Even though Ly Son Island doesn't have long, sandy beaches with brushed coconut palms, it's still so attractive for both local and foreign tourists in summer time. The island which was shaped by a volcano in the past (maybe thousands years ago), and so famous for its fresh seafood and garlic are calling travelers these sunny days.
Today I will share some tips and experience from my recent trip to this natural gem. I've devided into sevaral categories so that you can save some useful info for your next trip.
Where is the island,
Ly Son is a small town in Quang Ngai province, which is located 30 km from the mainland and 180 km far from Danang. It is devided into a big island (Ly Son), Small Island (An Binh) and Hon Mu Cu which is on the East of Ly Son. The most popular and attractive one is Ly Son Island called "natural pearl island"
when should we go,
The best time to visit Ly Son island is mainly from March to September when the weather is dry and bright, almost no rain and sea waves are very calm where you can swim and dive easily. And it will be nicer to go during weekdays, instead of weekends and holidays as there are many tourists who choose these special days, you will not relax with transport and accomodations. If you can't stay long, I recommend you to stay at least 2 days to explore the whole island which is a bit bigger than Phu Quoc Island and easy to get there by speedboat after 30-45 minutes.
How to get there
You can go by plane, boat, train, or a bike from your place to Quang Ngai, then reach Sa Ky Port, where there are boats to Ly Son Island. There are servaral time options for you to choose and buy a boat ticket until noon time. The same on the way back, you can join the boat from 6 am to noon time (latest). Depending on the season, there will be extra boats during day time. For those who go from Danang (same city as mine) which is 150 km far from Sa Ky, you may choose a scooter to drive there on your own, however I recommend you to take a sharing car, the driver will pick you up at your place in the morning, then helps you to book boat tickets on his foreseen arrival time and give you some local advice. You can book with him for the return date as well. I cannot share contacts here as you must update on a group for such service on your suitable day. Please inbox me if you need help for a contact.
This is how speedboats look in Vietnam. Locals use this small one to move between the islands. I recommend you to go to the small island in the early morning so that it's not too hot to swim and do snorkeling, also you can see the best sunrise on the ocean here. These are signature activities to do on the small island. Remember to book a boat (even sharing a boat) before going. The hotel owner can help you with that. I remember we paid 150,000 vnd/ 2 ways per person.
What to do there
Once you arrive on Ly Son island, you will find yourselves lost in an ocean dreamland. All spectacular landscapes still keep their original beauties like To Vo Gate, Gieng Tien Volcanic Mouth , Cave Pagoda, Mu Cu and many other attractions.
To visit all these beautiful destinations, the best way is renting a scooter or a bicycle. The island is bigger than other islands in Vietnam, however, it's a small town which you can explore everywhere within a day. The scooter rental is about 150,000 vnd (6 usd) per day without petrol. We are lucky to have a local friend there, therefore, we didn't spend much energy to search such things and he let us use his scooters and bicycle for free ^^ On the island, there are many electric car as well, they can make a tour for you to visit all places that you want to go, however, it was quite stressful and I don't recommend you to take this way either ;)
As mentioned, Ly Son is famous for Thoi Loi Mountain Peak built by an inactive volcano is the main source of providing water for the whole population here. Standing on the peak, you can see a magnificent view with the blue sea, little houses and green fields of garlic which is very well known here as well.
Next to Thoi Loi Peak is the Ly Son flagpole where you can watch the sunset and feel the peace at the end of the day on the island. Last trip I was lucky to meet and join a group of people doing meditation there during sundown.
What to eat
There are many local food restaurants there, not fancy but delicious! Moreover, seafood is so fresh and cheap here, you can BBQ with your host or eat outside. We did both and enjoyed it a lot. Squid,sea urchin porridge and garlic salad are the best dishes that I have ever eaten.
At the normal time, there is a night market in the evening and some bars/ coffee shops with live music, however, we were there during covid time, it was closed everywhere, fortunately, we could find a vendor selling coconut ice cream ;)
This natural pearl Island of Ly Son is truly an unforgettable memory that I definitely want to come back to. The locals are simply happy and joyful all the time. Food and attractions are still keeping their own pristine beauties. Don't miss it so long as it is still being wild ;)