Island Paradise

22/07/2019 15:56

Co To Island is an eco-friendly tourism destination and a perfect place to get away from it all.

Each day, catamarans shuttle between Van Don and Co To and since the completion of the Hanoi-Ha Long highway, a greater number of visitors are finding their way to Co To, drastically altering life on the island. Before Co To was connected to the national electric grid, there were only a handful of guesthouses with low capacity because all power usage depended on small generators. Thanks to economic planning and the electrical grid, Co To has been steadily transformed into a popular tourist attraction of the Northeast region, alongside Ngoc Vung, Quan Lan, and Minh Chau, which together form a series of eco-friendly island-based travel destinations.

Visitors usually enjoy the white sandy beaches and the turquoise waters around the island. The rocky shore is most popular among couples getting taking wedding photos, while many young travelers like the surreal landscape of red and yellow boulders, which appears to be from an alien world.

The lighthouse offers the best view of the ocean while the Van Chay beach is sure to be an unforgettable experience thanks to clear waters, soft sand and gentle tides. From the main island, visitors often travel by boat to the Small Co To islands to enjoy coastal walks on pristine white sand beaches, camping under the shade of casuarina trees or taking photos with the exotic wild pineapple plants.

As the island is largely uninhabited, visitors are greeted by untouched long sandy beaches and flocks of seabirds. Swimming and other outdoor activities can be followed by fresh seafood served on boats. Enjoying the sunset from DIY tents, picking up seashells and starfish washed up on the shore and gathering firewood for a BBQ from the nearby forest have become so popular among young travelers that the island is considered a paradise of the Northeastern coastal region.

As much as nature has endowed Co To, it is worth mentioning that the local community and authorities have contributed greatly in preserving the environment. Being aware of other seascapes threatened by littering, the people of Co To have been proactive in maintaining a clean environment. To this end, Vu Thanh Minh, Chairman of the Co To Tourism Association has played a significant role. Mr. Vu, a member of the Vietnamese team who climbed Mount Everest in 2008, has been working in tourism for dozens of years and returned hometown to develop community-based tourism. As a result, a series of small wooden houses were built along the shore (later moved towards the center of the island), BBQ parties are held on the sandy beach and trash collection events are participated in by locals and tourists alike.

In March 2019, Co To hosted a conference followed by a promotional trip with travel agents and the media invited to experience green tourism on the island. It is quite rare to see such a small island district being able to host such event. With collaboration from agencies, the locals and the visitors themselves, nowadays, Co To has become a trash-free travel destination and visitors now have an opportunity to see schools of fish swimming right under the pier and enjoy spotless roads in town. Another highlight is the Say no to plastic bags movement started by local authorities. Maintaining a clean environment requires extensive efforts and people from the tourism sector are still working relentlessly to get everyone on board. Day after day, every bit of effort adds up, and as a result, Co To stands as a tourism bright spot shining in the Northeastern coastal region.
Hai Au 

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