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10 Best Islands in Vietnam

Vietnam’s Most Popular Islands

This rundown of the best islands in Vietnam caters to travellers looking forward to a sun-soaked holiday. Vietnam is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking islands. Its 3,000 km-long coastline is surrounded by thousands of islets, featuring centuries-old temples, traditional villages, lush forests, unexplored grottoes, and rare marine life...and stunning beaches!

Many popular islands such as Phu Quoc, Hon Tre and Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay have undergone massive development, resulting in a wide variety of resorts and hotels, restaurants, nightlife spots, shops, and tourist facilities. There are also plenty of off-the-beaten-path destinations in Vietnam, which are mostly frequented by the local population and adventurous travellers. Read on for our comprehensive guide on Vietnam’s most popular islands, filled with important information like transport options and what to do once you're there.

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    1

    Phu Quoc Island

    South Vietnam
    Phu Quoc Island

    Phu Quoc Island boasts idyllic beaches, romantic sunsets, evergreen forests, and a serene atmosphere, making it an ideal holiday destination for travellers looking to escape bustling city life. It has an international airport and is the only visa-free destination in Vietnam. Located 45 kilometres west of Ha Tien in the far south of Vietnam, the northern part of the island is relatively untouched due to its status as a UNESCO-listed national park but there are plenty of luxurious resorts, funky bars, and quaint cafes along the southern coastline. Aside from beachside activities, visitors can also explore traditional villages, expansive nature parks and Buddhist pagodas, all of which are easily accessible via motorcycle, taxi, bus or even daytrips by reputable companies. Catering to just about any budget level and preference, Phu Quoc’s dining scene ranges from local markets selling fresh seafood and Vietnamese street food to expat-owned bistros offering authentic western and European fare. Read More...

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    2

    Con Dao Island

    South Vietnam
    Con Dao Island

    Con Dao Islands, also known as Con Dao National park, are an archipelago of 16 mostly uninhabited islets just off the southern coast of Vietnam, each of which offering expansive beaches shaded with evergreen trees. Great for savvy travellers looking to escape bustling city life, the main island also boasts miles of coastal roads, hiking trails and a wide range of outdoor activities. Island-hopping and diving are popular activities on Con Dao Islands, where you can explore most of the uninhabited islets and spot various wildlife such as stingrays, barracudas, moray eels, and dugongs. Due to its status as a national park, you need to arrange your trip with Con Dao National Park Headquarters (29 Vo Thi Sau, Con Dao District, Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province). Read More...

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    3

    Cham Islands

    Central Vietnam
    Cham Island

    Cham Islands comprise 8 small islands off the coast of Hoi An, one which is a recognized UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Cu Lao Cham Marine Park attracts travellers looking to enjoy a day of scuba diving and snorkelling, while Hon Lao Island is where you can find fishing villages and pristine beaches that are great for sunbathing and water sports. The islands are about 30 minutes from Chua Dai Beach via express boat. If you’re planning on staying on Hon Lao Island, do note that tourists aren’t allowed to rent motorcycles to get around. Homestays (mostly located along Bai Chong Beach) are the most popular accommodation options on Cham Islands, but there are plenty of restaurants and dive centres that offer tent rentals for about VND 250,000 per night. Read More...

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    4

    Vung Tau Island

    South Vietnam

    Vung Tau Island is typically the first-choice seaside resort for the well-to-do in Vietnam. Many claim that it is the perfect getaway from the city and there is indeed a lot to do there. Options include swimming, snorkelling, and golfing. One of its most popular landmarks is Bach Dinh or Villa Blanche, which was built during the French occupation. When tides are low, travellers can walk to the neighbouring Hon Ba Island from Back Beach, where they can visit a quaint temple built that was built in 1781. Read More...

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    5

    Cat Ba Island

    North Vietnam
    Cat Ba Island

    Cat Ba Island is the largest island in Halong Bay, where you can find plenty of hotels, restaurants, and bars. Just about every tour company in Hanoi offers daily trips to the island, attracting travellers looking to enjoy a day of sightseeing during their holiday. Located off the coast of Hai Phong City, its beaches (named Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2) are great for sunbathing and swimming during the summer months. If you’re not a fan of crowds on the beach, you can rent a speedboat or kayak to Monkey Island and Lan Ha Bay, where the beaches are cleaner and quieter. Cat Ba Island is also home to a national park of the same name. While the majority of caves in Ha Long Bay are fitted with artificial lights, the grottoes within Cat Ba National Park are relatively natural so we highly recommend bringing necessary caving gear with you or engage with a local guide. Read More...

