Thổ Chu Island

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Thổ Chu Island
Native name:
Đảo Thổ Chu or đảo Thổ Châu
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Thổ Chu Island
Position of Thổ Chu Island
Location Gulf of Thailand
Coordinates 9°18′N103°29′E / 9.300°N 103.483°E / 9.300; 103.483 (Thổ Chu Island) Coordinates: 9°18′N103°29′E / 9.300°N 103.483°E / 9.300; 103.483 (Thổ Chu Island)
Archipelago Thổ Chu
Area13.95 km2 (5.39 sq mi)
Highest point167 m (548 ft)
Province Kiên Giang
District Phú Quốc
Commune Thổ Châu

Thổ Chu Island (Vietnamese : đảo Thổ Chu or đảo Thổ Châu) is the largest island of Thổ Chu Islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Here lies the administrative center of Thổ Châu Commune, Phú Quốc District, Kiên Giang Province, Vietnam. In the West, [1] the island is also known as Poulo Panjang or Pulo Panjang. [2] [3] [4]



Thổ Chu Island is located to the southwest of Phú Quốc Island and Rạch Giá and to the northwest of Cape Cà Mau, specifically 55 nautical miles (102 km; 63 mi), 220 kilometres (140 mi) and 85 nautical miles (157 km; 98 mi) away. [5] [6] There are four beaches on the island (Bai Ngu, Bai Dong, Bai Mun and Bai Nhat) of which the largest are Bai Ngu (literally "Royal Beach") and Bai Dong. [7]


Thổ Chu Island has beautiful natural environment with high-density coral reefs, fine white sand beaches and pristine forests. A majority of 99 species of coral present here belong to two genera Montipora and Acropora of Acroporidae. The flora consists of about two hundreds of species, mostly Clusiaceae, FabaceaeSapotaceae. [8] The island is also home to endemic gecko species Cyrtodactylus thochuensis . However, Thổ Chu is being threatened by environmental pollution since domestic waste is dumped into the sea. [7]


During the era of Republic of Vietnam, Thổ Chu Island was under the administration of An Xuyên Province.

On May 10, 1975, the Khmer Rouge occupied the island and, as reported by the Hanoi government, "destroyed villages, killed many people, and abducted 515 inhabitants of the island". [9] From May 24 to May 27, 1975, Vietnamese forces attacked the occupiers and recaptured the island. In 1977, the Khmer Rouge raided Thổ Chu Island once again but were defeated. [10]

On April 27, 1992, under the arrangement of the People's Committee of Kien Giang Province, six families with about thirty people moved to Thổ Chu Island and settled there. On April 24, 1993, the Vietnamese government decided to establish Thổ Châu Commune which has been in charge of administrating the whole archipelago. [6]


The majority of inhabitants are navy personnel and border guards who chose to settle on the island. As of early 2012, there are 513 households with about 1,700 people who mainly reside at Bai Ngu and Bai Dong. [5] [6] The residents' lives are not easy as they have to move around the island twice a year to avoid storms. In the southwest monsoon from April to August, people move from Bai Ngu to Bai Dong and in the northeast monsoon from September to March, they reverse their migration. [11]


Thổ Chu Island has only one electric generator for Bai Ngu. The island does not have a water supply network so military personnel and civilians have to dig wells to get water. [6] Mobile information services of Viettel, MobiFone and Vinaphone have reached the island. [12] Thổ Chu Island Lighthouse was set up on January 25, 2000. Its range is 29 nmi (54 km; 33 mi) during daytime and 12 nmi (22 km; 14 mi) in the nighttime. [13] In addition, the island has a school, a post office and a temple commemorating the victims of the Khmer Rouge. [7]


In general, the economy of Thổ Chu Island is still difficult. [11] Local residents live mainly by fishing, including seafood trading and fisheries logistics. [14] The efficiency in the exploitation of marine resources is only at low level. [15] According to Decision No. 18/2009/QD-TTg by the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Tho Chu Island is planned to become a large fisheries service center of the region. [16]

See also

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  1. Cochinchine française: excursions et reconnaissances (in French). 1. Imprimerie du Gouvernement. 1879. p.  59.
  2. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Embassy to the Eastern Courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat, by Edmund Roberts. Page 228
  3. Please see An Nam đại quốc họa đồ, southmost of Việt Nam.
  4. Westerners call it by Malay Pulo Panjang. Pulo: island; Panjang: long.
  5. 1 2 (in Vietnamese)Lê Huy Hải (January 9, 2012). "Kiên Giang: Vẫn chưa có giải pháp đề khắc phục "Nhà di động" trên đảo Thổ Chu". Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Vietnam. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  6. 1 2 3 4 (in Vietnamese)Việt Tiến (June 29, 2011). "Một lần đến Thổ Châu". Nhandan Online. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 (in Vietnamese)Quốc Bình (August 7, 2012). "Đảo Thổ Châu (Kiên Giang): Thiên đường nơi đầu sóng". Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  8. (in Vietnamese) "Khu đề xuất Bảo tồn Biển Thổ Chu" (PDF). Birdlife International in Indochina. February 15, 2004. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  9. Kiernan, Ben (2008). The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. Yale University Press. p. 104.
  10. (in Vietnamese)Hà Thành (April 27, 2009). "Quần Đảo Thổ Chu và trận chiến giải phóng đảo". People's Army Newspaper Online. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  11. 1 2 (in Vietnamese)Nguyễn Anh (June 13, 2011). "Những hòn đảo trên biển Tây Nam". Website on Viet Nam's sovereign boundaries. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  12. (in Vietnamese)Trọng Nghĩa (January 29, 2012). "Vững vàng Thổ Châu". SGGP Online. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  13. (in Vietnamese)Đào (February 16, 2009). "Thổ Chu – vùng địa đầu Tây Nam đất nước". Dat Mui Pictorial. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  14. (in Vietnamese)Thế Hạnh (February 10, 2012). "Người Trưởng ấp duy nhất nơi đảo xa". Dai doan ket. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
  15. (in Vietnamese)Bá Hiên; Xuân Cường (February 15, 2010). "Thổ Chu vẫy gọi". People's Army Newspaper Online. Archived from the original on 2012-12-24. Retrieved December 24, 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. (in Vietnamese) "Quyết định phê duyệt Quy hoạch tổng thể phát triển kinh tế - xã hội vùng biển và ven biển Việt Nam thuộc Vịnh Thái Lan thời kỳ đến năm 2020". Vietnam Government Web Portal. Archived from the original on December 24, 2012. Retrieved December 24, 2012.