The Vietnamese Boat People – Pulau Bidong during 1978-1979

Although I never set foot on Pulau Bidong, my parents have experienced hardships that they will always remember for the rest of their lives.  They retell stories and recount memories of what it was like in Pulau Bidong during their time at the refugee camp in 1978-1979.  Their stories are very tragic and I want to share their story as “Boat People” to the world.  I saw a huge interest in talking and connecting with other Pulau Bidong ex-refugees when I googled “Pulau Bidong” so I decided to create this blog to see if they can connect with their long lost neighbors and friends of Bidong.

A picture of my parents and my brother.  It was very expensive for them to take this picture ($2), but today, they are glad of having taken it!

A picture of my parents and my brother. It was very expensive for them to take this picture ($2), but today, they are glad of having taken it!

My parents fled Southern Vietnam (Ca Mau) after the Vietnam War in late 1978 when they were forced to leave because of all the hatred towards the Chinese people.  The Chinese who did stay, were persecuted by the locals.  My parents, along with their siblings acquired a boat through a friend, a compass, and a map for their journey.  My parents, along with the people on their boat had no set destination in mind, just to flee and find freedom.  They wanted to leave as quickly as they could, to find the freedom that the other millions of Chinese Vietnamese people who fled during the same time were looking for.  They abandoned their house, belongings, mementos, and wedding photos in hope to flee the communist country.  They took only what was most important to them.  The most valuable thing my mom brought with her was her diamond ring which my dad bought for her for their wedding.

With the only navigation tools they had of a compass and a map, they sailed to the closest country with hopes that they will accept the refugees.  They landed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, a few days later, but was told to go to Pulau Bidong where a refugee camp was set up.  There were many pirates who stole my parents siblings’ things such as their guitar, jewelery, and other valuable things.  Luckily, my mom hid her wedding ring inside the waistband of her pants and the pirates never got to them.  The pirates did not care who you were or what your purpose here was for.  They only had a few things in mind, to rob, rape, beat and murder the Boat People who were going through hunger and sea sickness.  Finally, after what was a horrendous, long boat trip and with many people sick, throwing up on themselves, they landed on the island of Pulau Bidong off the coast of Malaysia on 10/22/1978.  My parents even recall having to purposely sink the boat they were in so that they were allowed in.  They were boat #91, boat name called MH 375 (Minh Hai 375).

Because they were one of the first wave of Boat People there, there was barely any resources and shelter.  Each family was put through the ultimate test of the survival of the fittest.  My dad along with my uncles had to build their own houses out of wood from the forest, some string and some blue tarp they had gathered up.  Fetching “fresh” water was not an easy job.  Every time they wanted water to drink, cook or bathe in, they had to walk up to the mountainous area and collect water from wells which they dug up.  Food was given in rations from the supply boat that arrived every once in a while.  People would have to swim out or use the bridge to where the supply boat was parked.  My parents recall the supply boat giving out peas and chicken inside tin cans.  It was all they had to eat there.

As days passed by, more and more Boat People who fled Vietnam arrived at Bidong island.  This created an economy in which people bartered for money, food, and essential things.  Since my family knew their time on the island could be long, they needed money to survive so they thought of some ways to make a little business selling things.  My dad was the first (he believes) baker there as he traded some of his belongings for flour to make bread.  He cooked the bread in a tin cookie box in which he sold to other people for them to sell for profit.  Luckily, my mom was (and still is) a good chef.  She made Banh Bia to sell for others to get away from the rationed canned food they were given.  But to start this little island business, it set her back some valuables.  She had to trade her wedding ring for ingredients to be able to make the pastries.  It was such a memorable and valuable item to my mom, but my parents needed to make sacrifices to raise and feed my newborn brother, who was born on Bidong island.

They were assigned to “Section F”, which was near the helicopter pad, in the back area of the island on the beach.  They recall going to the PA system everyday and listening to who got to leave the camp to go to either USA, Europe, or Australia.  They were always frustrated because they felt like they were never chosen.  The PA also served as communication to the refugees.  It told when new boats arrived, and when to pick up food.  The PA even played Christmas music during Christmas time.  It was their lifeline to survival and the freedom that would come soon.

On May 28th, 1979, my mom gave birth to my brother, Cuong Ngo on the island.  The doctor that helped them was very nice.  My mom remembers that there was another mom giving birth next to her at the same time (a girl).  My mom really wants to connect with the doctor.

Many people in Pulau Bidong took care of Cuong Ngo.  He was everyone’s favorite baby to take care of and to carry because he was very easy going.  He gained the name of Bidong Cuong there.  My mom also wants to connect with those who took care of her son.

13 months later, in 1979, my family was lucky enough to become sponsored by a Church in Alabama to come to America.  And they currently reside in the Bay Area, California today.

Specifics

My parents, An Ngo and Phuong Du were on boat #91 MH375 from Ganh Hao (Ca Mau), VN to Pulau Bidong on 10/22/1978. They lived in Section “F” near the helicopter pad (by means of the rear of the beach).  They left in 1979 to USA.

My dad (An Ngo) might be the baker who provided the Bidong refugee bread as he said he was the only baker he knew on the island during late 1978. He said he put cloth on top of the bread to keep it warm and sold it for people. He would sell 2 loaves for $1. They said they kneeded the bread, cooked it, and sold it.

My mom (Phuong Du) made a pastry called Banh Bia. Her son was born on May 28th 1979 (Kevin Ngo, or Bidong Cuong). A lot of my mom’s friends took care of Kevin Ngo, aka Bidong Cuong. She wants to connect with those who knew them.

Also, if anyone knows the nurse who delivered her son, please ask us (phuong168 [at] sbcglobal.net) There was another baby girl who delivered right at the same time.

We were planning to go back to Bidong Island this Christmas time but then the tour called and said that it was Monsoon season so they were closed until March. Does anyone know of another tour that does a complete tour of the island?

My parents plan to connect with anyone they may have talked to, communicated with in Bidong Island.

Any of these names ring a bell? An Ngo, Phuong Du, Minh Canh Du, Quang Canh Du (captain of MH375 boat #91), Hong Canh Du, Hui Canh Du, they were all part of my parents siblings.

-Andrew Ngo writing for Phuong Du and An Ngo from San Leandro, California, USA.

I will update this post with more stories from what my parents can recall.

If you know of an ex-Pulau Bidong refugee, or if you are one, please put in the comments, the boat number, date of arrival, name, and email as my family would love to connect with anyone they might know.

151 Comments »

  1. ducly said

    Andrew,
    Nice work. I hope you will reconnect.
    Duc

  2. sabri said

    nice story , hope you reach Pulau bidong as soon as possible

  3. [...] Read more at the original post: http://pulaubidong.wordpress.com/2008/11/10/my-family-lived-on-pulau-bidong-during-1978-1979/ [...]

  4. helen pham said

    I arrived to Pualau Bidong on 10/14/1981 and my boat named PB 370 I lived there to Jan. 1982 I am living in Southern California now If you know any body who lived there during that time please connect us so we might have a reuion of Pulau bidong ex refugee thanks.
    Helen

  5. wow… u really impressed me with ur luvly story…. actually i found this web and ur story because i want 2 know more abut refugee.. as i will attend an interview session at united mation… seriously ur story really awsome!!!!
    Good luck!!!

  6. Ron Lake said

    My wife, Phung Tran at that time, stayed on Bidong from late October 1978 to
    July 1979. She landed on mainland Malaysia ( boat #101 )near the same city, and was sent the following day to the island.Her memories are exactly the same – building their own shelter, digging wells for water, the loudspeaker announcements, canned chicken…everything. She was one of the first to go out on the rocks near the water & dig out enough tiny mussels to make porridge for many people; if your father was the baker, she had to have known him. She too was setup on the back ( side ) beach area, and recalled helping to care for another baby ( probably not Cuong – she thinks he went to Switzerland ). They had left from Soc Trang in the south, and initially, had an engine problem after only a few hours, Fortunately, they were able to find a town to pull into & fix the engine for the journey. They too were chased across the sea by pirates, but thankfully fared better than others had to endure. Anyway, your story caught my eye – we live in The Bay Area too !!!
    Looking forward to communicating with you…I’m sure they have a lot to talk about !!!

    Ron

  7. Andrew said

    @Ron Lake,

    I shall forward this for my parents to read. I’m sure they must know your wife. They were boat #91, and because you stated where she lived, they must have seen each other.

  8. Ron Lake said

    Hi Andrew -

    Ever get a chance to talk to your parents ?

    Ron

  9. Andrew said

    Hey Ron,

    Yes, I was able to talk to them, and tell them all about this. Unfortunately, they don’t know your wife by name. I’m sure that if they see each other, they might recognize one another.

    Our whole family was planning a trip to Pulau Bidong this Spring, but canceled because we learned that it was monsoon season and would have been very dangerous to go.

  10. Ron Lake said

    Kim & I are going back to VN this November, and will probably make time to visit the island before we return. Not sure of Malaysia’s plans to start developing the island …hopefully they leave it as a memorial. Last night, Kim shared many more stories ( details ) about life on the island, and she does recall “buying” baked goods from someone – would be a shame if they never met having spent time together on the same island, at the same time, in the same area. We are going to try & locate Kim’s friend on the island, probably in Switzerland – but would be nice to meet someone local…what do you think Andrew ?

    ron

  11. van nguyen said

    I enjoy reading stories like this and thanks for sharing your experience. my father and I arrived on the island in 1979, I don’t remember when, but we stayed for 6months and arrived in the US on Apr 19 1980. I was only 6 at the time but still have memories of the island and place. I do remember how we arrived and left the island, but I don’t remember any of the people. I was too young to understand what was happening and what was going on. The only thing that was important to me was playing on the beach and swimming in the ocean. I don’t think my father will like to go back, he is too old now and he says it brings back memories that he wants to forget. He did tell me that he taught english while on the island. I’m not sure if any of you took english class at the time. My father’s name is Nguyen Van Tuong. Maybe someone has heard of him. Although my father doesn’t talk about our ordeal, I wish I could share what I experienced from a childs point of view back on those day. I hope one of these days I get a chance to go back to that island. I also hope to set foot back in Vietnam, it’s been 30 yrs since I left.

  12. quynh nguyen said

    i was on the island /w my family (total 7) around august 1978- march 1979. i was 9 years old at the time. Boat number HG2451…..not sure of the exact boat #. lots of experience at the time….at the time, the island had about 8-10 thousand refugees…..by the time i had left, it was planned/projected to max out at 50 thousand.

