If you want to see coral reefs in Vietnam, Hon Kho is the place to go.
The mostly uninhabited island is only ten minutes by boat from Nhon Hai Commune in the central province of Binh Dinh.
It is all about sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and coral reefs.
The corals here lie very close to the shore, where the water is only one to two meters deep.
All you have to do is put on your goggles and dunk your face into the water.
Nguyen Pham Kien Trung, director of the Central Tourism Company in Binh Dinh, said anyone coming to Hon Kho can see the well-preserved coral reefs.
“Whether you can swim or not, whether you are an adult or a child, just put on a life jacket and your goggles,” Trung said.
Hon Kho is also a turtle conservation center. If you have a chance to stay the night, you may run across turtles rushing to the shore to lay eggs.
Le Hai, a Binh Dinh native who runs a restaurant and shower facilities on the island, said on a nice summer day there are around 200 tourists visiting the island, but no one comes on a rough sea day.
He said tourists usually come in groups of fewer than 20 people. Each group books a boat for VND350,000 (US$16.4) for a day tour but individual tourists can rent a smaller boat from local fishers for VND200,000 ($9.4) a trip.
Lunches and fresh water shower cost an extra VND130,000 ($6) a person.
“Each portion that we serve on the island includes eight to nine dishes, depending on customers’ demand,” Hai said.
The island offers fresh catches of fish and snails. Lobsters and other kinds of seafood should be ordered in advance.
“We are ready to serve any time,” Hai said.
Tourists arrive at Hon Kho on a fishing boat. Photo: Khac Huan
Hon Kho is a popular fishing spot. Photo: Khac Huan
The Mai Huong Pagoda is a recommended stop for tourists to Hon Kho. The pagoda is located in Nhon Hai Commune, which is around one kilometer away from Hon Kho. Photo: Khac Huan