Cu Lao Xanh – a “blue pearl” shining bright Binh Dinh

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Cu Lao Xanh may be an unfamiliar name to some people. But out of expectation, it is such a beautiful island with the endless blue horizon of the sea and sky. This place is regarded as a priceless present from nature and for local people only.

Cu Lao Xanh is located in Nhon Chau Commune, Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province. It’s the home to over 3000 people and is 24 km away from the mainland.

Cu Lao Xanh

Cu Lao Xanh

Best time to travel Cu Lao Xanh

The scenery of Cu Lao Xanh is beautiful all year round. However, you had better not come to visit this island in late July and August since it’s high time of dangerous storms. Besides, you should avoid winter seasons as well because there are not so many activities to join during these months. The ideal time to explore Cu Lao Xanh is from February to June and from September to October.

How to move to Cu Lao Xanh

It’s about more than 1000 km from Hanoi to Quy Nhon, therefore, traveling by plane is the best choice. If you go from Ho Chi Minh City, the same decision should be made as the two cities are 700 km away from each other.

From Quy Nhon, you can get a taxi to Ham Tu port. There, you will buy a boat ticket to travel to Cu Lao Xanh. It takes around 2 hours if you travel by wooden boat and just 50 minutes if you choose speedboat (ticket price is about 200.000 VND). Setting off time from Ham Tu port is from 1 p.m. to 1h30 p.m. and from Cu Lao Cham back to the mainland is from 6 a.m. to 6h30 a.m.

Hostels in Cu Lao Xanh

Unlike other Southern Vietnam tours, you don’t have many options for staying in Cu Lao Xanh since this island hasn’t been exploited much yet. There are only some residents’ houses that are upgraded for rent with low cost. If you like something romantic at night in such a natural place, you can also rent tents to stay right on the beaches.

Tents on the beach

Tents on the beach

What to visit in Cu Lao Xanh

It is said that if you travel to Southern Vietnam, you should not miss Binh Dinh. And if you travel to Binh Dinh, you should not miss Cu Lao Xanh. So what is exactly worth visiting Cu Lao Xanh?

The Lighthouse

After settling down, you can start your adventure on this dreamy island by exploring the lighthouse. To get to this 119-meter-high architecture, you must go along concrete roads, getting across small houses and climb on stone stairs. It will take you a lot of time and effort but as you get to the top, broaden your vision with blue sea and sky, you will figure out what it is all about.

The lighthouse

The lighthouse

Gieng Tien Stream

Following The Lighthouse, the next destination to visit is Gieng Tien stream. Located in the Northwest of the Lighthouse, it is said to have witnessed fairies from heaven to come and take bath in during ancient time. Despite being called a “stream”, this place still makes you feel the purity and taste of the ocean.

Sandy and rocky beaches

Keep walking along small roads surrounding the beaches, you will see beautiful wildflowers, endless blue sea and large sand dunes in which turtles lay their eggs. After getting tired, people often jump right into the sea to cool down their body and get rid of tiredness. In the afternoon, you can also contemplate romantic sunset with your dearest friends and family.

Rocky beach Cu Lao Xanh

Rocky beach Cu Lao Xanh

There are even more and more places to go. To get the best experience there, you had better come to Cu Lao Xanh and explore yourself.

The natural beauty of Ly Son and Binh Ba Island

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With more than 4000 islands, Vietnam tourism is famous for island tours with the different beauty. However, due to the development of tourism industry, only a few Vietnam islands can still keep their picturesque natural landscape without being affected.

Ly Son Island and Binh Ba Island are outstanding examples. Thus, it will be a big mistake if you ignore these 2 natural islands during your Vietnam tours.

Ly Son Island

Ly Son is an island district of Quang Ngai Province, located about 30km offshore with an area of nearly 10km2 and a population of over 20,000 people. In recent years, thanks to its unique beauty, Ly Son Island has become a top island as well as a hot tourist destination of Vietnam. Especially, it still keeps its wild beauty without being much exploited by the tourism industry. In Ly Son, there are not a lot of hotels but some locals here run homestay services with affordable prices. Or else you can build a tent on Small Island (Đảo Bé) overnight to eat and rest without extra cost.

The beauty of Ly Son

The beauty of Ly Son

Coming to Ly Son Island, you will be immersed in the vast blue sky along with five mountains, creating the majestic landscape. Ly Son is famous for many kinds of seafood such as snails, King crabs, sea urchins, etc. In addition to that, once you are here, you should pay a visit to garlic fields – another well-known specialty of Ly Son.

