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"Robinson Crusoe" moves to island near Phu Quoc
  • | Tuoi tre | May 04, 2011 10:35 PM

Rong Ngang has the dubious claim to being one of only four inhabited islands in Hon Thom Commune of Phu Quoc District.

Vuong Chinh Trung (L) and his family on the Rong Ngang island (Photo: Lao Dong)
Two Phu Quoc eagle are being hatched at the hut of Trung

Currently, only one family of Vuong Chinh Trung is living there.

Trung, together with his disabled wife and two children, live in a hut on the island which is surrounded by marvelous coral reefs.

According to Trung, there is no fresh water on the island. “Some geologists from Central Highlands and Hanoi investigated but found nothing,” he noted.

He said that the important thing that keeps him stay there is the coconut trees, which cover most of the island.

He shared he came to this place by chance when his boat drifted to the island many years ago. He fell in love and got married with Que, who was living with her parents and siblings on the island.

Their two sons, Vuong Le Ngoc Chanh, 14, and Vuong Le Hong Thuy, 13, have almost never been to school. Trung and his wife are also illiterate.

Once some conservationists took Chanh to Hon Thom, bringing him an education chance by living with Trung\'s friend.

“But that friend was drunk all day,” Trung says. “He eventually stopped sending my son to school. The child had to return to Rong Ngang.”

Despite their young age, the two skinny boys have to work on offshore fishing boats, earning VND80,000 (USD3.82) a day.

Due to the high price of diesel, Trung does not use his boat and switched to fishing close to shore.

Every morning he carries his wife to the boat before rowing out to fish.

“I just cannot leave my wife alone in the hut. I\'m afraid that she may get sick or be attacked. It is good to have her on board because she knows where the fish school and can predict the weather as well.”

The boys go to Hon Thom looking for work or sometimes accompany their parents.

Trung is not eligible for any subsidies for the poor or disabled. He got a health insurance card the government issues to the poor in May 2010.

“I can get the medicines for free, but have to pay for shots,” he says.

Asked for the reason why he is not moving to the mainland, Trung says he has no land of his own to live.

“I also don’t want to leave this coconut grove,” he added.

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