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Sunday, October 17, 2021

An old eye of the sea

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Tien Sa is a 120-year-old lighthouse constructed in the French colonial period. The lighthouse in the central coast city of Danang is a place where tourists can have panoramic views of Danang, Hue and even the entire Quang Nam Province from above.

Tien Sa lighthouse is commonly known as Son Tra lighthouse that stands alone in the east of Son Tra Peninsula. The lighthouse gives necessary navigation to marine traffic across the sea, especially in storms.

The leading light is on a good yet secluded location. The place is almost encircled by a primary forest with big trees seemingly endless. Travelers may be enchanted by the poetic beauty of its environs which prompts them to feel in harmony with nature.

It is tough to get to the lighthouse although there is a concrete road leading to the location. The building is half hidden in mountains where life is isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The 120-year-old lighthouse is equipped with a modern device: solar panels which are used to generate power for in-house use. Although the lighthouse is one of the local tourist attractions, wireless waves for cell phones are not available.

Workers are at the top of the lighthouse

Most of the staff members working at the lighthouse are men who have to stay in place for several years on end without electricity and mobile phone signals. They even use water flowing from mountains, but they grow their own vegetables and flowers, and raise chickens for food.  In return, blooming red bougainvillea under the sun, the blue sea and rolling mountains are highlights of the gorgeous views.

From the lighthouse, some 223 meters above sea level, tourists can see beautiful blue sea dotted with boats under blue sky and eye-pleasing stretches of yellow sand at the foot of mountains. Equally mesmerizing are the picturesque panoramic view of Son Tra Peninsula as well as Danang by the Han River.

The lighthouse is also a historic site that adopts French-style architecture which shows a mix of modern and old.

The lighthouse’s staff work from sunset to sunrise, or 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day. In the winter, it starts shining at 5 p.m., one hour earlier than usual.

As soon as they catch glimpse of the light emitted from the lighthouse, local fishermen and international ships know that they are getting closer to shore. That’s what Tien Sa lighthouse is all about.

By Tieu Dao

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