Whatever the tourist brochures tell you, Hon Chong is not the Ha Long Bay of the south -- it is as simple as that.
A few rock pinnacles and limestone karsts do not a Ha Long make.
That doesn't mean that it isn't a worthwhile destination in its own right, however. A welcoming seaside village set on a rugged coastline, Hon Chong makes for a decent R&R stop on any Mekong tour. This is especially the case if you're headed towards Cambodia for the overland crossing with Kep.
Though it sees a flood of Vietnamese holidaymakers around Tet, it can feel practically deserted for the rest of the year, making it the ideal locale to lay back in a hammock and unwind.
Though the town's sole road fronts along a lovely pine-tree fringed beach, the swimming in Hon Chong isn't very good. The sand is too slimy, and the water too shallow -- those fisherman walking 20m from shore? They aren't on stilts.
But the sand is still great for getting some sun, or enjoying a seafood lunch. You feel more active than this, the Chua Hang Grotto makes for a worthwhile afternoon out.
Hon Chong consists of only one beachfront road, along which all the town's hotels and restaurants are located. There is no hospital, bank or post office here, though on a good day, Ha Tien is only a few hours away over a dreadful road.
Internet doesn't seem to have quite made a splash in Hon Chong yet. For the moment, An Hai Son Resort has WiFi available in their restaurant, and you may be able to convince them to let you use one of the computers in their office.
Text and/or map last updated on 21st August, 2009.
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