The best Vietnam island travel guide for an unparalleled holiday

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It is fortunate for Vietnam to have some of the most splendid islands in the world. Today, vietnamislands will bring you to a comprehensive Vietnam island travel guide for your holiday.

Cat Ba Islands

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island

When to visit Cat Ba

June and July are the best months due to comfortable weather of autumn in Cat Ba. However, there is a difference between domestic and foreign tourists. While domestic tourists often come to Cat Ba in summer and autumn (April to October), foreign travelers tend to love winter and spring (November to March).

How to get there

  • By motorboat

If you start from Hai Phong City, taking a motorboat will be an ideal way to save your time. Binh Station is the place you need to go and buy tickets from. It takes about 200,000 – 250,000 VND per ticket (about $8.8 – $11) and 45 minutes to get to Cat Ba.

  • By ferry-boat

Ferry-boat is available to help those with a private car. Although it takes 2-3 hours to arrive at the island, 4 times more than taking a motorboat, you will need to pay only 50,000 – 70,000 VND per person (about $2.2 – $3.8). Come to Dinh Vu Station if this means of transportation is your choice.

Where to go

  • Sea-bathing

It would be ashamed if you don’t take a sea-bath once in Cat Ba beaches. Three most famous ones are Cat Co 1, 2, and 3, which are very close to the center of the island. Cat Co 2 seems to attract the greatest number of tourists because of crystal clear blue water. It takes 10,000 VND per person (44 cents) to enter the beaches.

One notification from local travel guides for you is that you should go ashore before 6.30 pm. The tides can go high and waves can crash severely after that time.

  • Visiting Monkey Island

Its former name was Cat Dua (Pineapple Sand) due to a large number of wild pineapple trees found on the island. Today, the name Monkey Island is more familiar because 20 little monkeys often go down to the beach and play with travelers. Located on Lan Ha Bay of Cat Ba Islands, Monkey Island will be an unforgettable destination.

  • Cai Beo ancient fishing village

As one of the oldest fishing village in Vietnam, Cai Beo is very famous in Cat Ba Islands. The houses there are floated on the sea-water surface, making it easy for villagers to raise their farm. Unlike the crowded station in Lan Ha Bay, the village is very peaceful and lovely.

You should rent a boat and listen to the stories about Cai Beo village from the ferryman. You will see how wonderful the place is.

Ly Son Island

Ly Son Island

Clear blue water in Ly Son

When to visit Ly Son

The best time to come to Ly Son is from June to September. It is summer in Vietnam and almost sunny every day on the island.

How to get there

  • By motorboat

Before going to Ly Son by motorboat, which is located on Sa Ky Port, you need to get to Quang Ngai Province. There are three options to arrive there, including by plane, by train, and by coach. You can choose the means you want depending on your budget.

Where to go

  • Cave pagoda

The pagoda is situated on An Hai commune in Ly Son Island. It was built by one of the founders of An Hai commune thousands of years ago. The pagoda has such a strange name because it lies in one of the largest caves in Ly Son.

Under the gate of the temple, there is a skylight whose water is originated from underground. The moss and stalactites created by the skylight make the whole pagoda look mysterious and fabulous.

  • Mu Cu Island

If you want to watch the sunrise, this island will be a perfect place. About 3.2 kilometers (1 mile) away from the center of Ly Son Town, Mu Cu is right close to An Hai anchor. The island is beautiful due to exclusive black boulders overlapping one another.

However, things that are most attractive about the island are the quiet, peace, and excellent places to watch the sunrise. It is an appropriate place for anyone looking for a silent space and enjoying the nature.

  • Thoi Loi Mountaintop

Thoi Loi is the highest mountain on Ly Son Island and also an extinct volcano. The way to its mountaintop have relatively a lot of obstacles and difficulties. Although it is only 149 meters high and cannot be compared to Fansipan or Everest, the mountaintop is enough to horripilate the bravest ones.

But when getting to the top, all efforts will be paid. A freshwater lake will appear in the sunlight, combining with a herd of cows grazing on the meadows, make everything look like a magnificent oil painting. Try to get to the top and you will see.

Con Dao Island

Ca Map Cape

Ca map cape Con Dao

When to visit Con Dao

The first special thing that you should know about Con Dao is that you can visit it anytime in a year. From March to September, it is the rainy season. However, the rain never lasts longer than 1 hour and the weather is always fine. From October to February, although the waves are usually big, the West and South-West side of the island are appropriate for sea-bathing.

How to get there

  • By plane

If you start from Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho City, taking the direct airline of Vietnam Airlines will be an outstanding option. If you get going from Hanoi, you will need to transit in one of the previous cities. The flight often takes 55 minutes.

  • By sea

Taking a trip with a minimum budget is always on the top priorities of many people. And traveling by sea is a way to do that. To buy a boat ticket to Ben Dam harbor on Con Dao Island, you will need to get to Cat Lo harbor in Vung Tau City. 350,000 VND per ticket ($15.4) is the money you need to pay.

Nevertheless, there might be a chance that you will have seasick while staying on the boat, especially from September to March. So prepare yourself.

Where to go

  • Dam Trau Beach

Considered the most staggering beach on the island, Dam Trau is 12 kilometers away from Co Ong airport. The place is famous for its pearl white seashore, soft sand, and unique primeval forests. Therefore, tourists can choose to sea bath, sightsee, or particularly, scuba-diving to see coral reefs. It will be a brand new experience for risk-takers.

  • Con Dao prison

Con Dao has a system of prisons, built by the French in wartime to keep Vietnamese soldiers under their watch. The most popular cell room in the system was the “Tiger Prison,” which is also the fiercest one. To have deeper understandings on Vietnamese history and character, visiting Con Dao prison is an exceptionally good way.

  • Suoi Nong Beach

This is another magnificent beach on Con Dao Island. Its difference from Dam Trau Beach is that travelers do not come here to sea-bath. They come to visit a remarkable mangrove forest, which is not easy to be found in other islands. If you want to try rowing a boat and take a look at one of the most exclusive marine ecology in Vietnam, Suoi Nong Beach is always welcomed.

