As a coastal country in Southeast Asia, Vietnam consists of thousands of islands and islets, which are geographically significant to Vietnam in particular and the world in general. Followings are some major islands in Vietnam which are worth visiting.
- Cat Ba Island
Cat Ba, an island on Ha Long Bay, possesses one of the most beautiful Vietnam beaches. It is an ideal destination for those who want to explore the sheer beauty of Halong Bay but cannot stand the huge flocks of visitors of main Halong tours.
Cat Ba Beaches attract travelers with soft white sand and turquoise sea water. It has many spectacular seashores, namely Cat Co 1, Cat Co 2, and Cat Co 3. There is a Cliffside between Cat Co 1 and Cat Co 2, which is definitely a joy to walk, while Cat Co 2 offers visitors with plenty of bungalows and chalets that are suitable for romantic trips or honeymoon.
Almost half of the Island and about 90 square kilometers of the adjacent waters belongs to Cat Ba National Park to protect the island’s eco-biological diversity.
- Co To
Another notable island in Vietnam is Co To Island which is renowned for white smooth sand beaches and transparent blue sea. It is the furthest inhabited island from the mainland of the North.
Co To beach remains intact from human’s influence, thus offering white sandy shore and blue sea water. The beach is amazing whenever you look at: day or night, at dawn or at twilight, in the morning mist or under the moonlight. Different times of the day provide you with different emotions and experiences.
There is a romantic path leading to the Lighthouse, where you can take a bird’s eye view of the beautiful and peaceful Co To Island and feel the fresh atmosphere on the ocean. There is also a wild forest with colorful flowers and birds around that area. In addition, Co To Island has many majestic rock formations – perfect places for shooting photos.
- Cu Lao Cham
Cu Lao Cham (Cham Island) consists of 8 small islands which have been designated as UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
The picturesque scenery and leisure activities in Cu Lao Cham are a huge appeal to tourists. Cu Lao Cham is the paradise for adventurers, where they can participate in fascinating activities ranging from traditional activities such as swimming on aqua-green water, sunbathing on white sandy beaches, and exploring the forest to marine life discovery. The coast is a collection of plentiful sea creatures and coral reefs. Travelers will see the majestic marine world with an abundance of colorful fishes, lobsters, mollusks under the turquoise sea water.
There are also cultural attractions in the island such as the exhibition of Cham Island’s nature and culture, the old well, Lang Ong, and Huong fishing village. There exist the vestiges of Cham people’s civilization.
- Phu Quy Island
Phu Quy Island in Binh Thuan province, with its jaw-dropping landscape and unique culture, is well-known as a paradise for summer escape. Its name literally means “wealth” and “honor”.
Beaches in Phu Quy Island are amazing. They are stunning with softy white sand and blue water and more importantly, far from the residential areas. Vinh Trieu Duong is an incredibly beautiful beach that is suitable for swimming while Bai Nho has rock formations and colorful reefs under the water. The lighthouse and wind turbines are also great places to watch the sunset.
The island is also famous for its cultural spots. Linh Son pagoda on Mount Cao Cat and Linh Quang Pagoda are important religious centers of Phu Quy residents, where they can not only immerse their soul into the peaceful atmosphere but also take a bird’s eye view over the breath-taking surroundings. Van An Thanh temple has the giant whale skeleton, where you can learn about the whale worshipping tradition of the fishermen.
- Con Dao
In the southern coast of Vietnam stands Con Dao Islands – an archipelago of 16 uninhabited islands and islets, which is a perfect destination to run away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
Con Son – the biggest island of Con Dao used to be the site of French-run prisons for Vietnamese soldiers who get involved in the Vietnam War. You can find most of the prisons in Con Son town, where there are plenty of prison cells and infamous tiger cages.
In addition to the significant historic relics, Con Dao consists of unspoiled beaches such as Bai An Hai, Mui Ca Map (Shark Cape), and Nhat Beach. These are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Seafood is also extraordinarily fresh.
The uninhabited islets are also great to explore, where travelers can see the spectacular wildlife settings with plentiful flora and fauna.
- Phu Quoc Island
Nestled in the Gulf of Thailand, just 45km southwest of the Vietnamese mainland, Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island. It is also known as “Koh Tral” in Cambodian, as it lies just 15km off the Cambodian coast.
Phu Quoc has become an attractive destination with beautiful beaches, lush forests, and fascinating hills. Several stunning beaches in Phu Quoc are suitable for different types of entertainment. If you want to swim, Long Beach, Sao Beach, Ganh Dau Beach, Ong Lang Beach, and Vung Bau Beach are ideal places. But if you want to get away from the crowd to walk hand-in-hand with your life partner on the romantic and tranquil sandbar, Thom Beach and Rach Vem Beach are more suitable. Some beach resorts and amusement centers are open to provide travelers with best services and experiences.
The island remains intact as about 70% of the area belongs to Phu Quoc National Reservation Park. Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this massive natural park spans over 314,000 square meters of unique tropical flora and fauna, dense forests, and evergreen mountain ranges. Camping, hiking, bird-watching, and photography are available there.
Phu Quoc is also home to the famous Vietnamese specialties: fish sauce, pepper, and pearl. Many fish sauce factories, pepper plantations, and pearl farms are available to visit. It is a great opportunity to take a closer look at the traditional careers of Vietnamese people.