Visitors coming to Vung Tau are familiar with the image of a small rock island located several hundred meters from the mainland. When the tide goes down, a path leading to the island gradually appears.
Hon Ba (Ba Island) is located on Ha Long (also know as Thuy Van) road, Bai Sau, Vung Tau city. This area is always crowded with visitors. Seen from far or from the statue of Jesus Christ whose is spreading his arms, Hon Ba is so attractive in the sea with the green of plants and the red of tiled roofs. This poetic scenery makes many visitors coming here stop to enjoy the beauty from far.
Local people provide the transporting tourists by boat service with the price of around 500,000 VND/ round trip. Before the departure, the boat owners always remind the passengers that inspire of the short distance, the boat has to go farther to reach the island since there are many reefs (rocks under the sea). The number of visitors who travel to the island by boat is not very high, mostly are those who live and work there or visitors who have the unscheduled business.
The large rocks which are even higher than a person, about 2m, located near the shore are covered by a shiny black. The smooth sand leads tourists to the rock path which consists of small rock arranged neatly. The rocks are very point and sharp. On these rocks, there are many oysters. The oysters’ shell are sharp and the rocks are slippery making the move difficult.
When the tide goes down, there are also a number of local people and visitors who find all way to be able to walk on this unique road to Hon Ba. Generally, the lowest level of sea water occurs in the late afternoon of lunar 14th and 15th days every month.
Many of the local people make their living on this rock path. They quickly catch the fresh oysters which are called sucking oysters. A woman, if she is lucky, can catch 1- 2kh of suckling oyster each time the tide goes down; however, this quantity gradually decreases. In addition, people catch crabs, kinds of the snail.. on the rocks or in the slits.
After walking through this special rock path, visitors reach Hon Ba whose area is estimated to be only 5,000 m2. On this island, there is a famous Mieu Ba (a shrine) which, according to the keeps, was built in 1881 and was shot by a French soldier in 1939 but was not destroyed much. In 1971, the shrine was restored to rise 4m to the ground. Inside the shrine, there are small worshipping halls which are arranged neatly and are always full of incense smoke.
According to the shrine keeper, there is four special time actually: lunar January, April, July, October. Especially, in January there is a big festival in the shrine attracting both local residents and tourists from everywhere.
Standing on Hon Ba, you can see the amazing surrounding with the immense sea full of waves. Although this is a relatively small island, many kinds of the tree such as coconut, areca- nut,.. are planted on the island. Meanwhile, looking towards the mainland, you can see a crowd scene on the beach where there are hundreds, even thousands of visitors playing on the sand. The image of boats and ships moored neatly after a long journey to catch abundant fish give visitors a peaceful feeling.