January 11, 2014
0962 VIETNAM (Mekong Delta) - An Thoi fishing village in Phú Quốc island
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, just 12km south of the (now) Cambodian coast, the mountainous and densely forested island Phú Quốc (known as Koh Trol in Khmer) now belongs to Vietnam, but was and is a bone of contention between the governments of Cambodia and Vietnam. In the early 17th century, it was a desolate area, where Vietnamese and Chinese immigrants earned their living from sea cucumbers. In 1869, the French occupied it to set up rubber and coconut plantations. Anyway, in the late 19th and early 20th century less than 1,000 people resided on island, mostly distributed among small fishing communities, and even at the end of WWII the population was still less than 5,000. In 1949, after China fell under the control of the Communist Party, more then 33,000 Republic of China Army soldiers came in Phú Quốc, but they went to Taiwan in 1953. During the Vietnam War, the island housed South Vietnam's largest prisoner camp (40,000 in 1973).
The population, numbering now around 85,000, is traditionally associated with the sea, and the island's cultural traits remain the fishing communities of the two main towns, Duong Dong and An Thoi as well as host of smaller and very distinctive fishing villages. Located at the southern tip of the island is the fishing town of An Thoi, where are based many of the factories which produce the fish sauce, one of the famous traditional products of Phu Quoc. The rich fishing grounds offshore provides the anchovy catch from which the prized sauce is made. An Thoi is famed also among divers for its numerous coral reefs and mesmerizing tropical fish.
About the stamps
The first is part of a series of definitive stamps, Architectures, landscapes of Việt Nam, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the series National martial arts,about also I wrote here.
Phú Quốc - Wikipedia
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam - Phu Quoc Explorer
An Thoi Town - Discover Phu Quoc
An Thoi - Phu Quoc Island
sender: Cătălin Frolov
sent from Ho Chi Minh City (Southeast Region / Vietnam), on 13.04.2013
photo: Dinh Nghiem