KE GA, the unknown

By: Fabrice Turri

Located 200km’s east of Saigon, the Cape of Ke Ga is located near Tan Thanh’s village in Binh Thuan Province. It is a haven of peace yet to feel the negative effects of mass tourism.

Ke Ga offers visitors lush and mountainous landscapes, white sand and rich gardens full of fruit trees. The fresh sea breeze is soothing with surroundings rich with stones of all shapes and sizes. Visitors can climb on the rocks that dot the area, and even on impressive cliffs that overlook the ocean. During the full moon, some locals take the opportunity to fish and cook their catch with firewood on the beach before witnessing an unforgettable sunrise.

On a namesake island, 300 metres from the mainland is the largest and oldest existing lighthouse in Vietnam. To ensure the safe transport of troops as well as merchant ships, the French colonists built a lighthouse at this location in 1897. Completed in 1899, it was put in operation in 1900.

Despite wind, waves and typhoons, the Ke Ga lighthouse still stands undamaged. At a height of 65 meters, it is equipped
with a 2000 watt bulb that can be seen up to 22 nautical miles. At the heart of the lighthouse is a 183 steps spiral staircase, which has attracted several generations of photographers. From the top of granite stones, transported especially from France, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of a vast expanse of sky, swept by the ocean breeze.

On the way to Phan Thiet from Ke Ga, you can visit the Ta Cu, a natural reserve. To reach the mountain peak, it is possible to go by foot or take a cable car through the rainforest. Those who opt for the trekking option through the nature are offered  breathtaking views on the trail.

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At the peak is a pagoda, built in 1879, whose main attraction is a large reclining 49 meters long Buddha. The chest decorated with a “Svatika”. Perceived as the Nazi regime emblem in the West, this symbol is ubiquitous in Asia, where it represents realization of the ten thousand merits for entry into nirvana.

Practical Information:
- The ticket price to Ke Ga lighthouse is 20.000 VND.
- Ta Cu Mountain is located 28 kilometers south of Phan Thiet city. It is accessible by National Highway 1A. To get to the huge reclining Buddha at Ta Cu, it takes 10 minutes by cable or two hours walk.

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