WT032 - LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND

The drive to Ke Ga was for us a spontaneous decision. We planned to spend the days before going to Sai Gon in an island south from the city, but due to ferry schedules we changed our plans. We found then by chance this little un-touristic village while searching for places around Mui Ne (the next typical stop for tourists after Da Lat) and Phan Thiet. We booked a bus to Phan Thiet, about 6 hours drive, and finally took a cab directly to the best guesthouse ever. The taxi was quite expensive, about 400.000 VND (15 EUR) and totally not recommended, since there's a local bus - the Nº 6 - that has the same route. Nevertheless, the arrival was worth it. Two puppies came out to greet us and the place Lê Huynh couldn't be more perfect to relax.


We woke up early the day after and went to visit the Lighthouse Island close by. The stone lighthouse dates back from 1897 and is located atop some rock formations, overlooking the ocean and white beaches on the other side. As always, some garbage is unnecessary and the island could be cleaner. The guesthouse we stayed in was also directly in front of the ocean and was easy for the landlady to organise us a boat, costing 200.000 VND (7,5 EUR) in total but since we were four, we divided the value. The boat took 15 min to reach the island and the way back happens when everyone is ready, no pressure at all.


Due to the high temperature outside and humidity, we rested for a couple of hours before deciding to go for a swim. We passed by the local fishermen and boats, that look like bathtubs, and avoided the trash there in search for a good place to take a bath. Not that far from it, some rocks gave us the privacy we wanted and we went in.


After a long day exploring and swimming, a deserved and delicious seafood barbecue prepared at the guesthouse.


We are starting to have a love for motorbikes, as we cannot stop renting them everywhere we go. Same case here, the landlady of the guesthouse rented us her motorbike so we could drive to the Ta Cu Mountain, about one hour away. The mountain is located in Phan Thiet and comprises 250,000m2 of rainforests, wildlife like monkeys, limestone caves, and an huge Buddhist temple in one of the lower sides. Travellers can opt for a 2-hour hike through the forest or a 10-minute cable car ride to reach the other side of the mountain. The cable car goes one time up to the top and then down to the where the temple is situated. After leaving it, there's sort of a climb with many stairs and a winding footpath to get to the main pagoda. At the top, you’ll be greeted with vertigo-inducing views of the Thuan Nam Town, the Ham Thuan An Sea and the Ke Ga Lighthouse. Set atop the Ta Cu Mountain, the Linh Son Truong Tho Pagoda, built in 1879, features several worship halls, three entrance pillars, animals sculptures, a small cave-sanctuary, and the main attraction - a 49m long statue of a reclining Buddha that’s hailed as the biggest of its kind in Vietnam. On the way to the impressive Buddha, many other statues like the Three Buddha Postures can be regarded at the peak. The park is open all year and its total price, with entrance fee and two cable car rides (including roundtrip), is 250.000 VND per person (9 EUR).


Dragon fruit trees are everywhere in the region. It is so so tasty, and for those who don't know the fruit exist in three colours - red and white are common, yellow is quite rare.


As for the last day we walked around town, observing the fishermen and boats arriving with more seafood. In the food stalls you can have prawns, giant sea snails cooked in a coconut sauce or simply good and fresh fish on the grill.


Next Stop: Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon), Vietnam



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