Paracel Islands

Capital NA
Population no indigenous inhabitants, but scattered Chinese garrisons
Time zone UTC +8
WARNING: The islands are disputed territory, claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam. As of May, 2014, the dispute has gotten hot; both China and Vietnam have been moving naval vessels about and making hostile statements, and anti-Chinese riots have broken out in Vietnam.

The Paracel Islands are an archipelago in the South China Sea, administered by China, but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.


China has announced plans to open the islands to resort style tourism, starting with Yongxing Island.

This tropical archipelago, about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines, is composed of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into the northeast Amphitrite Group and the western Crescent Group. It is surrounded by productive fishing grounds and by potential oil and gas reserves. In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Vietnam. China has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974, when its troops seized a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands. The islands are claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

Get in

By plane

China has built an airstrip on one of the islands.

By boat

Small Chinese port facilities on Woody Island and Duncan Island are being expanded.


Although the economic value of the archipelago's waters for fishing, and the suspected presence of underwater petroleum reserves are their primary source of interest, there is currently no economic activity taking place on the islands themselves.


There are no public accommodations in the Paracel Islands.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, May 22, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.