Garlic fields in Ly Son

Garlic fields in Ly Son

If you want to go to the beach, you are highly recommended to visit the Small Island. Considered as “the small Maldives in Vietnam”, it’s not surprising that you will be overwhelmed by the speechless beauty of the beach here. Besides, To Vo Gate, Hang Pagoda, Hang Cau Cave, the flagpole at Thoi Loi Mountain, etc. are also famous landmarks of Ly Son that you should not ignore.

Binh Ba Island

Binh Ba is a small island in Cam Ranh, about 50km away from Nha Trang and 400km away from Ho Chi Minh City. Services in Binh Ba have not been developed as many other places, but it’s very attractive to tourists. If you have any intention of traveling to Vietnam, Binh Ba Island will be a great choice. You can visit Binh Ba in any season of a year because the traveling and eating cost is extremely cheap.

This place is like a wonderful crystal ball with jade green water beach, white and smooth sand. Binh Ba Island is the place where welcomes dawn early, so watching the sunrise is a must-try activity once you arrive. Chuong Beach, Nom Beach and Cu Beach have the most beautiful sunrise spots in Binh Ba.

Binh Ba Island

Binh Ba Island

The most popular specialty in Binh Ba is lobsters. That is the reason why people also call this island with another name “Lobster Island”. Besides, squids, clams, scallops, fish of all kinds, etc. are also the favorite dishes of Binh Ba.

Lobsters specialty of Binh Ba

Lobsters specialty of Binh Ba

Since Binh Ba has just been exploited for a few recent years, the prices of services are still cheap. However, the overuse exploitation of some people has changed the nature of this charming island. Another special thing about this island is that it is not allowed for foreigners to visit because it’s a military island. Thus, when you come here, you can only see Vietnamese visitors.

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.

 

 

Top 7 island spots for the best snorkeling in Vietnam

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Vietnam has more than 2,000 miles of coastline, much of it gloriously snorkeler-friendly. The options are as varied as you might expect from such a vast expanse: from the starting-off point for several snorkel sites in the South China Sea in Nha Trang, picture-perfect shore dives off Sao Beach in Phu Quoc to 15 unspoiled islands and islets in Con Dao.

These are just some of the most famous dive island spots, but creative snorkelers can—and do—go almost anywhere in this country. Don’t worry about where to go for snorkeling in Vietnam!

Hon Mun – Nha Trang

Do not miss a chance to experience snorkeling in Nha Trang

Do not miss a chance to experience snorkeling in Nha Trang

Boasting 12,000 hectares of reef-filled waters, Hon Mun Marine Protected Area is full of some of the most fabulous snorkeling spots in Vietnam. The amazing coral reefs in Hon Mun area are full of marine life (moray eels, butterfly, box, pufferfish), and they are absolutely splendid as well. The best way to explore Ebony Island is to rent a boat and hire a guide to take you to all of the best snorkeling spots around the island. Expect to see more than 10 meters of the deep with a wide variety of colorful fishes and soft-as-silk coral reefs. Thanks to its proximity to hot-sea currents, the seabed here is home to an abundant and diverse group of marine species.

Bai Sao – Phu Quoc

Situated 25 kilometers from Duong Dong, the islands’ capital, Bai Sao is one of a few places where you can get access to the snorkeling spots on foot. What makes it so awesome for snorkelers of all ages and swimming abilities? It is that you do not have to go deep to check out the region's 2,000 species of reef fish, which hang out just a meter from the shore.

Thom Beach – Phu Quoc

Looking for some privacy to go along with your snorkeling? There is no better place than Thom Beach in Thom Village (Bai Thom Village) which is located approximately 35kms from Duong Dong Town. At the northeast part of the island, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the water and all of the undersea life and feel like being in the privacy of your own room.

An Thoi Islands – Phu Quoc

Snorkeling in An Thoi

Snorkeling in An Thoi

Most snorkelers have a visit Phu Quoc Island on their bucket lists on their tailor-made tours in Vietnam. There are lots of great places to snorkel in Phu Quoc, but none is any better than An Thoi – an archipelago of 15 islands and islets just off the southern coast of Phu Quoc. The best way to explore the beautiful coral reefs in An Thoi is to go with a dive center rather than one of the island’s many cheap boat tours.

