Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

By Huynh Phuong   June 21, 2020 | 11:07 am GMT+7
Dam Chuon, a brackish lagoon still not prominent on the tourism circuit in central Vietnam, offers an intimate look at fishermen’s life.
Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

A view of Dam Chuon with fishing boats going up to huts and a network of fish pens built by fishermen to farm marine creatures.

A hut is typically five square meters in size and built of bamboo. People live in them and tourists can spend the night there stargazing and dining in the company of fishermen.

Dam Chuon, a community-based ecotourism site, is in Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Phu Vang District, 15 km east of Hue.

From Hue, Vietnam's former imperial capital, you could take An Truyen Street, which leads to Dam Chuon. A motorbike trip is recommended for the rewarding sightseeing en route.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

Dam Chuon is part of the Tam Giang - Cau Hai wetland nature reserve, which was established by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Thua Thien-Hue People's Committee in early June to protect the region's unique habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity, and aquatic resources.

The photos were taken by photographer Kelvin Long, who works in Hue, to promote tourism and give runners taking part in the VnExpress Marathon an inkling about the delightful place. The marathon will be run for the first time in Hue on September 6 this year.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

The Dam Chuon floating market.

Fishermen's boats crowd the lagoon from dawn. They start fishing at 6 p.m. and finish at 6 a.m. and bring their fish and shrimp catch to a wholesale market in Chuon Village to sell.

Long said: “Tourists should sit on a boat in the morning at Dam Chuon to experience the fishing activities. Once you have explored the lagoon, people can visit the Chuon Village market to enjoy the popular, delicious and affordable food there.”

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

Dawn at Dam Chuon.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

A woman sells freshly caught fish at the Chuon Village market. There are many options to choose from, including tilapia, dorab, mullet, and bass. While some were caught at sea, others were farmed in the system.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

A basket of dorab. The fish is a specialty of the Chuon Village market. They live in groups and lay eggs in brackish waters similar to that of Dam Chuon. Fishermen catch them from the fourth to sixth lunar months when they have matured and bred. Their maturity renders their meat firm and the females carry a lot of eggs.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

Mullet is another common species at the market. Other creatures commonly found here are crabs and shrimp.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

The Chuon Village market has many breakfast options like Hue porridge with intestines and steamed pork belly cut.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

Another specialty is turmeric noodles with fried intestines. The intestines are prepared carefully to get rid of their odor and bitterness, and they blend well with spices and meat pies.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

The most famous dish of all is banh xeo or pancake. Unlike banh xeo elsewhere in Vietnam, which has pork and shrimp fillings, you can find the dorab version here.

The photo shows a seller making several pancakes at once on different pans. Fishes also make for delicious porridges and soups.

Spectacular Dam Chuon Lagoon

After the fish is prepared for cooking, it is mixed in a rice flour batter and fried. People in Hue often eat the pancakes with fish sauce and a bit of chili.

There are also squid and shrimp pancakes here. Seeing how the pancakes are made is in itself an interesting experience to some.

Photos by Kevin Long

 
 
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