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    6

    Hon Tre Island

    Central Vietnam
    Hon Tre Island

    Hon Tre Island is best known for housing Vinpearl Amusement Park, where travellers can find a massive aquarium, amphitheatre, shopping mall, and a variety of rides. Another draw is Bai Tru Beach, located adjacent to the park. There’s an entrance fee of VND 1,100,000 which is inclusive of return speedboat transfers, buffet lunch, and access to the beach and swimming pool. Despite the massive development on the island, nature lovers can still enjoy a day of hiking on Hon Tre Mountain, while Bay Lagoon offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling town centre. Located 5 km east of Nha Trang, visitors can ride a cable car from Cau Da Wharf to Hon Tre Island, or travel there via a ferry, high-speed boat, car, and motorcycle. Read More...

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    7

    Ly Son

    Central Vietnam
    Ly Son Island

    Ly Son, located off the coast of Quang Ngai Province, is home to over 50 shrines and temples, sandy beaches, and garlic farms. You can travel to the main island of Ly Son via ferry from Cang Sa Ky, which costs VND 115,000 for a 1½ hour-long journey. Due to its remote location, it’s usually frequented by locals during the holidays. The island is known for its garlic fields, but you can enjoy a day of sightseeing as there are over 50 Buddhist temples and shrines that are easily reachable via motorcycle. There are also plenty of pristine beaches with affordable hotels and seafood restaurants. Popular landmarks include Chua Hang Pagoda and Dinh Liem Tu Temple, both of which offer breathtaking views of the ocean and town centre. If you’re travelling to Ly Son during the weekends, annual holidays and festivities, be sure to book your hotel well in advance. Read More...

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    8

    Ba Lua Islands

    South Vietnam
    Ba Lua Island

    Ba Lua Islands are a cluster of 45 islets off the coast of Kien Giang Province. Known as the Halong Bay of the South, only 10 of these limestone islands are home to local fishing villages. Hon Gieng, Hon Duoc and Hon Duong are closest to each other, resulting in a shallow bay. One of the popular activities here is to walk from one islet to another when the tide is low. There are also numerous caves on each islets, though we recommend exploring them with a local islander for safety reasons. Ba Lua Islands are relatively far from major cities in Vietnam, making them an ideal holiday destination amongst adventurous travellers looking to enjoy a secluded vacation.

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    9

    Nam Du

    South Vietnam
    Nam Du Island

    The Nam Du archipelago is about 40 km southeast of Phu Quoc Island, comprising 21 islands with colourful marine life and coral reefs, as well as expansive beaches and historical sites. Only 11 islets are inhabited and the main island of Hon Lon is where travellers can find the best hotels and restaurants. The main island also houses a lighthouse that stands 300 metres above sea level, while expansive beaches like Dat Do, Mam, Nhun, Men are popular spots for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Snorkelers and divers can join a day tour or charter a boat to the nearby Hon Dau Island, which is known for its thriving coral reefs and rare marine life. Do note that you need to have proper documentation when visiting Nam Du, including passport, visa, and a permit from Rach Gia immigration department. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which is between November and April.

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    10

    Binh Ba

    South Vietnam
    Binh Ba Island

    Binh Ba Island on Cam Ranh Bay features limestone caves and pristine beaches with colourful reef systems, as well as friendly locals, fresh seafood, and affordable accommodation. The best way to get there is by boat from Ba Ngoi Pier, which is 15 km southwest of Cam Ranh Airport. Boats depart daily between 07:00 and 16:00, with fares priced at VND 25,000 for a one-way trip. Popular beaches here include Nha Cu, Nom, and Chuong, where travellers can spend hours just lounging on the beach and enjoying a wide range of local specialities You can also rent a motorcycle for about VND 100,000 to explore Binh Ba Island’s mountainous roads. There are several lookout points along the way, where you can enjoy breathtaking sunset views of the sea and surrounding islets.

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