Dray Sap: The Beginning of an Adventure to Remember

Dak Nong, December 30th 2010

When I assigned for Groovy Gecko Tours,  I didn't know that we would go to see a silk factory, learn about the amazing process of silk, get so much to learn about the local people and their tradition, savor the best coffee in my life, etc. What I knew was that we were going to visit Dray Sap Waterfall and that was one of my biggest reason for joining this pricey tour, compared with all the local tours I have had in Vietnam.

Save your time to visit Dray Sap Waterfall, to enjoy the pure air at night, to welcome the dawn, to hear the chirping of birds, and to have a sense of how beautiful life is!  

That I quoted from here, a link that tells about Dray Sap Waterfall. I don't recall hearing the chirping of birds, but... yeah! We did welcome the dawn and enjoyed the pure air at night. And did we have a sense of how beautiful life is? More than that, I tell you!

Anyway, let's start from the beginning. Our car drove into a pathway and further away from the main road. We stopped in front of a guarded gate. Tin talked to the men in uniform and then were let through. We arrived into a broad parking area but with almost no vehicle parking. Next to the parking lot was a canteen of local food. I and Wiwik looked around. We were clueless about which way to take to get to see Dray Sap Waterfall.

"Tin, excuse me," I said to Tin who was chatting with some men in the canteen. "Which way should we go?

Tin jumped from his Vietnamese short stool at once. "Oh, I'm sorry! Here, come here!"

Tin ushered us to a rocky path. "Take this way. But on the way back, take this path." He pointed to another path next to this rocky path. That path was covered with asphalt.

So there, the 2 of us, Wiwik and me, went off. The minor adventure started by hopping on and off the rather sharp rocks under our feet. Luckily that rocky path didn't last forever. Soon we were on a sandy straight path. We met a creek and we made a shot.

A family tourist passed by. We followed their path. We came to a short tunnel and already saw them on their way back. I wondered why did it take so fast for them.

 Oh, ouw! No wonder. Although splendid blue sky was hovering above, the sight in front of me was disappointing. It didn't seem that we were at the right place at the right time.

I turned to Wiwik. "No wonder it's called 'Dry Sap'. Maybe because it is, dry."

"But, it's not spelled 'd-r-y'. It's 'dray' with an 'a'," Wiwik replied.

"Oh really? I didn't notice that. Then it's like 'long rong house'. Now here's a dry Dray Sap Waterfall." Hahaha. We laughed. But sadly I watched the vertical hard lines on the rock. What would it have looked like if it weren't dry season like now?

We went back and took the opposite path. It seemed that there were only the 2 of us there. The group of tourist had disappeared. We just walked and walked. Wiwik was already soaked up with sweat.

Suddenly we started to hear faint sound of rushing water. From between the trees, quite a distance from us, we could see the rushing water falling down. Hmmm... this looks more like the photos I've seen in the internet.

The question is how to get there. We kept on following the path hoping that it would end to somewhere below the waterfall.

By the end of this path were bushes. But through the leaves I could see that there was another open area. Maybe that's it, I thought hopefully. I added haste to my steps.

Suddenly I heard noises from inside the bushes. I turned my head. Alas! A young couple in white suits sat straight upright, shocked as I was.

Ahead was nothing but a plain of rocks. The waterfall could be seen only from afar. So we turned back. Once again I added haste to my steps. But this time it was to avoid the couple behind the bushes as much as possible. I'm just grateful that they were dressed in white instead of in nothing.

Wiwik discovered a narrow winding path. That path lead us to a giant wooden hanging bridge. We met a group of tourist passing by. Good. It looks like that we are no longer in lonely planet. We paused to take some pictures.

 This is what I had seen in the internet. If only there had been more water. However, if it had been wet season, crossing the rocky paths would be a bigger task. I know I'm not a good trekker. I might have the energy, but I'm not good in keeping balance. Especially when carrying my camera. I'm double scared of slippery paths. I'm worried about myself, but also for my camera. Unlike in Sapa, there are no locals here who would happily take my hand, no matter how much I would be willing to pay. Even my tour guide isn't here. Ughhh.

I understand nothing about geology. I'm the kind who won't take even the least effort to learn something when I'm not interested in the subject. After I became a teacher, I realized that the biggest task a teacher bears is not to make a student understand the subject, but to share the passion for the subject.

If only my teacher in high school could share me the passion, I might have bore more interest than just these sedimentary rocks. I'm always fascinated whenever I see rocks like these layer after layer. Sometimes it looks so neat as if slashed with a knife. How did it happen? How long did it take. How amazing nature is!

This is a close up of the waterfall from across the bridge. It was not really easy to maintain a steady slow shutter speed for the hanging bridge rocked whenever someone moved. The slightest rock on the bridge would cause my hand to swing. Although very slightly, it effects the whole shot. A tripod is of course useless.

Down the bridge we followed the path until suddenly...! Sigh, sigh!

Exactly like described here, the link I mentioned above, said:
This stream looks like a mixture of water and clouds.
Indeed, it did look so!

Dray Sap means "Misty Waterfall".

Remind us to welcome the dawn? We will! For sure! Just stay tuned to my next post. I told you, this is just a beginning of an adventure to remember.

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