Van Phong Bay
Despite not being as famous as Nha Trang Bay nearby, Van Phong Bay is one of the most beautiful bays in central Vietnam with its untouched natural beauty. This article includes full details about transportation, beautiful spots, food, accommodation, and pro tips about Van Phong Bay, so that you can plan your own trip and experience it’s beauty for yourself.
Geography and Climate
Van Phong Bay is located between Van Ninh and Ninh Hoa districts of Khanh Hoa province and 80 kilometers away from northern Nha Trang city. This area has different terrains including islands, peninsulas, and dunes which are ecologically diverse and rich in tropical forests, mangrove forests, coastal ocean animals, and plants.
The climate is cool and comfortable throughout the year. There are two seasons. Rainy season is from May to November. Dry season is from December to April. The best time to travel to Van Phong Bay is from December to June. At this time, the sea is quite calm and the waves are not too strong.
How to Get to Van Phong Bay
You can reach Van Phong with many forms of transportation, including bus, train, and airplane.
- Bus: In Saigon, buy a ticket at the eastern bus station (ben xe Mien Dong) to Van Gia port, in Van Ninh district, Khanh Hoa province. In Hanoi, buy a ticket at Futa bus or The Sinh Tourist stations. Tickets cost around 220,000 to 360,000 VND.
- Train: There are two trains to Van Gia every day, which costs around 400,000 VND from Saigon. You should book the ticket in advance in case the tickets are sold out.
- Airplane: Arrive at Cam Ranh airport and catch a taxi to Van Gia village. Know that the distance from Cam Ranh airport to Van Gia village is 100 kilometers. This is the most convenient and fastest way for people who don’t have much time.
At Van Gia port, there is boat departure around 9 AM to 11 AM, depending on the tide every day. The arrival time is around 5 PM to 6 PM.
Diep Son Island
Diep Son is one of the most simple yet difficult island communes in Khanh Hoa province because families on the island still lack electricity and clean water. Diep Son consists of three small islands in the middle of Van Phong Bay.
The feature of Diep Son island is the unique path running nearly 700 meters long, connecting the middle island to the biggest island of Diep Son. The zigzag path which is one meter wide is half a meter below the sea surface. Walking on this path brings a sense of excitement, nervousness, and fear when you have to walk in the middle of the vast ocean. You can also watch the schools of colorful fish swimming next to you.
Ong island, also called “Whale” island, is different from other islands because no one lives here. Every available service is provided by the only resort on this island, Whale Island Resort. Environmental protection is really important to Ong island so fishing or hunting birds is prohibited.
Ong island is not suitable for night activities and noisy bars. Otherwise, this island is the paradise of peaceful ocean, and long beautiful beaches. Suitable for travelers who like nature and want to relax after long days working in big cities, this is the place for you!
Dam Mon Peninsula
Dam Mon is a peninsula with a total area of 128 square kilometers, including 20 islands and vast forested areas. Dam Mon beach is very clean and you can see the bottom of the sea because the water is nearly transparent. Sheltered by Hon Gom peninsula and Hon Lon island, there are no big waves all year round.
You can visit the fishing village on Dam Mon to find out about local life. Due to its beautiful scenery, Dam Mon is a great place for amateur or professional photographers. Other activities that you can experience are exploring the ocean by snorkeling or renting a boat to explore the beauty of the smaller surrounding islands.
Son Dung Village
Son Don is a small village with only ten families, home to the Dang Ha people. The Dang Ha people are descendents of fishermen from Malaysia or Indonesia who were stranded here by the typhoon from the 18th and 19th centuries. Dang Ha people have dark skin, curly hair, and big eyes. Their culture and language is similar to the Vietnamese, except they have a similar habit of carrying stuff on their heads like the Cham people. Son Dung does not have roads and people instead traverse the sandy beach. When the tide rises, the path also disappears.
Son Dung is also home to a clean and picturesque beach. The coolest thing is that you can drink the fresh water right on the beach! Move a few steps from the sea, dig a hole in the sand, and the water slowly rises. Drink this water and you will taste the freshness, it’s somehow not salty or brackish. You should also know that travelers can travel by boat to visit Lach beach nearby, where there are many coral reefs and beautiful cliffs.
Co Ong Island
Co Ong island is the heaven of colorful coral reefs painting the bottom of the sea. When the tide is out, coral reefs appear beneath your eyes with different shapes and colors. A variety of marine animals like lobster, rock crab, starfish, and conch are under your feet. Local people come here and collect these marine animals for sale to earn their living. Take photos of these beautiful creatures and try to be a fisherman in one day!
Doi Cape, also known as Mui Ba Dau, is located on Hon Gom Peninsula of Van Phong Bay. Doi means two in English which references the two rocks jutting out to the East Sea. It has a beautiful natural landscape with stone structures that make up various rock formations. In particular, Doi Cape is also the easternmost point and the earliest spot to witness the glow of dawn in Vietnam.
From Dam Mon, you can choose to walk or rent a boat to Doi Cape. However, those with health problems should take the boat since there are not many waves due to the reefs.
A Variety of Fresh Seafood
Like many islands off the coast, Van Phong Bay has a variety of fresh seafood, which is cooked in many different ways. Famous seafood you must try here is monster snail (oc quy), grilled squid dipped in fish sauce and ginger (muc nuong cham nuoc mam gung), snail porridge (chao oc), and grilled big clam (ngao 2 coi nuong).
In Van Phong Bay, you don’t have to go to the restaurant because the local fishermen sell their food and cook it up right in front of you. Then you can enjoy the delicious seafood which comes at a deliciously cheap price.
The tourism industry of Van Phong Bay is not really developed so finding guest houses will be a little difficult. Room rates will range from 300,000 to 450,000 VND. For small islands off the coast, the electricity is only on from 6 PM to 9 PM and services are limited for travelers. There are not many tourists so you can go around and ask the local people about guest houses on the island. However, make sure you bargain these prices and feel comfortable with the price you’re paying.
The resorts on the bigger islands provide full facilities with professional services for travelers. The two resorts below are really famous and highly recommended in Van Phong Bay.
Whale Island Resort
Address: Ong island, Dam Mon village, Van Thanh commune, Van Ninh district, Khanh Hoa province
Price range: 65-145 USD
Website: Whale Island Resort
Phone number: (+84) 0935 466245
The Light Coral Island Resort
Address: Ong island, Van Thanh commune, Van Ninh district, Khanh Hoa province
Price range: 90-170 USD
Website: The Light Coral Island Resort
Phone number: (+84) 0258 352 1045
If you like nature, camping is a good option. Only with a tent and your essentials, can you stay overnight under a starry sky and listen to the waves for an unadulterated night in the wild.
- There are not many good restaurants on Van Phong Bay, so you should prepare food if you don’t want to be hungry in the middle of the night.
- Security on the islands is really good so don’t worry about theft. You should bring a power bank to charge phones as electricity on some islands is only from 6 PM to 9 PM.
- The island is very clean and quiet, so you should not litter and make noise to disturb the local people.
After reading this sentence, you can plan your own trip to Van Phong Bay and enjoy a relaxing few days with beautiful oceans. Nha Trang is nearby, so you can have a trip to the city after staying in this peaceful island cluster. Read this article to know more about this beautiful coastal city. If you have a huge interest in islands and beaches, read The Islands of Vietnam to explore as many islands as you can.