Co Ong not only possesses the typical beauty of a bay, but it also has a surprisingly beautiful "coral kingdom". Photo: dulichso
Coral reefs appear when the tide recedes. Photo: ivivu
Van Phong (in Khanh Hoa province) is one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam with a mild climate and unspoiled beauty. Here are some outstanding destinations of Van Phong Bay that you should not miss.
Van Phong is located in Van Ninh district, Khanh Hoa province (about 60km to the north of Nha Trang city), which is the largest bay in this region with a total area of 503km2. The average depth of the bay is about 10m while the deepest position is over 30m. As an airtight bay, Van Phong has 28 islands and coves.
This bay, along with Dai Lanh beach, Doc Let beach, and Son Tap - Trai Thom mountainous region has the greatest potential for developing integrated marine - forest - mountain tourism in Vietnam. Van Phong is also on the list of four most ideal destinations for beach tourism today voted by the International Marine Organisation (IMO).
Van Phong is the largest bay in Khanh Hoa province with a total area of 503km2. Photo: kienthucvui.vn
Dam Mon is a peninsula with a total area of 128km2 and it is composed of 20 islands along with primeval forests. This place is “shielded” by Hon Gom and Hon Lon islands, which results in its quietness and airtightness, laying the foundation for developing marine tourism. At the same time, Dam Mon has many additional favorable conditions such as: climate, coastline, mountains, landscape, ecological environment, seaport and seafood.
Dam Mon peninsula with unspoiled nature. Photo: dulich24
Standing on the hill of Dam Mon, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful Van Phong Bay. In addition, you will find the “magic” of nature here - just dig into the ground gently and you will see fresh water seeping through the holes.
Standing on the hill of Dam Mon, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful Van Phong Bay. Photo: bazantravel.com
Among the islands of Dam Mon, Co Ong has an extremely beautiful coral ecosystem. In the waters of this island, you will be able to see unique corals of various shapes and colours everywhere. When the tide recedes, the coral reefs emerge from the water, creating a charming natural “picture”.
Son Dung (also known as Xuan Dung) is a famous tourist attraction due to its special features such as its fine white sand, unique stacked rocks, and clear blue sea water without waves.
Son Dung has fine white sand, unique stacked rocks, and clear blue sea water without waves. Photo: Khoahocvaphatrien
There is a small fishing village in Son Dung with no more than ten households, where the ethnic people of Dang Ha reside. The Dang Ha people have dark skin; their lifestyle and language have been “Vietnamised”, but they have an almost separate life from the outside world.
Mrs. Mia - a Dang Ha person in Son Dung beach. Photo: vnexpress
When coming to this beach in the morning, you will be able to enjoy the freshness of nature. Since this beach rarely has waves, it is very safe for both adults and children to swim. At noon, you can visit roadside restaurants to enjoy fresh seafood such as squid, cobia, crabs, oysters, croakers, grouper, lobster and giant tiger prawn. In the afternoon, the beach is calm and peaceful, so it is very suitable for relaxing and sightseeing. In addition, conquering the sand dunes or kayaking are also interesting experiences.
This beach rarely has waves, so it is very safe for both adults and children to swim. Photo: Khoahocvaphatrien
The main means of transportation from the city center to Son Dung is by car. You can travel in the northern direction along the newly-opened road from the foot of Co Ma pass to Dam Mon peninsula, from which you can take a boat to Son Dung beach. As the boat is not able to get close to the shore, you will have to get off the boat to get on a raft when it is about 100m from Son Dung beach.
Diep Son is not the name of an island but it is a series of three small islands: Hon Bip - Hon Giua - Hon Duoc. The most prominent feature of Diep Son island is the unique sea-crossing road with a length of nearly 700m, connecting Hon Bip and Hon Giua. The one-metre wide road gives visitors the feeling of walking in the middle of the ocean, which is extremely interesting.
The one-metre wide road gives visitors the feeling of walking in the middle of the ocean. Photo: @asiamastertours
Diep Son Island seen from above. Photo: ivivu.com
From Van Gia port, you can take a boat or canoe to the island.