  13. Vinh Loi said

    My family and I stayed on the Pulau Bidong from May 1979 to Dec 1981. I was 15 years old when I got there. I have experienced and seen the activities on the island per what you have written. Our boat number was KG0206B, if I am not mistaken, it is #411. When we left the camp going to USA, there were about 50 thousand people at that time. I remembered our shelter was just next to the tallest tree in the island at that time. After 30 years, not sure that tallest tree was still alive or not but if it is then our shelter was there.

    Are we allowed to visit and walk on the island now? Or just circle around the island. Let me know more info, I would like to visit the camp one day.

  14. Nang Tran said

    I arrived at Bidong from late 1978 to March 1979, we departed from Mo O Soc Trang with 3 boats, my boat is kg 0969 and # 29, when we touched the island only around 1500 people, I remember every thing was so expensive,eventhought a pot price can go up to $80 , most merchandises came from Malaysian police, they sold like a black market, and we didn’t receive enough rice, we got a lot dried salty fish, that our first step foods we lived at Bidong. A month later, boats came to Bidong everyday,foods and water improved, we had vegetables and chicken twice a week, instant noodles and canned fish were the basic supplies, rice started enough to eat, I thank UN Organization to help us to settle to live in this beautiful country USA.

  15. Tan Giok Hui said

    I was touched by the stories that you shared as it brought back vivid memories when was young, my parents used to take my siblings and I to Pantai Cinta Berahi in Kelantan to donate food and used clothings to the Vietnamese refugees.

    As for your queries on Pulau Bidong, it is open for public since 1999 and has been gazetted as recreational island. Yes, you are allowed to visit and walk on the Island and Mar to Aug perhaps would be the best months to visit the Island.

    You can contact Ping Anchorage for their Bidong Island Plus package (ex-Kuala Terengganu) offers a three-day, two-night package that gives you a good glimpse of Kuala Terengganu in addition to Bidong. If you prefer to tailor the package to your own special requirements, contact the company at 609-626-2020, or visit it at http://www.pinganchorage.com.my/bidong_island_plus.htm

  16. hien ngo said

    toi den dao vao nam 1987 gan 4 nam song o trai nen co rat nhieu ky niem mong gap lai nhung nguoi da song cung trai ngay xua hien toi dang song o sanleandro california

  17. Andrew said

    Hello Hien Ngo,

    Toi hien o san leandro. Cung ho Ngo. Khong chung minh la ba con.

    So dien thoai business la 510 – 635 – 8623, hoi An Qui Ngo or Phuong Du.

  18. Truyen said

    I was one of the refugee in Pulau Bidong. I was there in1982,during the escape we got rob by the pirates on the sea. They took all the valuable items from us but luckily they let us go and end up to Pulau Bidong Camp. I stayed there almost 4 years.My boat # is MB075. Now every times I think about it I got goose bump and couldn’t believe that I still alive this day and living in USA. By the way I was14 years old that time.

  19. Phương Anh said

    Gia dinh Phuong Anh den dao Pulau Bidong vao thang 4 nam 1981, o tren khu F (doi dien voi “san bay”) va roi dao vao thang 8 nam 1981. Trong thoi gian nay, Phuong Anh co sinh hoat trong “Doan Thanh Thieu Nien Thien Chi” (Phuong Anh nho co “bo” Sinh, anh Hiep, anh Hoa, anh Nghia, anh Minh, anh De, chi Minh, Chanh va con rat nhieu anh chi khac nua nhung trong khoanh khac Phuong Anh chua kip nho ten). Gia dinh Phuong Anh hien dang song tai thanh pho Houston, tieu bang Texas.

  20. Allan Yang said

    Excellent work Andrew. I am proud of you. I am sure your parents and uncles are proud of you, too. Keep up the good work.

  21. Chi said

    I was on Pulau Bidong Refugee Camp from around September 1978 – September 1979 (boat # 132 from Tra-Vinh). My house was also by the helicopter pad, Section F. I have a photo (in front of our house) very similar to your parents’ photo and I would be happy to share with you and others. Your parents look very familiar to me.

  22. Andrew said

    @Chi, Please email me the picture in front of your house, at andrewngo1760@gmail.com I’m sure my parents would love to see the pictures. The picture above is the only photo they have at Pulau Bidong. We are planning a return trip this summer.

  23. Rudy Osman said

    Hello all,

    I’m a Malaysian and really touching to read all the stories of VBP stories.
    I did some research on yahoo search about the Vietnamese refugees not only in Bidong Island but also in Galang and found it really worth it to study and feel it too. Now days no very many peoples wants to look back but i think history is very important for our future generations.
    For those who would like to get in touch with me please email at rudyosman@yahoo.com and maybe we can share or get to know each other even though I’m a Malay.

    RUDY OSMAN
    rudyosman@yahoo.com

  24. Chau Quach said

    Hi. I visited Pulau Bidong in October 2000. At that time, it was still restricted. Vacation packages were on the skimpy side, and they were promoting more of Pulau Redang. The rela (guard) and the jetty boatmen were surprised to see a Vietnamese American. My recent adventurous predecessors were both males — from Australia and California. Luckily I had help from a Malaysian college friend who was based in Terengannu to create our own “tour” if you will. I am so glad for your Web site; and I definitely look forward to keeping in touch.

  25. Bang,H-Hung said

    Hung den dao May/1980 va o khu ” F ” Paulau Bidong. Cho toi Nov./1980 sau do chuyen qua ( Sungei besi transit ) den Feb./1981 toi dinh cu tai Toronto CANADA Feb.11/1981, boat DN 1502 # 963, chu tau ten HAI xuat phat tai ben CHU-HAI Ba-Ria Vung Tau. Mong tim lai cac ban & nguoi quen cung tau NGUYEN,DUC-HANH o Anaheim California. TRAN,V-DAI o Wichita Kansas. NGO,TRUONG-HAI o Minissota, Cha THE o Caglary Canada. AnhKY o Quebee Canada. NGYEN,THI-NGOC-HUYEN o Ohio co chi & anh re ten TUYEN hien dinh cu tai Adeilade Australia. Rat mong qui vi nao co thong tin xin lien he Hung (416)564-5462 Canada. Thank you so much

  26. Joseph Hong said

    It’s my fortune to meet you guys once again after this years. I was there from 10/07/78-06/01/79. Those memories were acerbic. Although it’s already been 30 years, however, it seems like it just happened yesterday. Whenever those bitter memories came through my mind, my tears bursted endlessly. No one would comprehen how it feels but yourself. It’s hard to look for the people who overcame through this like you and your parents. I sonsider myself lucky to be alive and yet I found your parents who had the same difficulties as I did. I live near your parents’ area (section “F” in front of cemetary). I never forget those bitter feelings for burrying unlucky people who passed away. I also involved in digging stone water well near by where i used to live. I am glad that today we still here and discuss what had happened to us. i hope that i can hear more from all of you. I wish the best for all of you.

  27. Joseph Hong said

    My boat # 50 TV 148.The metal boat laid near the base of the temple hill

  28. Lam said

    HI,
    I’m very glad to hear someone in the same boat then me, KG0969, I was 9 yrs old…..Through these severals days in china sea, two year in PulauBidong, Horrible !!!!!Now I appreciate the life………….Thank you !

  29. Nang Tran said

    Lam,
    I am glad to hear you from the boat KG 0969 that we arrived at Pulau Bidong in late 1978, I try to see and hear how people from KG 0969 are doing after more than 30 years. I have resided at Seattle since 1979, and I worked in Alaska about one year. I know a few KG 0969 where they live now, but there are also ones that I don’t know where they’ve gone. I will go to Australia this Summer to see some of my friends also from KG 0969, and some of my relatives from KG 0969 as well. I knew the boat KG 0969 owner lived in Chigaco in 1980, the rest live in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, San Jose, New York, Seattle, and some of them in Melbourne Australia. So you were only 9 years old that time and now you’re around 41. How are you doing? Were you following your parents. I hope more and more people from KG 0969 to join in for creating a KG 0969 journey the past and the future.

  30. Nadya said

    Vinh Loi ; yes, visitors are allowed to come to this island and have a visit/trekking/walk..

    Tan Giok Hui; Pantai Cinta Berahi is now known as Pantai Cahaya Bulan.. ;p

    I’m a Malaysian, and welcoming all of the refugees to come back and visit this Bidong Island.. ;p

  31. Rita Ng said

    Dear Andrew & ex-families of P.Bidong,

    My name is Rita a malaysian. I’ve visited P.Bidong last year for diving. It is indeed a nice island. We are organizing a CleanUp activities for P.Bidong this year, tentatively @24 – 26 September 2010. We are reaching out to all ex-families of P.Bidong whom are interested in participating this clean up Project for both underwater and beach. It is mean to rejuvenate P.Bidong to put her back to her origin beauty of the island.

    For us, the island has once a upon a time, a home for the “boat people”, we in Malaysia will continue to keep to treasure the island for she has unspeakable history of the island.

    We hope to hear from interested ex-families of P. Bidong.

    Rgds – Rita

  32. Vinh Loi said

    Hello All,

    Finally I had a chance to visit Pulau Bidong Island a couple days ago (17 July 2010) after left there 29 years ago. The surface of once-called “refugee camp” totally couldn’t be recognized anymore because there are many tall trees and grass have grown all over the island. Looking toward island from the beach (used to be called Zone B, I think), it looks like a “jungle”. There is barely any walking path that you can find. However, when I went to the F zone, from the beach I walked up the “stone” steps, I recognized ruined temple, ruined church and some buddha and Quan Yin statues – all of them without heads. Not far from the ruined church, the “Ta On” statue of “Father and Daughter”, few vertical “triangle” statue were located. There are two cemeteries on the island: one is located on each “side” of the center of the “camp”. Heard that many Vietnamese/Chinese people came back to the island this pas April (Sweep Tomb day or called Thanh Minh in Vietnamese) to pray their relatives whom were buried on the island.

    It brought back never-faded memories to visit the island after almost 3 decades departure. I never thought that I had a chance to visit the island but I did. If you are interested to visit Pulau Bidong, please let me know.

    Vinh
    Boat #KG0206B
    Arrival: May 1979

  33. Tien Nguyen said

    I was in Pulau Bidong 1979. I would like to get in touch with everyone who was on the same boat as I was. My boat name is HOA BINH #200.

