Located in Do Son district, Hai Phong city, Hon Dau or Dau Island is one of the famous tourist destinations in Haiphong, offering diverse experiences such as visiting sacred temples, exploring primeval forests, admiring ancient rock beaches, and climbing a 125-year-old lighthouse. With its vast area and no permanent residents, Dau Island is also an ideal place for travelers to seek peace and relaxation in the midst of pristine nature.
According to the “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi” book compiled during the Nguyen dynasty, the island was named Song Ngư or Con Dừa. On the other hand, locals refer to it as Hon Dau because it was marked on maps as a landmark for ships passing through the sea channels.
From above, Hon Dau island is heart-shaped and stands out in the middle of the sea. It is a pristine island with an area of 12.5 km2, and no permanent residents live there.
To reach the island, tourists can take a boat from the Hon Dau tourist area for 90,000 VND per person. The journey takes about 10 minutes. There are many experiences on the island for those who love nature, exploration, or spiritual tourism.
Hon Dau Island plays a vital role in the spiritual life of the people of Do Son. The island has five temples: Nam Hai Thần Vương Temple, Sơn Lâm Temple, Mẫu Temple, Đông Phương Temple, and Nam Phương Temple.
The Nam Hai Thần Vương Temple is the most famous and dedicated to a general of the Tran dynasty who sacrificed his life in the battle against the Mongol Yuan dynasty. According to the “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi” and legend, fishermen discovered a body near Hon Dau island on the 9th of February in the lunar calendar in 1288. After identifying the general’s clothes and belongings, the people built a temple to honor him, and it is called “Lao Thần Đảo” respect.
During the reign of King Le, when King Le Kinh Ly rested on the island, he bestowed the title of “Lao Đảo Thần Vương” to a general. Later, during the reign of King Tu Duc, the general was posthumously named Nam Hai Thần Vương.
Hon Dau Island also has a lighthouse that guides ships to the Hai Phong port. It was designed and built by a French architect in 1892, completed in 1896, and put into operation in June 1898.
The Hon Dau Lighthouse is 63.5 meters high above sea level and is designed with two main parts: an exhibition hall and a lighthouse tower. The lighthouse can emit light up to 20.7 nautical miles (about 40 km) away in average weather conditions. To reach the top, visitors have to climb 125 spiral stairs. During the resistance war against the US, the lighthouse was bombed by US aircraft many times, but later it was repaired and maintained its original architecture.
Travelers can tour the lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area, including the sea, the island, and the temple system. Hon Dau Island is a must-visit destination for tourists who love nature, culture, and history.
Dau Island is a captivating tourist destination in Haiphong with diverse experiences for visitors. From visiting sacred temples to exploring primeval forests and admiring ancient rock beaches or climbing a 125-year-old lighthouse, travelers can enjoy the pristine beauty of Dau Island. Especially with a peaceful atmosphere and no permanent residents, it is an ideal place for travelers to find relaxation in nature.