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Cau Islet: An Adventure to Pristine Beauty

Cau literally meaning “fishing with rods,” Cau Islet is a haven for those who love the beach and especially fishes. The place experiences the phenomenon called “Oceanic Swelling” in which cool and nutrient-rich water naturally rises to the surface, thereby encouraging fishes to do the same. The islet is so abundant with the sea creature that visitors are allowed to swim with them. But more than fish, Cau Islet is rich in many more sights and natural beauty that entices people to disover for themselves.

Cau Islet is located about 10 kilometers from the coast of Binh Thuan Province and around 110 kilometers away from another popular beach destination, Phan Thiet. The islet itself is shaped like a giant warship 1.5 kilometers long. Cau is a marine reserve and is almost uninhabited with only members of the Tuy Phong District miltary unit and two people running a food shop occupying the whole islet.

All the beaches at Cau Islet are clean, green and filled with coral reef pieces and small shells. The weather is generally sunny yet cool almost the whole year, though the winds can get a little rough during the cold season. It’s a common sight to see iguanas and snakes in the islet, but tourists are always adviced to take extra precaution because the reptiles can be venomous. A protected cave called “Yen” Cave meaning “bird’s nest” is a tourist favorite wherein they can see hundreds of birds building nests. Cau Islet also goes by the name of “Rock Zoo” because of the many rocks which come in dfferent shapes and sizes, with unique forms like that of a goat, whale, dolphin, sea lion, turtle and hippo and size reaching up to seven meters.

Aside from being a beach destination, Cau Islet is also an ideal place to go for history and culture buffs. The Gia Long Well is one popular site because it was named after the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty. There are two famous temples, the Po Ino Nagar or Yang Pu Nagara Temple and one which worships whales, considered god of the sea by the Vietnamese fishermen. Local residents visit both temples every year on the fourth lunar month on a full moon to ask for a pleasant weather, sing folk songs and play traditional games. Japanese people also drop wreaths on the water annually in honor of their loved ones who died in the Second World War.


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Cau Islet first received visitors in 1997 through the Lua Viet Tourism Company in Ho Chi Minh City. A total of 36 adults and children were the first people to set foot on the islet as tourists. Back then, tourism facilities were far from complete nor enough. The company had to bring their own life buoys, provide their own boats and register with the border guards in order to go to the islet. There was only one store which sold only ice and instant noodles and there were no toilets to accommodate the guests’ personal needs. The local residents were totally unaware of its own tourism value, prohibiting strangers , especially women, to ride their boats in the belief that it was bad luck.

Cau Islet is far from being a commercial tourism spot today, but it has definitely come a long way since it started. There are now two restaurants and hotels which may not be top of the line, but convenient enough for visitors to have a relaxing stay. The seafood is highly recommended with fish, squid and snails which are always guaranteed fresh and sumptuous. The islet is also now equipped with bathrooms. Guests and tour companies planning to visit the islet just have to inform the dining and room facilites in advance so they can prepare and take care of their visitors well.

Summer and early fall between the fourth and eighth lunar months are the best times to visit the islet, but any time is just as well because Cau Islet is both a haven of serenity and adventure that continues to mesmerize people from all over the world. Cau Islet can be reached by taking the following route: Phuoc Commune to Tuy Phong District then take a 40-minute boat ride to the islet itself.


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