  34. Hello BOATPEOPLE.

    Tôi rất hy vọng được liên lạc với tất cả mọi người đi trên tàu ĐN1502 # số thứ tự 693 khỡi hành tại CHU HẢi BÀ- RỊA VỦNG-TÀU tới đảo tháng 5 nãm 1980.
    Chủ thuyền tên HẢI sống tại CHU-HẢI, tôi còn nhớ trên tàu có Cha THỂ đi CALGARY-CANADA, Anh chị TUYÊN đi ADELAIDE- AUSTRALIA và có cô Em đi OHIO-USA, Vợ Chồng CHINH và con đi AUSTRIA. Vợ Chồng Anh KỶ & con đi QUEBEC-CANADA. THÚY cô nhi đi FRANCE, cô NGOAN ở CHU-HẢI đi NERTHELAND, Ở đảo tôi có biết và ở cùng lều vơí TRẦN-ĐẠI hay viết truyện tiểu-thuyết đi WICHITA-KANSAS City USA. NGUYỄN,ĐỨC-HẠNH đi ANAHEIM-CALIFORNIA. Hai Chị em NHUNG & HƯỜNG đi EDMONDTON-CANADA. NGÔ, TRƯỜNG-HẢI có người anh NGÔ, TRƯỜNG-SƠN đi MINESSOTA-MICHIGAN
    Rất mong tìm lại cựu BOATPEOPLE. Hoặc ai biết tin tức làm ơn liên lạc cho HÙNG.
    CẢM ƠN QÚI VỊ

    B.HÙNG

    bidong1980@hotmail.com
    ebang@Rogers.com

  35. NGUYEN VAN SY said

    toi ten NGUYEN VAN SY # MC380 den dao vao ngay 12/04/1989 gan 2.5 nam song o trai nen co rat nhieu ky niem mong gap lai nhung nguoi da song cung trai ngay xua.
    nhat la “TRAN CAO THANG MC372,cung vo la NGUYEN THI HONG MC380″”HUYNH BA AN & HUYNH BA TRUNG” hien toi dang song o VIETNAM rat nho cac ban,mong hoi am som som
    dc: 17/5B khom DONG THANH A,phuong MY THANH,TPLX, AN GIANG
    DT 0763.721099

  36. Phuc Su said

    I arrived at Palau Bidong around the time of August of 1978, I believe the first two letters of my boat were BX, I remember the boat order for sure was 125. I would like to get in touch with some people that may have known me or vice versa. If anyone was on the same boat possibly? give me an email, thx -Paul

  37. Howard Duong said

    Very glad to hear about Pulau Bidong/ I was there in 1980 1981// Boat SS0929/#703/KT905… Wish all of you the Best.

  38. Trieu Nguyen said

    I came to Pulau Bidong on Boat BP267 from 1980-1981. Would like to in touch with those who was on the same boat. I was only 10 years old but I can still remember everything there. I lived with 2 other brothers in section B.

  39. Carol Banh-Pape said

    Thank you to everyone for sharing. It’s been truly humbling and awe inspiring to read the experiences of those who were there.

    My family left Vietnam on 11/27/78, because a) they didn’t want to continue to live under a communist regime and b) they were Chinese and were told to leave. He said that the communist government made them leave all of their belongings behind, pay for each person’s passage, and saw to it that the boats would be overcrowded and not sea worthy. He recalls us being part of what he describes as an exodus of 278 Chinese refugees that day, marching to an uncertain fate.

    Our harrowing journey took 4 days and 5 nights in a boat that was built to only hold about 20, but instead held 278. The conditions were deplorable. Needless to say, people were packed in like sardines. People vomited on themselves, as there was absolutely no room for movement. We arrived on Pulau Bidong’s shore on 12/5 and was at the refugee camp for a little over 6 months before we were sponsored to Syracuse, New York.

    The captain of the boat purposefully caused it to sink a short distance from the shore, because he knew that other boats had been forced to turn around and go back – many of them perishing at sea. Others were attacked by Thai pirates. The passengers were stripped of any valuables (some even having their gold teeth pried from their mouths), and then the men and children killed and the women and young girls raped and then murdered. The attractive girls were spared only to be sold into prostitution in Thailand.

    My father recalls carrying me to shore on his shoulders while holding my mother’s hand – the water coming up to their chins. As we were wading to the shore, there were what appeared to be about 1000 Malaysians waiting for them with rocks in their hands who then proceeded to pelt the refugees as they made their way to the shore. He vividly recalls the sounds that the rocks made as they came into contact with flesh. All he could do was to reach up and cover my head as we were still making their way out of the water. He also recalls seeing Malaysian police officers who stood by and watched the whole thing transpire, doing nothing to stop it.

    He also describes the black market of the refugee camp and how the refugees were mercilessly exploited. A small bag of rice cost $50. The pot to cook it in – $50-$100. You had to build your own shelter. I was only 2 at the time and have no recollection of the tragic events of my early childhood. He tells me about how he was reduced to tears when he couldn’t afford to purchase an apple for me to eat.

    I am grateful for the collective memories of those who lived through the horrific events of the Vietnam war and its aftermath. For far too long, I have taken for granted the freedom and ease that I have known for the majority of my life here in the States. Not anymore. My heart aches for what my people endured. Their faces from the photographs of that time haunt me in my sleep. I will never take for granted the freedom that we enjoy and will see to it that my children never do either.

  40. Andrew said

    Wow, it’s great to hear the story from all different viewpoints and perspectives. Do you remember their boat number? I’m sure my parents knew your parents on the island because they lived there right around the same time.

  41. Andrew said

    Wow, I did not know that they had the camp going until 1989.

  42. nguyen thu said

    I left VN & came to Malai as boat people at the end of 1978,. First the Malaysians put us in trai tam in Kulua Terrenganu for 1 months, then shifted us to Bidong, left Bidong in March of 1979, I was only 14 yrs old. Stayed at ‘Trai Chuyen Tiep” o “Kulua Lampur, truoc khi qua Canada in May 1979. Our boat left Vung Tau, gap song gio qua lai Vung Tau and stayed there for 1 month in the Hotel o Bai Truoc. We left ‘voi dien: Ban Chinh Thuc. So tau bat dau voi hai chu: DN…so thi quen roi. Co ai nho khong? Tui day nho nhung nam thang do lam lam. Khong bao gio quen duoc..

  43. Tuoc Nguyen said

    Co ai di chung tau PB164 den Bidong ngay 9 thang 5 nam 1981, xin lien lac voi toi

  44. Tuoc Nguyen said

    Xin lien lac email: tuocnguyen90@ymail.com

  45. chan said

    i was away when my father died during a monsoon returning from bidong – he was working for red cross i think, and the vietnamese from the island and overseas sent a lot of tributes / letters / etc …. I went twice bringing clothes the first time but was pleaded to bring paper and pencils the next time …..also hear stories about a love b but a is going to us, b is heading to australia, etc….green apples were sold at $1…..we brought in canned pork as treats

  46. Anne said

    My mother’s name is khen vu. She escaped Vietnam through vung tau area mid November of 1978 when she was 18. I will ask her about more information and update soon.

  47. Thong said

    Doc phan tin cua Thu, co the la tau DN0388, toi di chuyen nay roi Vung Tau truoc Tet ta, den Terrenganu tam goi la chuong heo/bo, rat ban thiu toi phai ra cong don dep ve sinh, voi nuoc chay nho giot, lay can 2 lit ma hung de tam rua, trai co khoang 4-500 nguoi song chen chuc, moi ngay Hoi Luoi Liem Ma Lai cung cap do an trong bao ny long. Den Terrenganu khoang thang 1, qua dao ngay 16 thang Hai, 1979. Neu Thu di cung chuyen thi rat may man lien lac lai duoc voi nhau cung vui.
    Tren chuyen tau co 1 chau be sinh ra tren tau, den bo duoc dua denbenh vien ngay de kham suc khoe….
    O Dao Bidong, toi lam Khoi Xay cat, sua chua Jetty, gan Be Chua Nuoc bang Sat mau den ngay bai truoc va bat dau xay dung Sick Bay cung voi cac nha thau Malai. Toi roi Bidong dau thang 7 qua Trai chuyen tiep 2 tuan va den Uc/melb 26 July 1979.
    Co ai cung tau DN0388 xin lien lac…
    tncle1@gmail.com

    nguyen thu said
    April 4, 2011 @ 9:49 pm
    I left VN & came to Malai as boat people at the end of 1978,. First the Malaysians put us in trai tam in Kulua Terrenganu for 1 months, then shifted us to Bidong, left Bidong in March of 1979, I was only 14 yrs old. Stayed at ‘Trai Chuyen Tiep” o “Kulua Lampur, truoc khi qua Canada in May 1979. Our boat left Vung Tau, gap song gio qua lai Vung Tau and stayed there for 1 month in the Hotel o Bai Truoc. We left ‘voi dien: Ban Chinh Thuc. So tau bat dau voi hai chu: DN…so thi quen roi. Co ai nho khong? Tui day nho nhung nam thang do lam lam. Khong bao gio quen duoc..

  48. Quyen Van Pham said

    So Glad to find this website.
    I came to the island around 1980 boat # PB655. People I know: Nguyen the Hung, Nguyen van Hai ( Truong va Pho ban chich ngua ), Ho thi Thu, Ho van Phuong, Chi be Ba, Chi Be Hai, Chau Tung, Thai thi Mai, Et.c. This island somehow is very mysteriously, most people come and leave with the ghosts of the island followed thru their lives. It’s hard to forget the memories that ones experienced during the stay on this island. Eventhough, after a longtime of travelling in life thru up and down. Ones could never forget Pulau Bidong. It held a special memory until the day I die.

  49. Quyen Van Pham said

    If any one know me or want to share the experiences, Please e-mail me at qpham6568@yahoo.com. I am also look for the couples with one little boy on the same boat PB655 that gave me a cup of milk on the boat when I am half dead. Thank to you that had such a humane personality.

  50. Phuc nhu Pham said

    Can lien lac voi nhung nguoi di chung tau PB201, den dao Bidong thang 5,nam1981, my email: nhuppham900@gmail.com

  51. Anne said

    I’ve asked my mother about her escape from the Communist regime. She fled Vietnam mid November of 1978 from Vung Tau on the boat called VT and she believes it is #380. She landed on Pulau Tengah. If anyone was on that boat with her please contact me. She would love to hear how you are doing and I wish everyone he best!

  52. Norziati said

    Hi Carol Banh-Pape,

    I’m sad to hear story from you. I’m very ashamed to know about this wrong doing. On behalf of Malaysian, i hope you can apologized them. I think they know nothing about your journey or your hardship, either living in Vietnam or during your way to Pulau Bidong.

