There are many legends and mythologies on this island which have been passed from generation to generation with understanding and sentiment of people living here.
The first legend is the legend of name “Cat Ba“. The legend tells that: one upon a time, this island used to be the rear of women who grew vegetables, supplied food to men who fought invaders. Many brave commanders appeared in the battle, since then the island was called “Cac Ba” and after that called “Cat Ba”.
Another legend tells that: this island used to be the harem of fist man who cut a road through a mountain and discovered valuable bays with beautiful islands, and the he had to help solitary female fates whose husbands never come back from dangerous sea travels. To explore new lands, he brought those women to live on beautiful, well-off and isolated islands. It is the reason why Bai Chay and Hon Gai has been then called “Dat cua Ong” while the nice island has been Cac Ba. Upon the time, people call into Cua Ong and Cat Ba nowadays.
Cat Ba island is also characterized by Kim Giao tree (scientific name is Nageia-fleury) whose truth or fiction origin has been narrated by local people. This species live in Cat Ba National Park. Special feature of wood of this species is that it will change it’s color when contacts toxic substance. Therefore, in the past, this kind of wood was often used to make chopstick for Kings.
Especially, this a unisexual species that means they only blossom when many trees grow together. This is also base for a legend of romantic love story between the talented man Kim Ngan and beautiful princess Giao Thuy. The man was poisoned by envious and sycophantic coutiers and died in a party. The princess cried so much for the death of her lover and peacefully passed away next to his tomb to express her love. Afterwards, there ware two green trees growing from that tomb and local people named that sepcies of plant Kim Giao. Under verdant luxuriant left cano-pies in Kim Giao forest, visitors feel pity for the couple and admire their love as well as faith.
Moreover, there are many other legends passed from generation to generation. There is a temple used to worship a woman – mother of brave man of village Hung Son. He took part in the battle against An invaders at the 6th Hung King. The legend of this hero is like a heroic musical note, a sound of patriotism of citizen.
Today, Cat Ba is still like a shy fairy in the middle of open sea with appearance and attraction together with legends through so many generations, history and culture of this island.
Tuan Chau Pearl Isle
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