Con Co Island, a picture of history and beauty

Con Co Island, part of central Quang Tri Province, has rebounded from a number of violent wars and emerged as a tourist destination for its history and natural beauty.

 

Spectacular island

Located in the eastern part of Vinh Linh District, the island is 25 kilometres from offshore. It is considered an outpost watch for the mainland.

A visit to the island takes one and a half hours by fishing boat. Travellers there have the chance to witness its untouched beauty, including the colours of green forests spotted by the beginnings of construction. 

 

Birdseye view

At the first sight, a visitor might see Phong Ba preschool, which houses local children. The school is named after an indigenous, flowering species of plant, with the Vietnamese name of phong ba, or heliotropium foertherianum. 

 

Phong Ba preschool

History

Co Co now has been revitalised after the destruction of war, and is now becoming known for fine weather, fauna and friendly people.

According to documents signed after the Geneva Agreement in 1954, Con Co was considered an uninhabited island.

 

Trenches left from wartime 

 

Meteorological station 

 

Monument to martyrs

However, aware of the significant importance of the island, Vietnamese military forces, led by second lieutenant Duong Duc Thien were sent there in August of 1959, claiming it as Vietnamese territory and placing a flag there. 

During the American War, Con Co was an essential supply depot for the Vietnamese for food and weapons. After around 1,000 battles over the island over the span of 1,500 days, the Americans were defeated and forced to abandon the place. 

Modern times

In 2002, a plan was drafted to make Con Co into an “Island of Young People”. As a result, 43 young people from Quang Tri Young Volunteers voluntarily moved there to start a new community. 

 

Ongoing construction

Then, in 2004, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung issued a decree establishing Con Co Island District with an aim of developing tourism. Since, it has turned from a war zone into an attraction. 

There are currently many projects in the works to speed up the development of the island as a profitable tourist attraction. Although it is home to only about 11 households, they have successfully settled there and lead stable lives. 

 

   New generation of inhabitants 

 

Fishing boats

The reason travellers are beginning to take notice is its pristine beauty, green forests and astonishing biodiversity, including coral reefs.

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