When it comes to visiting Vietnam, the country is more than just famous local dishes (pho, banh mi, Vietnamese coffee!), cultural sites and historic towns. Nature lovers and beach bums can also look forward to enjoying their time at some of the most picturesque beaches the county has to offer. That said, here are 8 Scenic Islands To Visit In Vietnam listed in alphabetical order.
1) Binh Ba
First things first, Binh Ba is an ideal spot where you get to enjoy the spectacular views of the sunrise and sunset. Then comes the white sandy beaches — a great place for soaking up the sun or take a swim or snorkelling under the clear blue waters. And if you are hungry, don’t worry since Binh Ba happens to be a haven for indulging in the freshest catch you can find here in the nearby seafood restaurants.
2) Cat Ba
Located just 25km from the famous Halong Bay, Cat Ba is home to many white sand beaches as well as limestone karsts and fishing villages. You can take a boat ride or engage in sweat-inducing outdoor activities such as rock climbing or jungle trekking through the scenic Cat Ba National Park. Beach lovers, in the meantime, can look forward to enjoying good splashin’ fun at the extraordinary crystal emerald-crescent-shaped beaches where the waters look as if they are dreamy watercolour paintings come to life.
3) Cham Island
Cham Island consists of eight breathtaking islands where you can enjoy quality time with your loved one(s) snorkelling at the coral reefs or simply bumming it out on the golden sands. If you love marine life, don’t forget to take a dive into the sea to witness around 135 known species. There’s even a long hiking trail at Cat Ba National Park while hungry visitors and foodies can savour some of their unique local seafood specialities such as tu hai (geoduck clams), ca song (garrupa) and ran bien (sea serpent).
4) Co To
Despite often labelled as a lesser-known island, Co To is actually a terrific spot for those who are looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It certainly has everything here to calm your mind: lesser crowd compared to most other islands in Vietnam, a majestic-looking bay, white sand beaches and clear blue sea. Other than beaches, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Co To Lighthouse located on the east side of the archipelago. Originally built in the late 1800s, hiking up to the lighthouse will reward you with an amazing viewpoint of the beautiful ocean. For a more romantic getaway, you might want to check out the Cau My Rock with your loved one. Finally, when comes to their local specialities, do try their sea urchin and sea cucumber-like holothurian.
5) Con Dao
It’s hard to believe that Con Dao used to be a prison spot during the French-occupied colonial era as well as the Vietnam War. Today, the island is more of a tourist-friendly destination consisting of white sand beaches, deep-blue waters, coral reefs and an idyllic little town. If you love all things nature and lush greenery, why not test your endurance while enjoying the amazing sight of its protected wilderness by trekking through the jungles of Con Dao National Park? And back to the prison, you can hire a private tour guide to learn more about the island’s dark history while visiting some of the island’s former prison complexes such as Phu Son Prison, Phu Hai Prison and French Tiger Cages.
6) Ly Son
Ly Son’s picturesque beauty of an island is simply undeniable, complete with turquoise waters and craggy cliffs. It consists of two small islands including Cu Lao Re and An Binh — both of which has its own distinctive charms. For instance, if you travel to Cu Lao Re, do pay a visit at Mount Thoi Loi to witness the panoramic view of the volcanic cliffs.
7) Nam Du
If tranquillity matters to you the most, then Nam Du might be your next favourite go-to island destination. Located at the south of Vietnam, this little-known archipelago consists of a total of 19 islands. You can either go island-hopping or chill out on white sand beaches while sipping on a fresh coconut. Alternatively, take a swim in the clear blue waters or simply get on a boat ride.
8) Phu Quoc
Here’s a gem of an island that needs no introduction and if you happen to be a first-timer, Phu Quoc should be your next must-visit checklist. Pronounced “foo wok”, this island is renowned for its pristine shores and unique sapphire-blue waters that would certainly look picture-perfect on Instagram. And as the largest island in Vietnam, you can find plenty of beautiful beaches like Sao Beach and Ganh Dau Beach as well. Some of the activities you can do here include the likes of basking in the sun on the white sand, snorkelling at coral reefs and taking a boat ride out to sea.
But whatever you do, never miss out one of the longest three-way cable-car rides in the world from Phu Quoc to Hon Thom a.k.a. Pineapple Island. Stretching at almost 8km long, this is your great opportunity to immerse in the breathtaking sights of the islands and wide-open sea from a bird’s-eye view.