Photograph of the week: Thác Dray Nur Waterfall, Buon Ma Thuot, Vietnam
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful E De girl and her boyfriend who loved to wile away their hours, staring into one another’s eyes as they gazed upon a waterfall near their village. One day, as they were sitting upon a big rock doing just that, a monster appeared in a column of water and drove the young man away. When the young man returned to try rescue his girlfriend, he found that she had been taken by the monster.
This is the legend that locals love to tell about Thác Dray Nur Waterfall in Dak Lak Province, Vietnam. The rocky bank beside the waterfall is where the young couple sat; the waterfall itself is the column of water where the monster appeared. The sound of the waterfall? Well, that is the sound of whispers telling the story to any who listen closely enough. As for the name Dray Nur: that means Female or Wife Waterfall in the local language, taking its name from the legend no doubt.
Situated in Kuop Village, about 25km south of Buon Ma Thuot City, Dray Nur waterfall is around 30m high, and widely considered the most beautiful and largest of the three waterfalls in the area. Fed by the Srepock River, a major tributary of the Mekong River that flows from the Central Highlands into northeastern Cambodia, Dray Nur actually consists of three levels, creating three lakes. Visitors can swim in the first of the three lakes where the water is shallow. In the second lake, swimming becomes trickier and is not encouraged, mostly due to sharp rocks. In the third lake, you will find deep water and great caution is advised. From here, visitors can walk along the rock bank for a panoramic view of the waterfall itself.
Dray Nur is also home to a cave more than 3,000 square metres in size, complete with stalactites, stalagmites, bats and more magical, mythical scenes. Meanwhile, in the villages near the waterfall, you can observe the daily activities of locals, including rice grinding, brocade weaving, and the crafting of hunting tools by hand. You can also taste local rice wine and food specialties and hear even more legends about the Central Highlands and Dray Nur Waterfall.
Renowned as much for its natural beauty and the mythical legend which surrounds it, even if you don’t subscribe to myth and mystery, a trip to Dray Nur is more than worth it for the glories of nature alone.