Hon Nghe (Nghe Island), off the coast of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, is known for its pristine beauty, stunning waters, and great seafood.
Islanders on Hon Nghe has spent decades living off the ocean’s abundant fish and honing their skills at 'fish cage farming' – a type of aquaculture ideal for raising cobia, grouper, and more.
Not only has fish cage farming provided generations of islanders with delicious meals, but it has also helped the island develop its own unique tourism model.
Nguyen Minh Nhut, a Hon Nghe islander, has invested hundreds of millions of dong in redesigning his fish farming cages in order to woo tourists interested in aquaculture. (VND1 million = US$42.5)
|Nguyen Minh Nhut, a local islander, practices fish cage farming and offering fish cage farming-based tourism to woo more visitors. Photo. C.Cong / Tuoi Tre|
“It was hard for visitors to the island to find catering or lodging services here in the past, but now, the island offers a wide selection of services, including sea bathing, fishing, and scuba diving," Nhut explained.
“Tourists can also visit fish farming cages, enjoy local food, and take photos of stunning sunsets or sunrises.”
Fish cage farming of Hon Nghe is popular throughout Kien Giang Province.
Standing on Lau Chuong Mountain and looking down on Bai Chuong Hamlet, tourists can check out the stunning seascape alongside the thousands of fish cages and rafts that dot the water.
|Grouper hotpot is among Hon Nghe’s signature dishes. Photo. C.Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Visitors to Hon Nghe Island can also enjoy local cuisines, such as cobia hotpot, canh chua ca mu (Vietnamese sweet and sour grouper soup), and various snail dishes.
“Hon Nghe really impresses me. It is a small yet beautiful island,” shared Nguyen Thi Ngoc Truc, a visitor from nearby Can Tho City.
|Tourists take a boat tour to experience fish cage farming. Photo. C.Cong / Tuoi Tre|
Hon Nghe Commune is home to around 1,000 fish farming cages and rafts.
Many of the islanders, including Nhut, have upgraded their fish farming cages and rafts to offer fish cage farming-based tourism services.
They all share hope that the island's popularity amongst tourists will continue to rise.
Developing cage farming-based tourism to attract more visitors to the island is a new strategy, according to Nguyen Huu Thanh, chairman of the Hon Nghe Commune People’s Committee.
The commune will create optimal conditions for local residents to develop tourism linked to fish cage farming and homestay services, the chairman added.
|Hon Nghe is typically packed with tourists on the weekend. Photo. C.Cong / Tuoi Tre|
|Tourists can take photographs and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the Ba Lua archipelago, some eight kilometers away from Hon Nghe Island, while taking a two-hour boat trip there. Photo. C.Cong / Tuoi Tre|