Three streams of “sacred fish” in Thanh Hoa
The streams attract thousands of visitors every day. The mysterious stories about the strange fish there have yet to be explained.
The first sacred fish stream is located in Luong Ngoc village in Cam Luong commune, Cam Thuy district. The second stream is also in Cam Thuy district, but in Dung village, Cam Lien commune. The third stream is in Chieng Ban village in Van Nho commune, Ba Thuoc district.
Cam Luong fish stream
Sacred fish in Cam Luong.
Cam Luong Fish Stream is home to thousands of fish, weighing from 2kg to 8 kg each. There are several king fish of up to 30 kg.
Surprisingly, the fish swim around a 100-meter long section during the day and they hide in caves at night. Besides eating the leaves that fall from the trees along the stream, the fish are also fed spinach once or twice a week by the stream guards.
According to local officials, the fish in Cam Luong Stream are doc fish, a carp species named in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Local people believe that the fish in Cam Luong Stream are sacred fish and the growth of the fish will bring prosperity to the local community.
Dinh Trong Tam, who has been living near the stream for 80 years, says the origin of the sacred fish started from a legend about the snake god.
According to the legend, the ancient Luong Ngoc village at the foot of Truong Sinh Mountain suffered from severe drought and crop failure.
There were a couple of poor, infertile farmers in the village. The wife often went to the stream to cry about their unfortunate situation. One day, while catching snails and crabs in the stream, the wife accidentally touched a strange egg. Thinking the egg was rotten, the woman dropped the egg into the water and continued her work.
But strangely, she did not catch any snail or crab that day, just the strange egg, although she moved to other locations. She took the egg home and told her husband. The egg hatched a silver white snake. The husband took the strange snake to the stream and released it. But the snake returned home at night to sleep in the same bed with the couple.
At first they were scared, but then their life was associated with the snake like a pet. They even considered the snake as their child. Also, since the snake had appeared, the weather had been very nice and the crops very good. The Muong people became prosperous and happy. They loved the snake very much and they called it the snake boy.
After one rainy night with strong winds and thunder, local people discovered the body of the snake on the stream bank. They built a temple on the stream bank to worship the snake. Since then, thousands of strange fish have appeared in the stream to guard the temple.
The snake temple is located next to a cave with sacred fish.
Surrounded by limestone mountains, the stream is only 100 meters long and 3-4 meters wide. There are tens of thousands of fish (weighing from 2 to 8 kg; the biggest ones are up to 30 kg) in strange shapes and many colors. When they swim, their bodies glow.
In the dry season, the stream is only 20-40 cm deep and the water is clear. Visitors can reach out to caress the fish. The density of the fish is thick but the water does not smell. Local residents use the water for cooking, bathing and washing. This tourist attraction attracts thousands of visitors yearly.
At present, the fish hang around near a small cave with about one meter radius.
Locals say the fish have been there for hundreds of years and the people consider them as treasures. The fish have never been attacked by disease.
Despite floods, the fish in the stream never drift away. The big fish hide themselves in caves and the small fish that were swept away by flood sought way to return to the stream. The fish stream is sacred and nobody dares to catch the fish, according to locals.
Every year, a festival is held near the stream from the 8th to 15th of the first lunar month.
Muong people in the Luong Ngoc call the fish “doc” while scientists define the fish as a species of carp, with the scientific name of Spinibarbichthys denticulatus. This species is listed in the Red Book of Vietnam.
Cam Lien fish stream
This stream is only about three kilometers from the Cam Luong fish stream.The fish swim in Dong Stream during the day and return to its cave at night.
Locals say this fish stream has existed for hundreds of years. The Muong people calls the fish “dong fish”.
This is a rare breed of fish, each weighing four to five kilograms. The fish has a body like a carp, which is round and fat in the middle, and has pink lips. Its scales are like carp, its back has a dark color, and its fin and tail has red dots.
Local people consider it a natural treasure so they have protected it and helped the fish grow.
The third sacred fish stream is in Chieng Ban Village of Van Nho Commune, Ba Thuoc District.
Locals say that in the early 20th century, French troops garrisoned near the stream. French troops not only caught the fish but set an altar for them.