    There are a lot of stories found on the net. It can be good, it can be bad. For every hardship you found during your stay at Pulau Bidong, i hope you have no bad impression about Malaysian at all :-)

    Please come to Malaysia and i’m sure you’ll find best ever holiday in your life

  53. Norziati said

    Hi Carol Banh-Pape,

    I’m sad to hear story from you. I’m very ashamed to know about this wrong doing. On behalf of Malaysian, i hope you can apologized them. I think they know nothing about your journey or your hardship, either living in Vietnam or during your way to Pulau Bidong.

    There are a lot of stories found on the net. It can be good, it can be bad. For every hardship you found during your stay at Pulau Bidong, i hope you have no bad impression about Malaysian at all :-)

    Please come to Malaysia and i’m sure you’ll find best ever holiday in your life.

    Regards,
    Norziati

  54. Ismail Mohamed Ibrahim said

    I worked in Pulau Bidong & Sungai Besi Transit Camp from 1986-1991 as a Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) Field Officer under Tracing & Mailing Services (TMS) department.
    I am no longer with MRCS but still a volunteer member.I am a licence Tourist Guide now and if anybody want to revisit Pulau Bidong or the site of Sungai Besi Camp I will facilitate your movement in Malaysia from your arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) travelling to Kuala Terengganu (600km) to enter Pulau Bidong.Transportation is available either saloon car or 10 seater Toyota Hiace van.Email me or send short message (sms) to +60122639408.Thank you very much.
    Regards
    Ismail Mohamed Ibrahim

  55. Truong Nguyen said

    Toi la Nguyen Truong di tau BI011 den dao khoang thang 6 nam 1980, co’ ai di cu`ng tau hoac muon tam su cung toi ve thoi gian tren dao xin email ve dnguyen_22015@yahoo.com. Se hoi am tat ca cac email. Cam on.

  56. Truong Nguyen said

    Hi, my name is Truong Nguyen. I was riding the boat with ID# BI011. We arrived on Pulau Bidong in June 1980. Who rode on the same boat with me or would like to share stories about time on Bidong please email to me dnguyen_22015@yahoo.com. Xin chu’ y’ dnguyen_22015 (co’ ga.ch duoi). Thank you.

  57. tsuga905 said

    We arrived on the Island in late 1978. Our boat number was 221 and the callsign was kg 6066. For the most part it was a fun time, but I was only 6 at the time. However, there were a few incidents that just ingrained in mind for ever. I remember of one such incident was a merchant who went off shore in a tiny boat to meet up with a commercial boat. He never came back and they found his body a few days later.
    Our place was situated on the road that you take the dead to be burried up on the hill. The smell of a body that was in the water for a few days was just horrendous.
    I do recall food and and necessities were very expensive. To this day, I still feel like I have to share a can of pop everytime I open one. I also recall that there was food rations was given out by the Red Cross. It came in a bag and consisted of a bag of rice, 3 cans of food(peas, chicken, beef, or sardine.), tea, and orange crystal mix.

  58. Linh Nguyen said

    I arrived Pulau Bidong in 1988 , MC126, I remember the time I spent in Pulau Bidong, and Batan, I hope that I will hear from some friend of mine, Thai Cam Phat, Nguyen Ngoc Linh (Canada), Vinh, Luu, Toan , Tam ( The last time I heard Tam lives in MD), Xuan ( we went to school together in VN, Minh khai & Nguyen Viet Hong), Phi , Ngoc ( last time in Moon Head , Colorado)
    My contact: s2ldnguy@yahoo.com

  59. BN said

    Andrew,

    So nice to encounter with your website along with lots people, mostly offspring’s of the folks who arrived at PB during 1978-79.
    I was one among them.

    Out boat number was TV (Tra Vinh) 75, with 52 people on board, arrived PB in Oct. 1978.

    I was fortunate to have the opportunity to take lots of pictures around the PB before leaving it in April of 1979.

    I was the one who wrote “Thank you” letter to the [Doctors de sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)] when the medical ship first came to treat refugees/patients; and I was invited to have lunch with the doctors and crew.

    Subsequently, I was invited to speak at various places, churches in the US to solicit sponsors for refugees. I still have lost of memories about the days that I lived there.

    I have lost almost all contact with people in my boat and all people which I met at PB.

    Say hello to your parents and best wishes to your endeavor.

    Sincerely,

    BN

  60. My Huynh said

    Thanks for creating this. I was actually looking to go back and visit Palau Bidong and doing some research to come across this site. My parents were there in early 1978. I was born in June of 1978 there and we left a month later so our parents were not there at the same time. Though we did grow up in AL and it’s possible they knew each other. Which city in AL was your family in?

    Your story sounds just like what my parents have told me as well. It’s amazing and wonderful how they have lived to tell their stories because my mom told me many boat people did not make it for various reasons.

  61. Hong Nguyen said

    Hi all

    My dad (phuong) is looking for a friend name Ly Boi Nguyen who went on the boat MB 075 to Palau Bidong in 1983. They have stayed in the same refugee and my dad would love to get into contact with this person.He is currently living in the USA, however I am not sure what state it is. If anyone know this person can they please email tuyethong85@hotmail.com.

  62. Hong Nguyen said

    Sorry I have made an error in relation to boat number MB 027 not MB 075. Please if anyone know him or heard of him can someone please email me tuyethong85@hotmail.com it would be much appreciated.

    I am planning to go to USA next year and I am hoping to get in contact with him and an aunty name Tuyet which is my god mother. I have not met her. I was born in Palau Bidong in 1985, however I would love to meet her.

    can anyone help me where I can advertised to look people in USA???

  63. lolothithi said

    Dear Pulaubidongers,

    You may be interested in this web site : http://www.pulaubidong.org/

    Cheers !
    Dieu Loc

    (a Pulaubidonger who spent about 8 months from December 1978 up to August 1979, and living currently in Paris / France)

  64. Hong Nguyen said

    thanks dieu loc for letting us know

  65. Hong Nguyen said

    My dad name is tam Phuong n lived in vietnam at xa tan trach huyen can duoc tinh long an.. He arrived in Malaysia (puala bidong) in 1983 MB 027.. My grandpa name vo dien and grandma nguyen thi no..My dad is looking for all his cousin in USA name Vo Thi Thuy.. Does anyone know them?? Please email me tuyethong85@ hotmail.com n it would be much appreciate if anyone know Ly boi Nguyen or anyone on tha…t boat!!!
    my mom is khuyen Pham lived in Vietnam at tinh dong nai.. She had arrived in Malaysia (puala bidong) 1984 MB 023 went with her sister (tiem n husband Xuyen n daughter Duyen) n brother (tam) n looking for their friends during that time..

    I am tuyet hong which was born in 1985 and would like to know my god mother tuyet and want to get I’m contact…

    Can anyone help me where I can advertise to search and my message across.. Is there any other sites around???

    Thank you everyoneSee More

  66. Francis Trinh said

    Hi, My name was Trinh Chan Khuong on the Island Pulau Bidong. My boat was KG-1033, arriving in Malaysia in 1978. I don’t remember my boat number but it was way before it reached 100. Believe it or not, I was a Truong Ban Thu Tin (leader of the postal section) who handled your mails from 1978 til 1980. We also organized News Broadcasting and music entertain for you with friends in the Island. One of the lead guitar Hoang Hoang is now my brother in law. I remembered Hoang Thi Thao, Le Thu, Ngoc Minh were all in the camp with us. I ate many of the breads from the baker. My name is Francis X. Trinh now and I live in Northern Virginia in the Washington D.C. area. Anyone please feel free to contact me. I hope someone can host a website of facebook so that we all can organize an event or reunion again. Much love to you all. Please take care. My e-mail address: ftrinh@yahoo.com

  67. Tran said

    Hi, My sister name is Lu, Thuan Y she was escaped from vietnam through to My Tho – Rach Gia can’t remember in 1978 or 1979. boat #144 her boat was sink at Soc Trang. My mom and myself when to Soc Trang looking for her 2 days and 3 nights. We went to one of the islands that had found 20 bodies and none of them was her. If someone was on that boat with her please email me or reply here.

  68. Nguyen van Vinh said

    I was in Pulau Bidong between January and May 1980 (came to PB on the Black Gold and leaving on a different boat). Boat number MN 522 and my boat was the 512th that arrived in PB. I am looking for Monika Schmitt (spelling?) who was working for Dr. Richard (Radiologist) at Sick Bay. Monika was the radiology technologist who specialize in tuberculosis (TB). I volunteered to work for her along with Dr. Tien (vietnamese anh Tie^’n), Duc’, Hung (?) whom Monika found him holding a German book received from his sister in Switzerland getting off the boat at Jetty Bay’ (of course she “adopted” him on the spot), Mai and ??? (Mai’s little brother).
    Looking back, we got so much help from these unselfish and kind people. What would we be without their help ? I also acknowledging the help from UNHCR. Without their help and diplomatic skills to get around the suppliers of our food (remember Ga\, Ca’, Da^.u and rotten rice bags etc.) to address the skimming off the food paid by the UNHCR and the abuse by the Malaysian Marines/Guard ……
    I remember occasionally Monika would give me a list of a refugee to have the PA call to the Sick Bay. When they show up, she would give each person a can of milk powder. She worked tirelessly to ensure that all refugees got the lungs x-ray to screen for TB in a timely manner in case they get chosen to go to the third country without further delay. I often see her doing x-ray without the protective vest because it is quite heavy and at times very cumbersome on special cases. I would say Monica was Mother Theresa of PB.

    I need your help to contact Monika Schmitt to properly thank her for helping us. I would love to take her to VN for a tour one on these days.
    I can be reached at: cautam001@yahoo.ca

    Cheers.

    P.S. remember the excitement hearing that your name on “the list” and the traditional “party” before leaving PB while Bien Nho is playing?
    Remember the bus ride to Kuala Lumpur scare to death because of the hilly roads and the driver sits on the left side of the bus ?

  69. Andrew said

    Wow all these stories of others epic journey’s are very moving. I hope we can somehow meet up and share our stories sometime!

  70. Chi said

    Hi Andrew: This is Chi. How’s everyone?
    ——————–
    “I was on Pulau Bidong Refugee Camp from around September 1978 – September 1979 (boat # 132 from Tra-Vinh). My house was also by the helicopter pad, Section F. I have a photo (in front of our house) very similar to your parents’ photo and I would be happy to share with you and others. Your parents look very familiar to me.”
    ———————————

  71. Anna Bui said

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, and set up this blog. I was arrived may 23, 1979 on Pulau Tengah boat VT 268.
    I have begun creating a comprehensive web site which consolidates information about Refugees and Camps in SE Asia. The site will be created by and for refugees. Please email me at vt268tengah@gmail.com with your boat number, date arrival. I am working on the website, and have begun to visit refugee camp sites. With your help, we will be online soon.
    Thank you.
    Anna Bui

  72. Quyen said

    First of all, thank you Andrew for creating this blog. Our boat was not so lucky to arrive in Malaysia or Indonesia instead we landed in Thailand. After 7 days of being rob and on the last day the pirates even took our engine. We would have all died (59 people) if weren’t for the kindness of one fishermen who was half Thai and half Viet. Our boat was HG3944, the owner was Mr. Hy (chu 7) his wife Lan. I was around 5 and remembered we lived in Songkla, then Morong Bataan (dung 9) in 1981. Looking for anybody that knew our family, please feel free to contact me quyenrnbsnphn@gmail.com. My heart and prayers go out to all family members and Victims who never reach the shore of freedom.

