Hon Chong is a sleepy little fishing village on the south coast of Vietnam.
Jutting out into the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, its rocky karsts and stony outcrops have led it to be known as ‘The Halong Bay of the South’, but its seclusion and beaches make it a spectacular destination in its own right.
Not much happens in Hon Chong. There isn’t a lot to be found in the village and there isn’t a whole lot going on. It’s a few hours along bumpy roads from the bigger port of Rach Gia– where you can get a ferry to the better know beaches of Phu Quoc Island– and a few hours in the other direction to the Cambodian border.
Not many people live here, and not many tourists make it here either. So why would you visit? I hear you asking as you read my disparaging words. Well, if secluded, exotic palm fringed beaches are what you are looking for, then Hon Chong is the Vietnamese village for you.
Rocky outcrops protrude out to sea all along the beach front and into the bay, but rather than seeing it as ‘The Halong Bay of the South’, a more apt description might be the ‘Mini Halong Bay’. The karsts here are nowhere near as numerous or as large as those in the north, but Hon Chong’s quiet atmosphere and alluring coastline more than makes up for the deficit.
Most of the villagers work out on the fishing boats. The bay is the local harbour and the beach itself a workshop. New boats are built and old boats fixed up under the palm trees.
Along the beach you can find fresh fish for sale and Vietnamese delicacies. Then just knock back in a hammock, and be astounded by the lack of tourists and the spectacular view of the bay.
The tropical sun sets are pretty easy to enjoy too.
There isn’t much advice out there if you are planning on trying to find Hon Chong. Lonely Planet has a small section on the village here.