Travel Asia – Vietnam: Go Into The Wild at Hon Thi Island And A Glance Back to The Past in Bich Dong

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Travel asia – Vietnam: Go into the wild at Hon Thi Island

Hon Thi Island is on the way to Nha Phu Lagoon for tourists who are visiting Nha Trang but if you bypass this little gem you are missing out.

  One of the beaches on Hon Thi Island in Khanh Hoa Province – Photo: Khue Viet Truong

About three kilometers from the land, Hon Thi is located in Ninh Ich Commune, Ninh Hoa District, Khanh Hoa Province. So to get to the island, you can take a boat from Da Chong Beach or from Ninh Ich Commune.

The island covers 500 hectares and its pristine beauty is a huge attraction for tourists who are intrigued by the area and are keen to explore the riddles of nature where human hands just touch a part of it.

When you arrive there are flocks of deer and ostrich which you can feed, play with and watch them run around the area. Along the island are also many stunning beaches with many rock beaches. Along the beach are many sea vegetables, wild flowers and many trees you’ve probably never seen before.

A glance back to the past in Bich Dong

With the country’s second most beautiful cave, Bich Dong Temple in Hoa Lu Commune, Ninh Binh Province is a must for tourists to the area located 200 kilometres to the southeast of Hanoi.

 

The first Bich Dong temple

The temple was built on a limestone mountain that was formed millions of years ago and it was named in the 18th century after the beautiful white limestone which exists only in this area. The whole construction included three small temples with the first at the foot of the mountain, the second at the entrance of Bich Dong cave and the third, also the smallest, on top of the mountain, viewing the whole stunning green valley below. All three temples are made from rare wood, with tiles formed like the tail of a phoenix or the blade of the ancient weapon, seeing the construction come to life. From a distance, the temple looks like a wooden boat floating on the river. 

The temple was built in the 18th century by two monks, who admired the peaceful and seductive landscape and decided to stay and build the temple for Buddhists to worship and pray for the prosperity of the country. 

From the foot of the mountain, tourists have to climb dozens of stone stairs to get to the cave’s entrance, as well as the second temple. But in order to get to the third temple, tourists have to cross the cave. Inside the cave is a bronze bell made three centuries ago by the founders as well as the worship place of Buddha and the three gods in ancient belief. 

Although going through a lot of reconstruction, the beautiful temples and cave make it a destination that everyone must visit once in a lifetime.

A stone lion guards the second Bich Dong temple

The third Bich Dong temple, also the smallest, on the top of the mountain – Photos: Pham Thai

The island is also home to fishing boats and many vestiges as it used to be a temporary home for people when storms come. There is a small temple which was built in 1998 and is dedicated to worship the sea god.

Inside the island, tourists will see a number of orchards with many kinds of fruit trees such as guava, orange, dragon fruit, sugar apple and coconut.

It is littered with rock gardens, piling up into caves so tourists can go on an adventure with a flash light. However, the journey is not for the faint-hearted just the brave and the bold. As the island is still primitive, you have to bring your own food and drink.

Travel asia – Vietnam: Go into the wild at Hon Thi Island.