  73. Francis Trinh said

    Quyen,

    I am glad you survived. We left with 3 other boats in 1978. Two sank. One was robbed by pirates and more than 100 were thrown into the water. 27 survived. My friend was among the survivors. I am Francis Trinh in Virginia. Please feel free to contact me @ ftrinh@yahoo.com

  74. connie said

    Hi, I wish I know what boat I was in. I arrived to the island in Jan 1979 with my older brother 14 and younger sister 8. I was only 11 yr old at the time. Somehow, I missed this place so much. I hope I will save enough money to go back and visit one day. I don’t remember anyone’s name there. We were there only for 8 months because we were minors and have priority to leave the island quicker than most of the others.

  75. Anna Bui said

    I will visit Budong in Mar 14, 2012 Mr Rosli who worked as an MRCS employee on the island. he has been willingly to assist many former boatpeople to return to Pulau Bidong.I do not know about this island, he will be outr tour guy, show me what ever left of the camp. After that we will be in Songkhla refugee camp. When we get back 21, everything will be update in the http://www.refugeecamps.net. Please email me with your info, so I can complete the archive of our refugee camps. See the web site you can see my intention. My email is in contact section at the web site

  76. Hi,
    There is information about the coming trip to Pulau Bidong:
    - Lộ trình 2: đi Bidong, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) từ 26-5-2012 đến 3-6-2012.
    You may learn more about it at: http://www.vktnvn.com
    Chào!

  77. Hong Nguyen said

    HI everyone
    I am helping my aunty Vo Thi Thuy to look for her friend Ho Van Thien, lost contact after living bidong. He is currently living in Holland. If anyone know him please email me tuyethong85@hotmail.com
    Thank you so much. Much appreciated

  78. kim said

    @nguyenthu + thong
    [quote]
    Thong said
    May 10, 2011 @ 9:38 pm
    Doc phan tin cua Thu, co the la tau DN0388, toi di chuyen nay roi Vung Tau truoc Tet ta, den Terrenganu tam goi la chuong heo/bo, rat ban thiu toi phai ra cong don dep ve sinh, voi nuoc chay nho giot, lay can 2 lit ma hung de tam rua, trai co khoang 4-500 nguoi song chen chuc, moi ngay Hoi Luoi Liem Ma Lai cung cap do an trong bao ny long. Den Terrenganu khoang thang 1, qua dao ngay 16 thang Hai, 1979. Neu Thu di cung chuyen thi rat may man lien lac lai duoc voi nhau cung vui.
    Tren chuyen tau co 1 chau be sinh ra tren tau, den bo duoc dua denbenh vien ngay de kham suc khoe….
    O Dao Bidong, toi lam Khoi Xay cat, sua chua Jetty, gan Be Chua Nuoc bang Sat mau den ngay bai truoc va bat dau xay dung Sick Bay cung voi cac nha thau Malai. Toi roi Bidong dau thang 7 qua Trai chuyen tiep 2 tuan va den Uc/melb 26 July 1979.
    Co ai cung tau DN0388 xin lien lac…
    tncle1@gmail.com

    nguyen thu said
    April 4, 2011 @ 9:49 pm
    I left VN & came to Malai as boat people at the end of 1978,. First the Malaysians put us in trai tam in Kulua Terrenganu for 1 months, then shifted us to Bidong, left Bidong in March of 1979, I was only 14 yrs old. Stayed at ‘Trai Chuyen Tiep” o “Kulua Lampur, truoc khi qua Canada in May 1979. Our boat left Vung Tau, gap song gio qua lai Vung Tau and stayed there for 1 month in the Hotel o Bai Truoc. We left ‘voi dien: Ban Chinh Thuc. So tau bat dau voi hai chu: DN…so thi quen roi. Co ai nho khong? Tui day nho nhung nam thang do lam lam. Khong bao gio quen duoc.
    [/quote]
    Tôi cũng đi bán chính thức từ VT cuối năm 1978, gặp sóng to phải về lại VT chờ 1 tháng. Tháng 1 1979 đến Terrenganu, sau đó đến PB.
    Tên tầu tôi là VT??. Đi cùng tầu có đám con hiệu bánh Givral.

  79. Meng said

    Dear Reader,

    I am looking for a friend who used to lived in this camp too. His name is Tran Phon Vu, in fact he was born in this camp in year 1989. His mother name is Tran Thi Thuong. If you know these persons I would like to hear from you. Much appreciated.

  80. Thuy said

    @Truyen (MB075)
    Hi Truyen,

    Khong biet em con nho chi khong? Chi la Thuy (PB715) co em gai cung ten Truyen la ban voi em luc o Bidong. Di Ba la me chi. Nho email lai cho chi at mail4tnguyen@gmail.com. Em gai chi muon lien lac voi em.

    Take care,

    Thuy Nguyen

  81. Thuy said

    There are lots of pictures taken on Bidong (mostly) on flickr. com. Search “diligram_te”. The owner of these photos used to work as a social worker around 1984 thru 1986. Think you will enjoy them. Bring back lots of memories.

  82. duyencao said

    toi ten duyen di tau mc270 o bidong nam 88 89 tim ban ten dinh ngoc khai di dinh cu o nauy

  83. Trường trình: Quảng Yên Nguyễn Công Bằng
    Hình ảnh: Tập thể VBTD10

    Không kể số lượng người di tản vào thời điểm trước và sau biến cố 30/4/1975, tài liệu của Cao Uỷ ghi nhận có 849.228 người bỏ nước vượt thoát chế độ Cộng sản đã đến các trại tỵ nạn ở 9 nước trong vùng Đông Nam Á. Không ai biết chính xác bao nhiêu ngàn người đã bỏ mình trên đường tìm tự do xuyên qua biển Đông Việt Nam hay các vùng rừng núi Campuchia. Sự hy sinh của những thuyền nhân xấu số đang bị phai nhòa theo thời gian nhưng chắc chắn lịch sử đã ghi nhận mất mát to lớn đó như là một minh chứng hùng hồn nhất cho giá trị của hai chữ TỰ DO ở cuối thế kỷ 20.

    Trong hơn ba thập niên qua, nhiều cuốn sách, đoạn phim, câu chuyện đã thể hiện phần nào bao thảm cảnh xảy ra đối với người vượt biển, vượt biên… song lịch sử nhân loại sẽ không thể nào ghi lại hết được những khổ đau, mất mát kinh khiếp đã diễn ra trong nhiều hoàn cảnh khác nhau.

    Chỉ riêng tại Mã Lai Á và Nam Dương, hàng ngàn xác người bất hạnh bỏ mình khi tàu đến bờ biển và bị giông gió đánh chìm, hay bị tử vong khi tàu bị kéo ra biển khơi. Tại Mã Lai Á, vì lý do phong tục và tôn giáo, xác của các thuyền nhân xấu số đã được vớt lên và mai táng chung trong các nghĩa trang người Hoa ở địa phương. Trong đó có rất nhiều ngôi mộ tập thể.

    (Từ trái) Mộ tập thể chôn 139 thuyền nhân (MT065), và mộ tập thể chôn 137 thuyền nhân (MT065)

    Hai ngôi mộ tập thể lớn nhất ở tiểu bang Terengganu (Mã Lai Á) chôn tổng cộng 276 xác thuyền nhân. Một đặc điểm cần ghi nhận là mộ tập thể từ vài ba người lên đến 139 người (mộ tập thể Cherang Ruku, tiểu bang Kelantan) chỉ có thể tìm thấy tại Mã Lai Á. Tại Phi Luật Tân, Nam Dương và Thái Lan, người ta không tìm thấy dấu vết của bất cứ một ngôi mộ tập thể nào; song điều đó không có nghĩa là không có nhiều người chết trong cùng một vụ đắm tàu.

    Hình ảnh một số trong hàng ngàn ngôi mộ đang bị hư hoại

    Trên một số hòn đảo từng là bến bờ tự do như đảo Bidong hay quần đảo Anambas… hàng ngàn người bất hạnh khác đã gửi xương cốt vĩnh viễn. Do không có người chăm sóc hàng năm, các nghĩa trang trở nên hoang tàn, nhiều tấm bia đơn sơ đã bị đổ nát, phần lớn các ngôi mộ đấp đất sơ sài đã bị mưa gió soi mòn sau nhiều năm không được chăm sóc.

    Trước cảnh tượng đau lòng này, kể từ năm 2005, Văn khố Thuyền Nhân Việt Nam (VKTNVN) cố gắng vận động sự yểm trợ của đồng hương khắp nơi để trùng tu mộ phần thuyền nhân trong các nghĩa trang trên đất liền tại Malaysia.

    Một số các nghĩa trang đã được VKTNVN trùng tu trong đất liền Malaysia.

    Sau 6 năm với nhiều cố gắng vượt bực và sự đóng góp của đồng bào hải ngoại, chương trình đã trùng tu, lập bia cho hơn 500 mộ trên đất liền (nơi mai táng tổng cộng hơn 1.000 thuyền nhân xấu số). Chương trình cũng đã tìm kiếm được hàng ngàn ngôi mộ khác ở Nam Dương, Mã Lai Á, Phi Luật Tân, v.v…

    Theo dự trù, trong thời gian từ năm 2012 đến năm 2015, VKTNVN sẽ trùng tu lớn cho ngôi mộ tập thể 46 người ở Balai Bachok, và gây quỹ trùng tu nghĩa trang vùng Anambas (khoảng 300 mộ), ở đảo Bidong (khoảng 270 mộ), đảo Galang (503 mộ) và khu vực trại tỵ nạn Bataan ở Phi Luật Tân (khoảng 300 mộ). Năm 2015 sẽ trùng tu những mộ phần mới tìm thấy ở Thailand, Hong Kong hoặc những nơi chưa hoàn tất kịp trước đó.

