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October 25, 2018
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Nam O – the ancient fishing village by Da Nang beach

With many people, Nam O Nam Village (Lien Chieu District, Da Nang city) is only known recently after the controversy surrounding the eco-tourism project. Nevertheless, the village by “the foot of the waves” is an interesting address for travel, enjoy food and learn history.

Location of Nam O village

It is away from the center of Da Nang city just over 10km; going the entire coastal road Nguyen Tat Thanh, at the end, you will meet the white sand stretches quite wild. This is the fishing village of Nam O. The coastal road is wide and straight, so coming to Nam O village is very simple even for the tourist that get the first time visit Da Nang.

Nam O beach is still wild - picture Doan Cuong
Nam O beach is still wild – picture Doan Cuong

Come to hear the old story

Visitors can go by cars, motorbikes and people who have good physical health and love sport can bike for sightseeing and taking photos along the beautiful coast.

At the end of Nguyen Tat Thanh Street is Nam O beach, located close to the casuarina line in the wind. In the rainy season, if tourists want to swim in the sea, they have to choose a sunny day to be in harmony with the sea and listen to the wind blowing through the casuarina trees.

There will be rare villages like Nam O with “village age” nearly 700 years old. Because of that, when coming to this ancient village, nothing is more interesting than being able to see the relics of the village, listening to the old tales from the elderly. Right in front of Nam O beach is Ngu Ong temple.

Take us into the Ngu Ong temple, Mr. Tran Ngoc Vinh, chairman of the Nam O 2 fish sauce village, gently remove the cloth covering the remains of whale skeleton kept by the villagers, then he said this place is worshiping 47 sets of whale skeleton.

These skeletons were buried by the anglers before moving to the temple from 1848 and having been solemnly worshiped by the villagers.

According to the elders of Nam O village, at the beginning of the temple has an architecture from wood, stall-plastered mortar, roofed with leaves. In 1851, the temple was enlarged to be more beautiful and the place where the remains of the whale skeleton were buried.

Follow the road leading to the village is the Ba Lieu Hanh temple built in 1602 associated with the custom of worshiping the mother of earth of Dai Viet resident on the new land, Nam O villagers handed down many generations.

One stop that many young people choose to visit is the Nam O Stone reef. Here, in the summer, seawater is blue, you can see the fish and shrimp swimming under the moss rock, it is always a favorite destination.

Also on the Nam O reef is sacred forest – where the legendary Princess Huyen Tran stop is still protected by residents for generations. Walking into the village, visitors will be exploring cultural space with Cham wells located in the middle of this village.

Early morning, fish and shrimp are caught by anglers of the village - Photo Doan Cuong
Early morning, fish and shrimp are caught by anglers of the village – Photo Doan Cuong

Enjoy the seafood

For those who like to discover the food, Nam O will bring a “party” of the sea flavor. From the beginning of the village, the smell of fermented shrimp paste and Nam O fish sauce has make people’s mouth water.

On the beach, 80-year-old man Phan Quynh is drying red fermented shrimp paste buckets, he said that Nam O beach is rich and brings specialties that few places have. And fermented shrimp paste is one of them.

“This kind of fermented shrimp paste can be mixed with chili, served with hot pork pieces or put a little fermented shrimp paste to the pot of soup very delicious” – Mr. Quynh said.

However, the most famous specialty of Nam O is the fish sauce; there is a famous idiom: “Nam O fish sauce / Xuan Thieu anabas”, or “today remember Cho Chua rice noodle – remember Nam O fish sauce and remember crab of Ganh village”.

You can walk in this village; it seems to have the aroma of fish sauce permeated into each house and alleyway. For those who like to experience, you can come here to roll the sleeves to make Nam O fish sauce with the villagers.

Mr. Tran Ngoc Vinh shared that Nam O fish sauce is wholly made from fresh anchovy caught by the villagers themselves.

Fish are put in salt water, no need to add anything with formula 10 kg of fish, 3-4 kg of salt, 2 kg fish will give 1 kg of water, salted in 12 months. Salty taste, aromatic and yellow sauce of Nam O fish sauce is easy to distinguish.

For those who like to enjoy the fresh sea food, just in the morning, on the coast of Nam O, small boats of fishermen ashore and bring the seafood of the sea. The sale is fast, fishermen are very straightforward, selling only 50,000-70,000/kg.

After doing a round trip of Nam O village, tourists can buy the specialties of the sea is dried fish, dried squid, dried anchovies or fish sauce for souvenir of the ancient sea village.

At lunchtime, you can go through the village to the edge of the Cu De River to enjoy the specialties of Nam O is the fish salad in the cool wind from the mouth of the river.

Historical sites

Nam O Village also preserved many historical relics - Photo Doan Cuong
Nam O Village also preserved many historical relics – Photo Doan Cuong

It is about 300 m to the south of the Ngu Ong temple is whale tomb. According to the legend, whale after being drifted to the shore will be buried on the shore by local people, after three years they will bring the whale skeleton to the temple to worship. Nearby is the temple of wandering ghosts.

In the battles against the French attacked the estuary of Da Nang in the past, the soldiers of the Nam O military base, Tan Bien Cu De base and local soldiers were killed many, so the king appointed the villagers build the temple to commemorate the death of soldiers. The time of King Thanh Thai has been attributed to the establishment of the Honor Temple to remember the death of soldiers in the capital   drubbing 1885.

Nam O – the ancient fishing village by Da Nang beach
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