Hon Dau island or Dau island is a peaceful little island with the beauty of primeval forest, located 1km from Do Son peninsula. It not only attracts tourists by the fresh air but also an ideal place to explore the cultural and historical value of Hai Phong. This is perfect for hideaway picnic.
There are constant boats to carry you to Hon Dau Island. Firstly, you need to go to Hon Dau resort at zone 3 Do Son. Then head to Hon Dau island harbor. Car entrance fee is 30.000VND. Island visit ticket: 20.000VND/person wrote at counter (actual fee on island gate: 6.000VND). Also, to get to Hon Dau island, you need to get there by boat. If it’s in festival or holidays, transfer fee is 70.000VND/person shared boat. But in normal days, you need to hire private boat to go. I paid 880.000VND/small private boat/round way for just 7 minutes transfer per way…
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The beauty of Hon Dau Island
Hon Dau was originally located adjacent to Do Son peninsula, but during the movement of the continental shelf, a part of the mountain range separated from Do Son peninsula drifted towards the sea, becoming Hon Dau island. In the eyes of the ancients, the river has always been an image, the island of Hon Dau has the shape of nine dragons adoring to the pearl.
Local people show respect for the god of the island by protecting the trees on the island. For this reason, after many years, the island’s primeval forest is still well-preserved. There remain ancient trees with trunks that need several people to reach around, and shades that shield people from the sun across their ways on the island. Besides the population of 35 red banyan trees of Dau island primeval forest has been granted a certificate of recognition by the Vietnam Association of Nature and Environment.
Highlight Places on Hon Dau island
Hon Dau Lighthouse
From the island, to reach the lighthouse, you have to cross the winding 600 m long road to the center of the island. Trees grow well on both sides of the road, which making visitors feel in a peace.
Dau island – the pearl eye of the Fatherland, built by the French in 1892 and completed in 1896. In June 1898 the lighthouse was officially operated. The station includes a two-floor house (which is now requisitioned as a museum), stands out in the middle of the house is a big lighthouse as an ancient fortress, spreading its light across the island. The lighthouse itself is a 5-floor tower; with a height of 22.7m and an average width of 5m. The top of the light is 140 meters above sea levels, 65 meters above the bottom of the house. Designed to illuminate within 22 knots, white light and flashing lights at 15-second intervals. It guides all the boats in the sea area every day and night. It also was once the bright spot for no-number ships in war with American.
On May 15, 1955, after Hai Phong was liberated, Vietnamese soldiers took over this light. The lighthouse was once bombarded by US imperial aircraft. On 27/4/1967 lights completely collapsed.
In 1986, the lamp was rebuilt on the old foundation. In 1995, it was repaired and restored to its original shape. Hon Dau Lighthouse captures visitors’ attention by its charm. Tourists will find it interesting to climb a 128-step spiral stairway to reach the top of the lighthouse and experience the infinite view it offers, and enjoy fully the ocean breezes.
Nam Hai Than Vuong Temple
About the legend
Legend has it that in 13th century, village people discovered a headless dead body drifting on shore toward the island. Looking at the body’s clothing, they knew he was a general under Tran Dynasty. His body was put at the hill base to be buried in the following day. The next morning, termites turned it into a big grave. Witnessing such a strange omen, the village people built the temple. Later on, King Tu Duc, during his inspection trip to the northern areas, passing by the island and unfortunately caught a big storm. He commanded to stop the boat at the island. Then he went up to the temple by himself and worshipped there. Immediately the storm went silent. After that, the king bestowed a title for the temple, calling Nam Hai Than Vuong Temple (literal “The King of Sea” Temple.)
According to legend, Nam Hai Than Than Vuong was sacred. If someone stoles anything in this Island, you will be punished. Therefore, over hundreds of years, the Hon Dau retains the spectacular pristine beauty.
This temple is said to be sacred and the fishers usually come here to pray for peace and luck before setting off to the sea. Every year, from 8th to 10th of February lunar year, a thanksgiving festival is organized. The people here spend a night sleeping on the islet in a hope to be blessed with fortunes. During the festival, there is a procession to light a lantern and drop a paper boat at 23:00 on the night of February 9th to the next day’s morning. Each time like that, the sea surface around Hon Dau island suddenly got violent waves.
Dau island is suitable for 1 day tour because it is so small island. If you want to stay longer on the island, you may contact one of the local restaurants to reserve lunch or dinner. It would be a nice experience spending time with your friends or family on the island. Hon Dau Island particularly has various specialties, including unique foods made from small crabs.
Visiting Dau Island you can combine with traveling Do Son beach.