Co To Island (Quang Ninh)

Don't usually think of Northern Vietnam as a "go to" destination for snorkeling? Co To in Quang Ninh Province stresses that it is one of the best places for snorkeling in Vietnam! Made up of 40 islands varying in size, Co To is home to one of the most populous and diverse ecosystems in Vietnam. A notable standout is Co To Con, home to beautiful coral and scores of starfish.

Halong Bay (Quang Binh)

Snorkeling in Halong

Snorkeling in Halong

Nearly 1,600 picture-perfect islands and islets come together in the Gulf of Tonkin to form the magical Halong. Visiting the UNESCO Natural Wonder of the world, you will have a unique opportunity to snorkel with more than 100 species of vividly colored corals. The coral reefs here cover up to 120 hectares and home to an abundance of tropical fish.

Con Dao (Ba Ria – Vung Tau)

Snorkeling in Con Dao

Snorkeling in Con Dao

Con Dao comprises an archipelago made up of 16 islands and islets. The surrounding water here is amazingly warm and clear, offering some of the greatest visibility for snorkeling of any spot on Earth. Besides the healthy coral reefs, Con Dao also offers many opportunities to get up close and personal with green turtles and hawksbill turtles.

Are you ready to jump into the clear turquoise water of Vietnam’s beaches? We have ranked the 7 island spots for the best snorkeling in Vietnam. See which spots you have already gone for snorkeling and which spots you hope to see next on your Vietnam snorkeling tours.

Top islands to go on a Vietnam island tour

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Sprawling beaches, blue, crystal-like water, strong waves, and untouched pockets of wilderness are all characteristics of the best islands in Vietnam. Whether you crave adventure, culture, or simply kicking back on a beach with a delicious seafood party, a Vietnam island tour on at least one of these islands is sure to be an ideal choice.

Cat Ba Archipelago

Cat Ba

Cat Ba

Consisting of 367 small and big islands, Cat Ba Archipelago is the largest limestone archipelago of Vietnam, but it is the sea and natural landscapes, which truly make these islands shine. With the high-rise hotels and commercialized area, Cat Ba is the urbanest of all Haiphong City. But it does have a rural, untouched side to it, particularly on the East Shore, where a group of about 400 islets in various interesting shapes, charming beaches of idyllic Lan Ha Bay form a breathtaking natural beauty.

This popular honeymoon spot also caters to different kinds of other travelers. Beach bums can unwind along Cat Co and Cat Dua's golden sands, adventure lovers can hire a motor boat or kayak to paddle to the small islets, where Duong Gianh, Cat Trai Gai, and Hien Hao beaches are located, foodies can savor aromatic seafood flavors, and nature lovers can explore Cat Ba Biosphere Reserve.

Some would say you only need only one day to enjoy these islands' charms, but to really drink in all that Cat Ba has to offer, you should plan a few-day trip. When night falls, you and your beloved one can lie down in the cottages nearby the beach to relax for a while, seeing many fishes swimming in the clean water and listening to the sound of rough sea waves. What a romantic and one-of-a-kind experience!

Co To

The impressive beauty of Co To

The impressive beauty of Co To

Co To boasts a little something that keeps travelers enchanted and makes it your go-to island. Even though Co To is one of the most popular islands in Northern Vietnam, its real attractions are not found it the opulent resorts and the world-class services but in its natural beauty.

Co To is the Northern Vietnam's answer to paradise. It offers a charming stretch of white sand beaches, dramatic scenery, a relaxing and fresh environment of blue clean seawater, and interesting activities all in one. Wonderful shore with white sands while under the water, coral reefs flourish with an excessive diversity of tropical fish, offering some of the best snorkeling in the S-shaped country. Other attractions include Co To lighthouse, where you can see the whole of Co To Islands, Co To Pier, primitive forests, the monument of President Ho Chi Minh, the hilly terrain or wild vegetation and animal, and quaint fishing villages.

Stay in Co To for a few nights and you will have plenty of time to learn that there is more to these comely dots of Van Don District than meets the eye. A BBQ party with your friends on the pure stretch of sand while contemplating the picturesque sunset and enjoying the song of birds and the breath of sea is also an unforgettable memory on your travel to Vietnam!

Quan Lan

Quan Lan

Quan Lan

Located within the mesmerizing Bai Tu Long Bay, between the Minh Chau and Quan Lan communes of Van Don District, Quan Lan Island is popularly known for its evergreen casuarina forest stretching stunning white sand dunes.

With pristine beaches with unblemished golden sand and blue clear waters, it is no wonder Quan Lan is often referred to as heaven among travelers to Vietnam. On this Northern Vietnam Island, you can tour a large number of historical and long-standing cultural values including the ruins of the old Van Don Port, Quan Lan Communal House built in the 18th century, or simply lounge on the 2-km-long crescent Minh Chau Beach. If you are up for the challenge, plan to surf and kayak. Lying far from the workaday clamor but close to creature comforts, these islands of Quan Lan should be on the list of top islands in Northern Vietnam.

Whether it is sublime beaches, impressive topography, savory seafood, or exotic cultures you seek, Vietnam has so many beautiful islands to offer. Consider what you are looking for at a Vietnam tour and then choose which islands you favor. Are you ready to be blown away by the most magnificent islands in Vietnam?

Binh Islands in Khanh Hoa – Vietnam’s miniature Maldives

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Khanh Hoa features a nice balance of urban and beach environments. And with its nice weather all year round, there really is no bad time to pay a visit to this coastal province in South Central Vietnam. When you need a respite from the city's busy street life, retreat to 4 “Binh islands” in Khanh Hoa – these less-traveled islands in Vietnam!

Binh Lap Island – “slow-living” heaven in Khanh Hoa

Binh Lap Island

Binh Lap Island

For an island getaway that is more rustic than tropical, consider Binh Lap Island. With its picture-perfect beaches, amazing shoreline, crystal clear waters, fresh salt-smelling air, and light sand, it is surprising that Khanh Hoa paradise of Binh Lap Island is not popular with the masses on their Vietnam tours.

Explore some of the best scenery that this island has to offer by walking along Bai Ngang – a giant blue mirror with the slight wind, reaching the top of Hon Chut Lighthouse – a landmark constructed 100 years ago or diving deep to get closer to these colorful coral reefs on Bai Ran. Afterwards, reward yourself by stocking up on a barbecue party with a campfire on Bai Lao or Bai Ngang.

  • Where to Stay: Located 56 miles from downtown Nha Trang, every room at the 4-star Ngoc Suong Resort features ocean views of the picturesque Cam Ranh Bay. (Room rates range from USD $70 to USD $122/bungalow/night).
  • Getting There: Binh Lap Island is about 50 miles from Nha Trang City and is just over 31 miles from Cam Ranh Airport. You can get to Binh Lap by canoe and travel around by motorbike.

Binh Ba Island – the sunrise capital of Khanh Hoa

 Binh Ba Island

Binh Ba Island

One of the spots that welcome the earliest sunrise in Vietnam, Binh Ba is not surprisingly called the sunrise capital of Khanh Hoa.

Even though Binh Ba covers an area of around 3km square in Cam Binh Commune, Cam Ranh City, there is plenty to do with its exceptionally beautiful beaches and impressive islands. Welcome a new day on Chuong Island, Nom Island, or Old house Island. Then, go swimming, snorkeling, and diving in Nom beach. For a family-friendly excursion, rent tents for camping on the beach or join hand at fish and squid night catching. And make sure to sample this island’s food specialty – grilled lobsters.

  • Where To Stay: Try Mr. Bay Ho Hostel, which is situated near Nom beach and has elegant rooms with magnificent sea views. (Room rates start at $4.3/night)
  • Getting There: Approximately 37 miles from Nha Trang and 242 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Ba Island is accessible by a canoe ride from Cam Ranh Port.

Binh Hung Island – A hidden coarse gem of Khanh Hoa

 Binh Hung Island

Binh Hung Island

Who needs Danang and Nha Trang? With its surprisingly laid-back vibe, Binh Hung in Khanh Hoa boasts some of the most stunning island getaway destinations!

Coined "the coarse gem of Khanh Hoa province," Binh Hung Island is a quaint coastal escape steeped in South-Central Vietnam, with its 7 pristine beaches and the freshest of seafood. Start your trip to Kinh beach, where white sand and shallow beach meet the warm and clear waters of the Cam Ranh Bay. For a swimming-friendly excursion, visit the special Freshwater Beach where you can enjoy a freshwater stream running down from Chua Mountain. Don't leave without hitting Egg Stone beach to admire its unique landscape created by huge-egg-like-shaped rocks!

