Ke Ga Lighthouse

 Ke Ga Lighthouse is located on Ke Ga Island, 300m offshore of the mainland, which belongs to Tan Thanh Commune, Ham Thuan Nam District, Binh Thuan Province. It is the tallest and oldest lighthouse in Southeast Asia.

Ke Ga Island, also called hon Ba, covers 5ha with hundreds of huge blocks of granite and 100-year-old Su (Plumeria) trees.

According to lighthouse keepers on Ke Ga Island, in the late 19th century Ke Ga Island was considered to be in a very important position because ships had difficulty navigating the sea route from Phan Rang to Vung Tau. Many boats and ships crossing the area sank because they could not define their co-ordinates and position. To ensure the safety for transport ships of French troops and foreign merchant ships, the French built a big lighthouse on the island in 1897. It was completed in 1899 and was put into operation in 1900.

Ke Ga Lighthouse is the tallest and oldest in Southeast Asia.

A rock in the shape of a chicken’s head on Ke Ga Island.

The path leading to Ke Ga Lighthouse is shaded by rows of old trees.

The spiral staircase made with steel leads to the top of the lighthouse.
Ke Ga Lighthouse was designed by a French architect. The building is 65m high with a 35m granite lamp tower. Granite blocks were shaped carefully to fit in each position. During construction, they placed the stones correctly in position using mortar. The top of the tower used a 2000W lamp with an effective radius of 22 nautical miles or 40km.

Inside the tower is a spiral staircase made with steel with 183 steps leading to the top. All the materials to make the staircase and the dynamo and lamp were imported from France.

At the foot of the tower is a concrete road leading down to the bottom of the hill. Both sides of the road are shaded all year round by two rows of old Su trees planted by the French when the lighthouse began construction.

The 112 year-old Ke Ga Lighthouse still stands without damage.

The daily life of the local people near Ke Ga Lighthouse.
Despite the impact of wind, waves and typhoons, the 112 year-old Ke Ga lighthouse still stands without damage.

Currently, Ke Ga Island and the lighthouse are an attractive destination for tourists to Binh Thuan Province. On nice days, about 10km offshore from the mainland, ships and boats still see the old lighthouse with its unique architecture.

Story: Nguyen Vu Thanh Dat – Photo: Huu Thanh