The southern coastal province of Kien Giang has outstanding advantages for marine tourism compared to other south-western localities, and it is working to turn its Hon Son Island, considered a masterpiece of the nature, into a tourist magnet.
Hon Son, or Hon Son Rai, belongs to Lai Son commune of Kien Hai district. It is located between Hon Tre island commune and Nam Du archipelago.
Untouched natural landscapes, pure environment, blue sea, and beautiful sand beaches such as Bai Nha, Bai Xep, Bai Bang, Bai Bo, Bai Bac, Bai Gieng and Bai Thien Tue, are a few attractions to name.
Hon Son has roads skirting around and traversing it, together with streams, Bai Nha and Bai Bac wharfs, and Mount Ma Thien Lanh that is highest in the island. It also houses several temples and pagodas, along with traditional festivals imbued with specific cultural values.
Dang Van Huong, Vice Chairman of the Lai Son communal People’s Committee, said the tourism potential of Hon Son Island is being tapped. Lai Son welcomed a record of more than 10,000 tourists in the National Tourism Year 2016, which took the theme of Phu Quoc – Mekong Delta.
Despite certain infrastructure and services shortcomings, Hon Son has gained a foothold in the tourism industry of Kien Giang and the whole Mekong Delta, he noted.
In the absence of modern hotels, luxury restaurants or high-end services, Lai Son is promoting home-stay service. The communal People’s Committee is working with relevant agencies to provide training on communication skills and tourist services for businesses and households which want to do tourism activities.
Many infrastructure facilities have also been built to serve socio-economic development such as roads and wharfs. In November, 2016, a 110kV power line was put into operation to supply electricity from the mainland for some 2,000 households with more than 8,000 people in Lai Son commune.
A longed-for freshwater reservoir with a volume of 80,000 cu.m. is under construction, expected to be another source of freshwater supply for islanders.
Vice Chairman Huong said it now takes only 90 minutes to go from Rach Gia city in the mainland to Lai Son by high-speed boats, helping to bring more and more tourists to the island commune.
The power line and freshwater reservoir – two key projects – along with other infrastructure facilities have given a facelift to this island commune and provided an internal momentum for local social-economic development, especially tourism, he added.
While a tourism site on Bai Bang beach of Hon Son Island is waiting for approval, restaurants and hotels are being built on Bai Bo beach, and tourism products like swimming, coral diving, sightseeing by boats, fishing, and a trekking tour of Mount Ma Thien Lanh are being developed. They are helping to turn Hon Son Island into a tourist attraction.
The communal authorities will step up promoting investment that matches local natural conditions with a view to developing sustainable tourism in Hon Son Island, Vice Chairman Huong said.
In the short term, they will focus on home-stay service, protecting the environment and natural landscapes and ensuring safety for visitors so that Hon Son will truly become an attractive and friendly destination, he added.VNA