Located just 80 kilometers from the center of Thanh Hoa, Cam Luong Fish Stream is the perfect destination for tourists seeking to experience the breathtaking beauty of Vietnam’s mountains and forests. One of the incredible attractions of this landmark is its abundant school of “holy fish,” which are highly revered and protected by the locals. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s explore the enchanting beauty of the “holy stream” for an unforgettable journey in Thanh Hoa today!
Overview of Cam Luong Fish Stream in Thanh Hoa
The Cam Luong Fish Stream is located in Luong Ngoc village, Cam Luong commune, Cam Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province. This stream spans about 2 kilometers, flowing from a cave at the base of the mountain and pouring into a spacious valley on the south bank of the Ma River. In addition to its natural beauty, the stream is steeped in mysterious and legendary tales associated with the god of snakes worshiped by the local Muong people.
A long time ago, there was an elderly couple in the village who, despite their old age, had no children. One day, while fishing and catching shrimp near the stream, the wife stumbled upon an oddly-shaped egg. Cautiously, she placed the egg in the water and continued fishing. To her surprise, no matter how many times she tried to discard the egg, it always reappeared in her basket. Intrigued by this phenomenon, the couple decided to take the egg home.
After a few days, the egg hatched into a snake. The husband was scared at first, so he made several attempts to release the baby snake back into the stream. However, every night, the snake found its way back home. Eventually, the snake became a member of the family and lived with them. Interestingly, since the snake’s arrival, the villagers no longer experienced prolonged droughts, as the stream now provided ample water for irrigation.
One day, following heavy rain and strong winds, the villagers discovered the snake’s body floating at the base of a nearby mountain. It was believed that the snake had fought a water monster to defend the village. As a token of gratitude for the contribution of the snake, the villagers built a temple at the foot of the mountain. Soon after, a multitude of large fish began appearing in the stream in front of the temple, diligently protecting it day and night. The villagers named the stream the Holy Fish Stream and they never consume these “holy fish.”
According to the beliefs of the Muong people in Thanh Hoa, the Cam Luong Fish Stream is considered a sacred place that protects the entire village. The presence of a plentiful school of “holy fish” symbolizes peace and prosperity in the lives of the people. Nowadays, the Cam Luong Fish Stream has become a popular tourist destination that attracts numerous tourists who come to explore.
Best time to visit Cam Luong Fish Stream
Cam Luong Fish Stream is open year-round, allowing you to visit at any time. However, based on the experiences of many previous travelers, the best time to visit is during the summer, from April to September every year.
During this time, the weather is beautiful and the stream is full of water, creating an abundance of fish. The sight of fish frolicking in the spring, bathed in the shimmering sunlight, creates an unforgettable scene. Additionally, you can visit this landmark during the Lunar New Year to pray for a lucky year ahead.
What to do at Cam Luong Fish Stream
As one of the famous tourist destinations in Thanh Hoa province, Cam Luong Fish Stream offers many interesting activities for you to attend, such as:
Admire the Delightful Scenery and Feed the Fish
When visiting Cam Luong fish stream, visitors will have the opportunity to witness and admire thousands of fish swimming in the spring. One interesting thing is that the fish only swim around a 100-meter section of the stream. During heavy rain, instead of swimming away, the fish hide in caves or crevices. Even the small fish know how to find their way back to the stream. This creates a dense and lively school of fish. Despite the high fish density, the water in the stream remains clear and without any unpleasant odor. The locals even use this water for cooking and daily activities.
Visitors to the Cam Luong fish stream can purchase food for the fish from local villagers. The fish in this stream come in various shapes and sparkling colors. They range in weight from 2 to 8 kilograms, with some reportedly reaching nearly 30 kilograms, as claimed by the locals. These fish are known for their friendliness towards humans, and visitors can even try reaching their hand into the water to touch them. According to local beliefs, those who touch these divine fish will receive good luck in the future.
Visit the Nearby Relics and Explore the Local Ways of Life
On both sides of the Cam Luong stream, visitors can witness the traditional wooden stilt houses, which are characteristic of the Muong ethnic village. The peaceful scenery amidst the majestic mountains and forests will surely provide you with deep and unforgettable experiences.
Moreover, visitors can explore Ngoc Temple, which worships the Four Mother Goddesses, a folk belief in Vietnam. Another option is to visit the Cave of Cau Dang, nestled in the Truong Sinh mountain range. Inside the cave, you will find thousands of sparkling stalactites with beautiful and diverse shapes. The deep and seemingly endless cave further demonstrates the sacredness of this land.
In addition, visitors can visit the nearby villages along the stream to explore the customs, traditions, and festivals of the local people. This is also an opportunity to savor delightful local specialties while appreciating the beauty of the area.
Must-Try Delicacies at Cam Luong Fish Stream
Below are some special dishes that you should try when visiting the Cam Luong fish stream in Thanh Hoa Province:
Bamboo-Tube Rice with Grilled Chicken
This dish is one of the most distinctive in Thanh cuisine. Bamboo-tube rice, known for its sticky texture and natural aroma of bamboo, is served with flavorful grilled chicken, and dipped with a mix of salt, pepper, and chili, resulting in a perfect combination of flavors.
Nem Chua (Fermented Sour Pork Sausage)
This delightful traditional dish of the Thanh Hoa people is a perfect blend of different ingredients, such as pork skin, raw meat, garlic, chili, and pepper. When fermented to perfection, Nem Chua tantalizes the taste buds of any diners with its harmonious combination of sweetness and tanginess. There are various versions of Nem Chua with different shapes, including square, long, rolled, and ball shapes.
The Thanh Hoa shrimp rolls are prepared by combining ground shrimp, pounded pan-fried crispy pork belly, and a mixture of different spices. These ingredients are then wrapped in rice paper and grilled over charcoal, resulting in a distinctive and flavorful dish. They are typically served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce and accompanied by leafy greens.
Banh Rang Bua (Rice Cake Filled with Brown Onion)
This type of cake is shaped like a traditional agricultural tool commonly found in the countryside of the area. As a result, it embodies the essence of a simple countryside lifestyle and has become a popular gift among tourists when visiting Cam Luong Fish Stream.
The cake is wrapped in banana leaves or dong leaves and filled with ingredients such as wood ear mushrooms, pork belly, pepper, and dried onions. When boiled, the cake releases a mouthwatering aroma. When savored, it is incredibly soft and absolutely delicious.
Some Notes for Your Trip to Cam Luong Fish Stream
- To protect the environment and preserve the beauty of Cam Luong Fish Stream, it is important to follow the rules listed below:
- Please refrain from littering in the stream and within the tourist area.
- Avoid feeding fish with unfamiliar food.
- It is important not to harm or catch fish in the stream.
- Please be careful not to damage the stalactites in the Cay Dang Cave.
The mysterious stories surrounding the legendary Cam Luong fish stream add to its allure and appeal, attracting more and more tourists each year. Hopefully, the shared experience of visiting this fish stream will be helpful for your trip. Have a pleasant journey!