    Trong chuyến “Về Bến Tự Do 10″ được tổ chức từ ngày 12/5 – 2/6/2012, gần 40 cựu thuyền nhân đã có dịp trở lại đảo Galang và Bidong. Mục đích của chuyến đi là tạo điều kiện cho các thuyền nhân thăm viếng nơi chốn đặt những bước chân tự do đầu tiên sau hành trình vượt thoát chế độ CSVN; đồng thời nghiên cứu phương thức trùng tu ngôi mộ các thuyền nhân bất hạnh đã gửi xương cốt lại vĩnh viễn trên các hòn đảo hoang vắng.

    Theo sự tổng hợp thông tin từ hồ sơ của Cao Ủy Tỵ Nạn LHQ, Pulau Bidong là chốn tạm dung của hơn 242 ngàn người tỵ nạn từ năm 1978-1991; trong đó có 433 thuyền nhân đã từ trần và phần lớn được chôn tại đảo. Các ngôi mộ được tập trung ở bốn nghĩa trang ở Khu C, E, F và G.

    Khác với mộ phần các thuyền nhân được chôn ở nghĩa trang Galang ở Nam Dương (là nơi được chăm sóc thường xuyên bởi chính quyền bản xứ) mộ phần thuyền nhân ở các nghĩa trang trên đảo Bidong đang đối diện với nguy cơ bị hư hoại nghiêm trọng (vì cho đến nay Bidong vẫn là một đảo không có người định cư).

    Hiện tình các nghĩa trang ở Bidong vào tháng 5/2012 được ghi nhận như sau:

    – Nghĩa trang Khu C: Gồm 7 ngôi mộ đắp xi-măng, đã bị nứt nẻ nhiều và hư hoại nặng.

    – Nghĩa trang Khu G: Vừa được tìm thấy trên đồi (tại khu bồn nước khu G) gồm 86 mộ đắp bằng đất với đá tảng chất vòng chung quanh mỗi mộ.

    – Nghĩa trang Khu E: Gồm 15 mộ (do Liên đoàn Phật tử Khuôn Việt lập) được xây sơ sài bằng xi-măng, mai táng ở vùng đất trũng thấp, đang bị hư hoại nặng.

    – Nghĩa trang Khu F: Là nghĩa trang lớn nhất, gồm 159 mộ (theo nội dung ghi trên tấm bia bằng xi-măng), hầu hết chỉ có một tấm bia mộ đúc bằng xi măng và phần lớn đang trong tình trạng hư hoại nặng nề.

    Nhìn chung, đại đa số các ngôi mộ đều đang trong tình trạng bị bể nứt, các bia bị nứt, gãy, đổ… toàn bộ mộ phần luôn bị cây rừng và cỏ dại mọc lấn tràn lên các mộ.

    Nhu cầu trước mắt cho việc trùng tu ở nghĩa trang Galang là sửa chữa những ngôi mộ đã bị hư hoại, kể cả bia mộ. Do phần lớn mộ được xây bằng xi-măng, việc quét vôi lại toàn bộ để xóa bớt đi dấu vết tàn phá của thời gian cũng là một việc cần thực hiện – nếu như ngân quỹ cho phép. Hy vọng là các thuyền nhân từng ở Galang sẽ gây quỹ hoặc ủng hộ VKTNVN trùng tu khu nghĩa trang này.

    Riêng ở đảo Bidong, nhu cầu lớn nhất là lập bia mộ (theo mẫu ở các nghĩa trang đã được VKTNVN trùng tu) để ghi lại thông tin chính xác của từng ngôi mộ; và tìm cách ngăn chận cây rừng, cỏ dại lấn phá các ngôi mộ trong lâu dài. Với hoàn cảnh không thể có điều kiện chăm sóc thường xuyên cho các nghĩa trang ở Bidong, việc trùng tu và có phương cách bảo vệ sự hư hoại bởi thiên nhiên là một thách thức lớn. Dự án này đòi hỏi một ngân sách hàng trăm ngàn mỹ kim, và sự đóng góp công sức của nhiều người. Với con số gần 250 ngàn người vốn đã từng tạm dung ở đảo này, việc góp sức chăm sóc cho hơn 200 ngôi mộ sẽ không phải là một trở ngại nếu như chương trình này nhận được sự quan tâm, ủng hộ của 10% cựu thuyền nhân Bidong.

    Về cơ sở vật chất, tất cả đang bị hư hoại nặng nề và có lẽ không tồn tại được thêm bao lâu nữa nếu như không có được một kế hoạch trùng tu đúng mức.

    Hiện nay, những khu cư trú ngày nào của 242 ngàn thuyền nhân hầu như đã bị hư hoại hoàn toàn và tất cả đều đã trở thành khu rừng với dầy đặc cây cỏ như chưa từng có người sinh sống qua ở đó.

    Di tích còn nhìn thấy được là ở Khu Đồi Tôn Giáo. Cánh Buồm Tự Do là công trình còn đứng vững tương đối tốt nhất.

    Tượng Ông Già Bidong, Nhà thờ Công giáo, Chùa Từ Bi, Văn phòng Cao Ủy ở Bidong (5/2012)

    Tượng Ông Già Bidong, nơi tôn thờ cầu nguyện của hàng trăm ngàn người mỗi khi đi phỏng vấn hay hồ sơ định cư bị khó khăn, hiện đang sụp đổ. Mảnh lưng rớt ra. Tượng Ông Già và Cô Cháu Gái gẫy làm hai và rớt xuống vì khung sắt đã bị mục nát. Hai cơ sở đang trên đà sập đổ là Nhà Thờ Công Giáo và Chùa Từ Bi. Nhà thờ Tin Lành và Cao Đài đã bị sập và mất dấu hoàn toàn. Các căn nhà của Cao Ủy LHQ chỉ còn lại khung sườn và những mái che đã bị mất nhiều phần. Những ai đã từng một lần trở lại thăm viếng các nghĩa trang thuyền nhân đều không khỏi chạnh lòng và cảm thấy rõ ràng món nợ tình nghĩa chưa thanh thỏa xong với những người bạn đồng hành, đồng cảnh ngày nào.

    Công trình mới nhất được xây dựng ở Bidong là cây cầu Jetty, do chính phủ Mã Lai xây dựng với ngân sách 1 triệu Mã kim (RM).

    ***

    May mắn thoát khỏi chế độ độc tài Cộng sản chỉ là bước đầu. Đến được bến bờ tự do là may mắn kế tiếp. Có được đi định cư ở nước thứ ba hay không là một may mắn khác. Và trong quá trình đó, hàng trăm ngàn người bất hạnh đã bỏ mình trên đường vượt thoát hoặc chết tức tưởi ngay trước khi được có cái diễm phúc đặt chân lên bờ bến tự do.

    Con số trên một triệu người tiếp tục liều chết tìm tự do trong suốt hai thập niên đã đánh thức lương tâm nhân loại, và trở thành yếu tố thúc đẩy sự thành hình các chương trình định cư nhân đạo dành cho những người có thân nhân ở nước ngoài (ODP), hay đã từng bị tù đày, ngược đãi (H.O.).

    Lời tuyên bố của ông Trần Đông: “Quyết không để cho một ngôi mộ nào sẽ chịu cảnh mồ siêu mả lạc…” chứa đựng đầy ắp tâm huyết đáng trân trọng song cũng hứa hẹn nhiều thử thách. Với con số hàng ngàn ngôi mộ cần sửa chữa, hàng ngàn tấm bia cần được thành hình, hàng chục nghĩa trang cần được khai hoang, ngăn chận cây rừng, cỏ dại lấn che… thực tế chắc chắn không đơn giản chỉ đòi hỏi một quyết tâm của người chủ xướng. Chương trình trùng tu hàng ngàn mộ phần thuyền nhân còn lại ở Mã Lai Á, Nam Dương, Phi Luật Tân, Hồng Kông, Thái Lan… cần sự đóng góp nhiệt tình của nhiều nguời để có được một ngân sách khả thi cho dự án.

    Một vài bài viết tả thực về hiện tình các nghĩa trang hoang tàn chắc chắn không thể nói lên hết được nhu cầu trùng tu cần có. Những lời kêu gọi dù có hay cách mấy cũng không thể thành hình được ngay ngân quỹ phải có cho dự án… Nguyện ước ý nghĩa này chỉ có thể trở thành hiện thực khi nhận được sự quan tâm, ủng hộ của nhiều người có lòng. Hy vọng sao sự đóng góp của nhiều người sẽ tạo đủ ngân quỹ để những thuyền nhân bất hạnh sớm thoát khỏi cảnh “mồ xiêu mả lạc”.

    Người viết thành khẩn cầu nguyện hương hồn những đồng bào xấu số đang gửi nắm xương tàn tại các nghĩa trang hoang vu hãy phò trợ cho nỗ lực của Văn khố Thuyền Nhân Việt Nam nhận được sự ủng hộ nhiệt tình của những người hảo tâm ở khắp nơi, đặc biệt là những người đã từng là Thuyền Nhân hay là thân nhân của những nguời đã được may mắn định cư ở nước thứ ba bằng con đường vượt biển.

    Xin cảm ơn ông Trần Đông cùng các đồng hương nhiệt tâm đã khởi xướng các chương trình về lại chốn xưa và tạo điều kiện cho những người hảo tâm có cơ hội chia sẻ phần nào với những người bạn vượt biển bất hạnh.

    Kính mời đồng bào xem thêm thông tin ở mạng: http://www.vktnvn.com và ủng hộ cho các chương trình gây quỹ của Văn Khố Thuyền Nhân Việt Nam.

    Chân thành chia sẻ.

    Tường trình tại Kulua Lumpur ngày 2/6/2012

    Quảng Yên Nguyễn Công Bằng

    Thuyền nhân Pulau Bidong (78-79)

  84. Nghia Ma said

    Andrew,

    It is good to see this blog and even better to know you and your family from Camau. I am from Camau as well and am as old as your parents, we were at Pulau Bidong from Dec-78 to Oct-79, our boat number is 213. I just moved to Bay areas and live in Sunnyvale. If we have a chance I am more than happy to meet up with you and your family.

  85. Le Xuan Khoa said

    Your family came to Pulau Bidong around the same time we did. We were on the boat #214, HG-606. I arrived to this island right after Xmas of 1978 with my parents, sister and uncle. After being locked up on the mainland of Malaysia for a week. We were there for 8 months then moved on to Michigan. My dad recently passed away in a traffic accident. I want to travel back in time to find something to connect with my dad one more time. I had many good memories of that island. I hope some days to visit the island with my son who is only 9 right now.

    Thank you for this blog!