Phu Quoc Island

Sunrise on Phu Quoc

Sunrise on Phu Quoc

When to visit Phu Quoc

Similar to Con Dao Island, Phu Quoc weather is beautiful all year round because the average temperature is always approximately 28 Celsius degrees. Nonetheless, Phu Quoc is the most stunning in the dry season, which is from October and March. And the most important thing is to keep track of the weather forecast to pick the best time to go.

How to get there

  • By plane

Traveling by air is a recommended means of transportation in this situation. Again, Vietnam Airlines will be your best friend because it is the only brand having a direct flight from almost anywhere in the South Vietnam. It will take about 50 minutes to get to Phu Quoc Island.

  • By motorboat

If you have time to spare, hitting the road on a motorboat seems so fantastic. You will have to wait for over 2 hours before taking the first steps on the island. The price for a person is about 320,000 VND (about $14). There is an air-conditioner and high-tech television that they want to tall around the world. The staff on the boats are always willing to help passengers when they meet difficulties.

Where to go

  • Bai Sao Beach

Bai Sao is one of the most spectacular beaches on Phu Quoc Island. The place has an over 7-kilometer white and curved seashore. Looking from above, you will see how it is similar to a moon on the wane. Bai Sao Beach is always crowded with tourists in the afternoon so coming at early times will be better for you.

  • Coi Nguon Museum

You will not want to bypass the place if you love history. The museum keeps “the soul” of Phu Quoc Island. Every piece of the stories about the island will be revealed when you come to the museum. There are over 3000 antiques are being preserved there. 300 of them are precious bibliographies about Phu Quoc, written in Chinese character, Vietnamese, English, and French.

  • Dinh Cau Cape

This is a common tourist site that no one wants to ignore. The cape has an odd shape, which is totally created by Mother Nature and concealed by the ocean. There is an ancient sacred temple on the cape with a pair of flying dragons on its roof. They make the temple even more beautiful and stunning.

We hope that this Vietnam island travel guide has satisfied you. And we also wish that you would have to most incredible holiday next time you come to Vietnam.

Best Vietnam tour for couples

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Granted with enthralling landscapes from mountains to islands and beaches, Vietnam must be on the top destinations to go on your honeymoon tour. Here are some places that vietnamislands thinks you should visit on the honeymoon tour.

 

Valley of Love in Da Lat

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Da Lat – the city of Love and Flowers

Located about 5km to the northeast of the heart of the city of Da Lat, the Valley of Love is one of the poetic beauty sites and always draws a large number of travelers, especially couples from different corners of the country and from abroad. What makes the Valley of Love in Da Lat an ideal place for dating? It is the great combination of year-round cool and pure weather and romantic setting created by Da Thien Lake and the pine forests that are always covered with green as well as a lot of entertainment activities.

The Valley of Love in Da Lat is considered as a symbol of love for all the challenges it surpassed in the past to gain its rightful name today. The Valley of Love was first called Vallée D’amour by the French in the 1930s before being renamed to The Valley of Peace under Bao Dai time. But it was not until 1953 that its name of was changed into Vietnamese name Thung Lung Tinh Yeu, which exists until today.

 The Valley of Love

The Valley of Love

On being asked about the reason why they choose the Valley of Love in Da Lat as a must-visit destination on their Vietnam honeymoon, most newlyweds will eagerly tell you about the unspoiled but impressive scenic sight. The Valley of Love gracefully nestles against tiny streams, lush green lawns and rolling hills with endless evergreen pine forest all year round.

Not only does it create favorable conditions for flowers flourishing, the mild climate in the little Paris in Vietnam also makes it easier for you to have many unforgettable memories with your beloved one. What can be better than walking hand in hand admiring the poetic of this valley, surveying the beauty of shining waterfall, and talking about your future? Besides, the 140-ha Valley of Love is a great place for camping, and teambuilding, ancient trains and paint-gun fights, or horseriding, jeep excursions, motorized and paddle boats on the lake. These amazing activities are designed to be meaningful and appropriate for the couples’ beautiful time in the city of flowers, of mystery and of love.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc

If you want to spend your honeymoon in a tranquil, romantic environment away from the hustle and bustle of the modern life, Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam is the first idea to come up. The “pearl island” of Vietnam is always on the top destinations for couples in Vietnam for its irresistible classic beauty, a wide range of interesting activities, tempting seafood dishes, and the hospitality of the Islanders.

Stroll hand in hand along the deserted beach, laze around on the beach in a private space with white sands, calm seas, and warm waters; chill out in a hammock; have a one-of-a-kind dinner in a romantic ambiance under the starlight, Phu Quoc has all you can imagine about a honeymoon on this tropical island.

If you are feeling adventurous, there are many hidden spots around the island to explore as well as uncountable exciting activities to take part in such as diving and snorkeling to discover the marine life around the island, go fishing around the north or the southern An Thoi Archipelago, experience hiking and climbing 99 mountains from north to south, and a Jeep tour to survey the north, the south, and the whole island.

Best time to travel Vietnam

Phu Quoc island

Phu Quoc is beautiful all year round

Though the islands of Phu Quoc in the far south can be visited year-round, the period from December to April is considered as the best time to visit. At this time, the weather is sunny and dry and the seas are so calm and unruffled making it perfect for any outdoor activities. The dry and cold weather in Da Lat from November to May creates favorable conditions to enjoy this lovely town to its fullest.

If Da Lat is where you can find yourselves in the world of colorful flowers, Phu Quoc is where you two can immerse yourselves in a private space away from the noise.

Whatever kind of holiday you picture as a perfect romantic getaway, Phu Quoc Island, which is full of breathtaking landscapes and Da Lat – the little Paris of Vietnam are the best places for couples to travel together.

Snorkeling and where to dive in Vietnam

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The summer is coming. In summer, more and more people take Vietnam tailor-made tour to travel to Vietnam for their vacation in order to enjoy the cool blue water. Besides swimming, snorkeling is also a popular underwater activity in Vietnam.

1. How to dive?

Snorkelling is an outdoor activity, an aquatic sport. There are two forms of diving with scuba diving equipment and diving without free diving equipment. Not only does diving require proper breathing, but also a deep concentration exercise to control the body in the flow of water.

