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Five most beautiful islands in Vietnam

Lying along East Sea with a coast of over 3000km in length, package travel Vietnam has up to 2770 off shore islands offering paradise beaches in Asia, ranging from north to south with different features and attractions. What make the islands very attractive to visitors is the wild natural beauty of these islands without the impact of tourism, not only attract tourists with pristine water and white sand beaches, the islands are also a complex of diverse ecosystems such as tropical forests, mangroves, Coastal fauna...On these islands, the natural landscape is virtually unchanged and still preserve the unspoiled sceneries. Within the frame of this article we would like to name five best islands that you cannot miss if you have a chance to visit Vietnam.

Ly Son island, a hidden gem
Ly Son island district belongs to Quang Ngai province in central Vietnam, this used to be one of the less developed islands in Vietnam, the fastest way to get to Ly Son is by high speed boat from Sa Ky port in 45 minutes, Ly Son island has a long history where 3000 years ago the first people in Sa Huynh came and live here. Amid the ocean of waves and wind Ly Son island look like a giant sea turtle.
Coming to Ly Son island don't expect the to see the long sandy beaches or the luxury resorts, actually the best beach is in Little island, however in return Ly Son give you an experience you cannot find anywhere else: best fresh sea food, warm feelings and friendliness of local people. Tourism in Ly Son is not developed as electricity is on only from 17.00 until midnight, there are only a few basic hotels without hot water and few facility services, however please come to Ly Son with your heart, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed when you come to Ly Son.
My tips you should know before coming to Ly Son island:
- There is only 1 high speed boat from Quang Ngai to Ly Son island daily departing at 7 am.
- Contact the hotels before coming as there are few hotels in Ly Son, and please note that there is no hotel in Be (Little) island, the only choice is homestay
- You should bring along battery as electricity is on only a few hours at the end of the day

Phu Quoc island, paradise on earth
Phu Quoc is the largest island in vietnam with total area 566 square km. For a long time Phu Quoc has been famous with beautiful beaches and primitive forest however until recently tourism on Phu Quoc has been booming as visitors can reach Phu Quoc island by flight from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city, and with the installation of national power grid on the island the price of services especially hotels has become more reasonable.
In general traveling to Phu Quoc island is not cheap, most of your expenses will go to hotel and airfares however in return you will have a chance to relax at picturesque beaches and enjoy the discover the unspoiled beauty of the island. My advice is don't go to Phu Quoc with organized tours, the only thing you need to do is book your flight and hotel in advance, and once you are there I recommend that you rent a motorbike and explore the island yourself. There are some nice beaches like Sao beach, or Cua Lap beach however these place are always crowded as there are many hotels and resorts nearby, my favourite place is Long beach about 25km from town and you will be amazed by the beauty of this beach.
Eating in Phu Quoc island is pretty cheap as there are many restaurants in town, a lot of people go to have dinner at the night market that serve mostly seafood however if you want to taste the fresh seafood please go to Ham Ninh fishing port, about 10km from the centre.
For more information of Phu Quoc island I will come back with another article about this island.

Con Dao island
For a long time Con Dao island is known for the horrible prison built by the French in the war time as the hell on earth, from mid 19th century until the reunification of Vietnam in 1975 more than 20.000 Vietnamese prisoners was killed. However the painful past of Con Dao island has become history, today Con Dao is one of the best resort islands in south Vietnam, especially those who want to experience the wild natural beauty and unspoiled environment of an island not impacted by tourism.
Compared to other island, Con Dao has full factors of a majestic landscape as it is formed by an archipelago with 16 large and small islands, each has it's own characteristics which will bring you interesting and different feelings. The common point of these islands is the big and diverse range of coral reefs with many formations. My tip for you is that spend the whole day to explore the majestic beauty of these coral reefs.
As tourism in Con Dao is not developed as other places there are only a few hotels of which the best is Six Senses resort where Bratt Pitt and Angelina Jolie brought their family here for a holiday in 2011. The beaches in Con Dao is one of the best in Vietnam, the waves is little, water is green and pristine although there is not much sand, the beach are surrounded with rock cliffs, you can spend the whole day sitting on the rock watching the sea from sunrise to sunset without being annoyed by local vendors. The only thing that made me disappointed about Con Dao island is eating, there are only a few simple restaurants that serve mostly fish. My recommended places you should visit in Con Dao island is Phu Hai camp, Hang Duong cemetery, Shark cape (note that don't go in the late afternoon as it is very windy on the pass), also there is a very beautiful little beach close to Co Ong airport, you can reach it by motorbike only.

Phu Quy island in Binh Thuan
I came to Phu Quy island 2 years ago and was really impressed with this pretty island. The name Phu Quy means "wealthy" making you think of prosperity of this island, Phu Quy has another name Cu Lao Thu, geographically belongs to Binh Thuan province, about 55 miles southeast of Phan Thiet port.
Phu Quy island is not only rich in marine resources, but also rich in natural beauty of the majestic, the quiet coastal road bending around the island. People who live on the island are not rich in money, but rich in hospitality, you can always see the smiles on the faces of local people, this is exactly what left me the best impression when wandering about on my native land.
Travelers can go to Phu Quy island by high speed boat in 3 hours or bay cargo boat in 6 hours, for the nature lovers Phu Quy island is really a paradise for its wild beauty, services and facilities on the island are rather basic, once you are here don't forget to try King crabs and fresh squid, better than anywhere. There are some family guesthouse on the island equipped with air-conditioner however the national power is on until 23.00 only after that people use generator for electricity. What you need to consider is weather, my advise is to check weather 3 days before departure and must have substitute plan since there is no boat to Phu Quy island in bad weather.

Co To island in Quang Ninh
In recent years Co To island has become a favourite destination for young Vietnamese travelers. Like Phu Quy island, Co To still preserve the wild setting of nature with deserted beaches and windy hills, many couples come to Co To island to taka wedding photos. As one of the outpost islands in Tonkin sea there is a military base on Co To island, perhaps it is one of the reasons that tourism development in Co To is not encouraged although there are more and more people visiting this island. There are only several simple hotels in Co To and a state run guesthouse under Co To district people's committee that all foreign tourists have to stay there when they are in Co To.
The thing I like the most in Co To island is to rent a motorbike and explore the beauty of the island myself. The beaches in Co To in my opinion are the best in Vietnam such as Hong Van, Vam Chai, Little Co To, and don't forget to visit Co To lighthouse when you are there.
Eating in Co To is easy as there are many restaurants on the island however I recommend that you have dinner at your hotel as it will be cheaper than outside, for lunch you can check Uy Thanh restaurant, food and service is good, around 10 usd/person.
There are several ways to reach Co To island from mainland, I recommend that you take a high speed boat from Cai Rong port in Van Don (1.5 hours) to Co To and on the way back catch a normal boat from Co To to Bai Chay in Halong city, it takes longer by normal boat however you have a chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Bai Tu Long bay during the journey.

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