Bao Loc around this time of the year is soaked in constant drizzles and chilly weather. But at this time, waterfalls there also turn the most magnificent due to higher water flows.
Departing from downtown HCMC at 1 a.m., it takes us only four hours on a bus, and here we are in Bao Loc when it is only 5 a.m. The small city at this time is still blanketed in mist, chill and still sleeping while we shiver in the cold.
We are not in a hurry, we have time, so we refrain ourselves from the desire to visit Dambri first. Our itinerary therefore is added with new and primitive attractions, starting from Ta Ngao Waterfall, which is also a magnificent and unspoiled site.
When the first sun rays start beaming on endless green tea plantation, we ride a motorbike for about 20 kilometers from the center of Bao Loc, then make a right turn to Dai Binh T-Junction and go straight ahead to Ta Ngao Commune in Loc Thanh District. Here and there on the deserted and shady road are farmers going to and from their coffee plantations, so we ask them how to reach the waterfall in the fastest and safest way.
After passing through the bamboo forest for about a kilometer, we see a small wooden bridge from there we can hear the peculiar sounds of the waterfall and murmurs of streams flowing. Wow, what we have heard about it is true.
It is almost untouched as it is not a popular site, and the area still retains its primitive charm and gives us a feeling that we are pioneers discovering a lost city.
Seven storeys of the waterfall stand dozens of meters high and are separated by the lakes under the fall. At each storey are giant rocks where tourists can take a seat and admire the beauty of nature. However, as the lakes under the falls are deep and the water flows swiftly, tourists are advised not to swim there but should move to other gentle sections of the stream to swim and play among the spumes.
Trekking up and down along the stream to explore stunning landscapes under the shade of ancient giant trees, we fell as if we were lost in a wonderland.
We return to Bao Loc downtown at noon to have lunch to revitalize ourselves, then with thrilling excitement, we continue the journey to Suoi Mo, or Fairy Stream, which have heard of from friends with information and photographs on Facebook.
Located 14 kilometers from the city center, the stream is located in a small rough alley in Dai Lao Commune. One needs to ride southward for eight kilometers to reach Dai Lao Bridge, and move on for six more kilometers to arrive at a small alley with a fabric signboard ‘Giao Xu Suoi Mo’ (Suoi Mo Parish). Just a short walk into the small alley, for about 500 meters, one will see the stream to the right.
We laugh a lot when gossiping about the name of the stream, believing that it is just like an exaggeration. However, we are amazed at mere sight of the stream with very pure and cool water flowing through thousands of rocks in diverse sizes and shapes.
There are many strange fruits, wild flowers and lianas which we have never seen before.
After conquering nearly one kilometer of the stream, we reach upon a waterfall with two layers. The fall is not imposing by its height but the water stream is like a silver carpet exposing itself in the immense greenness of forest all around. We linger there on a giant rock to take a rest, admire the surroundings, enjoy snacks before setting out for the ultimate destination: Dambri Waterfall, an icon for the city for long.
Actually, we have visited Dambri for a few times before. However, it is a must for travelers to the city, so we decide to renew our memories about it and to see whether it has changed.
About 18 kilometers from the city center, the Dambri Ecotourism Site is not only splendid for the 60-meter-high waterfall but also for many additional attractions such as a fossil cave, a zoo, a monkey island and a craft village of Ma ethnic minority people.
Well, the fall still looks amazing as we have seen before and our excitement is still like previous times. However, while Ta Ngao and Suoi Mo offer no tourist service, Dambri gives us more relaxation with games on pipeline coaster, swings, speed boats and skiing.
We are richly rewarded after taking the day-long journey to Bao Loc City. And the hearsays are substantiated.