Snorkeling is an exciting way to explore undersea life, which is free to move freely without space. As you get used to diving, the underwater body relaxes a lot, the player does not feel the movement is heavy.

2. Who can dive?

For scuba diving or free diving, it requires the player to have a certificate. This certificate must be an international one, with many different levels that allow divers to access different depths.

In addition, if you want to dive (for those who do not have a certificate) even do not know how to swim, you can still dive. Because every diver will be accompanied by a coach. The instructor will keep the pitcher, the swimmer's guide to allow the player to visit the allowed areas. Or you can use a snorkel dive in near and secure areas. 

3. Where to go for snorkeling in Vietnam

Nature has given Vietnam a lot of beautiful beaches and bays. There is also a great variety of plant and animal species, especially the beauty of coral reefs. Taking part in diving activities to explore the ocean is one of the most wonderful experiences of visitors. Con Dao, Phu Quoc, Cu Lao Cham, Vinh Hy Bay, Nha Trang are the best places in Vietnam to snorkel waiting for visitors to explore.

Con Dao

Con Dao

Con Dao

Con Dao is considered as the most beautiful coral reef view of Vietnam. It's worth to go snorkeling during your tailor-made tour in Vietnam. There are 16 islands and a unique ecosystem here. You will have wonderful moments to explore the ocean, admire the beauty of the sea plants. Especially the coral is outstanding. You can watch rare sea animals such as sea turtles, dugong. The best snorkeling places in Con Dao are Bay Canh, Con Son bay, Tai island, Cau island. The best time to dive in Con Dao is from March to September every year.

Nha Trang

Many visitors travel Nha Trang join the diving tour exploring it every year. Naturally, this region is endowed with beautiful coral reefs and hundreds of plant and animal species. The most beautiful snorkeling destination in Nha Trang Bay is Mun, the first marine protected area in our country. There are also many diving attractions such as Tam island, Monkey Island, etc.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang

Cu Lao Cham

The 5,000 hectare of the marine protected area in Cu Lao Cham includes 165 hectares of coral reef and 500 hectares of seagrass beds with many kinds of marine species. There are also more than 200 species of fish, including many in the Vietnam Red List of Threatened Species. It is a popular diving destination attracts the participation of the native and also foreigner visitors. At Cham Island, there are three famous diving sites: Tai, Hon, and Long. People can dive from 5 to 7 meters to explore the beauty of the ocean here.

Cu Lao Cham

Cu Lao Cham

Vinh Hy Bay

Being one of the four most beautiful bays in Vietnam, Vinh Hy Bay is a great destination for those who love natural scenery especially snorkeling activities. The sea in Vinh Hy is green all year around with more than 300 species of coral. Due to the beautiful coral reefs, this place becomes an ideal destination for exploring the beauty of the ocean. Tourists will follow local tour guides to go snorkeling.

Vinh Hy Bay

Vinh Hy Bay

Phu Quoc

The final destination to snorkel suggested in Vietnam tailor-made tour is Phu Quoc. The island is not only famous for its beautiful beaches but also attractive to tourists by its very own beauty. Nothing better than explore the beauty of the coral reefs with different shapes, or fish with impressive colors. Visitors will have more new experiences when participating in diving trips here. Phu Quoc has many places for diving such as An Thoi archipelago, Thom island, Ganh Dau island, Cua Can island, May Rut island, etc.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc

Top ‘rising stars’ in tourism in Central Vietnam

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Central Vietnam has so many beautiful destinations to visit, from stunning beaches to ancient lovely towns. Hue ancient capital city, Hoi An ancient town, Nha Trang and Da Nang city are the very well-known places in your Central Vietnam tour.

However, besides those famous names, there are a lot of other great destinations in Central Vietnam that you should visit. So, let’s make a Vietnam private tour to Central Vietnam with these top new destinations:

Quang Ngai

Ly Son Island

Ly Son Island

Located in South Central Coast, Quang Ngai has stunning beaches which are as beautiful as beaches in Nha Trang or Da Nang. Sa Huynh, My Khe, Le Thuy and Minh Tan are four best beaches in Quang Ngai. The beaches here are featured with blue clear water and long white sand. Also, Sa Huynh beach is a large area of making salt. You can experience how local people produce salt on the beach which is quite unique and amazing.

Quang Ngai has an island which has been very famous among tourists recently. It is Ly Son Island. Ly Son is located about 30 km from the mainland. The island impresses tourists with stunning beaches, immense garlic field and amazing coral reef in Small Island (Dao Be).

If you are interested in historical exploration, Quang Ngai is the one for you. Quang Ngai used to be a very harsh battlefield in the war. Therefore, there are so many relics still maintained in here. You can visit My Son Memorial where memorizes the victims of the My Son Massacre, Pham Van Dong Memorial where honors one of the leading leaders of Vietnam, Chau Sa ancient city – the old kingdom of Cham people, etc.

Phu Yen

Da Dia Rapid

Da Dia Rapid

Located in South Central Coast, Phu Yen is a destination that you should consider when you travel to Central Vietnam. If you don’t want the crowd and bustle of Nha Trang, Phu Yen is the best choice for you, especially when you want to make a private tour in Vietnam. Phu Yen has both gorgeous beaches and breathtaking natural landscapes. Dai Lanh Cape is the first place in Vietnam bathed in morning sunlight. Witnessing the glow of dawn in a picturesque spectacle of Dai Lanh Cape is one of the unforgettable experiences in your life. Standing on the lighthouse, you can see the fantastic view of the ocean, featured by fishing ships, imposing rocks and beautiful blue water.

Next to Dai Lanh Cape is a beautiful pristine beach called Bai Mon. Bai Mon beach is protected by Mui Nay cape in the North and Mui Dien cape in the South, with the seashore of over 400 meters long, characterized by white and smooth sand, blue and clear water as well as gentle waves. Particularly, Bai Mon has a small freshwater spring, lying behind cliffs and the old-growth forest North Deo Ca, creating an outstanding landscape.

You can enjoy the Spitting Pit (Vuc Phun) in the superb mountainous and forestry view, forming a poetic landscape. There are a lot of interesting activities such as learning about the ecology, mountain climbing, stream baths, camping….

