From desert island to paradise
Hon Tam in Nha Trang Bay still retains some of the wild beauty that has drawn tourists in droves for decades.
A set of bungalows bring guests closer to nature
It's sunset the previous day and I'm traveling by boat from the mainland to Eco Green Resort.
Somebody asks me whether I think Hon Tam beautiful. I mull the question in deep silence for a while because I was only there before the resort went up.
I remember endless water, tides, bungalows and having loads of fun. Back then, Hon Tam Mountain stood out from miles away. I keep trying to visualize a mountain being blown to pieces.
You just gotta face reality or we will never appreciate the splendor created by human effort and the aspiration that turned Hon Tam into something resembling a silkworm in a flat basket of mulberry leaves.
Doan Van Trang, general director of Hon Tam Joint Stock Company in Nha Trang, and his colleagues proved that Hon Tam could become a paradise for convalescents.
Shadows lengthen in the late afternoon and the lights come on in the leaf-roofed huts below, beside and on the hill.
I walk around Hon Tam at night and am befuddled by the extraordinary mystery of this unique resort.
I peruse the pamphlets that tell of the great lengths the developers have gone to, and their vision of the future.
The figure of US$35 million for the resort's construction leaps out from the page.
Here it mentions the Royal Sport area that would house a nine-hole golf course sandwiched between forest and beach.
And over there would be the vegetable garden to feed the guests, who would ride in submarines and hot-air balloons as they took in the fantastic views of the deep sea in one direction, Nha Trang in another, and Nha Trang Bay all around.
And it's all come true.
Day-trippers spend their time in Life Paradise, a playground that extends along an 800-meter white beach and features a 2,000-square meter pool with a high waterfall and other entertainment.
One of the best features of Life Paradise is Hoang Hoa Thon, a residential block more than a hundred years old that was moved to the island almost intact.
Its five buildings include one with 36 pillars and are characteristic of Vietnam's past. Here, you can enjoy a cup of tea and a folk melody that mingles with sweet birdsong at one and the same time.
Just as amazing is Bar Flamingo, whose design is as Vietnamese as it gets. Inside, the folk dances of highland tribes take us back a thousand years.
Next door stands Ocean View, a restaurant whose design can only be described as "extremely unique."
A stay at Eco Green is worth it just for the flowers in the golden light of sunset and the melodious sound of waves lapping gently against the shore.
Until ten years ago, Hon Tam, which means "silkworm isle," was a desert island. It was so named by fishermen who somehow thought it resembled a green silkworm with its head turned to the east.
It's one of ten islands that form a group 250 kilometers across and boast 350 species of coral.
Sunshine and breeze all year round are what you get at Hon Tam, which is only seven kilometers from Nha Trang to the southeast. It takes seven minutes to get there by speedboat, or 25 minutes by slow boat.
More than 400,000 visits were made to the resort last year, 40 percent of them by foreigners.
Reported by Phan Huy Tram
Source : thanhniennews.com
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