KIEN GIANG – About 40 minutes from Ha Tien city by boat is the Hai Tac archipelago, where visitors can freely dive to catch sea urchins and cook dishes on the spot.
The Pirate Islands is a place not many tourists know about but has a wild and mysterious beauty. This destination is nearly 28 km from the coast of Ha Tien and 40 km from Phu Quoc island, including 16 islands, the largest is Hon Tre island (Hon Doc), in Tien Hai commune, Ha Tien city.
Vinh Emly, a local guide, shared that one of the favorite experiences of tourists when coming to the Hai Tac archipelago is diving to catch sea urchins (sea urchins). sea urchin usually spawns in the 3rd to 6th month of the lunar calendar, and resides in the boxes and rocks, so you have to know how to catch it properly, otherwise it will be pricked by thorns. Sea urchin is spherical, 3-10 cm in diameter, 3-4 mm thick shell, outside there are many spines. Despite its thorny shape, urchin is one of the most nutritious and fatty seafood in the world.
For a more exciting experience, you should go in a group of about 5-10 people and bring an urchin catcher including a clamp, a net containing the urchin, and diving goggles for easy observation. After that, you dive to a depth of about 2-3 m to be able to harvest as much as you like.
The urchins when they come ashore will be screened strongly to break all the spines. sea urchin after washing will be cut in half, the meat inside can be eaten raw with mustard or cooked porridge to nourish the body. In particular, if you are a fan of grilled food, you will certainly not be able to ignore the grilled onion. After splitting in half, put it on the charcoal stove, add a little onion fat, add peanuts (roasted peanuts) if you like, bake for 2-3 minutes to wake up the aroma. Grilled urchin dish with salt and pepper lemon or lemon pepper as you like, has a fatty taste and a characteristic aroma.
Huong Ly and her group of friends from Ho Chi Minh City enjoyed diving and catching urchin when they had the opportunity to travel to the Hai Tac archipelago in early August. She shared her impression of the unspoiled and peaceful beauty of the archipelago, especially the islands. You can comfortably dive and catch urchins to forget the time. “I and my friends spend half a day diving to catch urchins and enjoy cooking many delicious dishes. Participating in this experience is also a way to help relax after stressful working days,” Ly shared.
In addition to diving to catch sea urchin, the archipelago also has other activities such as diving to see corals, fishing, squid fishing… very interesting. Currently, the archipelago has a boat rental service to run to the surrounding islets for visitors to enjoy diving to catch urchins, snails, and hornbills. The boat owner will assist guests in preparing delicious dishes from the sea urchin and enjoying it on board at an affordable price.
If you like this experience, the coming weekends or holidays are the right time for you, your family and friends to check-in at Pirate Island. This archipelago has electricity, running water and motels for you to stay overnight.
To get to the archipelago, from Ho Chi Minh City, you go down to Ha Tien and book tickets. After that, you can choose a means of going to the island by iron train for 70,000 VND one way (about 1 to 1.5 hours) or by speedboat which costs 120,000 VND one way (about 30-40 minutes).