Da Dia Rapid (Ghenh Da Dia), located in An Ninh Dong commune, Tuy An district, is one-of-a-kind landscape in Vietnam. It is strangely structured rocks include large upright stones equally arranged in a star pattern. In a general view, this unique terrain looks like a giant beehive or thousands of stone plates arranged side by side. This place is completely pristine and inhabited. You can walk on the stones, watch the whole view of the sea, go fishing or catch the cellana under the stones. This destination should be a highlight of your Vietnam private tour.

Nghe An

Pu Mat National Park

Pu Mat National Park

Nghe An is actually a very new destination on the Vietnam tourist map. It is located in Northern part of Central Vietnam, about 300 km from Hanoi. Nghe An is the home of President Ho Chi Minh. Coming to Nghe Anm you can visit Kim Lien where President Ho Chi Minh was born and had a peaceful childhood.

Nghe An is also well-known for Pu Mat National Park where is the home to thousand species and a lot of them are very rare. The beauty of Pu Mat is pristine and untouched. You can take a boat tour going along Giang River to visit amazing sceneries and explore a diverse flora and fauna system. Besides, Pu Mat also has Khe Kem waterfall, Nuoc Moc stream where you can set camp to enjoy the wildlife and try local food.

Nghe An has a famous beach which is called Cua Lo beach. The beach attracts a great number of domestic tourists in summer because of its blue clean water and smooth sloped sand.

In the end of November, Nghe An draws a lot of attention from tourists because it has the immense blossom sunflower field which is very stunning.

Those destinations are still new for international tourists. So, if you are quite bored with other famous destinations, let’s consider these three in your Vietnam private tour to Central Vietnam.

If you are busy, there is only one Northern Vietnam island that you need to visit

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Vietnam is a beautiful country with many spectacular islands. That’s definitely a good thing, but for tourists who have limited time to stay, they would be baffled as to what island deserves a visit. Here I’m providing you with an answer: Cat Ba island in Hai Phong. Let’s see why!

The beautiful Cat Ba island

The beautiful Cat Ba island

About Cat Ba island

Cat Ba island, situated to the south of Halong Bay is a part of Cat Ba archipelago in Hai Phong Province, Vietnam.

The island has been recognized by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in the world. Cat Ba’s tourism potential was seen years ago with the number of visitors coming increasing every year. Therefore, the infrastructure is quite developed with many hotels, guesthouses, resorts, pagodas and especially the whole island has been equipped with free wifi.

Cat Ba is a charming and enchanting island. Located approximately 70 meters above sea level, the island consists of Cat Ba town and 6 villages: Gia Luan, Hien Hao, Phu Long, Tran Chau, Viet Hai and Xuan Dam.

How to get to Cat Ba?

  • Not all Vietnam islands are easy to reach. Bach Long Vi, for example, is over 100 km from the mainland. Thus if you travel to the island by fishing vessel, it will take you no less than 7 hours. Plus, you’ll be very tired because of the long distance. Traveling to Cat Ba, on the contrary, is a piece of cake.
  • By bus: You can choose Hoang Long bus, which starts at Luong Yen bus station to Cat Ba town with the package price of about 200 000 VND per visitor. The buses depart at 5:20 am, 7:20 am, 11:20 am and 13:20 am every day.
  • By personal car: From Hanoi, you can drive straight to Hai Phong city. Then get to Dinh Vu wharf and take a ferry to Cat Hai, Cat Ba. The ferry is active every 1 hour from 5 am to 5 pm. Tip: If you want to go fast, pick a small ferry.
  • You can also go on a train to Hai Phong then a high-speed boat that runs every 2 hours to Cat Ba.
  • At present, if you travel from Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang, you can go by plane to Hai Phong airport then get to Binh wharf to reach Cat Ba.
  • Travelling from Halong Bay, another famous tourist attraction of Vietnam, to Cat Ba, is also easy.

Inside a boat to Cat Ba island

Inside a boat to Cat Ba island

Now you see, coming to Cat Ba will make your Vietnam cruise relaxing.

What to do there?

Now you’re on the island. So what are some activities that you can do to explore Cat Ba?

I suggest that first, you should go to the beach. There are beaches that are not too big but they are clean and peaceful enough for a leisure time.

The beautiful Stock One beach

The beautiful Stock One beach

Then, you may try climbing mountains. This is surely a favorite activity of tourists who love to challenge themselves.

After that, visit Cat Ba National Park. As a World Biosphere Reserve, Cat Ba National Park has a variety of flora and fauna and a pristine nature. You may hike in the forest and cycle along the forest road.

Langurs in Cat Ba National Park

Langurs in Cat Ba National Park

Next, move on to visit the caves. Attractive caves include Da Hoa Cave, Trung Trang Cave, Quan Y Cave.

There is also a monkey island to visit. This place is especially suitable for young children. Besides, you can go to Cat Dua beach, which is absolutely clean and safe.

Last but not least, go diving! There are red coral reefs with many precious marine species such as abalone, pearl, dragon shrimp and colourful fish. Try once, then you may want to try once more time!

Fantastic diving in Cat Ba island

Fantastic diving in Cat Ba island

Cat Ba is such a wonderful island to visit. Travel there and you’ll get one of the best experiences ever!

 

Discover Con Dao through Con Dao tours 3 days 2 nights

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When you want to choose a place to visit for your holidays, Con Dao tours is one of the best choices. Whether it is a long journey or just a 3day tour, you also get an unforgettable memory in your life.

The first day: from Ho Chi Minh City to Con Dao Islands.

Tourist buses and tour guides will pick tourists up at the meeting place. Then, the tourist company will guide people to Tan Son Nhat Airport to take the flight which will land at about 10 or 11 a.m in Con Dao. Going to this place, tourist will be introduced to the general information about this island town and listen to subtitles about some famous destinations such as Co Ong Village, Lo Voi, Hang Keo, Bay Canh Island and some other places.

Tourists will have lunch at noon and have enough time to take a nap in the hotel after a long trip.

In the afternoon, tourist group will depart to visit Nui Mot mountain or also known by the name “Van Son Tu”. It is a famous architecture in Con Dao with the unique location so it is an indispensable destination to visit in your Con Dao holiday tour.

