qualified and enthusiasm staffs to make the region more and more beautiful and wealthy.
(Author: Huyen Nguyen)
Saco travel company