One day of June, we were asked to go to Tam Ky by a friend. My first question was “What to do in Tam Ky?”.
I heard that Tam Ky is a little city of Quang Nam province, about 65 km from Da Nang and 45 km from Hoi An. If you want to fly straight to Tam Ky, you can also choose the destination is Chu Lai airport. That used to be the biggest military airport of Vietnam in war time, and is now still the biggest airport of our country (3,000ha). It’s easy to find a ticket to go to Tam Ky, but to be honest, Tam Ky has never been in our list of to-go/ will-be-going/ must-go…When searching “Tam Ky” on the internet, there is not much information. This time, because of the sudden invitation as well as our curiosity, we are led to come to this place. And so, Tam Ky has its own way of making us remember.
As in “Kien truc” magazine, “with the area of over 9,000ha spreading from the West to the East, Tam Ky possesses the whole 3 rivers to act as a strong blood system running through its body. Tam Ky river runs from the mountain to the sea. Ban Thach and Truong Giang rivers run parallel from the North to the South and then merge into one single river to go to Ky Ha bay. The two big lake, Phu Ninh which is 3,500ha and Dam river lake, acts as a green lung to regulate water and air for the city. The North of the city meets Tam Thanh beach”.
A marvelous greenness from river, lake, sea, and the woods created a huge impact on our mind when the aircraft was about to land. I tap him on the shoulder: “Honey, honey! Look! So beautiful!”
And how about the city when we were really in Tam Ky after a 40-minute drive from Chu Lai to Muong Thanh hotel on Hung Vuong road – the main road of the city?
I could say that the summer climate of the Middle of Vietnam is very annoying. Just when we opened the taxi door, a hot air tapped on our face. But at the same time, the feel of peace poured into our mind. The streets there were airy, big, clean, which must be thanks to the small population. Tam Ky people are nice, friendly, although their voices are a little hard to hear. Regarding the general landscape, the architecture of houses, schools, cafes, … and Tam Ky city itself, there is nothing too special, except for the long-standing restaurants with great delicacies located on the large road surface, or in small and deep lanes that locals call “alleys” (kiệt). But obviously, this place is an interesting intersection as the roads running throughout the city lead to surprisingly beautiful deserted places. For example, Bich Hoa village, Tam Thanh lake, Phu Ninh lake, Dam river canebrake, Tam Tien fish market, Tam Hai island, … besides familiar landmarks such as Hoi An ancient town, Cham island, My Son sanctuary.
TAM THANH VILLA VILLAGE – – “Appearing since 2016, Tam Thanh is the first mural village in our country, the product of the Korean-Vietnamese community art exchange project. The artists of the two countries have “enchanted” the old walls of more than 100 houses in the village to become vivid, unique paintings” – the introduction of Zing made us so excited because I thought it was only Korea that had a mural village! Tam Thanh village is located in a special position.
Watching the village from above (through the perspective of … the flycam), Tam Thanh village is a strip of land emerging between two vast sides of water: one side is the river and the other is the sea. Recently, the village also has an additional area displaying the basket boat with vivid, eye-catching paintings.
To take pictures with the paintings on the walls of the houses in the village, we kept driving along the main roads in the village, if we saw any houses with beautiful paintings, we stopped asking for permission. Everyone was so nice, seeing us, he waved and told us to come to the yard to take photos freely. An elderly doctor grinned, saying, “This painting is made for you to take pictures!” (local tone). The suitable time to take photos here is about 6-8am and 4-6pm. We hope that in the future, the amount of paintings in the village will be more, so Tam Thanh village will be much nicer then.
In Tam Thanh village, there are families making traditional fish sauce with only two main ingredients which are fish and salt. You are welcome to visit these production sites. Tam Thanh fish sauce is salty but mild. It’s true that only that authentic fish sauce can save the tongue that has been tastes so much chemicals. If you want to stay in Tam Thanh, here are a few lovely homestays located close to the beach.
PHU NINH LAKE – a Vietnam artificial lake formed from Phu Ninh irrigation work, an ecotourism paradise which is still very little known of. Phu Ninh Lake is located in Nui Thanh and Phu Ninh districts of Quang Nam province, about 7km west of Tam Ky city center.
Phu Ninh Lake is like a miniature Ha Long Bay with beautiful alluvial beaches and floating islands. The surface of the lake is blue and flat, like a big mirror reflecting vast clouds and vast trees. The best time to blend in with nature is early morning or late afternoon. Here, you can take a boat ride on the lake, experience zip line, bike ride, drink coffee, camping by the lake …
DAM RIVER CANEBRAKE is a large natural lagoon with an area of more than 180ha, an average water level of 1.6 m deep with rich natural conditions, vegetation, diverse fauna, shrimp, birds, reeds, sedge, lotus blend, which create pristine beauty.
Here you can rent a boat from the local people to go deep into the Canebrake. Afternoon sunset has magical light and you can take very beautiful photos there!
TAM TIEN FISH MARKET: 4:30, when the Sun was still sleepy, the people of the fishing village had all gathered. Mr. L. – one of the elders of the fishing village – told us: before, there was only 11, now up to more than 700 households living in the fishing village.
The boats that had been fishing since the previous night were waiting in line for the coracles of their relatives to carry fresh fish and the joy of a smooth sailing trip.
Tam Tien fish market in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province; is the only beach from Cua Dai to Chu Lai, so it is a big fish market and is almost a seafood hub in Da Nang – Quang Nam area.
It was not yet bright, but the beach was busy, filled with all colors and noisy sounds. People start sorting fish into individual baskets/ bins or filling them on large canvas sheets. Traders were available for purchase. Trading activities took place quickly because everyone was familiar with each other, knew the price already, so everyone worked hard, and didn’t have to argue or bargain.
A very casual and idyllic setting! Until around 6:30AM – 7AM, the market was almost over, returning the deserted beach to the waves.
TAM HAI ISLAND is a beautiful island in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province, which is still very little known of. On the island, there is a typical job which is algae picker. We came here for only two days and were in a daze. What is algae picking? What else is on the island? We will tell you soon, in another article!
Tam Kỳ in my heart is like an afternoon dream. An afternoon dream is not long, not too dreamy, all experiences only happen for a short while, but so soft, so tender, which gives me the energy to continue living, dreaming, loving and going forward on my long days. Next time, if I have chance to come to Quang Nam, I will definitely come to Tam Ky. To have “an afternoon dream” and to be recharged!