  86. Kim said

    Hi! Your family was at Pulau Bidong the same time as my mom and her family. She has recently been trying to find a friend of hers. My mom said that she and her friend worked as social workers on the camp. Maybe your parents know/knew of them? My mom’s name at the time was Dieu Tuyet Trinh (she is from Vinh chau, boat # CAT 2051) and the friend she has been searching for is Nam Phuong Nguyen. They were sponsored by a Catholic Church in MA in 1981 and eventually moved to CA.

  87. Kim said

    She says her friend moved to Northern California. please email her: anacheng@me.com

  88. DC Nguyen said

    My boat was ST 386 # 108. We landed in another isle and was transferred there. We were also assigned to section F. Those of us who were poor and could not bribe to stay in section A upon arrival were exiled to section F then. In 1978-79, section F remained “unexplored” wild wild island mountain top. We actually lived at the top of the hill just before the downsloping to the beach. I think now that all of us who went through the journey are very proud of what we have survived, conquered, and achieved.

  89. Nghia said

    Anybody from boat 451 (SG1169)?

  90. LR said

    Anybody out there from boat MT065 (1978) I am looking for missing brother & cousin. Anybody out there heard or saw anything about MT065 would be very appreciated!

  91. Hi,
    I visited two mass graves of MT065 in Malaysia last May (2012). The total bodies found and buried was 170. I do have a list of unfortunate people.
    Please contact me at congbang.dvd@gmail.com for more information.
    ncb

  92. LR said

    1st, thank you for replying & very glad to hear from you!!

    So, are you one of the survivor from MT065 or a relative of MT065?

    Looking forward to hear from you again!

  93. No, I am not a survivor of MT065. I am helping the Vietnamese Boat People Archive (http://www.vnbp.org). There was a survivor of the boat accompanied us to visit the mass grave where 3 of her children buried.
    Can you read Vietnamese?
    Send me an email so I could send you the picture of the mass graves.

  94. LR said

    You stated in your previous mail that you have the list of the unfortunate people. Did you mean the names of the 123 people already on the tombstones?

    I have seen the pictures of the graves! Anyway, thank you very much!

  95. LR said

    Is anybody out there from MT065, 1978?

  96. KHAI DINH said

    Đọc những lời tâm sự, thật cảm động vô cùng. Gia đình chúng tôi đi tàu SS0448 (PB15), đến đảo 15/09/1978, rời đảo 6/5/1979. hiện cư ngụ tại Fairfax, Virginia…Hy vọng có ngày được gặp lại tất cả các thuyền nhân cùng đảo, để ôn lại kỷ niệm khó quên, và cho con cháu hậu sinh hiểu được giá trị của 2 chữ “tự do”…

  97. Francis Trinh said

    Hi, Khai Dinh. My name is Francis Xavier Trinh. I went to Pulau Bidong in 1978 and left in 1980. I now live in Fairfax, Virginia. My e-mail address is ftrinh@yahoo.com

  98. nguyen said

    My name is Nguyen Hoang I went to Pulau Bidong in may 1980 on the boat DN0734CA

    nguyenquochoang@gmail.com

  99. Daniel Ma said

    Thanks for sharing your story. It was very touching. My name is Daniel Ma (Kim Ho Ma). I was 4 yrs old when my family landed in Bidong Island in 1978. Parents name were Hiep Ma (Father) and Lang Trinh (Mother). Hope to connect with other Bidong refugees.

    -Dan
    Email: visage0406@hotmail.com

  100. Ricky said

    Wow! My hearts still skipped several beats thinking about this. I was too young to remember much, but our family of 11 all had lived their for more then a year before we were sponsored. I remember, sharing an entire 8oz can of peas with the entire family daily, remember my parents has to exchange their belongings for food. I kinda remember my older brother and uncle which was maybe around 15 at the time going into the forest and dragged back tree branches to build our home from ground up. I remember my younger brother and I had to sneak under the loading dock on the beach to find rice grains, one at a time to feed our family of 11. Just to share little about our similar stories… Take care!

  101. Laura Ngoc said

    Hi. My name is Bich Ngoc. My family was on the island 1978-1979. I am interested in reconnecting to learn more. I was 8 years old at the time, the oldest of 4 children. My youngest brother was born in the US, thus, I have 4 siblings. I often remember the cakes made using can peas. I think about it all the time, year after year. I will be ever so grateful if someone can post the recipe. I want to make it to remember the past, what we went through to be where we are today. I live in San Jose California now.

  102. Nguyen thi hoang yen said

    Toi rat vui khi nhin thay lai nhung cau chuyen o bidong ,toi vao trai 1985 so tau BM153 ,o dao duoc 1 thang roi sang ma lai ,va ko bao lau thi di sang phi ,rat hy vong tim lai nhung nguoi ban , do la nhung thoi khac ma ky niem ko the nao chung ta quen duoc .neu ai biet minh xin goi email ….nguyenyen0904@ yahoo.com

  103. Trung Manh Nguyen said

    I was also born in Pulau Bidong on August 1979.. My parents don’t really like to talk about it too much but after reading some of the stories and experiences from this website last week, I had to find out more about my family’s history. What i found out was my family (mom, dad and uncle) had arrived in April 1979 on boat (Minh Hai MH 290-299) and had left the island sometime in November 1979. We ended up in Winnipeg, MB Canada. The names of my family are Phuoc Van Nguyen, My Duong, Thuan Duong ..

  104. Văn said

    Tình cờ vào đây thấy lại những tên quen thuộc một thời của năm 1978 -1979 Pulau Bidong , các anh chị Tr Hướng Đạo trên đảo nếu còn sống mình có thể nối lại vòng tay thân aí xưa – nơi trại tỵ nạn ” Buồn Lâu Bi Đát ” một từ ” lóng” lúc ấy hay dùng cho những người ở lại lâu , cũng muốn liên lạc với anh Bác Sĩ Phan Thượng Hải tàu VT 1186 cùng tất cả anh chị em các Chú , Bác trên chuyến tàu này vào đảo Pulau Bidong tháng 10 năm 1978 ( chuyến tàu này dựng ngôi nhà thờ trên ” Đồi Tôn Giáo ” đầu tiên bằng cây trên đồi cao chặt về ). vui lòng liên lạc : vandocmo@yahoo.com , rất hân hạnh liên lạc được với các bạn cùng quí vị .

  105. Tu-Anh said

    My name is Tu-Anh, our family of 8 arrived in November of 1980. My parents do not recall our boat number but we left from An Giang. We stayed on the island until May 1981 and now reside in Chicago. My father Vien Thanh Nguyen is looking for a friend by the name of Huynh Ngoc An whom left the island at the same time. He had two sons with him, one of which my Mother Hong sewed pants for. The last contact we had he was residing in Nevada.
    Thank you for buying my brother new shoes for his journey. If you know of Huynh Ngoc An or you are Huynh Ngoc An, please contact me.
    Northern312@hotmail.com

    I’ve relyed on stories from my parents and uncles who have more memories of the experience since I was only 3 at the time. Some stories were sad yet some were of happy moments. Till today I am still amazed by the strength and determination that my parents had for leaving Vietnam in order to provide their children with a better life. At times I am overwhelmed with emotions when I think of all that they have lived through. Our only mementos are identification photos taken on the island and a green towel used to wrap my one month old naked brother when we arrived on the island.

  106. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.

  107. htien60 said

    My family arrived in 1978 with a big family and extended family. We must have had close to 320 people on the boat. We left everything in My Tho. My father bought the boat with 2 other owners and used the funds to pay off local officials who are probably extremely wealthy now! Our boat name MT 120 was under my father’s name (Minh Tien)….it’s different from my vantage point since I was in the captain deck during the entire trip but it was quite terrifying especially we encountered a major storm and had to turn back. We would have surely perished had we continued instead of turning back. It took another 6 months to refuel and pay off more officials before we could leave the country a second time. How many people have a second opportunity at life? My name is Hung Nick Tien. I can be reached @ hungtien@aol.com. Anyone know my father, please let me know as I would like to reconnect with people who knew my father. I don’t know too much about my father’s life since he passed away many years ago and I would love to know the ordeal everyone on the boat went through. My memories of my father was that he was a great provider for the family and always put his family first. I wish that i could be as generous as my father was.

  108. Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing these things,
    thus I am going to inform her.

  109. Le Farris said

    Very glad to have found this site. It has now been 33 years since our family left Pulau Bidong. We arrived in May 1979 on Boat # SB 018. I was 2 and my brother was 14 months. My parents have always told us stories of being at the refugee camp. We were finally sponsored to Canada in May 1980 by a church family in Camrose, Alberta. I still get tidbits of stories from my parents and would really like to write it all down some day. I only have 2 memories. One waking up and my mom asking me what I wanted for breakfast and secondly, right before we left for Canada, taking a couple of pictures in the park as me and my brother were running around. Many similar stories as all that I have read above. If anyone knows of anyone from Boat #SB 018….would love to hear from you! My father’s name is To Duong and Mom’s name is Nhi Nu Duong

  110. I drop a leave a response when I like a article
    on a site or if I have something to valuable to contribute to the
    discussion. It is caused by the fire displayed in the post I read.

    And after this article The Vietnamese Boat People
    - Pulau Bidong during 1978-1979 | The “Boat People” – Pulau Bidong Refugee
    Camp. I was actually excited enough to drop a thought :) I actually do have
    some questions for you if it’s okay. Is it simply me or do a few of these responses look as if they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at other sites, I’d like to keep up
    with anything fresh you have to post. Could you list the complete urls of all your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or
    linkedin profile?

  111. It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our argument made at this place.

  112. said

    Chào anh Thong,
    anh con nhớ nhiều chi tiết về trại chuyển tiếp Trengganu không kể tôi nghe với. Tôi tới đó đầu tháng 12.1978.

    Huân

  113. Hello to every , as I am genuinely eager of reading this weblog’s post to be updated daily. It contains pleasant stuff.

  114. Hello friends, its great paragraph on the topic of cultureand fully defined, keep
    it up all the time.

  115. Huân said

    Có bạn nào ở trại chuyển tiếp Trengganu năm 1978-1979 trước khi ra Pulau Bidong và còn nhớ phong cảnh và đời sống ở đó ra sao, xin kể cho nghe. Cám ơn.

  116. Tommie said

    of course like your web site however you have to take a look at the spelling on quite a
    few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues
    and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth however I will surely come again again.

