35 973 609 đồng ghi chữ thế nào năm 2024

UPDATE 08/11/21: My dad featured in this story has connected with so many of you all. Please continue to send him an email about your story to: [email protected]

Over 300 Vietnamese Boat People have reconnected in the comments area. Please write and . I read these comments to my parents fairly often and it usually sparks a fantastic discussion about their past life as Vietnamese Boat People.

Although I have never set foot on Pulau Bidong, my parents have experienced hardships that they will remained ingrained for the rest of their lives. They constantly re-tell stories and re-count memories of what it was like in Pulau Bidong, Malaysia during their time at the refugee camp in 1978-1979. Their stories are tragic and I wanted to share their story as “Vietnamese Boat People” to the world. I saw a huge interest on the internet 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 others can connect with their long lost neighbors and friends of Bidong Island.

35 973 609 đồng ghi chữ thế nào năm 2024
A picture of my parents and my brother. It was very expensive for them to take this picture at the time ($2), but are very glad to have memories today.

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 back, were persecuted by the locals. My parents, along with my uncles and aunts were fortunate to acquire a boat, a compass, and a map for their journey. My parents, along with the rest of my family and some friends had no set destination in mind. They only knew that they wanted to flee and secure 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. My parents abandoned their house, all of their belongings, important mementos including their wedding photos in hope to flee the communist country. They took only what was most important to them because of the limited space they had. 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 basic navigation tools of a map and compass, they sailed to the closest country with hopes that they will accept the refugees. My parents recall sailing in rough waters and extremely cramped quarters before seeing the coastline. 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 it. 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 Vietnamese Boat People who were going through hunger and sea sickness. Finally, after what was a horrendous, long boat ride 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 recall having to purposely sink the boat they sailed in so that they were allowed in, otherwise, they kept giving them the runaround to go sail to another location. Upon arrival, they found out that they were boat

91 to arrive at Pulau Bidong on the boat called MH 375 (Minh Hai 375).

Because they were one of the first wave of Vietnamese Boat People there, resources were scarce and living areas were barren. Each family was put through the ultimate test of Darwinism. My dad along with my uncles had to build their own houses out of wood from the forest, some rope they had found and some blue tarp they had gathered up. Life’s basic necessities were very difficult to obtain, such as fetching for fresh water. 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 handed out 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 Vietnamese 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 last months long, they needed money to survive so they thought of some ways to make a 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. Luckily, my mom was (and still is) a good chef. She made Banh Bia to sell to others so that they can get away from the same bland 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 (luckily the pirates didn’t take this!) 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 and the occasional western music (classic rock). 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. They recall that the doctor that helped them was an extremely nice individual. My mom remembers that there was another mom giving birth next to her at the same time (a girl).

Many people in Pulau Bidong took care of my brother, 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 wants to connect with those who took care of him.

After living in the refugee camp for 13 months, my family was lucky enough to become sponsored by a Church in Alabama to come to America. Only lasting just a short time in Alabama, and then Seattle, my family moved to the Bay Area, California where they reside today.


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 kneaded 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 (email below) She recalls another baby girl being delivered 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.

Do 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 are all Vietnamese Boat People.

-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.