ISLANDS AND ARCHIPELAGOS OF VIET NAM 7

On this island, in the Ben Nghe wharf, archeologists have recently unearthed lots of Palaeolithic stone tools (2.6 million-10,000 years ago). In the early Christian era the Cham people set foot on Con Co. In the 17th and 18th centuries the Dai Viet people made Con Co a stopover on their marine trade routes, which was witnessed by the findings at Ben Tranh wharf in July 1994. Legends say that under the Nguyen dynasty (19th century) Con Co was an exile place for criminals. While soldiers of the Vietnamese People’s Army were cleaning an old well of unknown date they discovered by chance a skeleton with iron shackles.
Con Co has potential for developing various types of tourism. With its diversified ecosystem, Con Co has all the conditions for developing sea tourism. Over the centuries, volcanic eruptions have created a Con Co Island resembling a unique natural museum. Basalt steps, small virgin beaches on the layers of sand, oyster and coral debris are available on Con Co Island. The temperature of the seawater seldom is less than 21°C and is very clean and warm, so the bathing season may be prolonged. Volcanic forests here also constitute an ecosystem quite rare in Viet Nam, i.e plants and vines of tropical forests here have three canopies. Therefore, Con Co is genuinely a green island with luxuriant vegetation. Here there is also a very special kind of ecosystem: lush forests grown on dry soil of ancient accumulated coral.
Con Co is one of the famous historical sites in the resistance against the US such as the Vinh Moc Tunnels, Hien Luong Bridge, Truong Son Martyr Cemetery, Martyr Cemetery of the Road No 9, etc. It is titled a “heroic island”. President Ho Chi Minh praised this island in an honorable letter to it. It was called “a warship that will never sink in the East Sea”.
Con Co Island has potential for developing tourism, forestry, agriculture, sea products and services. But its key economic branches are the provision of services and tourism.
CM Lao Cham
Cu Lao Cham is a cluster of eight islands in Tan Hiep Island commune, Hoi An town, Quang Nam province. It is located 15 kilometers from Cua Dai. Population: nearly 3000 people.
It is a cultural and historical vestige associated with Hoi An commercial port. On old Western maps Cu Lao Cham was titled “Champello” or “Pulau Champa” (in Austronesian language). Here there are still many relics of the regional civilizations of Sa Huynh, Champa and Dai Viet and ancient buildings of the Cham and Viet peoples dating back several hundreds of years.
The terrain consists of hills and mountains. Many species of precious vegetation are well cultivated and always green. Natural resources and sea products are rich. Beaches are covered with thin yellqw sand and romantic stone blocks. On the eastern side of the island are abrupt slopes standing above sea waves, forming majestic scenery. Scientists highly evaluate coral reefs in the sea of Cu Lao Cham and have listed them in the Red Book.
In October 2003 the Cu Lao Cham Nature Reserve (one of 15 marine parks of Viet Nam in 2007) was set up to protect wild creatures here.
Cu Lao Cham now has 135 coral species (six of which were identified for the first time in Viet Nam), 500 beds of sea plants and sea grass, 202 fish species, 4 lobster species, and 84 mollusk species. Cu Lao Cham is a habitat of sea swallows whose nests were food for kings. In the To Vo and Kho caves, swallows often made nests on steep cliffs.
Visiting Cu Lao Cham, tourists may attend an exhibition room titled “Nature, People and Culture of Cu Lao Cham: Precious Objects from Cu Lao Cham Sea Bed”. Tourists may visit Hai Tang Pagoda of 300 years age, the ancient well and Ong tomb. At the Bac Beach or at Hon Dai, they may dive amidst coral reefs to see multicolored fish. They may visit by boat Bai Huong fishing village. They may bathe at the Ong and Chong Beaches or engage in sports entertainments like windsurfing, parasailing, kayak, boat rowing competition and kite-flying and enjoy fresh seafood specialties.
Ly Son Island district
Ly Son is an outpost island district of Quang Ngai province. Its other name is Cu Lao Re. The natural area of Ly Son Island district is over 9.9 km2, including Lon Island (Large Island) and Be Island (Small Island). The population now is over 20,400 people. The total coastline is over 25 kilometers. As one of the outpost islands of the country, Ly Son plays a very important role in the protection of sea sovereignty, security and the territorial integrity of the mainland.
Ly Son is the remnant of an extinguished volcano of prehistoric times. People on the island live on exploiting sea products and growing garlic. Five high-rising peaks and the sea create the unique landscape of immense heavenly space and sea. On these peaks are forest plots. In the foothills are evergreen fields, roads and houses. Ly Son’s coastline is very beautiful. Beaches here are not suitable for bathing but the seabed is ideal for traveling underwater to watch fish and corals and to catch sea snails. The coast margin from Hang Pagoda to Cau Cave is majestic scenery: on one side are huge cliffs sticking out and on the other side are the enormous heaven and sea.
According to legends of the Kor people, Ly Son Island was part of the Tra Bong Mountain Range floating to the East Sea after a fierce battle between the Water God and the hero Doang Dac To, head of Tali Talok village.
Geologists show that Ly Son Island was actually formed several million years ago when volcanoes erupted lava flowing over tectonic folds to form mountains. After that, layers of sediment rock rose from above the sea surface. In one period of sea transgression, such sediment rock layers and overlapped corals were turned to a ground for caves, grottos and “rock gates” on Thoi Loi Island. Now volcanic residuals are the lava blocks of various shapes that are not decomposed. Volcanic residuals also made a layer of fertile basalt covering almost the whole surface of the island. Diversified plants can grow well on this basalt layer.

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