  117. very good blog, I love the layout and design :)

  118. amazing layout and fantasic design, wow!!! :)

  119. we are interested in the name pulaubidong.wordpress.com
    zu kaufen.
    Bitte machen Sie uns ein Angebot per Nachricht auf ebay
    bitte unter:

     ___   _____   _____   _____   _____       
    |_  | /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \      
      | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |      
      | | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| |      
      | | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| |      
      |_| \_____/ \_____/ \_____/ \_____/      
          _____   _____   _       _           ___   _____   
         |  _  \ /  _  \ | |     | |         /   | |  _  \  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |        / /| | | |_| |  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |       / / | | |  _  /  
         | |_| | | |_| | | |___  | |___   / /  | | | | \ \  
         |_____/ \_____/ |_____| |_____| /_/   |_| |_|  \_\ 
    
    
    
    
    
    	
  120. Wir würden gerne die domain pulaubidong.wordpress.com kaufen
    Bitte machen Sie uns ein Angebot per ebay Nachricht
    bitte unter:

     ___   _____   _____   _____   _____       
    |_  | /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \      
      | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |      
      | | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| |      
      | | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| |      
      |_| \_____/ \_____/ \_____/ \_____/      
          _____   _____   _       _           ___   _____   
         |  _  \ /  _  \ | |     | |         /   | |  _  \  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |        / /| | | |_| |  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |       / / | | |  _  /  
         | |_| | | |_| | | |___  | |___   / /  | | | | \ \  
         |_____/ \_____/ |_____| |_____| /_/   |_| |_|  \_\ 
    
    
    
    
    
    	
  121. Wir würden gerne die domain pulaubidong.wordpress.com

  122. Wir würden gerne die domain pulaubidong.wordpress.com kaufen.
    Bitte machen Sie uns ein Angebot per ebay Nachricht
    bis

     
     ___   _____   _____   _____   _____       
    |_  | /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \      
      | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |      
      | | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| |      
      | | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| |      
      |_| \_____/ \_____/ \_____/ \_____/      
          _____   _____   _       _           ___   _____   
         |  _  \ /  _  \ | |     | |         /   | |  _  \  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |        / /| | | |_| |  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |       / / | | |  _  /  
         | |_| | | |_| | | |___  | |___   / /  | | | | \ \  
         |_____/ \_____/ |_____| |_____| /_/   |_| |_|  \_\ 
    
    
    
    
    	
  123. Wir würden gerne die domain pulaubidong.wordpress.com kaufen.
    Bitte machen Sie uns ein Angebot per ebay Nachricht
    bis

     
     ___   _____   _____   _____   _____       
    |_  | /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \ /  _  \      
      | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |      
      | | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| | | |/| |      
      | | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| | | |_| |      
      |_| \_____/ \_____/ \_____/ \_____/      
          _____   _____   _       _           ___   _____   
         |  _  \ /  _  \ | |     | |         /   | |  _  \  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |        / /| | | |_| |  
         | | | | | | | | | |     | |       / / | | |  _  /  
         | |_| | | |_| | | |___  | |___   / /  | | | | \ \  
         |_____/ \_____/ |_____| |_____| /_/   |_| |_|  \_\ 
    
    
    
    
    	
  124. this is the best blog ever, thank you

  125. BARBARAGAYDOS said

    Hi there, I love this site and bookmarked it forever

  126. BETTYKIRKLIN said

    Hi there, I love this site and bookmarked it forever

  127. I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also go to see this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from newest news.

  128. naturally like your website however you need to take a look at
    the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very
    troublesome to inform the reality however
    I’ll surely come back again.

  129. I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from latest reports.

  130. Gwendolyn said

    Hello everybody, here every one is sharing such familiarity, so it’s nice to read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit this blog daily.

  131. Gerardo said

    Great post! We will be linking to this great post
    on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  132. Ryo Yamada said

    Dear Sir / Madam,

    Please click on the link below to view some pictures which was taken on Pulau Bidong’s Refugees Camp between 1989 – 1991.

    I am writing to request that you consider supporting my work by purchasing these photos at this website

    http://ry-photography.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/Pulau-Bidong/C0000fE1WC5XOI6A

    A portion of the proceed with be donated to Go Vap Orphanage located in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Thank you for helping us make a difference in the community!

    Sincerely,

    Ryo Yamada

  133. Vu Thai Hoa said

    Hi,
    My name is Vũ Thái Hòa, arrived at Pulau Bidong (khu C – behind lò bánh mì) in late 1980 and left after Tết 1981 as 12 years old kid. I do not remember my boat number, however, I won the under 17 chinese chess tournament during Tết (Tiểu Kỳ Vương). Stayed on the island less than 3 months and l look for my friend Sơn (schoolmate in VN) and Xuân (at transition camp near Kuala Lumpur).

  134. Buying to remodel tips is the kitchen, leaving the bottoms attached to
    their pages. This home’s interiors are intentionally sparse and simple in order to restore the structure to a better, former state. ShowerAn average one piece surround shower will cost $400; if you need to consider so many things.

  135. My name is Trinh Vo Khe. Our boat MH-0020 arrived Bidong(Zone F) on June-24-1979. During the time at Bidong (1979-1981), I worked as an interpreter for The US delegation and Band leader of the Chinese Musical Group. I desperately wanting to re connect with all my friends who work with me or know me during the Bidong times to recollect all the good old memories. My contact email is trinhvokhe@gmail.com

  136. quang said

    Chat tat ca,
    Toi ten quang, PB611 ( so tau SS0429 ). Neu co ai trong PB611, xin lien lac quang2004@gmail.com

    Cam on

  137. Ch Vu said

    That is great to found this site. Our boat was numbered MC376, after landing Kelantan shore 04/01/1989. We spent 3 yrs at there before being transferred to Sungai Besi Transit camp @ Kuala Lumpur 1992.

  138. Nga Van said

    In 1986 my uncle Van Tich Duc, 17 years old, also escaped from Vietnam and went to the Pulau Bidong refugee camp. However, we haven’t seen him since.

    We’re currently trying to find him, and if you know anything about him or talked to him please email me at ngavan1963@gmail.com

  139. Phung To said

    I’m looking for my uncles and aunt. They left da nang in May or June of 1980 on a boat of 51 passengers. We have not yet heard from them. Please help. Their names are de ky to, Loi dat to and Ngoc bao Ly. Thanks please contact me at phungkto@ gmail.com

  140. Chau Chi Chau said

    I am also a refugee at Pulau Bidong ,I got there in September of 1980 and my boat # was AZ1571 . The hide out location before we got on the boat to escape Vietnam was Long Xuyen. If anybody is recognized this bit of information please contact me for further verification. Thanks

  141. Chau Chi Quyen said

    Correction form previous posting… Name is Chau Chi Quyen , Chau Chi and Quach Nu. Boat # was AZ1570

  142. Thanh said

    Hello all,
    Thanks for creating this blog. I really appreciate it.
    Tau tui la PB651 ra di tu my tho den Bidong July 1982. Tui bay gio dang o Toronto Canada. Neu ban nao di cung tau voi tui va moun tam su sao hon 30 nam o hai ngoai thi lien lac voi tui. Email la tom.thang@yahoo.com

    Thank you

  143. long phan said

    minh ten la long phan, dang o texas. long va ba cua long vuoc bien va thang 10 1980 tai rach gia toiPaulo bidong o khu ( C) gan dai thong tin van hoa. long co doc qua news cua cac ban post len. chi Helen pham khong biet co o trong tau chung voi long hay k?

  144. Van Chau said

    I’m 1 of the refugee on the island in1984 of mar after I watched the Video and many refugee story I fell very emotional , and yes , if I have a chance to do this over again I would,

  145. Liz said

    Hi–don’t know what leads I will find but my mom who was a refugee from Vietnam is looking for her childhood best friend–her name is Nguyen Thi Anh, and I believe she left Vietnam and arrived in Pulau Bidong in 1978. Nguyen Thi Anh was born in Kien Giang and went to Thanh Binh (school). My mom believes she now lives in NZ. If anyone has any leads, I would be very very grateful! Please email dang.71@osu.edu.

  146. HP Boe said

    Hi, nice to have discovered this site. I have read all the stories since 2009 posted here, today, and memories come back. I was, at the tender age of 27, in charge of the ICM/IOM operation in KL in ’77-’79 – we processed and moved most of you – and I visited PB and the other camps in Malaysia quite a few times, often with our doctors and x-ray people – never mind the transit centers in Cheras and Cherating (KL). I will never forget it – and neither your faces at the airport in KL on departure(!).

    Anyhow, since so many of you are using this nice blog for tracing of neighbours and friends, let me ask ANYONE FROM VN-KG 0313 ADC – which stranded near Kuantan, I think, in 1979 to contact me with their story? I have a memento I’d like to pass on to them

    Thanks, and keep it up,

    Best regards
    HP Boe

    hpboe15@gmail.com

  147. kenny giang said

    cua ganh hao thuoc huyen gia rai tinh minh hai bay gio la thi tran ganh hao huyen dong hai tinh bac lieu . toi roi ganh hao tren tau MH3727 den palau bidong ngay 17/7/1981 tau PB312 , qua bataan Philippine 2/1982 dinh cu usa 6/1982 gdollarplus@aol.com

  148. tyler do said

    chuc cho tat ca ai da den dao duoc binh yen hanh phuc trong cuoc song
    wishes to all the people came to the island have peaceful happy life
    I was there in 1979-1982 PB311 Do phi Ho and Do phi Hung we were kids at that time
    by the way love the story
    tylerphiho@ Verizon.net

  149. Tracie said

    Hello I am so happy I found your website, I really
    found you by mistake, while I was researching on Aol
    for something else, Regardless I am here now and
    would just like to say thank you for a tremendous post
    and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to look over it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep
    up the great work.

  150. Verlene said

    Yes! Finally someone writes about crossfit syracuse ny.

  151. Duc Thoi said

    Hi Andrew…I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to read through everyone’s posts. There is a strong emotional connection that I feel as memories and images come flooding back. Although I was only 7 years old when I arrived to the island in 1978, I have fond memories of my 3 siblings and I “playing” in our small shack with a tarp roof each day through 1980 when we were sponsored to America. The details that you have outlined are very intriguing to me. We too lived near the helicopter pad and my mom, Muoi Thoi sold bread on the beach each day to support the 5 of us. If your dad was the baker, perhaps he and your mother remember my mom? She may have purchased the bread from him and then walked along the beach to sell for a small profit. I distinctly remember the day that a bread oven was built out of a big metal barrel in a home close to ours. My mom passed away over 20 years ago, and I only have a few photos of us in the island that she brought to the USA. Ask your mom & dad if they remember my mom, Muoi Thoi, and her 4 children (3 boys and 1 girl). I would love to have the opportunity to exchange information and see if we can make a connection. With appreciation, Duc Thoi

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: