Bach Long Vi – The island at the Homeland’s front line

While Do Son beach, Cat Ba island, Lan Ha Bay have long been Vietnam’s famous tourism destination, being familiar to both domestic and international tourists, then Bach Long Vi island is still an unspoiled location. Located at a significant position as a front line border protection in Tonkin Gulf, Bach Long Vi is not merely a tourist attraction that can be easily reached. In fact, it takes us 6 to 7 hours on boat to get to the island, which means intense seasickness, harsh weather condition being normal challenges that not every single one can manage even with Hai Phong people. However, its own pristine and mysterious beauty urges nature lovers, patriots to go backpack exploring the island right away.

Situated at the center of Tonkin Gulf, Bach Long Vi island, officially established in 1992 with 56 households of young volunteers and fishermen, is now a district of Hai Phong city. Being looked down on, the island is of dragon tail shape which accounts for its name Bach Long Vi.

Bach Long Vi is Vietnam’s farthest offshore island in Tonkin Gulf which is 140 km from the land, covers 2.5km2 during tidal waves and 4km2 during tidal withdrawal. For the time being, the number of dwellers on the island is 700 people, mostly making a living from fishing. Being one of 8 big fishing grounds in Tonkin Gulf, the island is frequented by fishing boats in daytime, however quiet when the night comes with a lighthouse shedding light to guide ships and boats. Despite its modest natural size, Bach Long Vi plays a strategic role and of special importance given country’s territorial sovereignty and national security & defence.

As being aforementioned, Bach Long Vi island is not an usual tourist attraction with adequate and modern facilities. Setting foot on the island after a long route on the sea, what strikes your eyes is the difficult living condition of native people in the shortage of such basic things as freshwater and electricity. Bach Long Vi is way different from other tourist islands being soon invested for tourism (Co To, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, etc.) with unspoiled beach, making the assumption that Bach Long Vi looks like Cat Ba island 20 years ago reasonable. So, what makes you overcome all these obstacles to reach the island?

It’s a part of our homeland

Once you get on boat to Bach Long Vi, you may immediately feel the breath of the ocean fully circulating within your chest. You have the chance to pass works constructed on the sea: Hoang Van Thu bridge, Bach Dang bridge, Dinh Vu port, Cat Ba cable car system, witnessing the dramatical changes in Hai Phong city’s image and in that of our country as time goes by, thus swelling with pride and love for our beloved Homeland.

Setting foot on this distant island, you may forget all about the seasickness and be showered by the cosiness of the people here with friendly welcoming smile, honest stories from local dwellers wherever you go, making you feel like you are talking to your own family members. Everything is simple and sincere.

Those who come to the island for the first time may have the same intimate feeling that is gradually and naturally aroused as if they have long been connected with this island and its people. That link can stem from the intense love for the ocean, the island and the Homeland.

Bach Long Vi satisfies our nature exploring dream

Bach Long Vi opens up a world with different shades of blue: immense blue sky, deep blue ocean. This island makes you feel the nature’s connection in which the ocean encompasses the enormous sky whereas the sky gently falls into the ocean’s embrace. Your soul may become truly serene and every single hustle and bustle from your daily life may be reduced to the extent as if only a breeze could take it all away.

The common sights on Bach Long Vi island are the unspoiled rocky beach, whitecaps, blue ocean water, all of which make up a beautiful picture of the island in your mind. You can walk on your bare feet along the white sand, see numerous coral reefs, climb up the lighthouse exploring the whole small offshore island surrounded by the enormous blue sky and ocean, witness beautiful moments of the pristine nature and experience a simple life in a remote place.

In the morning, you have the chance to watch the sunrise up upon the lighthouse with the panoramic view over the island where breath-taking view of poetic nature shows up like a wonderful artwork.

Watching the sunrise on the sea from the lighthouse is an unforgetable experience on Bach Long Vi

At dusk, you along with your friends can enjoy fresh seafood directly collected from fishing boats during the day. As located in the middle of Tonkin Gulf among its 8 large fishing grounds and far distant from the land, Bach Long Vi island posseses a huge reserve of sea creatures, allowing fishmen to collect fresh and sweet seafood which is way different from that of other area without long day fishing. How cool it is just to imagine the scene of sitting with your friends under a dark deep sky with twinkling stars, wave sound whispering along guitar melody, flickering campfire!

You may also have the chance to sail for fishing or watch coral reefs together with local people, experience their daily life’s activities, deep dive into nature, catch fresh squids at night on your own, which are all memorable.

That is all about Bach Long Vi. There has nothing but beautiful nature of open azure sky, vast ocean, cosiness among people where singing voice, delighted laughter, the sound of wind and ocean waves all combine a sweet melody. Once coming here, people want to come back for different motivations: to experience the memorial moments here; to do something in the hope of improving the local people’s living condition and developing the island’s socio-economy or just to satisfy their love for the nature, the ocean and the island…

The wind rushes to the top of the lighthouse where the national flag is fluttering. Looking up at the flag, we all feel proud and emotional./.

Trần Ngọc Hương