The Most Beautiful Islands in Vietnam

Explore the beautiful islands in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, via a boat cruise
Explore the beautiful islands in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, via a boat cruise | © Srdjan Rakonjac / Alamy
Photo of Matthew Pike
Writer4 September 2021

When it comes to stunning beaches and coastlines, Vietnam has so much to offer. So much, in fact, that people often overlook the amazing islands along this country’s picturesque coastline. Here are the most beautiful islands in the land where the mountains meet the sea.

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Hòn Bà

When the tide is low, you can actually walk to this tiny island, located near the giant statue of Jesus in Vũng Tàu, two hours south of Ho Chi Minh City. This island features as the backdrop in millions of photos every year.

Hòn Bà is a small island in Vietnam | © Matthew Pike / Culture Trip

Hòn Khoai

For those of you with a taste for adventurous food, the people on this island actually cook with algae. The island also boasts a colonial-era lighthouse, one of the earliest examples of French architecture in the country.

Phú Quốc

Development is quickly changing this island, but it’s still such an amazing place – with beaches, seafood, stunning sunsets and a relaxing pace of life. We love this island and definitely recommend you visit it during your time in Vietnam.

Make sure to visit the sandy beaches on Phú Quốc | © Image Professionals GmbH / Alamy

Hòn Sơn

While this island may not be all that large, it has nice hiking trails and as beautiful a fishing village as you’ll see in all of Vietnam. You really feel the connection to the sea on this little island off the south coast.

Côn Đảo Islands

This archipelago of 16 islands has a long history of horrible abuses and torture. The old prisons still stand as a sombre reminder of the cruelties endured by political prisoners during the colonial and wartime years. However, the island is also one of the best places for nature lovers in Vietnam, with superb hiking trails and spots for scuba diving.

When on the Côn Đảo Islands, stay at the Six Senses Con Dao | © Six Senses / Hotels.com

Nam Du Islands

If you’re looking for pristine beaches, you won’t find any better than those on the Nam Du Islands, which are southeast of the more popular Phú Quốc Island. Just have a look at Bãi Cây Mến Beach. If that beach isn’t a paradise, we don’t know what is.

Bãi Cây Mến Beach is a paradise-like beach on the Nam Du Islands | © Phong Tran / Alamy

Phú Quý

If you find yourself in either Phan Thiết or Mũi Né, you should definitely consider taking a trip over to Phú Quý. It only takes about four hours by ferry to get to this island of 20,000 people, and, once you’re here, you get to enjoy the island lifestyle that makes this place such a hidden gem.

Đảo Bình Hưng

Đảo Bình Hưng is located in the mouth of Cam Ranh Bay. Like with many islands on this list, you’ll find excellent seafood and beaches here that’ll make you want to curl up with a good book and listen to the background noise of waves all day long.

Đảo Bình Ba

Just across this bay from Đảo Bình Hưng is Đảo Bình Ba. Enjoy strolls along seashell-strewn coastlines, or even take a ride in a coracle boat. That’s the kind of bucket-list adventure to brag about when you get back home after your Vietnam holiday.

Hòn Tre

Have you ever taken a cable car trip to an island? Step in at Cầu Đá Port in Nha Trang, and step off right next to a waterpark. How cool is that? And, for the golfers out there, be sure to visit the links at Vinpearl Discovery Rockside Nha Trang.

Relax by the beach on Hòn Tre Island | © Murat Tegmen / Alamy

Nhơn Châu Island

Here’s another island with excellent scuba-diving opportunities, and, unlike some of the smaller islands on this list, Nhơn Châu Island has plenty of accommodations for tourists. You can also check out the colonial-era lighthouse, where you can take in the panoramic views.

Lý Sơn Island

This island is the remnant of a volcano that formed approximate 25 million years ago, making it one of the more unique landscapes in Vietnam. Known locally as the Kingdom of Garlic, much of the island is farmland.

Visit the rugged beach on Lý Sơn Island | © Quan Nguyen Vu / Alamy

Hòn Sơn Chà

This is the island you’ll see as you make your way over the Hải Vân Pass, one of the best motorbike routes in all of Vietnam. We love it because it adds to the breathtaking views on this spectacular road.

Yến Island

This island is where the revered General Võ Nguyên Giáp chose to build his tomb. It’s a popular spot for Vietnamese people to visit and show their respect to their national hero.

Yến Island is a popular destination for Vietnamese people | © Panther Media GmbH / Alamy

Cát Bà Island

We could’ve just filled this list with all the islands of Ha Long Bay, but we’ll limit ourselves to just the main tourism island in the bay: Cát Bà Island. There’s so much to love about this place. When you visit Ha Long Bay, skip the main city, and stay on this island instead.

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