The perfect islands to relax on in Vietnam

Not only is Vietnam one of the cheapest destinations in the world with terrific nature, world class food, amazing coffee, beautiful hiking spots and bustling metropole cities, it’s also home to some stunning islands. If you’re looking for a calm vacation, go to the islands! If you’re not sure which island (or islands) to choose, check out this list of the perfect islands to relax on in Vietnam.

Phu Quoc Island

Phu Quoc used to be a hidden gem, but has now become an established tourist destination. Both locals and expats are heading to this island for a tropical escape away from the hustle and bustle of the cities of Vietnam. Although the city centre of the island can get quite busy, it still has a very calm ambience about it. The southern part of Phu Quoc is especially crowded so if you’re looking for an emptier place, head north. There’s also a special kind of visa rule for Phu Quoc Island. If you only want to go to the island by flight, you can enter visa free for 30 days. You have to fly out as well and cannot go to mainland Vietnam.

Cat Ba

Another favorite amongst tourists, Cat Ba island has gotten famous thanks to Halong Bay, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and perhaps the most known landmark of Vietnam. When you’ve sightseed Halong Bay, head to Cat Ba island for some beach time. Not only are the beaches stunning, it’s also nestled in the mountains, which makes for an impressive scenery.

Con Dao

What used to be a prison during the war has now flourished into a tourist destination. Still, this island has still not become a popular place to visit in Vietnam so you might even have beaches all to yourself. The best way to explore the island is by renting a motorbike and go around the island. The roads are developed and quite empty so even if you don’t have a lot of experience riding a scooter, you can easily do it here, undisturbed.

Binh Hung

Another hidden little gem in Vietnam, this untouched beauty might not be the most easily accessible island, but it’s so worth it. What you will be met with are some of the most beautiful beaches that the country has to offer. Since it’s still not an established destination, you won’t find any hotels here. You can, however, find some friendly locals that you can make arrangements with to stay for a few nights. You can also spend the nights in a floating raft house and sleep in a hammock. Doesn’t get more authentic than this!

Ly Son

Home to over 50 temples and shrines, garlic farms and sand beaches, this island makes for the perfect getaway for when you want to discover another part of Vietnam. Life here moves in a slower pace and is great for for relaxing. Unlike Binh Hung, you can find a few hotels here. Since the island has started to receive more tourists, it’s even more important to keep it clean. The island is having a hard time dealing with all the waste so it’s important that you leave as little trash behind as possible.

Binh Ba

Just 15 km south of Nha Trang lies Binh Ba. It will cost you less than 1 dollar to get to the island from Cam Ranh port so there’s really no reason not to go there. Unlike Nha Trang, it’s less crowded and has some delicious local delicacies that one can indulge in while visiting the island.

Nam Du

Just southeast of Phu Quoc lies this tiny but stunning island. It is the largest of the 19 islands in the Nam Du archipelago and still remains hidden from the tourists. If you’re planning a trip here, do note that WiFi is rare here, cell phone service barely exists and there are no ATMs on the island so make sure you bring all the cash you think you’ll need, plus a little more. For those looking to disconnect for a few days, there’s really no better place than Nam Du.

Unlike Phu Quoc island, you will need a visa in order to visit the other islands of Vietnam. You just need to apply for the Vietnam visa in order to travel around freely in the country. If you’re traveling to Phu Quoc and wishes to travel to mainland Vietnam afterwards, you will need a visa. Luckily, the visa process is easy and you can get it within just a few days. What you need to do is to either apply for the ‘Visa on Arrival’ or an ‘e-Visa’ (note: only eligible for 81 countries). You can apply for the online visas from wherever you are in the world. You also have the option to go to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply for a visa with them. You will have to book an appointment and bring all the necessary documents to the embassy.