(VOVworld)- Truong Sa, Vietnam’s first island district, is located 250 nautical miles or about 400 km from the coast. Despite numerous difficulties, people and soldiers on the island are determined to defend the nation. Discovery Vietnam takes you on a tour of the island.
Located in the East Sea of southeastern Vietnam, Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago is situated facing Hoang Sa (Paracel) in the north, the Philippines coast in the East and the sea of Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia in the south. Truong Sa is comprised of a hundred islets and coral reefs spreading over an area of 410,000 km2.
After traveling by boat for two days, we finally arrived here on the Truong Sa archipelago. We thought we would find sand, coral and a harsh climate, but we were surprised by the verdant landscape and substantial flora. Nestled in green bushes are red-roofed houses and lush gardens inhabited by ducks foraging for food in the shade of banana trees. Here we found a familiar image of rural Vietnam. On some islands of the archipelago including Song Tu and Sinh Ton, there are temples, pagodas, a cultural center, a memorial to President Ho Chi Minh and a guest house.
All the islands of the archipelago, including the submerged islands have been developed with comfortable buildings, information and lighting systems. Several islands have schools, clinics and concrete roads. On the Big Truong Sa island, many communes such as An Bang, East Truong Sa, Phan Vinh, Nam Yet and Son Ca have been covered with green trees. The soldiers stationed on the submerged islands like Da Lat, Thuyen chai, Da Tay, Tien Nu and Toc Tan improved on their food rations by growing organic vegetables and raising chickens and pigs. Vegetables gardens have been cultivated on vacant land, in the mud or in small gardens. Nguyen Viet Thuan, Chairman of Truong Sa district People’s Committee, says: “Thanks to support from the Party, State and people throughout the country, and the resolution on Vietnam Maritime Strategy 2020, the living conditions of people and soldiers in the Truong Sa island district have improved remarkably. All of the communes have power from solar energy 24 hours a day and the infrastructure and cultural facility have been upgraded
Soldiers and local authorities help the islanders live in comfortable homes, develop production and send their children to school. As a result, the relationship between people, local authorities and soldiers have become closer. Bui Thi Nhung has been teaching in Truong Sa for four years. She says: “I met a lot of problems during the first days. But gradually, things went better and better and now my life is pretty stable. We hope Truong Sa will further develop, and become more beautiful”.
Colonel Pham Van Xong was a soldier on the Truong Sa archipelago 25 years ago. Xong said he was very touched to return to visit the island: “After 25 years, Truong Sa has changed. The infrastructure is modernized. Solar and wind energy systems allow islanders to have electricity 24 hours a day. With the Party and State support, we hope to invest in and make Truong Sa better known as a sovereign sea of Vietnam”.