Vietnam’s Islands: Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai province
Ly Son Island is the Garlic Kingdom of Vietnam. Despite its small size island grow a lot of garlic: red and white. White garlic even is called the pearl of Vietnam. But also this compact island is full of ancient temples, beautiful mountains and beaches. The nearest major city to the island is Quang Ngai, that is 133 km far from Danang, 118 km from Hoi An and 395 km from Nha Trang.
How to get Ly Son Island
There are no excursions or tours to Ly Son Island, but you can easily get to the island by yourself. The ferry speed boat to Ly Son starts at 8:00from Sa Ky port (to search in google maps write Cang Sa Ky) and trip takes about 1 hour 10-20 minutes. This is the only way to get island. To buy ticket you need to have ID. Buy ticket before, because it takes quite long time. Ferry ticket to Ly Son cost 115k dong, ticket for motorbike cost 50k dong, but additionally you'll need to pay loading on ship 40k dong. Also you can leave your motorbike in the parking on port (about 5k dong per day).
On arrival at the island, you will be asked to go to the police station right outside the port and register your ID. The ferry Ly Son - Sa Ky starts 7:30 am. If you want to have a seat buy tickets so early as possible. Tickets are finishing very fast and at 7:00 already there are no tickets. But if you didn't buy before just enter ferry and you'll pay for controller directly (100k dong). Only you wouldn't have a seat.
How to get Sa Ky port
To Sa Ky port you can come by motorbike or public transport from Quang Nhai. If you are planning to go from Quang Ngai by public transport to the port, take the bus number 3 Mai Linh Bus at the city’s bus station (Quang Ngai Bus Station) at 5:00 or 5:45. The trip takes about an hour. The bus goes directly to the port and start back also from the port Sa Ky.
You can spend the night in Quang Ngai or near the port. If you come with motorbike and you don't want wake up very early you can stay in guest house near the port. Take the main road from the port and after about 50 m on the right side you will see a yellow sign. It’s a small motel Thanh Phat, where double room costs 120k dong for two. But notice that in room there is no AC, fan only; super orthopedic bed - without mattress, but there are pillows and blankets, toilet and shower on the ground floor. Also there you can eat and have a drink or coffee. In Sa Ky there are few other small cafes in tree shadow and there is market in the center.
Ly Son includes two islands: Big and Small. Ferries are approaching to the big island. The Little can be reached by boat, departure around 8:00 am and return back at 14:00. Travel on a boat cost 50,000 dong (round trip), you can rent a boat yourself, which will take you at any time, it will cost 100,000 dong. Small island is uninhabited, but it has beautiful sandy beaches. Bring your food and drinks. There some guest houses on the Big island, you can rent a scooter (100k dong per day) or a bicycle. Electricity is open from 17:00 to 23:00, but some guest houses have generators. Two days - the perfect term to explore both island and relax.
The nearest airport to the island Ly Son - is Chu Lai, then Da Nang. Cheap flights from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City can be found more often in Da Nang and Quang Ngai reached by bus or rent a bike and travel by bike. On the back way to Danang, you can visit the famous temple complex Mi Son. You will need to turn before Hoi An and drive only 30 km.
What to do and to see in Ly Son Island
Generally on this small island there are more than 50 ancient pagodas, temples and shrines, such as Pagoda Chua Hang, located in the rock by the sea, pagoda Dinh Liem Tu, where you can climb the mountain and make great photos pagoda and sea, fairly new church Ding Ly Hai. The island has monuments and memorials that you can see during travel. The best way to explore island is to ride around. The island is small and need about half day to see it all by motorbike. You'll see beautiful sea views, a lot of organised and nice garlic fields, mountains with good view points, red earth of volcanic origin island. Of course, the beautiful beaches on the island, though they are few. With white sand and a diverse array of shells. The water is clear and blue. You can see the crabs and other marine inhabitants. In the afternoon, the tide begins and is impossible to swim, as rocks open.
Ly Son Island is the unique culture corner that many tourists come to visit, but for now mostly Vietnamese. But the island is worth to visit, you will be delighted with the magnificent landscapes, high mountains, lakes and ancient pagodas.