Pristine and secluded are the two magic words when it comes to picking a beach destination. Vietnam does not fall short when it comes to islands that live up to these adjectives. Here helloVietnam reveals 3 to add to your bucket list.
Nam Du Archipelago
With the neighboring Phu Quoc Island being taken over by tourists, the little-known Nam Du Archipelago is an ideal alternative destination.
Nam Du turquoise water (Source: Internet)
Since Nam Du is not yet structured for tourism, the accommodation on the islands is limited to homestays and camps. The long, palm-fringed beaches of Hon Mau and Bai Men are two perfect campsites than will guarantee a peaceful sleep in the lull of the sea. For those dismayed by the polluted state of other beaches in Vietnam, you will not have to worry about swimming in these beaches.
There aren’t many places on earth where you can snorkel to see an abundant colorful coral reef one day and meet the real life Robinson Crusoe the next. The Robinson in question is Mr. Sau Anh, whose family have been the only habitants of Hon Nom Islet for almost 50 years. You better have someone who can speak Vietnamese with you, as his stories are packed with adventures. Imagine having dinner by the fire and listening to an old man tell his story about how he made a deserted island his home, a kind of adventure you could write a novel about.
If fishing for your own meals sounds inviting to you, rent a boat from the locals and head to the sea. A self-made barbecue with self-caught fish is not a bad way to spend the night. Those who fancy a more sophisticated meal can buy the ridiculously cheap and fresh seafood from the fishermen on the islands and hire or ask them to do the cooking.
Ba Lua Archipelago
Some 40 islands make up the Ba Lua Archipelago and only 10 of them are habited.
Those who venture up to Ba Lua are usually keen to have a good swim, as Hon Dam Duong boasts one of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago. The beach with emerald green water lapping the white sand, and shaded by verdant trees provides an excellent getaway for ocean-lovers.
Ba Hon Dam (Source: Internet)
There is no need for boats to get around Hon Dam Duong, Hon Dam Gieng, and Hon Dam Duoc, as the water is only waist-deep. You may not be the first to discover these places but sometimes, if you are in luck, you will have the whole island to yourself.
The agenda at Ba Lua is simple: go swimming in the turquoise water, laze about in a hammock watching the sunset, throw a barbecue right on the sugar-white sand, and explore the inhabited islands.
Ba Lua’s rugged coastline (Source: Internet)
Phu Quy Island
A corner of Phu Quy Island (Source: Internet)
This enigmatic archipelago is pretty much off-the-beaten-track for foreign visitors.
Walking along Trieu Duong Bay or even on the paved trails above it is a must. This little beach is ideal for a swim during the day and a campfire at night. If tranquility is what you are seeking, go down a little further along the road to reach the less visited crescent-shaped Bai Nho. Being able to wade in the warm water at a place that is not overrun with other people is a big draw of this beach.
Trieu Duong Bay (Source: Internet)
Vietnam is a foodie paradise and even a small island’s specialties will not disappoint. Since tourism on Phu Quy Island is still at its infancy, it is easy to delve into the local specialties and know that they are authentic. Try some cheap frog crabs, you can either have them steamed with salt, pepper and lime or have the crab porridge, the two famous dishes of the island. Coral hind steamed with ginger is another must-try dish. A lot of meticulousness goes into making it, such as if the hind is overheated, the distinctive taste will be lost. For a starter course, sea snail salad is a popular choice. The contrast between the crunchy texture of herbs and the savory taste of bailer shell, Troschel’s murex, and Chiragra spider conch makes the salad highly captivating.
Coral hind steam with ginger (Source: Internet)
There are still some islands in Vietnam that Google Maps can only show the location of and nothing else. Little known and tranquil, these islands are easily accessible yet remain off the radar for most travelers.