A prolonged heat wave has been gripping central Vietnam for weeks, so it may sound like a crazy idea to seek a cool retreat these days in Nghe An Province.
But if you travel to Yen Khe Commune in Con Cuong District, a western district in the province, a big surprise will wait for you there.
You should start early in the morning, so the journey can be less exhausting. Once you reach the commune, it will get immediately cooler with big tree shadows and a network of streams.
The commune has one special stream called Moc, where the water stays cool even in the summer.
The Khe Kem Waterfall. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
Legend has it that goddesses used to bathe here.
The area is next to the Pu Mat National Park and it has become a camping site for people in central Vietnam every summer. Some even carry their families over from Hanoi.
Keep driving on the road at one side of the park and it will lead you through a wild, peaceful world to the waterfall Khe Kem.
You have to walk through a fence guarded by forest rangers, showing your papers and learning some regulations and safety warnings.
There’s a parking lot around there.
Then follow the sounds of the waterfall, climb over a small mossy hill and you will see it, around 50 meters above the ground.
Many young men just jump right down. But those who are not that brave can still enjoy the cool water at small ponds not far from the fall.
There’s a restaurant in the area but you have to call and book in advance if you want some local dishes, or a safer choice is bringing your own food.