  • Where To Stay: Look into one of the islanders’ many hostels, or try a raft house for a one-of-a-kind experience. (Rates start at $3/night/person).
  • Getting There: About a 1-hour-boat ride from Binh Ba Island. Motorbike and canoe are the means of transport on this island.

Binh Tien Island

 Binh Tien Island

Binh Tien Island

Hope to splurge on an exotic trip to a tropical locale in a less-known destination on your Vietnam tours? Let’s unplug from the daily grind with a journey to Binh Tien Island – a true desert oasis that makes Khanh Hoa a top travel destination.

  • Where To Stay: Prepare your own tent for an unforgettable night at an open-air hotel.

Khanh Hoa is an island paradise, where you can still find one right next door. Whether you are looking for relaxation or adventure, these best islands in Vietnam promise both for a price that will not break the bank.

Vietnam tours review: Top Islands in Vietnam

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Naturally blessed with over 4,000 islands, it is no surprise when Vietnam has become such a hit with tourists wishing to spend their vacation on an isolated and peaceful island. Clear crystal blue water, white smooth sand beaches, charming scenes together with unique local life create an irresistible appeal to every tourist coming to these islands at first sight.

Co To Island

Regarded as “Nha Trang of Northern Vietnam”, Co To Island has become a new ideal destination for travelers wishing to escape from the bustle and hustle of the fast-moving life. Coming to Co To Island, visitors will see the crystal clear sea reflecting green mountains and the blue sky. Fresh air, peaceful atmosphere, romantic scenes, hospitable locals and luscious seafood are what appear on visitors’ mind when thinking about this heaven island. That is why it is extremely suitable for your honeymoon.

Co To Island

Co To Island

It takes us nearly two hours to travel by boat to arrive at Co To Island. The boat starts from Cai Rong port (Van Don, Quang Ninh), runs through the Bai Tu Long Bay, passes Quan Lan Island and come to Co To Island. On the way to Co To, we will see a small Halong Bay with thousands of scattered islands across the ocean and local fishing villages.

In Co To Island, in addition to swimming, tourist can take part in different activities such as visiting natural forests, Co To lighthouse, parks and memorial statues of President Ho Chi Minh, travelling to local seafood markets to by something as gifts for friends or families, diving at night, photo taking or simply just spend time relaxing at beaches. You can hire a motorbike at 150,000VND/day, but it had better choose an electric car with the driver as a tour guide.

Because this island has just been developed for tourism recently with no high-end amenity hotel or luxurious restaurant and entertainment services, Co To is a great place for tourists to explore the wild nature and local’s friendliness and fresh seafood. Do not worry all of them are at cheap costs.

Must-see destinations are Cau My Rock, Small Co To Island, Hong Van Beach, Van Chay Beach, Co To Lighthouse, and many more.

Ly Son Island

Are you dreaming of walking on “Jeju Island in South Korea”? If “yes”, you should not miss Ly Son of Vietnam. With the ideal geography and landscape, this stunning island in Quang Ngai Province was formed by the volcanic eruption millions of years ago.

Ly Son Island

Ly Son Island

It is such a hit with visitors for the exquisite highlights of the rugged mountains rising in the boundless zone of the earth and the sky. All tourists coming here, especially backpackers try to discover and conquer the highest mountains, and it is worth as they can obtain the wholesome view of the island. The crystal blue sea water and vast garlic farms create a vivid picture.

Besides the high mountains and cool climate like “Jeju of Vietnam”, Ly Son Island also attracts millions of tourist every year with a pristine beauty, with the blue sea and white smooth sand beaches twinkling under the bright sunlight. Moreover, numerous interesting activities are waiting for us to explore such as snail catching, scuba diving to admire brilliantly-colored coral reefs, or swimming together with the colorful fish.

If you wish to have a more meaningful trip, Ly Son also satisfy you with many ancient pagodas and holy temples like Hang Pagoda, Hoang Sa-Truong Son Relics, Cau Cave, Duc Pagoda, Cau Pagoda, Am Linh Pagoda and An Hai Communal House. Especially, do not forget Hang Pagoda featuring the biggest cave dedicated to Buddha worshipping since the 16th century and An Hai Communal House, the oldest communal house in Quang Ngai and the nation’s historical heritage since 1820 with lots of historical relics of the Cham and Sa Huynh culture.

