Exploration of pearl Island in the southern tip of Viet Nam – Hon Khoai Island

Hon Khoai island is far away from mainland about 14,6km, located in the East – South of Ca Mau cape, in Ngoc Hien district, Ca Mau province, consisted of five big and small islands lying close together: Hon Khoai island, Hon Sao island, Hon Quy island, Hon Da Le island with the total area of 561ha.

Hon Khoai island belongs to Tan An commune, Ngoc Hien district and Nam Can Open Economic Zone which is near the important international marine region in the southernmost area of the East China Sea with very favourable position to reach a large amout number of tourist from all over the world by sea, especially advantages for cooperating with ASEAN regional nations.

hon khoai

From Nam Can town or Rach Goc Estuary, it takes tourists nearly three hours  to reach one of the most beautiful islands in the south of the country – Hon Khoai by boat. Hon Khoai island is far from Rach Goc Estuary, Rach Tau Estuary,  Khai Long tourism and Ca Mau cape Culture – Tourism Park approximately 15.11, 11.34, 7.56, 14.03 sea mile respectively.

In the French colonialist, Hon Khoai island was called Giang Huong Island, Independence Island and Poulo Obi. On the tip of the island with 318m in height stands an important lighthouse in the Eastern Sea and Thailand Bay. In the early last century, French colonialists built a system of lighthouses from Can Gio, Con Dao, Phu Quoc to Hon Khoai to lead ships. The lighthouse on Hon Khoai was built in 1920 with 16m high square cubic granite architecture and put on the top peak of the island attaching signal ships and covering by corridor, overhung from the lighthouse exactly 01 floor which is a soldier’s house for keeping the signal ships. Although it was built for along time, its architecture remains intact until now. This is an important lighthouse to signal ships in and out of Thailand Bay. Nearly 2.2km length-road from the port to the top of the insland zigzags around the hilside and is shadowed by high and big trees. Jackfruit and mango trees are seen lush and many of them have become century-old trees. Many wild flowers blossom in rock cavities as  though special placed there as part of some artistic arrangement. The sound of running water and the chirping of birds complele a heavenly picture.

The total area of primeval forest occupies nearly 4/5 area of Hon Khoai coasted area. In particular, the flora is very rich, with more than 221 species belonging to 78 different families existing on this land and home of 29 species belonging to 18 different families including 7 of reptiles, 20 kind of birds and 2 of beasts. On the Hon Khoai coast, there are numerous algae that cling in to the rock cavities creating a mysterious landscape of the coastal with: sand-bank, pepple-bank, cliffs,… after travelling for sightseeing tour around the island, tourists can get more interesting if they enjoy immediately some kinds of special fresh seafood on the seashore among the immensed spaces and the breezed waves of the sea.

With the fresh air, beautiful landscape, potential for tourism and marine economic development, Hon Khoai have been planed for development, invest attraction on infractructure in order to make this land become the most attactive, interesting tourist destination following a suitable trend for development of ecotourism, sightseeing and resorts. In “Strategy on Ca Mau’s tourism development in the period 2003 – 2010, vision to 2020” is determined that Hon Khoai island is one of the important tourism groups of Ca Mau province, namely Nam Can – Dat Mui – Hon Khoai group, in the aim of boosting strengthen points for sea –island within Hon Khoai group in the field of ecotourism development combining with traditional education, defence and security strategy. The planed area which is listed as the following: defence zone, forest management and marine service, forest land zone, releasing wild animal zone, central and tourism service area, historical monument zone, park, natural forest and animal-raising concentration zone, leisure and relax center, camp and resort area, marine sport and seaside resort area. Furthermore, Hon Khoai island still have several zones which support tourists and travellers going to sightseeing ecosystem of sea and island.

Hon Khoai island is also a place in which is closely associated with the Nam Ky Uprising event in 1940, accompanying with herotic fighting examples of 10 soldiers on Hon Khoai island. And teacher Phan Ngoc Hien was one of ten soldiers who played the most important role for making the Hon Khoai fight and victoried, recorded a brilliant success in the history of struggle against foreign invaders national, marking the growth and development of Vietnam’s revolution under the leadership of the Indochinese Communist Party. And this is a historical event which is marked as a magnanimous revolutionism fighting tradition. Hon Khoai Uprising Day (13/12/1940) was chosen as the traditional Day of hero Revolution Party, arm and people of Ca Mau. On April 27, 1990, Hon Khoai recognized as a National Culture – Historic Monument by the Ministry of Culture – Information.

Perfoming the policy of investment in infrustructure Hon Khoai port of The Prime Minister, People’s Committee of Ca Mau province have been actived invitation and investment promotion in and out of the country. Nowadays, there are many investors concentrating on and registering in. The proposed design will create the port with its capacity of 250.000 tons which meet the demand of the import – export products and become a major transhipment berth for fuels destined for thermal power plants in Mekong Delta region. Until Hon Khoai’s port have already been completed and operated, it will contribute to improve the essential infrustructure and facility for the Mekong Delta region, step by step performance the objective of industrialization and modernization, generate the vital motivation on boosting the socio-economic development of Ca Mau province in special as well as the region and the whole country in general. In accordance of the approved plans, Hon Khoai general seaport will be constructed with the total investment of the project at nearly 2.5 billion USD and the time performance this project starting from 2016 to 2020. The project consists of some components such as: breakwater, one arrival area for vessel with the power of 250.000 DWT, discharging berth for vessel with the weight from 5.000 DWT to 100.000 DWT, arrival place for salvage tug, patrol-boat and service, a bridge construction connecting Hon Sao island with the mainland… With the most important of the Hon Khoai port project as well as many other tourism development projects, combining with Nam Can National Park, Dat Mui will really  platform in order to fostering the local’s economic for fast and suitainable development.  Hon Khoai Island will be always an attractive destination for many tourist, and a good point to be marked in the local and international map./.

Writer: Nguyen Tuyen – Photo: Khanh Vy

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