Ghenh Island: a New Tourism Destination in Phan Thiet

Ghenh Island: a New Tourism Destination in Phan Thiet

Travel Guide to Hon Ghenh (Hon Lao island)

Rachel Tran Rachel Tran | Published Jan 06, 2021

Central Vietnam has long been well-known for the coastline stretched thousands of kilometers, with stunning sandy beaches and poetic unspoiled islands along the seashore. It is such a blemish when considering a landscape for your vacation without mentioning Phan Thiet, where the sea water, islands and the sky meet in harmony to draw a wonderful natural picture. In our discovery today, we will take you to Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan to visit one of the most magnificent islands here – Ghenh Island.

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I. Why is Ghenh Island Special?

Ghenh Island, which is also called Lao Island or Lau Island, is an offshore island less than one kilometer from Mui Ne, Binh Thuan. From the mainland, the island is like a giant sea turtle swimming on the crystal-clear water. Taking a trip to Ghenh Island, you can not help but be absolutely impressed by the well-preserved nature here.

Why is Ghenh island special

Discovered not so long ago, until now, Ghenh Island is still a pristine destination, which makes this place different from many other beautiful islands in Phan Thiet as well as in Vietnam. The first impression when the boat reached the island is that the water in this area is clear, and you can see the colorful coral floors at the bottom. On the island, there are neither people living nor travel services except for a small shrine for venerating Nam Hai God built by fishermen fishing on the sea nearby. The island is home to various species of birds, along with wild trees, sand and rock rapids; all the things combine to create a unique attraction for Ghenh Island.

Around the island, rock rapids with various sizes are naturally piled up in a disarrayed way going up and down in the dazzlingly white foam. That is the reason why local fishermen call it “Hon Ghenh”, which means “the island of rock rapids”. After overcoming these rocks, you will gradually reach the top of Ghenh Island laying in the height of 30 meters above the sea level. Looking from the island to the shore, on the left is the range of Mui Ne slamming into the sea, far away to the right is Rom Island, one of the most tourist traps no less than Ghenh Island. Standing at this position, you can see Mui Ne and Rom Island like giant arms hugging the sea to your lap.

II. What to See and Do at Ghenh Island?

What to see in Ghenh island

Ghenh Island is among the most exotic destinations for those who love the wild beauty of nature with a variety of attractive activities.

1. Sightseeing

All the tourists come to Ghenh Island with the purpose of contemplating the charm of this landscape. This off-the-beaten-track spot still preserves its untouched splendour that please even fastidious visitors. From the top of the island, you can admire the majestic vast sky with unspotted white clouds blending with the deep blue water surface of the sea, hear the rattling splash of breaking waves and enjoy the cool breath of the ocean touching every sense of your body.

2.  Watching the sunset

Many tourists travelling to Phan Thiet have said that seeing the scenery of Ghenh Island in the afternoon was a rewarding experience. In the afternoon, the last rays of the sun reflect on the sea surface and the sky, creating a sparkling light of gold. From afar, the seagulls are returning to the nests, flying along the brilliant horizon and fluttering above the silver waves. All the things combine together to paint a vivid natural artwork, make you immediately forget all the hustle and bustle in your life and recharge your batteries.

3. Fishing 

For people who are with an elegant hobby of fishing, early in the morning is an ideal time. You just need to prepare a few fishing rods and bait, choose a comfortable seat on the rocky shore and enjoy the activity. In particular, this area has many sea cucumbers (fisherman call sea leeches) hidden in the rocks. At first sight, it is common to feel terrified because of its ugly appearance with a soft big round black body like a scorched potato! However, it is the ingredient for lots of tasty and nutritious dishes in high-class restaurants.

III. What to Eat near Ghenh Island?

After the intriguing journey, you can come back to Mui Ne Ward in the mainland to enjoy the mouthwatering dishes made from plentiful kinds of seafood that is typical for the local cuisine.

1. Dong

This is a must-try specialty of Mui Ne. Dong is the name that local people call the salamander – a reptile species living in many sand dunes in Mui Ne. The strange shape of this dish makes many visitors hesitate and not dare to taste it for the first time; but just overcome the initial fear, you will feel the essence of Mui Ne exclusive cuisine.. You are advised to try the whole roast “dong” to feel the unique flavor. Salamanders eat leaves and young shoots so the meat is sweet, clean and chewy. And if you hesitate, you can enjoy processed foods such as rolls, salads, fried dishes from “dong” which are available in most restaurants in Mui Ne.

2. King crab

Mui Ne is one of the places that king crabs are highly appreciated. King crab is processed into dishes such as roasted tamarind, grill, cooked porridge and so on, but the most delicious and easiest is steamed king crab dipped with green pepper salt; crab meat is preserved intact and sweet. In addition, salted king crab is also popular with many diners.

3.  Hotpot

The dish includes a lot of ingredients such as boiled meat, fried eggs, shellfish, sliced ​​mangoes, raw vegetables, bananas… Coastal dishes are often scored by the broth made from fresh fish; in addition, people add sugarcane, pineapple, star fruit, chili. Later, the restaurants put noodle dishes into the menu, developing it into a unique hotpot dish that is very different from the hotpot dishes of the South. The dish is somewhat similar to Bun Thang in Hanoi but with the typical ingredients of the sea.

Besides, you can have a try on many other local specialties such as grilled girdle-pastry with shrimp paste, shellfish salads, “banh canh”, cauldron straps, grilled squid teeth as well as the seafood dishes, which for sure will live a long-lasting impression for your trip.

IV. How to Get to Ghenh Island?

Because Ghenh Island is a relatively new tourism destination in Mui Ne, the transportation is not invested so much. There are two ways to reach this island. The first way, in Siva resort tourist village (after Mui Ne beach), you can book the tourism service here with the price is about 300,000 VND for a boat of ten people both on and off. It will take you about 15 minutes to go from there. The second way is to rent a boat of fishermen from Mui Ne. Although the price is cheaper, about 200,000 VND for a two-way boat for ten people, this way will take longer, about 30 minutes.

The best time to visit Ghenh Island is on sunny days, when the weather is nice enough for your outdoor activities. You should not go on rainy days because the rough sea can be very dangerous and prevent you from discovering the island.

V. Extra Tips on Visiting

There are some tips that you had better remember when joining a trip to Ghenh Island:

  • Follow the safety instructions when going on a boat. The sea water can be very deep and dangerous, so don’t forget to wear a life-preserver when going on the boat deck.
  • Pay attention when overcoming the rapids. Because some rocks can be very slippery, be careful or you will have your foot slips. Besides, many rocks near the edge of the sea have sharp oysters, if you are uncaring, your legs will be hurt.
  • Most of the specialties in Mui Ne are made from seafood. If you are allergic to those dishes, you should try other specialties without this ingredient.
  • Protect the environment. Do not throw rubbish on the sea water or carve on the rocks to preserve the primeval beauty of the island.

Have you felt the attraction of Ghenh Island? We hope that with all the above details about the landscape, you will have a wonderful journey to Ghenh Island. Don’t hesitate to leave your comments as well as photos about Ghenh Island below this post to share with us your precious moments there!


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