View Phu Yen from Nhan and Chop Chai Mountains

Two of them, Nhan and Chop Chai Mountains, offer panoramic views of the province, which lies between Cu Mong Pass to the north and Ca Pass to the south, and its capital of Tuy Hoa.

Nhan (swallow) Mountain on the northern bank of the Da Rang River in Tuy Hoa is also called Bao Thap (precious tower) or Thap Dinh (palace tower) because of the Cham tower on its peak. The mountain and its tower have become the very symbol of Phu Yen, and the Ministry of Culture and Information has recognized the Nhan Tower as a National Vestige of the Art and Construction. The 64m high mountain overlooks Tuy Hoa, Binh Ngoc Flower Village, Da Bia Mountain, and Da Rang River and the two bridges, the longest in the central region, that cross it.

The Nhan Tower on top was built some 700 years ago and is considered as the only architectural work of the Cham people in Phu Yen. The 25m high brick tower consists of four stories, with each side of the foundation measuring 11m, less toward the top. Standing on the top is a stone linga worshipped as a symbol of the god Shiva, one of the principal Hindu deities.

Rivalling Nhan Mountain’s popularity is Chop Chai Mountain, whose name can be roughly translated as the top of fishing net because its shape recalls the top end of a net when it is thrown into the water. Located to the west of National Highway 1A, 4km north of Tuy Hoa, Chop Chai Mountain in Binh Kien Commune is also called Nuu Son (Handle Mountain).

Clouds usually cover the imposing, 391m high mountain’s peak. Thus, locals consider it, as well as the 706m Da Bia Mountain, as a weather forecast station that signals whether the sun will shine or rain will fall.

Besides enjoying the view from Chop Chai Mountain’s peak, visitors can make excursions to Trai Thuy, or Hang Doi (Bat Cave), and pagodas on the sides of the mountain, such as Hoa Son, Minh Son, Khanh Son and Bao Lam. The four pagodas look upon a 1.2ha area called Lien Tri Luc Nguyet (the moon bathing in a lotus pond) in the valley.

(Saigon Today)

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