Ngoc Vung, or Gem Island, is a pretty site sitting
between the Nét Islet and Phuong Hoang (Phoenix)
Island, in the Vân Don District. From above, Ngoc
Vong looks like a beautiful velvet handkerchief with
exquisite white edgings; it seems to float on the
water surface. On the east side of the island there
is a kilometres-beach with pure white sand. At the
centre is a luxuriant benjamin fig tree; it was
under this tree that Ho Chí Minh stood and conversed
with the population in 1962 during a visit.
Formerly, under the feudal dynasties, this island
zone contained a great quantity of rare and precious
species of mother-of-pearls. At night, fluorescent
pearls would light up the whole region. So there are
several islands having name “Ngoc” such as Ngoc Vung
(dazzling pearl), Minh Châu (Ngoc Châu)...
During the war against the US, the island belonged
to a front of outward islands that served as
protection for the eastern waterways.
It is also on the beach that many stone artefacts
were discovered in 1937, opening a string of
excavations and archaeological research aiming at
providing some explanations of the mysteries of the
ancient Ha Long culture.