Van Son Tu in Con Dao

Van Son Tu in Con Dao

Tourists can have a chance to contemplate the natural beauty of some well-liked landscapes including Con Dao town, An Hai lake, Con Son bay, Love Peak from the very high view. Also, you can visit memorial monument where there was the biggest weaponed breakout in the past.

The next plan is to look at Ben Dam harbor. It is located in Ben Dam bay and its beauty is made from a wide range of imposing cliffs and small islands surrounding. It has a long bridge leading to where canoes park.

Tourists will learn about how people can culture pearls in pearl area. Especially, you can have a luck to hold in your hand some of the greatest pearls in Con Dao. Tourists come back to the hotel, take rest and enjoy their afternoon meal in the luxurious restaurant in Con Dao

If you are thinking about what to do in Con Dao at night, you can wander on the street on their own, nibble a cup of coffee and enjoy the fresh atmosphere.

Con Dao at night

Con Dao at night

The second day: a legendary Con Dao discovered by Con Dao tours.

Tourists will have breakfast at the restaurant and prepare for their next trip.

Tourist group will visit Island Lord Palace. It is the main accommodation of island lords through many generations. Phu Hai prison is the following place to visit. It is an ancient prison built by French colonialists. Also, they created French Tiger Cages with a special construction. It includes some famous places such as rice vaults, political prisons, laboring areas “Con Lon” and so on. It was built in a solid way to be a zigzagging labyrinth and distract political prisoners. At this place, tourists can visit and listen to the description of tortures for our politicians. It is extremely cruel and bloody.

Political prison in Con Dao

Political prison in Con Dao

Then, tourists will have lunch at the familiar restaurant and move to the hotel to relax.

The next expedition will be taken by using tourist buses. Tourist guides will introduce tourists to Dam Trau Beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Con Dao. On the way to this place, tourists can visit Lady Phi Yen Temple. It is a famous place to commemorate Lady Phi Yen who was the wife of Nguyen Anh Lord. When coming to the destination, you will get seats and beach umbrellas from resort staff. After that, they will serve you a plenty of seafood fished by villagers in Co Ong village. Besides, going to this place is a good time for you to explore Nho Beach. It is a small beautiful beach nearby Dam Trau beach and you can swim or bathe in the fresh current of water if you want.

Tourist group comes back to the hotel for dinner and they can comfortably explore Con Dao at night.

The third day: from Con Dao to Ho Chi Minh city

Tourists will have breakfast, take rest and swim freely in the morning.

Tourist group returns to the hotel to check-out. Tourist buses will drop tourists off to Con Son Airport.

Tourists will have to do some necessary formalities for their flight to Tan Son Nhat Airport. Tour guides say thank you and goodbye to tourists.

A peaceful beach in Con Dao

A peaceful beach in Con Dao

Vietnam group tour – an unforgettable journey to the luminous Coto Islands

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If you are searching for an escape where you are all on your own, then this journey is probably not meant for you. It is always said to be an exciting feeling traveling, discovering and conquering something by yourself.

However, the fun only begins when someone shares his victory with the others. This time, pack your bags and get ready for a three-day-two-night journey to the promising Coto with your mates.

1. Coto – the symphony of the blue sea

Have you ever fancied lying somewhere on this Earth, empty head, and hearing only the sounds of wind and waves? Have you ever felt the moment when you stand there, among earth and sky, feel like touching the horizon right in between? Whatever the sensation is, it will always be something that we carve in our remembrance. There is no recall of when Coto has so much been mentioned in the books, in some lines of a poem or in a literate piece of some famous literate pieces as something to be treasured. Yet, the beauty of Coto is incomparable to an extent.

Coto’s view to the horizon

Coto’s view to the horizon

Silently nestling in the Northeastern sea of Vietnam, Coto is indeed an ideal getaway for the sun-seekers. When mentioning of Quảng Ninh, most people will call the name of Halong Bay instinctively and naturally, and it seems that Coto has been left somewhere in the middle of the road even it lies just 80 kilometers from Halong Bay to the East of Quảng Ninh Province. If saying Coto is an island, it will be untrue. More exactly, it is an archipelago of different islands such as The Big Coto (Cô Tô Lớn), The Small Coto (Cô Tô Nhỏ) and Thanh Lân with beautiful beaches such as Vàn Chảy, Hồng Vàn, Bắc Vàn and so on.

2. Travel plan for a group tour to Coto

There are various types of group tours in Northern Vietnam, but group tour to Coto from a few years back has grown dramatically. This is also very reasonable because Coto has always been listed in the top islands in Northern Vietnam. Usually, people go to Coto in a group of 6 to 10 persons and rarely travel separately. Basically, there is this fact because Coto usually offers great promotions and services that only by traveling in a group can you enjoy to the best of them. For this reason, most people when finding to Coto alone will be for the reason of business.

Funny moment with the sisterhood in Coto

Funny moment with the sisterhood in Coto

Below is the suggested itinerary for backpackers who travel on their own without a tour operator. For visitors who prefer to go in tour, there will be many tour operators for you to choose from that offer great promotion and only cost you from 3.000.000vnd per person for the whole trip.

How to get to Coto from Hanoi?

Before you start your trip, you should know that usually, a trip from Hanoi to Coto takes about half a day. In addition, because Coto is an archipelago so you will need to travel by boats or ships to get there in time. The departure time of these cruises is also very tight, sometimes there are just two trips or even one at a day so you really need to be prepared yourself for unexpected inconvenience or miscalculation.

From Hanoi, you can get to Coto in two ways and either way, it will still take you at least 4 – 5 hours to arrive at the harbor before entering Coto. Because it is a long journey which requires you to have a smart calculation of time, therefore, we advise that you start traveling from Hanoi at 7:00 or sooner.

The first way is to catch the bus from Mỹ Đình or Lương Yên Station to get to Cẩm Phả, Cửa Ông. Usually, between each trip, there will be an interval of 15 – 30 minutes. From Cẩm Phả, you must catch another bus to Vân Đồn (Bãi Cháy) or also known as Ngã Ba Vân Đồn (Vân Đồn Three-way Crossroad). As you arrive at Vân Đồn, remember to take the local bus with the sign “Cái Rồng” to get to Cái Rồng Harbor. If you do not want to stay at the harbor overnight, it is recommended that you should arrive at Vân Đồn before 13:00 because that last speedboat trip and wooden boat trip are at 13:00. As you get to Cái Rồng Harbour, take one of these boat trips to Cô Tô Islands. The water-way trip will take about 1 hour for speedboats and approximately 3 hours for the normal ones.

