Even if you are lucky enough to visit the southern city of Vung Tau’s Long Son island commune, you may miss the chance to see a beautiful sunrise over the newly-built Go Gang Bridge.
So, in order to witness the early morning bustle of a raft village, my friends and I took a 4:30am car drive from Vung Tau city to the Long Son commune’s Go Gang Island. We arrived at Go Gang Bridge only 40 minutes later, pausing to admire the vista of the raft village below and an endless horizon where the sky and the sea mingled into one.
The bridge was almost empty at such an early hour – we felt free to lie on its surface for photos and breathe in the ocean fresh air carrying hints of fish and sea salt.
A moment later and our ‘wows’ echoed in unison as the sun rose from the horizon and dyed the sky dark orange. Our group – five people, ten eyes – were engrossed in the miracle scene and our camera buttons clicked together. The sun and its fluid colours reflected on the water’s surface like a giant silk painting, coating the tiny floating houses and skimming fishing boats as they added their own lively patterns to nature’s masterpiece.
With the sun rising above, we decided to walk the small path beneath the bridge to watch fishermen transferring their catch from small boats to the trucks that would take it to market. We also visited a raft house, but not for the seafood. We wanted to watch the daily activities of people who live on the water all-year round.
After admiring the sunrise scene, tourists are advised to pop along to Nha Lon (Great House), built on Long Son Island to worship Ong Tran and his Le Family relatives, who are renowned as great men of Taoism and Confucianism. The house was erected on two hectares of land and includes a temple, a place to celebrate festivals with a school, a market, and Ong Tran’s graveyard. Visitors can also hike up one of the locality’s mountains for a panoramic view of the whole of Vung Tau City.
Tourists who struggle with directions can ask enthusiastic local people who are eager to share useful information about the history and culture of the region.
You may think that a sunrise scene and a raft village are the same everywhere. But the early morning tranquility of Go Gang Island is a special experience, markedly different from the bustling atmosphere of the usual weekend afternoon seafood party, and just as worthwhile.