The 200-page book entitled “Bien Dao Que Huong” (Homeland's Seas and Islands) was compiled by overseas Vietnamese Nguyen Thanh Tong, deputy chairman of the Vietnamese Association in France.

Author Nguyen Thanh Tong and his photo book 

"Vietnam does not only have many rivers, mountains, and beautiful seas but we also have islets and islands in the middle of the blue sea which belong to Vietnamese sovereignty," said Tong.

"This includes Truong Sa (Spratly). The book aims to introduce to people who have not yet had a chance to visit the archipelago to learn about the life of soldiers and their families on the distant islands."

"The soldiers guard the sacred sea and sky of the country day and night and their children everyday go to school. There are also pagodas on the islands."

Tong took the photos when he visited the islands and DK1 platforms in 2016. He was impressed with the officials and soldiers who live there.

Despite hardships and difficulties, they grow vegetables and raise chickens, ducks, and pigs to eat, alongside the seafood they catch.

The book has two parts. The first includes photos with the experiences of the author to the first destination of the journey  – Da Lon (Discovery Great) Reef. The ship anchored far from the reef and he used lifeboats to land on the islet.

The photos in this part also feature the islets of Son Ca, Nam Yet, Sinh Ton, Truong Sa Dong, and Truong Sa. The author took a photo of the statue of Supreme Commander Tran Hung Dao (1228-1300) on Nam Yet Islet.

The last destination in his journey was DK1 platforms - a group of off-shore steel rigs for providing maritime services and research - where he took photos of the daily lives of the soldiers who live and work at the platforms.

The second part features historical documents and photos of the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagoes which reinforces Vietnam sovereignty over Hoang Sa. It also has international opinions and comments about the East Sea (South China Sea).

Source: VNA