5 Best Islands in Vietnam

Most Popular Vietnam Islands For Relaxing Getaways

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: October 16, 2019

Vietnam’s coastline stretches over 3000 kilometers long, creating a number of beautiful beaches, untouched islets and stunning archipelagos from the north to the south. The picturesque landscapes will definitely blow your mind and leave a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your travel. Here is the list of the best islands in Vietnam that you are recommended to visit, starting from the north.

1. Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong

1. Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong
Highlights: Cat Ba island is located nearby the well-known Halong Bay. There is so much to experience in this island: swimming in crystal-clear water in Cat Co beaches, trekking in the jungles, kayaking in secluded Cua Van fishing village and exploring the diverse flora and fauna of Cat Ba National Park.
How to get there: Cat Ba is about 160 kilometers from Hanoi. The fastest way might be going by bus to Hai Phong (100.000 VND) then taking a hydrofoil to the island (220.000 VND)
Things to note:
The best time to visit Cat Ba is during summer months when you can enjoy the beaches’ beauty the most. But don’t go there on the weekend, it is super crowded and costs you a lot more than usual.
One place you shouldn’t miss is Monkey Island adjacent to Cat Ba. The naughty and friendly little monkeys and pristine Cat Dua beach are extremely worth paying a visit.

2. Co To Island, Quang Ninh Province

2. Co To Island, Quang Ninh Province
Highlights: For Vietnamese people, Co To is quite familiar because of the huge number of poems and writings about it; however; as yet, is relatively secret to foreigners. It is undoubtedly an awesome place to kick back and relax no matter what kind of recreation you like. 
If you are adventurous and sporty, go climbing over distinctive rough rock formations at Cau My. If you are a fan of peacefulness and beaches, go sunbathing and camping on Hong Van Beach. 
In case you would love to have a panorama view of the whole island, the Co To light house which is 118 meters high and automatically generated by solar power should be in your check-in list.
How to get there: Two stages. First one, go by sleeper-bus, train or plane, and you get to Cai Rong Harbor. Stage two, from the harbor, you go to Co To Island by either high-speed boat (250.000 VND) or wooden boat (95.000 VND).
Things to note:
Keep in mind that the best time to visit Co To for swimming is in April-May and September-October for sightseeing because Co To is either stormy or chilly in the other months of the year.

3. Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province

3. Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province
Highlights: Known as the remnant of a volcano approximately 25 million years ago, Ly Son Island today, one of the best islands in Vietnam, is more popular with tourists who are curious about special garlic field and marvelous lava rock mountains along the seaside. 
If you love the placidness and adventurous drive, just try watching moonlight on the Thoi Loi peak and letting serene sound of waves lull you into sleep by renting a tent on the seashore.
How to get there: Ly Son island is off the coast of Quang Ngai Province. It is easy to book a flight, train or sleeper- bus ticket from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Quang Ngai City. Then, sit on a high-speed boat from Sa Ky Harbor, which costs about 170.000. You don’t need to book in advance, because there are boating going there every 30 minutes.
Things to note:
The best time to visit is between June and September, the island is still untamed so don’t worry, there are not too many people. Local residents are all friendly, and speak very little English.
There are a Little Ly Son Island (just 10 minutes of traveling by ferry from the Big one) which provides coral reef- watching opportunities and surprisingly cheap tasty seafood. However, the facility there has not yet been developed, so don’t expect to stay in a 4-star hotel, there are some fancy glittering homestays instead. Fresh water is precious here, so don’t forget to bring enough water if you have decided to stay overnight.

4. Cham Islands, Quang Nam Province

4. Cham Islands, Quang Nam Province
Highlights: If you have been to Hoi An and loved the nostalgic atmosphere there, why not go 15 kilometers farther and hit the beach? Nothing is more wonderful than snorkeling, scuba-diving and seeing a rich underwater reef system which get it recognized as one of the best biosphere reserves in the world because of its biodiversity. Nowadays, resorts are quickly flourishing, though still exist some untouched parts with their laid-back charm. 
How to get there: If you are already in Danang or Hoi An, just take a taxi to Cua Dai Beach and go on a canoe and get there in 20 minutes with the cost of 200.000 VND.
Things to note:
It is highly recommended to take a journey from March to August because there are possibly disastrous tropical storms for the rest of the years. You can plan to go in April or May when traditional festivals of the island’s inhabitants take place.
Motorbikes are not allowed. You are able to rent one, then bring it along with you in the canoe.
The place is off the beaten path, the only accommodation available is homestay. They also cater for services of tour-guiding, snorkeling, fishing , boat-renting and meal-serving at a competitive price.

5. Con Dao Island, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province

5. Con Dao Island, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province
Highlights: Last but not least, it can’t be somewhere other than Con Dao being in this list of best islands in Vietnam due to its significant historical values and natural beauty. The first must-go site on the main part of the island is Dam Trau, the most alluring beach surrounded by old-growth forests and magnificent cliffs. 
Also, it is a great idea to explore Con Dao National park which reserves the most turtles and colorful untouched coral reefs. While most tourists flock here to enjoy the scenery, some are interested in the prison once called “the Hell on Earth” where hundreds of Vietnamese political prisoners were detained and cruelly tortured during wartime. 
Con Dao, with its spectacular landscapes and wild nature, must be in the bucket list of slow living- inclined people.
How to get there: There are 3 ways to get there:
First one: From Vung Tau, you book a ticket for a 200-seat boat. It has air-conditioners, canteens and beds so you won’t feel tired even though it takes up to 12 hours.
Second one: From Soc Trang, you take a high-speed Superdong Boat. The price is 310.000, you reach the island after 2.5 hours.
Third one: Only from Ho Chi Minh city or Can Tho, there is one flight from Vietnam Airlines heading directly to Con Dao, it costs one million dong.
Things to note:
March to September is definitely the ideal time for a trip to Con Dao. Not only is it dry season, it is also turtles’ spawning-season, has it piqued your curiosity yet?
There are taxis, electric cars or motorbikes for renting available on the island.

It seems like there are so many islands waiting for you to discover, doesn’t it? In your travel in Vietnam, give yourself a treat to visit at least one island of the best islands in Vietnam in the list above. If you have been to any of them, why not comment below and share with others your experience and lovely pictures?

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