By canoe: It takes about 15-20 minutes with the price of about VND 100,000/person.
By boat: It takes about 15-20 minutes with the price of about VND 200,000 - 300,000/6 people.
By boat of the locals: It takes about 45 minutes with a low price of about VND 20,000 - 30,000/person.
Hon Ong, which is also known as Ca Voi (Whale Island), is one of the most beautiful islands in Van Phong Bay. Hon Ong covers an area of about 40ha without anyone living there, but there is one accommodation called “Resort Whale Island”. The place possesses a beautiful natural scene and clear blue water, but it is deserted.
There are no households in Hon Ong, but there is one accommodation. Photo: @intertourvietnam
When coming to Hon Ong, you can experience activities such as kayaking around the island and scuba diving. As for scuba diving, you will get on a boat to go to the snorkeling spots and an instructor will teach you how to dive.
Since there is only one resort on the island, the price of food is quite high, which is about USD 14/person/meal.
The pristine scenery in Hon Ong. Photo: baomoi.com
You can follow the road from the foot of Co Ma pass to Dam Mon peninsula (passing Van Gia village). At Dam Mon port, you can take a boat to get to Hon Ong after a travel time of about 15-20 minutes.
Mui Doi is considered as one of the interesting discovery points of Van Phong Bay. The reason why it is called Mui Doi (the twin outcrop) is due to the two rocky outcrops jutting out into the East Sea.
The sea at Mui Doi. Photo: @hongngoc1062
The place has an extremely charming natural landscape with rock structures forming “wonders” of various shapes and sizes. Due to reefs around Mui Doi, motorboats cannot dock near the shore.
The place has an extremely charming natural landscape with rock structures forming “wonders” of various shapes and sizes. Photo: tago.vn
Mui Doi is also the easternmost point, so this is the place where you can admire the earliest sunrise in Vietnam. The rising sun covers the vast blue sea, creating a beautiful “picture” of nature. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the swiftlets’ nesting and inhabiting here.
The dawn at Mui Doi. Photo: baomoi.com
From Dam Mon port, you can travel by road or waterway, but it is advised that you should choose the former option as this place has many reefs, causing difficulties for boats to get close to the shore. It takes you about four hours to cross the forest, sandy beaches, mountains and hills to get to the destination.
Conquering Mui Doi by road. Photo: vnexpress
- Bring cash when traveling as you can hardly find an ATM in Van Phong Bay.
- There are not many restaurants here, so you should bring some food along.
- Bring a power bank for your phone.
- The islands on the bay are very wild and quiet, so you are not allowed to litter or make noise.
To get to Van Phong Bay, you must first go to Van Gia wharf (Van Gia fishing village):
From Saigon and Hanoi: You can take a plane to Cam Ranh airport and then travel by taxi (about 100km) straight to Van Gia village.
From Nha Trang city: You can take a bus; if you travel by motorbike, you can travel along National Highway 1A (about 60km).
At Van Gia port, everyday there are boats going to Van Phong Bay from 9am to 11am, depending on the tide situation.
Directions from Nha Trang city to Van Gia village. Photo: Google Maps
The bay has two seasons: while the rainy season is from May to November, the dry season is from December to April. The best time to travel to Van Phong Bay is in the dry season when the sea is calm with gentle waves, while the climate is extremely pleasant.
The best time to travel to Van Phong Bay is in the dry season (from December to April). Photo: dulich360.com.vn
You can stay at the Hoang Gia Doc Let hotel, which is only about five minutes walk from the sea. While each room is relatively spacious, the rate only ranges from VND 460,000 - 960,000/night.
Two famous resorts that are highly recommended in Van Phong Bay are Whale Island Resort and Light Coral Island Resort.
In Van Phong Bay, there are only a small number of places to stay, so you should book a room in advance. Photo: agoda
Van Phong is a destination to help you experience the unspoiled and peaceful nature of Khanh Hoa province. You will have relaxing moments which are totally different from the hustle and bustle of daily life.