Watching sea-gulls in Nha Trang Vietnam
No matter how many times one has visited the Khanh Hoa Salangane Nest Company, the sight of hundreds of sea-gulls flying around in the constantly-blue sky and sea of Nha Trang City is always thrilling.
The Sam Islet is a natural habitat for sea-gulls, and they can also be observed on the rock cliffs on Noi Island.
An early start is necessary when taking this journey. At 7.00 a.m. the sea around Nha Trang is a kind princess with tender waves around vessels. Fishing boats can be seen in the distance, and many enticingly beautiful islands are visible on the open water.
The 40 kilometers trip from Nha Trang port to Sam Islet takes almost two hours by boat, which is why many tourists choose the express service which reduces the travel time to only 45 minutes, but those who opt for a cruise in the glass-bottom boats will have a unique experience; there is much to be learned from watching the swallows and hearing how the people salangane nests are collected, and there are spectacular coral reefs to see.
Visitors to the island will observe swallows from a narrow cave or gather into groups of three or four people to watch their nests, although more often than not the industrious birds are searching for food in the mountain ranges of the Central Highlands region, leaving behind only a few "house-keeping" swallows to keep an eye on the nests.
The scenery on Sam Islet is liberating, with tottering slabs, swallow caves and huge trees from the Truong Sa Island. One can climb the Du Ha cave to get closer to the sky, offer incense at the temple and enjoy a swim in the cool, clear waters at the beach or in the natural lake on the island.
However watching the seegulls flying in the sky is the most interesting. The sea-gulls are usually seen around fishing boats, following the wake of the vessels to catch fish.
Some experts believe that seegulls are accurate weather forecasters as they only fly for food on fine days. Thus, seafarers will often look at the sea-gulls to estimate the weather, believing that when they cry out noisily and fly in search of shelter, it is possible that a storm is coming.
In Sam Islet near bird nest island, the flocks of seagulls can he observed in their natural environment. Sam Islet is small, about 100 square meters, and not very high, about 15 meters above sea level with many rocky slopes extending to the sea.
These slopes-cause waving attract schools of fish, making area an ideal hunting place for the seagull. Sam Islet also has many slits in the rocks where thick layers of grass grow thanks to the soil and the rain. The flocks of seagulls use these openings as their nests.
There are over a thousand seagulls on the island which are very tame around the tourists. It is possible to stay in tents here to get out of the sun, or sit on the rocks near the sea to watch the spectacular view of the seagulls flying around.
During the breeding season the island is covered with nests. The eggs in the nests are protected by the Khanh Hoa Salangane Nest Company but unfortunately there are always some curious tourists who take the eggs for souvenirs.
(Source: SGT, URL:http://english.vietnamnet.vn/travel/2008/08/801228/)
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