Travelers in search of solitude, nature and adventure are discovering Vietnam Co To islands.
Even when the East Sea is enraged by hurricanes and tropical storms, the Co To islands remains serene oases that are hardly ever cut off from the mainland for more than three days.
Lying just several hours by car and express – boat from ha long, these islands gained modest fame from the superb memoir of the writer Nguyen Tuan: “Co to Islands”.
Who dreams of becoming the next Robinson Crusoe?
Standing on Vang Chai Beach and facing the vast sea, I recall Nguyen Tuan and his subtle description f the beauty of the sea around Co to: “The charming, changeable blue – green color of the sea tantalizes our limited vocabulary. What is the sea like? Or the green Com (young rice) made in Vong village in the autumn? The water around Co to is a mix of various shades of green and blue. At times, it is blue as the attire of the well – man neared lad wandering in a spring festival. Yet overlapping waves bring another color to the surface …”
Even on bleak days, the cycle of changing colors remains unchanged. Fine beaches wrap the islands since Co to be not a single island but an archipelago of 50 islands of different sizes. The locals are concentrated on Major Co to and Thanh Lan.
Smaller islands such as minor Co to, Goat Isle and Tran Isle are home to a few military bases and the houses of fishermen.
A trip through those unsoiled islands is my favorite part of a journey to Co To, as we slowly penetrate the quite, secret realm of heaven and the sea without any trace of humans.
A boat, a bottle of water, rations, a broad hat and a camera are enough for a marine journey to Co To. It comes as no surprise that young backpackers are flocking to Co To so as to return to Mother Nature, while couples choose Co To’s unique landscape as a backdrop for their stylish wedding photos.
From steeply rising cliffs, splendid sandy beaches and the deep blue sea to mysterious rocks piled upon each other, the Co To archipelago boats some of the most unusual terrain to be found in this country.
From a cliff that stands 70 meters above sea level, the sight of the blue water’s waves clashing against the cliff and the blue water’s surface stretching beyond the horizon fills me with admiration for the brave youngsters who are trying to climb the rocks.
Lying just a few hours by boat from Ha Long, there is a complete absence of luxury cruise boats men’s wooden canoes. On major Co To still lacks a proper electricity network.
Isolation has kept this archipelago from the greedy, roaming eyes of professional tour organizers.
However, lacks of modern facilities hoes not mean a lack of romanticism in daily life at Co To. Outdoor barbecues held by small hotels leave visitors astonished. There are napkins, crystal glasses, fountains of wine and champagne and lots of grilled seafood.
Sitting by the cliff, seeing the pale moon rise over the faint sunset and hearing the cheerful cries of barefoot kids resound across the sea are brilliant experiences. When darkness gently falls on Co To, few people care about the weak electricity or the basic facilities, since fresh breezes and the quiet atmosphere soothe burdened minds of city – dwellers.
People’s live hoods in this small town depend on the seasonal winds. Fishermen from throughout the islands love taking a rest to chat about their catch. They collect and process various marine creatures, from squid, to jellyfish to sea cucumbers.
The sea has fed villagers here for centuries. Now, they are focusing on building new restaurants and hotels to welcome new waves of tourists to Co To in the near future.
Apart from merely bathing and enjoying seafood, young visitors come to Co To to discover their homeland and try new hobbies, such as camping on deserted beaches, snorkeling through coral reefs, rock climbing, or accompanying fishermen to catch squid.
These experiences bring modern people closer to the fictional life that Robinson Crusoe lived centuries ago.
Here, lovers of the wilderness can feel truly satisfied.