7 Vietnam Islands You Need to Know About

 

Whether you’re looking for a sandy escape or a rugged rock climbing adventure — Vietnam has an island perfect for you. Home to a vast array of varied island terrain, there is something for everybody. Vietnam islands are the best-kept secret of the country, due to their often, and unfair comparison to its paradisiacal neighbours. As a result, Vietnam hasn’t been a top location for beach holiday’s, but that is all changing. The secrets out — here are eight Vietnam island’s you need to know about. 

 

Vietnam islands

Con Dao

Imagine a deserted, remote jungle island — wind whistling, massive mountains, cascading into white sand and not a soul in sight. This is Con Dao. An island which once, was the Alcatraz of Vietnam, used as a prison island during the French Occupation and known to most Vietnamese as the Island NOT to visit because of it’s spooky past, Con Dao gives ‘off the beaten track’ a new meaning. 

There’s not a ton to do on Con Dao other than being completely and utterly in awe of the natural landscape, but hey, that’s alright by me! Grab a coconut and lounge on one of its many pristine beaches or motorbike up and around its expansive open highways — no matter what you do, it is sure to be an adventure. 

 

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Cham Islands

 

Did you know that ancient Vietnam was apart of the Champa Empire? This is essentially the culture of modern-day Cambodia. In 1882 Vietnam annexed the empire and absorbed the land into their own country. This is why these islands today are called the Cham islands. 

Located just off the coast of the tourist hub of Hoi An, they make an excellent day trip to escape the busy city. Get the speed boat from Chua Dai Beach, which will last around 30 mins, though it’s best to book through a tour provider in town or your hotel as the boat spots fill up fast starting at 07:00. 

Spend the day snorkelling, kayaking or lounging on some of their beaches: Bai Cong Beach, Bai Ong Beach, Bai Bac Beach, and Bai Xep to name a few. For an alternate and more adventurous way to see the island, you can hire a motorbike driver in town to tour you around since Foreigners aren’t allowed to drive on the island.

Check out my full guide to neighbouring Hoi An here!

 

Vietnam Islands

 

Ha Long Bay

You most likely have heard of the otherworldy Ha Long Bay in your research about Vietnam, but this is for good reason. The islands and islets which make up the impressive bay are not to be missed. You can visit Ha Long a few different ways — budget depending. Though day trips are available I would 100% recommend splurging (you do get what you pay for boat trip wise) on an overnight cruise. It is such a remarkable experience! 

To read more about Ha Long Bay click here!

Cruise with:

Vietnam Islands

 

Ly Son Island

Known for its rich volcanic soil, black rocky coastline, white sand beaches and incredibly large garlic export, Ly Son is one of the most unknown islands to tourists in the region. Created from the craters of three extinct volcanoes – formed almost 30 million years ago, the small island community of 20,000 sits on a geologically fascinating piece of land. Because of its nutrient-rich soil it is the perfect spot for growing garlic. Large plots of garlic farms create a patchwork spread of vibrant green and white across the island. 

To get to Ly Son, depart from Sa Ky Port in Quang Ngai. Spend your time on the island motorbiking or hiking up the Thoi Loi Crater or visiting landmarks like the Ly Son Lighthouse. To Vo Rock Arch is a geological wonder which attracts photographers along with Hang Cau which is one of the beaches on the island — also good to note that it’s also a popular place to camp. 

 

Photo credit: Marcus Lacey

 

Cat Ba Island

Who would have thought that in North Vietnam lies impressive white sandy beaches? The only one of it’s kind (in the North) — Cat Ba Island, along with Lan Ha Bay is home to some spectacular scenes. With most beaching being built up by resorts it is getting more difficult to spend time on the island’s beaches, but there is hope! Hire a sampan boat for the day and explore the untouched coves of Lan Ha bay, or there are guest houses on some of the small islands around Cat Ba. 

Click here to read of my guides to Cat Ba and Lan Ha Bay.

 

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Phu Quoc

One of the largest islands in Vietnam, Phu Quoc has all the trimmings of a tourist destination. All sorts of accommodation from large resorts and small guesthouses can be found here, along with bustling night markets and quiet untouched beaches. 

Best spots to stay:

Read more about Phu Quoc here! 

 

Vietnam Islands

 

Hon Tre + Hon Tam

Home to its own share of beautiful coastline, Nha Trang also has its fair share of impressive island vibes to share. Located just off the shore, Hon Tre is far less developed (for now) than the party enveloped coastline of the city. With impressive coral reefs, upscale and remote resorts and, vast jungles you are sure to have a blast. 

Get there via the speed boats which depart every thirty mins from Cao Da Port. Relax on the quiet Bay Lagoon — the only downside to the island is that the dining options are limited to the resorts there.

 

Your turn! Which are your favourite Vietnam Islands? Comment them below!