29 Feb 2016   |   Places

The Oldest Lighthouse Rests on “A Balcony on the Pacific”

With the East Sea and the Gulf of Thailand’s waves crashing onto the shores of this 3,000 km coastal country, it’s no wonder Vietnam is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The colonial French nicknamed the country, “a balcony on the Pacific.” And indeed, it is. This balcony grants travelers sweeping prospects of pristine, white sandy beaches and cobalt waters dotted with thousands of islands tracing Vietnam’s north to south; one of them being Ke Ga Island.
 
As your eyes scan the shimmering waters off Ham Thuan Nam beach, located about 30km southwest of Phan Thiet, a small patch of land catches your eye with its vivid rock formations semi-cloaked in emerald green foliage. But what draws many travelers to this secluded, scenic spot is the Ke Ga Lighthouse. In fact, the lighthouse is one of Phan Thiet region’s most visited landmarks.  

Built by French architect, Chnavat in the late 1800s to guide ships and fishing boats ashore, it’s still in operation and stakes a claim as the tallest and oldest lighthouse in the country. At first glimpse, the more than 100-year-old granite stone structure strikes a chord, surging for the skies, towering over its surroundings. Yet it’s the panoramic vista of the surrounding natural beauty that disarms you once you’ve climbed the 35-metre tall spiraling stairs, making this trip unforgettable.

Local fishermen will offer to take visitors out to the lighthouse for a small fee but when the tide is at its lowest during the dry season (Oct. to April), a visit to Ke Ga Island can be done by foot.

In this picture below, Jet Huynh captured the Ke Ga Lighthouse one early morning back in 2013. See more of his photos at www.jethuynh.com

The Oldest Lighthouse Rests on A Balcony on the Pacific