So what is more amazing than walking in Jeju of South Korea right in Vietnam and at very cheap costs?

Phu Quoc

Top 3 famous travel destinations by National Geographic and top 10 cruise destinations in Asia by Asia One, Phu Quoc is undoubtedly a great island for your vacation. Phu Quoc’s untouched beauty attracts those loving pristine beaches and the intact beauty of the wilderness and nature.

As the most beautiful island of Vietnam, this “Pearl Island” impresses visitors by white and golden sand beaches twinkling under the sunshine, dense tropical jungles with diversified flora and fauna, clear blue water, and especially the peace that we find our soul. Romantic view, cool climate, wild nature and best seafood make tourists like they are in Hawaii heaven. Three most amazing beaches at Phu Quoc that we should not miss when arriving in Phu Quoc are Long Beach listed in the “World Hidden Beaches”, charming Ong Lan Beach for couples, and alluring Bai Sao.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc

The beach remains pristine with crystal blue water, romantic palm trees and soft sands, which is extremely suitable for numerous water sports like boat-sailing, sunbathing, diving, swimming, kite-surfing or simply walking hand in hand with your lovers. Scuba-diving to see some nice coral reef and a bamboo shark are also exciting to experience. If you have time, let’s explore traditional fishing villages and see how pearls are made at pearl farms on the Southern end of the beach.

What’s more, Phu Quoc seafood will give you the best taste ever – fresh, firm, luscious and cheap. Let’s try!

These above are top three most favorite islands that you should not miss when coming to Vietnam. Let’s backpack, travel to Vietnam, join Vietnam islands tours and have a great time with friends and family. 

Must-visit destinations when visiting Vietnam

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If you are so stressed because of the huge loads of work and studying, you should take a short rest. Exploring beautiful islands is not a bad idea for you to treat yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Why don’t you follow the article to get more information about the top islands and make a great plan for your Vietnam tours?

Amazing view of the islands

Amazing view of the islands

Co To Island

Located in Quang Ninh Province in the northeastern of Vietnam, Co To Island has been widely known as one of the top islands in Vietnam with its wonderful beach. Co To is an archipelago with more than 40 islands in various sizes. Especially, along with Thanh Lan Island and Tran Island, Co To Island is one of the three biggest islands.

There are a lot of kinds of activities for you and your partners in this beautiful island. You may have chances to enjoy the original beauty of the island with the clean water and fresh air. In addition, you can easily hire a boat with very reasonable price to move to the small island in Co To Island because it is only 1 km far from the large one. It’s also a perfect place for you to stay overnight outside and spend time with your friend. Moreover, visitors can eat fresh seafood which is just caught from the sea right in the harbor. Another thing you need to know is that the best time to travel to Co To is in summer (from April to June).

Beautiful beach on Co To Island

Beautiful beach on Co To Island

Ly Son Island

Ly Son Island is absolutely a well-known tourism destination among a lot of Vietnam tours for its original beauty of nature. In addition, it has a diverse ecosystem, especially, the garlic planted in this island is the most famous kind in Vietnam. Coral diving also becomes an interesting activity in Ly Son. Visitors may contact some diving companies there to hire the essential diving instruments and take a small course with professional divers first. There are also many limestone reefs which were formed by volcanic eruption several centuries ago. The island, moreover, has a number of other wonderful spots like temples, caves, and lighthouse, etc. which you might not want to swim. Seafood and some street food on Ly Son Island are pretty good and affordable. The locals there are so friendly too.

A very small part of this amazing island

A very small part of this amazing island

Con Dao Island

Con Dao Island is absolutely one of the most amazing places to admire the natural beauty that you shouldn’t miss among Vietnam island tours. Situated in the south of Vietnam, Con Dao Island is listed as one of 9 mystery islands all over the world, according to Lonely Planet.

This island has been known as “The hell in real world” because of hundreds of prisons built by French colonists during the Vietnam War. Thousands of Vietnamese people, especially who are considered especially dangerous to the colonist government were brutally tortured. The most disgusting ghastly crime there was how badly the prisoners were treated in “tiger’s cage”. Nowadays, the island becomes a crucial tourism destination for the foreigners’ travel to Vietnam in order to look back the history. Besides, visitors can take part in many outdoor activities in Con Dao Island, coral diving, for example. The high density and diversity of coral in Con Dao Island will definitely surprise you. Moreover, you also may enjoy experiencing the four-hour trip to the East Sea to go fishing.

