Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Photographers flock to capture the rocks of this Vietnamese beach



Photographers flock to capture the rocks of this Vietnamese beach

Stones and rocks covered with moss take on a deep blue hue. Duong Duc/Viet Nam News
Stones and rocks covered with moss take on a deep blue hue. Duong Duc/Viet Nam News

Photographers flock to capture the rocks of this Vietnamese beach

by Gia Loc

VIET NAM NEWS/ANN - When travelling to the south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan, tourists often head for the well-known resorts, beaches and sand dunes in the Mui Ne area of Phan Thiet city.

But only 100 kilometres away is Co Thach beach in the province’s Tuy Phong district, an unusual coastal site lined with seaweed-covered pebbles and rocks of varying shapes and sizes.

In recent years, the area has seen thousands of people, mostly photographers, coming to visit between February and April to capture images of the rocks at sunrise and sunset.

When the tide recedes, the green seaweed on the stones and rocks glistens in the morning sunlight and appears blue, but at noon it takes on a yellow hue. The stunning changes in colour can also be seen at sunset.

For me, Co Thach beach and Chua Hang (Cave Pagoda) nearby are part of my childhood memories with many caves nearby to discover.

On holidays, especially during Tet, locals would visit the beach to relax after a year of hard work and study.

Today, the beach, which is about one kilometre long and 200 to 300 metres wide, is as beautiful as ever. With a dizzying variety of small and big stones, I can still climb up to the top of a rocky boulder and sit and enjoy the sound of waves crashing onto the shore.

Co Thach beach attracts droves of photographers who arrive in the early morning to take shots of moss-covered stones that can look turquoise, purple, red or other colours, depending on the angle of the sunlight. Duong Duc/Viet Nam News
Co Thach beach attracts droves of photographers who arrive in the early morning to take shots of moss-covered stones that can look turquoise, purple, red or other colours, depending on the angle of the sunlight. Duong Duc/Viet Nam News

As children, we were fascinated with the stones and rocks that had been pushed to the shore for thousands of years. We would pick up the small oddly-shaped stones, some with a heart shape, and take them home with us after each trip.

Many of the small stones appear in a variety of colours. Some look turquoise or yellow, and others purple, white, pink or red under the sunlight and morning dew.

The stone shapes are dependent on the strength of the sea waves and the flow of water.

Every year, shortly after Tet, our parents would take us to Chua Hang pagoda by motorbike to pray for happiness and to have a picnic. It was an easy trip as our home was only 14 kilometres away in Tuy Phong district’s Phan Ri Cua town.

Built between 1835 and 1836 on a low hill 64 metres above sea level, the pagoda was recognised as a national historic site by the Ministry of Culture and Information in 1993.

The pagoda was first built by Zen Master Bao Tang in the mid-19th century. Over the last 176 years, the structure was expanded, and there are now shrines that can be seen inside many caves located on the pagoda’s grounds.

In 2011, the Vietnam Guinness Book Centre officially recognised the beach as one of the most colourful in the country because of its thousands of stones and rocks.

Many of the stones from the beach are used by artisans in the area in their works, which are the pride of Tuy Phong district residents.

Like other beaches in Binh Thuan province, the beach’s water is clear and deep blue. Besides the small stones, the beach is surrounded by giant rocks of different sizes and shapes that resemble an elephant or an old woman with a hunchback, some of which have legends associated with them.

At the beach, many tourists like to eat fresh seafood like crab, scallop and grilled or boiled fish at food stalls located near the beach or on the way to the beach and pagoda.

To get to the beach from HCM City, you can travel by bus for around seven hours to Tuy Phong and then hire a motorbike driver. You can either hire a tent for 50,000 dong ($2.20) to camp on the beach or stay at inexpensive hotels for no more than $5 a night.

If you drive on your own from HCM City, it will take longer, about eight or nine hours, but you will be able to see the sea and sand dunes the entire way.

From HCM City, drive to Phan Thiet city and then travel along the province’s Mui Ne beach until you reach Phan Ri Cua town in Tuy Phong. Co Thach beach is about 14km away.

To attract more local and foreign tourists to the area, provincial authorities have invested in new roads that extend from HCM City to the beach and the pagoda.

Visitors can often see young people on motorbikes taking in the peaceful, beautiful views of the sea and the colours of the seaweed and stones on the beach as they pass by on a leisurely ride during the weekend.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple