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Top 8 Vietnam Islands You Must Visit

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Vietnam is a country in Southeastern Asia, is itself not an island. But with the coastline stretching more than 3,000 kilometers, Vietnam is rich in sea resources and has many beautiful beaches and tropical islands to have fun. Vietnam islands will offer unique and memorable experiences for your Vietnam tour.

Apart from pristine golden sandy beaches, clear blue waters, exhilarating water entertainments, hiking adventures and fresh seafood feasts, Vietnam island getaways have more to be expected.

We are here listing the 8 best islands in Vietnam you must visit. It is suitable for first-time comers to discover how to enjoy the best of the islands, and deep travel enthusiasts can also get inspired.

1. Phu Quoc Island - Among the Best Islands in the World

Being awarded as one of the top 25 islands in the world by Travel Leisure magazine, Phu Quoc Island is favored by visitors from all over the world. On the largest island in Vietnam, also the largest one, you can find not only excellent pure water, but the well-known Sao Beach and Long Beach also offer fine places for sunbathing, swimming, and diving.

Enjoying a mellow sunset on beaches must be the cherry on top. Apart from that, Phu Quoc Island has a large safari park and a Disney-like amusement park, where you can enjoy a happy time with your family. The raw herring salad and flower crab in night markets cannot be missed as someone believes that only the succulent seafood alone is worth a special visit.

Phu Quoc Island Sandy Beach
Phu Quoc Island
  • Location: Southern Vietnam, Kien Giang Province
  • How to get there: Fly from other Vietnam cities. Or take a ferry from Rach Gia
  • Suited to: if you love beach holiday, couples, families, water sport lovers
  • Best time to visit: November till March (in dry season)
  • Recommended hotels: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Salinda Resort Phu Quoc Island, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Phu Quoc
  • What to eat: fresh caught seafood, Phu Quoc fish sauce, Bun Quay (Vietnamese noodle soup)
  • Tips:
    1. Rent a motorbike to travel at your own pace but you must wear a helmet
    2. Go to night markets for souvenirs and specialty cuisines
    3. Bring sunscreen, bug repellent

2. Con Dao Island - Remote but Serene Paradise Covered in Jungles

Once served as a prison in colonial times, Con Dao Islands stay far away from the mainland of Vietnam. Nowadays, it has attracted visitors for its magnificent natural beauty and mysterious history. Compared to other popular islands, this is an off-the-beaten-track Vietnam island destination for you to discover.

Among the remote Con Dao islands, Con Son Island is the largest and the only one inhabited. The sapphire waters and white sand beaches are the biggest draws.

Con Dao Island in Vietnam
Con Dao Island

A large area of jungles endows it with biological diversity and many natural parks are available. You might spot the black giant squirrel and bow-fingered gecko. In addition, a fairy tale world is hidden under the sea as the sun shines through the clear sea water to make massive coral colonies show vibrant colors. This is a perfect Vietnam island for snorkeling.

  • Location: Southern Vietnam, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province
  • How to get there: fly from Ho Chi Minh City. Or take a ferry from Vung Tau
  • Suited to: nature lovers, history lovers, adventurers
  • Best time to visit: March till September (during turtle nesting season)
  • Recommended hotels: Six Senses Con Dao, Con Dao Resort, Poulo Condor Boutique Resort & Spa
  • What to eat: fresh caught seafoods, Con Dao specialty fish, tropical fruits
  • Tips:
    1. Visit the Con Dao Prison for a historical tour
    2. Snorkel or dive to see amazing marine life
    3. Plan ahead for accommodations especially in peak season

3. Cat Ba Island - The Largest Island of Ha Long Bay

If Ha Long Bay is the highlight of your Vietnam island tour, then Cat Ba Island must be the highlight of your Ha Long Bay tour. Covered an area of 285 sq km (110 sq mi), Cat Ba island is the largest island of Ha Long Bay. Though it has become a tourism hub to welcome visitors to Bai Tu Long Bay and Ha Long Bay these days, it maintains the most rugged craggy part of the bay.

Most of the island is covered by untouched jungles, which were declared a national park by the local government. Not only the laid-back sandy beaches but also rocky cliffs and idyllic forest views are offered to you. You may have a chance to see rare wild animals and explore the nearby tiny fishing villages. When you’re there, you can also visit the Dragon islands also in Ha Long Bay.

Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba Island
  • Location: Northern Vietnam, Hai Phong Province
  • How to get there: take a bus or train to Hai Phong; then take a ferry to Cat Ba Island
  • Suited to: Adventurers, nature lovers, budget travelers
  • Best time to visit: April till November (have nice weather great for outdoor activities)
  • Recommended hotels: Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa, Monkey Island Resort, Cat Ba Eco-Lodge
  • What to eat: fresh caught seafoods, especially cuttlefish and crab dishes
  • Tips:
    1. Cat Ba National Park is great for hiking and wildlife spotting
    2. Have a boat tour around Lan Ha Bay
    3. Rent a motorbike on the Vietnam island

4. Cham Islands - Wonderful Island Getaway from Hoi An

Nestled about 15 km (9 mi) from the Hoi An Ancient Town, Cham Islands are easy to get by a speed boat in 30 minutes from the wharf of Hoi An. Composed of 8 islets, Cham Islands are designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and are surely perfect for you to make a wonderful excursion.

Apart from swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, exploring some relics and architectural works are also recommended. Hon Lao is the largest and the only inhabited island on Cham. Here also offers special religious culture which can be well explored in festivals such as Cau Ngu Festival (April 3-4 in the lunar calendar).

Cham Islands
Cham Islands
  • Location: Central Vietnam, Quang Nam Province
  • How to get there: on speedboats from Hoi An or Da Nang
  • Suited to: snorkeling lovers, divers, eco-tourists
  • Best time to visit: March till August (have calm seas great for water sport)
  • Recommended hotels: Cham Island Homestay, Island Smiles Homestay
  • What to eat: fresh caught seafoods, local herbs, vegetables
  • Tips:
    1. Snorkel or dive to see gorgeous corals
    2. Respect local customs as well as marine conservation efforts
    3. Bring cash; there are no ATMs on the islands

5. Ly Son Island - Hidden Gem Island in Vietnam

Known as the ‘Kingdom of garlic and volcanoes’, Ly Son Island consists of 3 small islets: Cu Lao Re, An Binh and Mu Cu. The island may be off your radar, but it is one of the most beautiful islands in Vietnam, a perfect weekend jaunt for you to satisfy your wanderlust with the beauty of dreaming beaches, unspoiled coastlines, and fascinating geological landscapes.

Located in the northeast of Quang Ngai province, central Vietnam, it is easy to reach by a 30-minute fast boat Sa Ky Port. Boasting coral reefs, twisted rock formations, and impressive crater-top views, rather than sandy beaches lined with coconut palms, the charm of small islands will leave a unique impression on the heart of you.

  • Location: Central Vietnam, Quang Ngai Province
  • How to get there: take a flight or a train to Quang Ngai; then take a ferry from Sa Ky Port
  • Suited to: photographers, nature lovers
  • Best time to visit: June till September (dry season with clear skies)
  • Recommended hotels: Muong Thanh Holiday Ly Son, Ly Tri Motel, Ly Son Pearl Island Hotel & Resort
  • What to eat: garlic dishes, fresh caught seafoods, Vietnamese pancakes
  • Tips:
    1. Go to Thoi Loi Mountain for panoramic views
    2. Visit ancient temples and pagodas
    3. Try this Vietnam island’s famous garlic

6. Nha Trang Islands - Over 19 Picturesque Islets with Pristine Beauty

Nha Trang is a top island destination in Vietnam you cannot miss, which is home to more than 19 islands off its coastline. Any beach lover can find their favorite oceanic touring, but Diep Son Island, Binh Ba Island, and Hon Tre Islet are among the tops.

The picturesque Diep Son Island offers raw beauty with its green islands and a long sweep of white sand. The untouched Binh Ba Island is famous for delicious lobsters, where you can enjoy high-quality seafood and enjoy sunbathing on the golden beach. As for Hon Tre Island, just 5 km (3 mi) from the city center, it is known for being an Eco tour destination with beautiful beaches and stunning seascapes.

Nha Trang Islands
Nha Trang Islands

Apart from those top three islands in Nha Trang Bay area, monkey island is not as well known, but also an interesting choice. On this Vietnam Island, you’ll find a large population of wild monkeys. You are almost guaranteed to see them and might even have a chance to interact with them. But makes sure you keep to the local regulations for wildlife conservation.

  • Location: South Central Coast of Vietnam, Khanh Hoa Province
  • How to get there: fly to Cam Ranh Airport; then take a taxi or a bus to Nha Trang
  • Suited to: families, water sports lovers, if you love beach holidays
  • Best time to visit: February till April, August till October (nice weathers)
  • Recommended hotels: Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang, Amiana Resort, Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang, Whale Island Resort
  • What to eat: fresh Nha Trang seafoods, bun cha ca (fish cake noodle soup), nem nuong (grilled pork sausage)
  • Tips:
    1. Go to Vinpearl Land for a family-friendly amusement park trip
    2. Take a boat to surrounding islands

7. Co To Island - One of the Most Romantic Islands in Vietnam

The Quang Ninh province boasts one of the most romantic islands in the country, Co To Island, and its wild beauty is still undiscovered by most people. That’s why it should be on your Vietnam island tour list. White sandy beaches, craggy cliffs and turquoise blue waters are not the only drawings.

Except for enjoying a happy time on Hong Van Beach, Van Chai beach, and Trinh Sat Beach, meandering along the ‘Love Road’ to Co To Lighthouse, or taking a cycle ride along the red-tiled path is awesome. Of course, cheap and delicious seafood is full of variety for your choice.

  • Location: Northern Vietnam, Quang Ninh Province
  • How to get there: take a bus or drive to Cai Rong Port; then take a ferry to Co To Island
  • Suited to: if you love beach holidays, couples, off-the-beaten-path adventurers
  • Best time to visit: April till September (clear weathers, warm sea)
  • Recommended hotels: Co To Eco Lodge, Golden Coto Hotel, Green Co To Hotel
  • What to eat: fresh caught seafoods, especially squid and shrimp dishes
  • Tips:
    1. Rent a motorbike to travel around the island
    2. Go up to the lighthouse for stunning views
    3. Facilities on this island are limited, so pack your own essentials

8. Nam Du Islands - Secret Unspoiled Tropical Islands to Foreigners

Off the southwestern coast of Vietnam, Nam Du features more than 20 shimmering small tropical islands. Once pioneered by local young backpackers, now its gorgeous views can finally be enjoyed by visitors from all over the world as it was not open to foreign travelers before.

You will be amazed at its pristine beauty at the secret spot. The largest island Hon Lon is green and forested, yet rugged and rocky. It is cool to see tranquil waters from the top of the cliffside and exploring the island by motorbike. This secret beautiful Vietnam island is unmissable when you travel to Vietnam

  • Location: Southern Vietnam, Kien Giang Province
  • How to get there: take a bus to Rach Gia; then take a ferry to Nam Du Island
  • Suited to: adventurers, backpackers
  • Best time to visit: December till March (dry season has calm seas)
  • Recommended hotels: Humiso Nam Du Resort, Nam Du View Hotel
  • What to eat: grilled fresh caught seafoods, Vietnamese fish porridge, local fruits
  • Tips:
    1. Rent a motorbike to get around
    2. Go snorkeling or diving to see amazing underwater life
    3. Bring cash; there are no ATMs on the island

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