Con Dao prison

Con Dao prison

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island is one of the greatest places in this city in order to get away from the busy life in cities. This island is composed of clean beach, gorgeous resorts, and hotels and even a national park acknowledged by UNESCO. Phu Quoc Island is a perfect place for visitors who love scuba diving. Besides fresh seafood as well as popular street food, you can easily find American and French fare which is pretty good.

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc Island

These wonderful islands will make your Vietnam tours more exciting and bring you lots of unforgettable memories. Hence, let’s make a plan for your trip with your family and friend and enjoy your time there.

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.

Vietnam islands tour for couple

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Nothing better than traveling to the island and enjoy swimming together in a Vietnam tour for couple. Nowadays, Vietnam islands are always the first choice for couple. 

However, besides some famous island such as Phu Quoc, Co To, etc. people tend to travel to wild new islands. Some people think that the most famous islands are crowded and there is too much trash littered by the visitors. The couples want to spend their time with each other personally. That is the reason why new islands are needed in a tour for couple in Vietnam.

Although these new islands are not marked on the map of tourism in the country. But certainly, in the future, it will be famous than ever because of its beauty. Here are some top islands for couples:

Nam Du Island

Nam Du island

Nam Du island

A new island explored by the netizens about 1-2 years ago, however, the island is quickly famous for its dreamlike beautiful scenery. Nam Du island is known as a wild and undiscovered island as tourism like Phu Quoc. However, these things make Nam Du more mysterious.

Nam Du in Kien Giang province is combined with about 21 islands in different sizes to create a beautiful population in the middle of the sea. This island is newly opened so its beauty is pristine and suitable for couple who like the personal space and wild beauty.

Diep Son Island

Diep Son island is now known to be the “golden island”. The island is taking place the most famous four islands Binh Ba – Binh Hung – Binh Lap – Binh Tien. This island is not only beautiful for the clear blue sea and smoothy white sand but also the longest and the unique path through the sea in Vietnam. The island consists of 3 small islands in Van Phong Bay, Khanh Hoa province. Explore the island, the couples will admire the beauty of the white sandy beaches, clear blue water, and the beautiful grass mop.

In the morning, when the tide is withdrawn, the walking path will gradually appear. Imagine you and your lover run straight to the sea path length of 700 meters. It is worth the pleasure of walking in the middle of a meter wide road and not knowing when the water is rising.

There are not many pubs but in exchange, you will not have to see the tussle and harsh prices due to too many tourists.

The sea is so clear with white sand, very beautiful without not much the appearance of people. Visitors coming here are ecstatic with the smooth white sand, blue sea, and shady black rock shiny like pearls.

In particular, the sea water is so clean and clear that you can see a whole world of magic under the sea as you dive with simple tools like snorkel, diving glasses.

Cu Lao Thu

Phu Quy island

Phu Quy island

Known as Phu Quy (Phan Thiet). This island is beautiful from the discussion but little known.

In the last few years, it has been known to many people. The island is 120 kilometers from mainland Phan Thiet. The island located in the middle of the sea like an imposing whale.

Indeed, Cu Lao Thu is truly a wonder of freshness and abundance of fruit trees. The houses are quite spacious, clean and the roads are well planned. So that you can easily explore by motorbike or canoe to neighboring islands to explore as a Robinson.

In addition, visitors should also visit Cao Cat Mountain is located Linh Son Pagoda or lighthouse Cam Mountain. With Vietnam tour for couple, from there you and your lover can see the sunset together. Phu Quy island also has beautiful coastal roads that will be admired once you remember.

The four famous islands: Binh Ba – Binh Hung – Binh Tien – Binh Lap

Binh Ba – Binh Hung – Binh Tien – Binh Lap is the four beautiful islands in Khanh Hoa. No matter how busy you are, these island is a worthy destination to go in this summer, you definitely have to stop to play.

Binh Ba island

Binh Ba island

The Cam Ranh islet was just discovered by tourists only a few years ago but it nearly takes place the other famous island.

The four islands are quite wild and new in Vietnam, the paradise of islands. The most convenient is the four islands not far apart, you can come to each island by canoe.

Therefore, this is the place for you to experience the wildest nature and find yourself a quiet, wonderful fresh space with your lover in Vietnam tour for couple.