Nam Du fantastic islands
Located 83km off the shore of Rach Gia in Vietnam’s southern Kien Giang province, the Nam Du Islands are unspoiled natural masterpieces. Comprising 21 islands of various sizes, the Nam Du Islands have a total land area of 1,500 hectares. Let’s discover the otherworldly beauty of Vietnam’s Nam Du islands
From Rach Gia Wharf it takes about three hours to reach the islands. It’s no exaggeration to dub Nam Du “a southern Ha Long Bay” thanks to the archipelago’s tranquil and romantic beauty. A popular chant describes the islands as follows:
“Mau Islet leans against Do Nai
Do Nai turns to Bo Dap
Bo Dap overlaps Lo Islet
Lo Islet crashes against Cross Islet
Cross Islet comes across Dung Islet
Dung Islet meets Dau Islet
Dau Islet lies near Bo Ao
Bo Ao turns against Ong Islet
Ong Islet joins Dam Islet
Dam Islet overlooks Bamboo Islet
Bamboo Islet floats to Moc Islet
Moc Islet approaches Nhan Islet
Nhan Islet overshadows Han Islet
Han Islet lakes over the three Nom Islets
Nom Islets sweep over Kho Islet
Kho Islet reaches to the Chet shore
The Chet shore leans against the Major Islet…”
My first destination was Cu Tron Island, also known as Major Island. The largest of the 21 islands, it has the biggest population. A road runs for 2.6km from the heart of Major Island to its highest mount, which stands 295m tall. Since the climb was quite easy I decided to hike. Climbing the mount, I felt as if I was floating in a world of ocean and clouds. I was so fascinated by the scenery that, before I knew it, I had reached the summit. There, a lighthouse rises 309m like a devoted guard. Day and night, it guides ships safely back to shore. As I scanned the sea and the islands I wondered whether this archipelago had been formed by chance or as part of some greater plan by the Creator.
Near Major Island’s wharf a lane leads to some amazing rock formations. Stone slabs and lava have eroded with time and become fabulous natural sculptures, each with its own shape and pattern.
It takes 30 minutes by boat to travel 3.5 nautical miles east to reach Cross Islet. Drawing near this island I caught sight of lovely bamboo stilt huts beneath lush coconut trees. Seen from afar, boats lay shoulder to shoulder like a floating town on the sea. The island’s fishing villages were beautiful and peaceful. Here, I enjoyed some local delicacies including fresh crabs, oysters, scallops and squids at a beach side restaurant.
While life on Nam Du seems serene, the locals sometimes face harsh weather. The sea can be calm and benign, or violent with treacherous tides.
From Cross Island I traveled to Mau Islet by canoe, admiring breathtaking beaches. With fine sand and azure water, there were many places to swim and sunbathe. As sunset fell, everything was drenched in liquid light. Gazing upon the gleaming light from the offshore squid-fishing boats and the twinkling stars high overhead, the whole world seemed to sparkle.
Set in the middle of the vast sea, these islands offer stunning ecological diversity and natural beauty. Spending time on these 21 islands was like visiting another world.