Ancient cinnamon gardens at Ngoc Linh Mountain
VietNamNet Bridge - Nam Tra My district of Quang Nam province is well known as the homeland of Ngoc Linh ginseng. However, it also produces Tra My cinnamon which has been growing there for hundreds of years.

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Hamlet 2, Tra Van commune, located at the foot of the sacred Ngoc Linh Mountain, is considered the ‘metropolis’ of Tra My cinnamon. There in Tra Van, every household has at least 1,000 cinnamon trees, while others have tens of hectares of cinnamon. 

Ni is one of the local men who have the largest area of cinnamon in the locality. Ni’s hamlet is of stilt houses are on a mountain slope, where about 40 households live. 

In daytime, there was no adult in the village. One could only hear sounds of children spelling at the village’s school. Though the weather was not good, villagers still went to the forest to harvest cinnamon bark to sell to spend on gifts for Tet holiday.

After waiting several hours, reporters met Bui Phi Lam, 30, who had just returned from the forest. 

Lam said there are still many ancient cinnamon gardens, but they are deep in the forest and it takes two hours to reach there. 

Nam Tra My district of Quang Nam province is well known as the homeland of Ngoc Linh ginseng. However, it also produces Tra My cinnamon which has been growing there for hundreds of years.

“Ancient cinnamon trees can also be found in the hamlet, but there are fewer than 100 trees,” he said.

After taking a rest, Lam led the reporters to the end of the hamlet, where the cinnamon trees live. These are very old trees with rough bark. The largest and oldest tree has a trunk circumference of 2.5 meters. 

Other trees are smaller with trunk diameter of 40-60 cm. “These are Tra Van-origin cinnamon,” Lam explained. “A 30-year-old cinnamon would have the diameter of 40 cm. And it will take many years to grow the trees with the diameter of over one meter "

“The tree must be older than my father,” Lam said, pointing to the tree. “Village elders said it is more than 100 years old. We don’t harvest its bark, but we collect seeds to grow other trees."

“Some people said they want to buy the tree for tens of millions of dong. But we will never sell it,” he said, adding that for Tra Van’s people, cinnamon is very important. It is the symbol of prosperity and the source of the village’s life.

Scientists, highly appreciating Tra My cinnamon, affirmed that Tra My cinnamon contains more attar than any other cinnamon species in Vietnam. The attar can help treat many digestive and respiratory diseases. It helps stimulate the circulation of blood, warm bodies up and has antiseptic properties. About 1,000 tons of dry cinnamon bark are sold by Nam Tra My to the market each year.


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Mai Thanh

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