Hoang Long Coach

Hoang Long Coach

If you want to save your budget, it is better to use this second way. From Hanoi, you can get directly to Vân Đồn without traveling through Cẩm Phả. You can choose either Mỹ Đình Station from which the coaches will depart at about 6:30, and Lương Yên Station where the coaches depart at 17:00. However, it is advisory that you take the 6:30 trip to arrive in time without spending the night at the harbor. From Vân Đồn you can catch the local bus with the sign “Cái Rồng” as above or if you travel by bus, remind the driver to drop you at Vân Đồn Post Office (Bưu Điện Vân Đồn). At the post, you can catch another bus or xe ôm with 10.000vnd or even travel on foot to the harbor which is located about 1.5 km from there.

Kumho Viet Thanh Coach to Bai Chay

Kumho Viet Thanh Coach to Bai Chay

From the harbor, you can travel by speedboats or normal boats, but the speedboat is still recommended because it is faster though it can cost you a little bit more. The speedboat usually departs in the time range from 13:00 to 13:30 and the fee is around 200.000 per ride. With the normal boat, there will be two trips at 6:30 and 13:00 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and only one trip at 6:30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with the fee of 110.000vnd per person. Therefore, it is advisory that you travel on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday so the time will not be too tight.

Manh Quang speedboat

Manh Quang speedboat

Notes: As mentioned above, if you want to save your budget, choose the second way. Usually, a trip from Hanoi to Cửa Ông takes you about 150.000vnd while traveling directly from Hanoi to Vân Đồn just costs you about 120.000vnd. Not to mention, when you get to Cửa Ông, you still have to take another bus which can cost more to get you to Vân Đồn.  

You can choose from a range of credible coach operators such as Hoàng Long and Kumho Việt Thanh with high-quality 45-seat coaches.

Your main vehicle at Coto will be motorbike or bicycle you make sure that you bring along your driving license.

In general, a one way trip from Hanoi to Coto can cost you around 400.000vnd so you should spend your budget wisely.

Itinerary for a 3-day trip to Coto

If you depart at 7:00 then you will probably arrive at Coto at 14:00 or 14:30 if you travel by speedboat which departs at 13:00. The first thing you must do before officially starting your journey of exploring the islands will be check-in. As we have mentioned in many previous posts, you should always book your room before traveling 1 month or 2 weeks in order to get the preferential price and avoiding running out of rooms. Coto offers a wide range of accommodations so you can check it out on the Internet.

The interesting Coto Lodge

The interesting Coto Lodge

There is a little reminder that there is no actual “resort” in Coto, yet. However, you can still enjoy some great places which are designed to bring a “resort-feel” such as Coto Lodge which brings you the feel of Hawaii or Coto Life which is a kind of “mini-resort”. A few high-quality hotels to be mentioned are Green Coto, Khánh Linh, Hải Âu and so on. Coto also offers homestays with cheap price from 150.000vnd/ night so if you want to tighten your belt, you should stay in a homestay.

At this post, we will not go into details about where you should stay but will give you a referential itinerary to look through.

First day

After you have all done with the check-in procedure, it is time to start digging up the place!

Visiting Hồng Vàn Beach

If you have never heard of Coto, then you will be amazed at its extreme wilderness hidden among the blue waves of the most astounding seas. It is not exaggerating at all when saying Hồng Vàn is going to blow your mind away with its mysterious beauty of the charming blue water and the sandy coastline.

Hong Van – the unspeakable beauty

Hong Van – the unspeakable beauty

Hồng Vàn is tranquil, silent and graceful from dawn till dusk. Located to the East of Coto, Hồng Vàn is the true wonder made of the wild nature. What can be better than after a whole long trip to the destination, safe and sound, now you are lying on the beautiful Hồng Vàn, hands in hands with your dear friends?

After you have done with the sea, it must have been dawn now. You can either stay a little while to admire the beautiful Hồng Vàn at dawn when the sun sets or get back to your hotel and get ready for a seaside dinner.

Eating seafood by the shore

If you have been fed up with eating at your hotel or at the restaurants, a seaside dinner with fresh seafood will not be a bad idea. If you walk along the way, you will find yourself among very many seafood restaurants by the shore.

Dinner by the sea

Dinner by the sea

However, you must consider carefully which one to choose from because some restaurants may not include the official price in their menu. Usually, the price will be based on the kilogram of the seafood that you have chosen but it often costs only from 150.000vnd per person. When choosing seafood, it will be better that you choose something like oysters, arcas, barnacles because they are cheap, easy to eat and always fresh.

Night riding around the town

Finish your dinner? It is time to have a few rides around the town! Coto at night is always crowded and exciting. The sleepless Coto is always full of amazement that you wish to explore. This night, spend your time riding on a couple bicycle with your friends around the town to see how life is going on in the beautiful island.

The legendary “triple-seat bicycle”

The legendary “triple-seat bicycle”

The rental price often ranges from 20.000 – 30.000vnd per bicycle and there may also be renting time limit. For example, you can only rent the bike for 1 hour, if your riding time exceeds the limit, you will have to pay more.

Second day

After such a good night sleep, now you must be so excited to discover the whole island. On the second day, you should get up early, maybe at 7:00, to be able to visit as many destinations as possible before it comes the last day.

Having breakfast in the town

Before going anywhere, do not forget your yummy breakfast. There are many restaurants or food stalls in the town that serves delicious breakfast with a cheap price. You can choose from a wide range of breakfast dishes that Vietnamese usually have such as the sticky rice (xôi), phở, bánh mỳ, Donerkebab with the price ranges just from 10.000 – 30.000vnd.

