Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise

February 13, 2024 | 22:20
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The deep blue sea and sky, gentle ocean, and friendly faces of Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago residents arouse strong emotions in visitors. Artist Pham Hoang Van captured memorable moments of the islands.
Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
A traditional Buddha pagoda was built on Son Ca island

Life on an army ship is quite different from daily lives on the mainland. A day always starts and ends with orders broadcast from the command cabin. At 5.30am Lieutenant Nguyen Van Duan, the political officer of Ship 924, echoes through the train compartments.

“All aboard, wake up. Wake up, everyone.” The tranquil ambiance transforms into noise and the ship comes alive. An hour later, breakfast of chicken of beef noodle soup marks the true beginning of the day.

Daily activities also work very differently when visiting frontier islands belonging to the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago to celebrate an early Lunar New Year with soldiers and residents.

With nice weather and a calm sea, the ship can dock at the main island smoothly. At some of the smaller islands, land cannot be reached directly and transhipping two or three times on other boats to reach land is sometimes necessary. Every transhipment seems much harder for mainlanders who are diverse in age, health, and physical condition.

“Experiencing the hardship and effort involved in protecting the national sovereignty, as well as spending time relaxing with the islanders, I feel very proud to be Vietnamese and proud to have a chance to visit the most remote land of the country,” said Pham Hoang Van.

Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
Island soldiers prepare to pick up visitors docking at the island
Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
Special performances took place on board while the ship got ready to reach the land
Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
A vegetable garden on Toc Tan island in Truong Sa
Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
Visitors experience the hardship and effort involved in protecting national sovereignty
Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago offshore paradise
Soldiers and islanders give visitors a warm welcome

By Hoang Van

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