Beautiful Vietnam
Cafe owner unknowingly collects million-year-old fossils
  • | tienphong, | September 21, 2014 02:10 PM

A man in the Central Highlands opened a cafe and restaurant as a way of presenting the highland's stone artistry and his rare fossil collection.


Thanh shows his fossil collection

The Chuong Da (Stone Bell) Cafe, operated by Hoang Thanh, is located on Le Duan Street, Buon Ma Thuot City. Thanh spent a lot of his savings to create a 1,000 square metre space to build his own stone garden. He even set up a long house from the Ede ethnic minority people. Fully furnished, it is one of the highlights in the garden.

Thanh's friends and family thought that he was 'not right in the head' for spending so much money on useless stones. However, Thanh was determined to realise his dream and successfully opened the cafe.

His garden's true value was only discovered when professor Vu Ngoc Hai, a mineral researcher and former deputy head of the Ministry of Education and Training, visited Thanh's garden. Hai found out that among Thanh's stone collection are some fossils millions of years old.

In late 2009, a delegation from Vietnam National Museum of Nature confirmed that the fossils contain information valuable information on the geology and ancient plant life of the region. The fossils are divided into five categories including ammonoidea, gastropoda, gymnospermae, bivalvia and petrified fossils woody plants that were first discovered in the Central Highlands.

The experts commented that it is a large and diverse collection, with extraordinarily large fossils up to 44cm in diameter. Thanh later agreed to donate the collection, 892 fossils in total, to the museum for research and display.


The stone bell

Thanh's cafe garden is not only known for the valuable fossils, but also by the "stone bell". The bell is a cylinder stone 2.5 metres long and 60cm wide. It is called the bell because the softness of the stone allows it to produce a musical tone. What makes the stone even more special are speckles of gold embedded inside. Thanh said, "When the sun shines, the stone gleams with golden sparkles. It's really beautiful."

Thanh said that since his family was going to move abroad, he wanted to give the collection to museums or another passionate collectors so they could be preserved.

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