A normal Doner kebab in Vietnam

A normal Doner kebab in Vietnam

Notes: Remember to ask for the price if they do not include it in the menu before you decide to order. If you feel that they are not being honest, do not be afraid to choose another restaurant. Usually, a portion of xôi costs from 5.000 – 10.000vnd; if it is the whole dish with simmered meat, eggs, and some vegetables, the price can range to 30.000vnd. A bowl of phở will usually cost 30.000vnd, some places can sell at a slightly higher price but it is still acceptable. A doner kebab or also known as “bánh mỳ tam giác” often costs from 20.000 – 25.000vnd and bánh mỳ is just 10.000 – 20.000vnd

Visiting Coto’s lighthouse station

Being one of thirty “eyes of the sea” in Vietnam, Coto’s lighthouse station is the must-visit in Coto. Built in the 19th century, the lighthouse until now is still working properly and become one of the most brilliant tourist attractions of Coto archipelago.

Coto’s lighthouse station from below

Coto’s lighthouse station from below

To get to the lighthouse, it seems like an impossible mission. First, you will have to cross a narrow and crooked slope then keep climbing 72 steps of stairs in order to get to the top. As soon as you are there, everything seems small below your feet. Now, it is only you and the whole sky. The island, the town, the sea and every red rooftop are all there, calmly and still, for you to contemplate.

Dropping by Cầu Mỵ Stonefield

After you have enjoyed your moment at the lighthouse, it is time to get to Cầu Mỵ Stonefield. If you have come to Coto, Cầu Mỵ is something that you should not miss. Situated to the North of The Big Coto, Cầu Mỵ looks like a natural wonder with thousands of stones and stone cliff eroded and smoothed by the ocean for thousands of years. The stones just lie there, layers by layers on one another. Each layer bears a different form and color, forming a vividly look and perfectly gorgeous painting that one could ever see.

Hand in hand on The Love Road

As you leave Cầu Mỵ Stonefield, it would be by noon. You can have your lunch at any restaurant that you want, but because you are now not in town so you can choose a restaurant by the sea. After you finish the meal, it is time to check out the Love Road. This is definitely where the lovers love. What can you expect from a Love Road? The romantic sensation as if in a Korean drama of course!

The romantic Love Road

The romantic Love Road

Located 100m from the town center of Coto, the 2-kilometer Love Road brings the feeling of a tranquil place with the evergreen lines of poplar trees which seem to unwind to the infinity. Envision holding your lover’s hand and walking along the road and whispering little nothing to each other’s ears, what can be more wonderful than that?

Discovering Ho Chi Minh Reservative House

Situated in Area 3 in Coto Town, Ho Chi Minh Reservative House is always on the bucket list of travelers when coming to Coto. The whole Reservative House is a complex of different features including the monument, the memorial stele, and the main house. Built in 1968 and restored in 1975, this is the only place allowed by Ho Chi Minh himself to situate his statue.

Joining the most exciting BBQ party by the sea

At the time you get back to your stay, it must be late. You should get a nice rest in your hotel and get ready for the biggest event of the night – the fantastic BBQ party! Usually, there will be a BBQ party by the shore held by the host of the resort nearby.

You can either join or go to the market to buy some ingredients and rent the kitchenware to throw the party with your friends. It is always exciting when going to the beach in group because there will be a lot of fun doing exciting things together such as camping overnight.

Third day

This is your last day on Coto. The journey now has almost come to an end and there is not much left to see. However, there are still some things that you should definitely do before going back home.

Admiring sunrise in Coto

Seeing the sunrise in Coto must be one of the most wonderful things that one could ever dream of. It is not natural that the literator Nguyễn Tuân has mentioned of this scene as the most treasurable moment that he had ever had in life. What can be more beautiful than watching the sunrise with your friends? However, do not forget to set your alarm!

Checking out The Small Coto

Since it is still early, you can have quick breakfast such as bánh mỳ bought in the town and start your day by checking out the Small Coto. The uninhabited island seems to still keep all its most natural state until this very moment. From your place, you can rent a boat to the island.

A corner of the gorgeous Small Coto

A corner of the gorgeous Small Coto

Usually, it will take about half an hour and cost you from 600.000 – 800.000vnd per person to get to The Small Coto. It may seem expensive but you will definitely regret it if you do not drop by this place once before you leave.

Bringing some gifts home

Muc mot nang after being cooked

Muc mot nang after being cooked

This time, you should get back now. However, before you return home, do not forget to bring some souvenirs or specialties as gifts to your friends and family. For Coto, there is nothing much except for some seafood. You can buy some of these home or you can also buy dried squids, which are absolutely delicious. For Coto, the best squid is still “mực một nắng” or “one-sun squid” if translated word by word.

 

 

Con Dao tour- A great experience, right?

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Con Dao is famous for its beautiful pristine beaches, white sand that is really charming. In addition, the air on the island is very fresh, is like a resort paradise, is a great destination for those who want to hide" noisy, bustling in the city. Con Dao tour is really a way to enjoy your life.

Con Dao Prison

Con Dao Prison

Con Dao used to know as a historical place in Vietnam. But today, it is more well-known for being the top tourist destination among many Vietnam islands, due to the fact that this place has the beautiful beaches and wildlife diversity. The beauty of Con Dao has made many hearts tumor and compensation. Therefore, a travel to Con Dao island will give you chance to have experience in a more poetic life. Here are the top things to do in Con Dao.
You must have heard a lot of time about Vietnam war. Con Dao is a special place with cruel, painful images, was once described as "hell on earth". The detention of the colonial regime makes you feel dizzy, savage with emotions that are hard to describe. The so call cows or tigers rooms are the places where French colonialists and the American empire had built for the purpose of carrying out revolutionary soldiers of the time. Just visiting a few works also will make you savage with the name the hell on earth.

Con Dao beach

Con Dao beach

But this place is also famous for having excellent views and beautiful beaches. While witnessing the vitality of revolutionary soldiers have given you the opportunity to understand more about the history of Vietnam, beautiful beach and view of this place can help you to relax and enjoy your life more. Not only the name "paradise on earth" but also a convergence of beauty in this land through the scenery and beautiful beaches will give you the best time in Vietnam. One day cycling or walking on the beach in Con Dao, you must be fascinated by the landscape here.

