Wade into a special experience

TN News

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While most eco-tourism sites in Vietnam host a variety of flora and fauna, Co (Stork) Island in Chi Lang Nam Commune of the northern province of Hai Duong boasts 20,000 wading birds.

A boat ride on An Duong Lake is a special experience, as thousands of storks and night-herons take turns in flying back and forth for food, covering the expanse above the lake.

The best time to see this is early in the morning when the night-herons are back and storks set out on their hunting forays, and late in the afternoon when the two species exchange their "working shifts" again.

If you happen to take a trip to the island between September and April, don't forget to bring along a camera with a zoom lens or a pair of binoculars to see hundreds of eggs in the nests built by the birds on trees and in shrubs, or to watch baby storks practice flying.

Residents say during eight months of the year, thousands of storks from other places fly to the island and lay eggs.

At least 12 species of water-walking birds have been spotted on the island, which is some 70 kilometers from Hanoi. These include the storks, night-herons and rare cinnamon bitterns.

The island, covering nearly 3,000 square meters, also houses another 170 animal species like otters. The An Duong Lake, which is up to 25 meters deep, has fish weighing up to several dozen kilograms each.

Visitors to the island will no doubt hear legends about it from local residents. It is said that during the 15th century, three deluges struck a big dyke along the Red River, breaking it into pieces. The island was formed after the second disaster.

In 1994, authorities of Thanh Mien District, where the island is located, invested in a project to turn the island into a tourism site, which now attracts some 40,000 visitors annually.

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