A guide to Trong Mai Islet in Ha Long Bay
Ha Long has many islets with strange and unique shapes, and the most famous one among them is Trong Mai or fighting cock islet, a stone island with double chicken considered as a tourist symbol of Ha Long. Let’s discover the beauty of Trong Mai islet
1. The location of Trong Mai Islet
About 5 km from the pier, Trong Mai Islet is located in the southwest of Ha Long Bay. Going through Dinh Huong Grotto about 1 kilometer, tourists will be able to admire two relatively large rocks looking like 2 chickens unfurling wings fighting with each other above the immense water suface. Amid vast seawater, the beautiful Trong Mai Islet rises from the deep blue water. Dawn is probably the most beautiful moment when the glowing beams cover the huge couple of cocks amid the vast sea.
The islet is about 10 meters high above sea level. It has the shape of a cock couple rising from the blue sea. These two huge cocks have stood by the other for thousands of years. According to the story told by the locals, Trong Mai islet represents the loyalty and faithfulness in love.
2. Best time to visit Trong Mai Islet?
Trong Mai Islet – Ha Long Bay attracts visitors year-round with the peak season from October to April. November's sunny blue-sky days and lack of crowds make it the best time to make a beeline here. However, January to March is often cool and drizzly, and the continual fog can make visibility low but it helps add the eerie atmosphere. From May to September, tropical storms are frequent, and year-round tourist boats sometimes need to alter their itineraries, depending on the weather.
3. Why is Hon Mai Island selected as the symbol of Ha Long tourism?
On many postcards, catalogs or photos introducing Halong, visitors are likely to catch the sight of Trong Mai islet. It is not an interesting cave nor unique vegetation, so what is the reason why Trong Mai is selected as a tourism symbol of Halong?
First things to be mentioned is the interesting shapes of these two rocky islands. The two rocks are risht beside each other, only a small distance apart. From a far distance, the two rocky islands are very similar to the image of chickens flapping their wings in the middle of the sea and looking intently at the other one. Although only 10 meters high, Trong Mai is still surprising for people because the weight of the rocky island is quite different on the sea.
From the surface of water, two burly giant chickens with a height of more than ten meters spectacularly appear over vast waves. Protruding posture on the tiny foot is actually a masterpiece of nature. It feels like that just a gust of strong waves can strike whole heavy rock down at any time, yet Fighting Cock Islet has stood for hundreds of millions of years. It seems that the impression is multiplied from its unbalanced legs. Trong Mai Islet in particular and other islets in Ha Long Bay in general can be considered as one of the most stunning marvels that The Creation has given to Ha Long.
Moreover, there is a traditional folk story told by the Vietnamese about the origins of Vietnam. In this story, the highest God in Heaven, Ngoc Hoang, sent a ferocious mother dragon and her children to help early Vietnamese fight off foreign invaders. When the war ended with victory belonging to Vietnamese, Ngoc Hoang was surprised that the dragon mother and her children did not return to heaven, hence decided to send two chickens down to bring them home. The chickens were greatly captivated by the beauty of Ha Long Bay, falling in love wit it and forgetting the mission that Ngoc Hoang had given them. From then, they remained in Halong Bay; over time petrified and turned into stone afterwards.
4. The beauty of Trong Mai
From the beginning, Trong Mai is not shaped like it is now, but a small rock island near Dinh Huong Island. Because thousands of years have passed, the weathering of limestone and the erosion of seawater have made the rock island split in two and looks like it is now.
The two rocky islands are located opposite with the same height. From the foot of the island to the top of the rock island, there are a number of lush green plants that make the island full of vitality, not just two large unconcious rocks. At first glance, these two rocky islands do not seem to have "legs" and float on the sea. In fact, only at low tide can visitors see the "legs" of the couple. "The legs" look very fragile, but that is still an empty roof for many years amid thousands of waves.
Thanks to the extraordinary values in terms of art and significance, the islet has become the inspiration for the works of numerous artists on photography, painting, and poetry to exploit and depict the beauty of the whole bay. Moreover, artisans of handicraft workshops in Vietnam also use Trong Mai Islet to create high aesthetic fine artworks; simultaneously, through small souvenir products, the image of Ha Long tourism in particular and Vietnam, in general, has been promoted worldwide. In particular, Trong Mai Islet has become a symbol of love here which demonstrates the vitality and immense significance. It is definitely a must-see destination in Halong Bay travel.
Written by: Hieu La