Con Dao coral

Con Dao coral

In addition to watching the scenery, you should experience the feeling of diving into the sea view coral, this vast ocean world. This place is fortunate to have all the best of a beautiful beach. It seems that this is the "compensation" of God for the dark history of Con Dao a while. Dive to the sea to conquer the most colorful and beautiful coral reef in Vietnam only in Con Dao. Visit Hon Tai, Hon Tre, Hon Trung, Hon Cau to see the most wonderful places with the thickest concentration of coral. 

If you do not have the courage to dive deep into the ocean, you can perform the elegant fun that is the sea fishing. The Con Dao Sea is blessed with abundant seafood, so you spoiled the experience and promised to go to the sea full of the bumper and very exciting.

If you are wondering what to eat, you will not have to be worried as this place can offer you the fresh and healthy foods. You can prepare your own outdoor BBQ party with your friends after the boat trip to collect a batch of seafood. Sipping a glass of wine with savory sea seafood is an unforgettable moment. Or you can visit the popular seafood restaurants with dishes that are processed by professional or local chiefs. 

Fishing in Con Dao

Fishing in Con Dao

After enjoying a BBQ party on the beach, wait for the night to see how the eggshell looks. In the silver moonlight, mother turtles slowly crawl to the shore to find the dugout, dig a nest, lay eggs and cover the erased traces. Each round turtle egg whites fall into the hole. At birth, the mother produces about 80-200 eggs. After completing the nest, the mother sea turtles erase the traces and camouflage their nest eggs.

It will be an unfinished journey if you do not take time to admire the dawn or sunset. The lights start to shine for a new day or the sun go down to create a night is the most impressive moment in Con Dao. Stroll on the beach you can feel at ease. Listening to the breath of the sea, the continuous waves on the shore make you feel small in front of the ocean.

Beside the sea, you can go to the natural beauty of wild, peaceful life in Mr. Dung forest. Walking through the forest, the sound of the leaves in the trees, the sound of the birds singing, the colorful butterflies flying will make you meet with wildlife. Take a deep breath, listen to the jungle sounds, you will find life is meaningful because it has many things to explore.

In addition to these beautiful places, you will be impressed by the extremely friendly and nice local people. Take a walk around Con Dao to explore the history of Vietnam and the famous tourist destinations or the interesting. Do not hesitate any more, you should carry a backpack and explore Con Dao – Ba Ria Vung Tau now.

Thinking Of Vietnam Group Tours? Head For The Coto Islands!

Coto-island-in-Quang-Ninh-helloVietnam1522729620

At this time, you may start to plan a summer trip as a self-reward for hard-working days. Going by yourself is easy, but things get more complicated if you travel with friends or family because people have different interests! In that case, Coto islands may be the solution!

Today, I’ll give a Coto travel guide and you can consider going on a group tour to the island after reading this!

Coto island in Quang Ninh

Coto island in Quang Ninh (Vietnam)

About Coto

Coto is not an individual island but in fact, it’s the name of a group of islands, or you may call it Coto archipelago. Comprised of 50 islands, Coto is home to a wide variety of species with the flora and fauna being extremely rich and diverse. Here you can find natural forests containing valuable trees that have existed for many decades. Coming to Coto islands, you’ll be amazed by the alluring beaches, crystal clear water and the blue sky. Also, Coto would please any picky eaters, because the seafood tastes unparalleled! No wonder it has been among the top islands in northern Vietnam.

So you see, Coto islands is an optimal choice when it comes to group tours in northern Vietnam. Many participants? Don’t worry as the vast Coto archipelago will cater for each of you!

Coto, an island for relaxation

Coto, an island for relaxation

What would a three-day trip to Coto be like?

Imagine that you had three days (with two nights) on Coto islands, what would you do? Here I’m providing you with an ideal schedule and hopefully, you will find it useful for your future tour.

Day 1:

Early morning: the car/bus of the tour operator picks everyone up and take you all to Cai Rong Harbour in Van Don, Quang Ninh.

To reach Coto, tourists often go on high-speed boats from Cai Rong Harbour, which takes around 1.5 hours. Or you can just go on a normal boat which will double the time.

In the afternoon, you’re already on Co To islands, a masterpiece of the Mother Nature. Now you can get your rooms which were booked in advance by the tour company. Take a rest. Go for a walk on the charming beaches. Go swimming. Enjoy beautiful sunset.

Dinner time! You’ll have a chance to taste amazing seafood of Coto, including fish, crabs, shrimps, squids, blood cockle, mussels, and so many mouth-watering local dishes. You can join in some outdoor activities with your companions as well. Have fun!

Day 2:

It’s extremely likely that the tour operator will take you to the Little Coto island, which is often considered to be one of the most attractive islands in Southeast Asia.

As an island with no residents, Little Coto impresses the visitors deeply with its untouched captivating beaches. Wooden boats are available to bring you here from the Big Coto island. On the way, you can see through the crystal clear water shoals of fish swimming around colourful coral reefs and seaweeds. You may visit Sea Lion Mount, which is called the symbol of Little Coto. Also, the stones by the beach have interesting shapes, many resemble the shape of dinosaurs.

Dinosaur-shaped stones in Coto

Dinosaur-shaped stones in Coto

Many tourists coming to the island love to get up early to go to the local market and buy fresh seafood such as squids, oysters, etc., and then bring back for their own small parties by the sea.

Or, you can choose to get to see jellyfish instead, where you and your friends will be able to see how the fishermen catch, sort and process jellyfish – a famous specialty of Coto islands. To the local residents, jellyfish is just as precious as gold because it provides them with a stable source of income that can feed a whole family.

As the day is about to end, it’s time to gather around the dining table and taste best-on-earth seafood!  Jellyfish salad, for example, is a signature delicious and nutritious dish made by mixing jellyfish with vegetables and fish sauce. A lot of people call it, “a gift from the ocean”.

Day 3:

Time to go home. Wake up early to watch the sunrise and enjoy the fresh atmosphere. After having breakfast, you’ll be taken back to Cai Rong Harbour to return to Hanoi.

In this busy days, it’s always hard to find time to travel with your loved one. Therefore, you should opt for a good destination and a reliable tour operator to make sure that your trip will be as wonderful as it can be. Good luck with your journey to Coto!