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Location DB > Malaysia > Terengganu > Pulau Bidong > Bidong
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 Database Info
created by Neil T on 2/16/2011 4:11 PM
last modified by Neil T on 2/16/2011 4:31 PM
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This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The most well known refugee camp that held Vietnamese fleeing post-war Vietnam. Many stayed in Bidong and eventually immigrated to places like the US, Canada, Australia, and France. Today, the island is abandoned and shows scars from it's former life.

You will need to go with a guided tour (cheaper) or hire a private boat to take you out from the gateway city of Merang (outside of Kuala Terengganu). Keep in mind it is not accessible during monsoon season.
 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Abandoned
Accessibility: Moderate
Recommendation: drop everything - must see
 Physical Information

Pulau Bidong, Terengganu
Owner: Malaysian Government
  • rust
  • unsafe flooring
  • jungle creatures, monsoons, Thai pirates
  •  Interesting Features
    Small church and temple in ruins, makeshift huts, pristine beach, jungle, various memorials...
     Security Measures
  • Secluded abandoned island
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 0
    Closed: 0
     Required Equipment
  • Boatman, life jacket, water, food
  •  Recommended Equipment

    On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended with the evacuation of the American Embassy and the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese Army. Millions of people tried to flee the new Communist rule in Vietnam. In May 1975, the first boat with 47 refugees arrived in Malaysia from Vietnam. They were called “boat people.” However, the number of boat people fleeing Vietnam was relatively small until 1978. Bidong Island was officially opened as a refugee camp on August 8th, 1978 with 121 Vietnamese refugees. The capacity of the camp was said to be 4,500. Another 600 refugees arrived in August and thereafter the arrival of boats from Vietnam was a near daily occurrence. By January 1979, there were 18,000 Vietnamese on the island and by June 1979 it was said to be the most heavily populated place on earth with about 40,000 refugees crowded into a flat area hardly larger than a football field.

    The passage from Vietnam was hazardous and the refugee boats were small, overloaded, and often attacked by pirates. Thousands of refugees died at sea; rape and abduction of refugee women was common. In addition, the governments of Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries discouraged refugees from landing on their shores. Refugee boats were often pushed offshore or towed to Bidong and other designated camps.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans

    Going Home
    Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
    posted by Neil T

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     Photo Galleries
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    Going Home
    Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
    posted by Neil T
    11 pictures

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     Web Links,, http://www.thingsa...tories-photos/2602

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

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    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 2/17/2011 6:54 AM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Feb 17 11 at 6:54, Steed validated this location
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:42, Neil T made this location public
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:42, Neil T made this location private
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:42, Neil T made this location available
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:41, Neil T updated a story
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:39, Neil T created a new story
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:38, Neil T added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:37, Neil T added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:33, Neil T updated gallery Going Home
  • on Feb 16 11 at 16:33, Neil T created a new gallery
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