(VOVworld) – 28 km off Cua Tung beach in the central province of Quang Tri, Con Co island covers a small area of just 2.5 square km. It is not only famous as a stronghold of anti-American resistance, but also for its rare beauty.
We arrived on the island of Con Co in the morning after a 2-hour boat ride. From a distance, the island looks like a city floating in the middle of the sea. On a clear day you can see casuarina forests and a white sand beach in the west and the Ben Hai river and Truong Son mountain in the southwest.
First incorporated in April 2005, the district of Con Co now has dozens of households living mainly from fishing. Nguyen Thi Lan was one of the forty young volunteers who went to settle on the island in 2004. With the help of local authorities, they now have stable lives. Lan says:“Responding to the call of the Youth Union, I participated in the settlement of the island of Con Co and decided to stay there. Life there was very difficult because the climate is harsh and transportation was very difficult due to a lack of roads. I have two children. Both go to school. In the beginning, our life was very difficult, but it is much better now. “
Le Quang Lanh, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Con Co island district says this year priority is being given to building infrastructure and ensuring social well-being. Lanh says training in tourism plays an important role as Con Co wants to become a popular tourist center. Local people are being trained in the tourism business and in ways to protect the environment and the biodiversity of the island.“Currently, many islanders do not have stable incomes. But step by step, we will train them so that they can work in various public institutions and participate in tourist projects and services. We are focused on boosting economic development, helping local people improve their lives, and encouraging them to contribute to national defense”.
Con Co island has a potential for ecological and marine tourism thanks to its tropical marine ecosystems. Its coral reef sheltering rare marine life has made the island of Con Co one of five marine reserves in Vietnam. Nearly 80% of its area is covered by tropical jungle. And because Con Co island is closely linked to Quang Tri’s tradition of ceaseless struggle, it can rely on historical associations in developing its tourism. Le Quang Lanh says:“Con Co has a lot of potential to create unique tourist products, including marine tourism. Thanks to its large forest, beautiful beaches and its pristine coral reef, Con Co can easily develop a tourism resort and various tourist activities such as scuba diving. Due to its contributions to two resistance wars, Con Co island was conferred the title of Hero and President Ho Chi Minh sent two letters to the island to salute its victories. So cultural and historical tourism appear to be quite promising”.