Ly Son Island

, Ly Son Island

For first-time visitors to Vietnam or even local residents, Ly Son Island, dubbed the “Kingdom of Garlic and Volcanoes,” can be completely out of sight. However, in recent years, this area has become a favorite weekend destination for Vietnamese youth, who satisfy their wanderlust with its unspoiled beauty, unspoiled coastline and unspoiled nature. the charm of small towns instead of commercial tourism.

How to get there and around

Located 18.6 km from the mainland of Quang Ngai province, this area is a long dormant volcano with 5 craters. To get to this island, there are many different means of transportation. After taking a flight to Chu Lai International Airport (75 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City), you can take a taxi for 1 hour to Sa Ky port or rent a car from Chu Lai – Sa Ky if you have a larger group.

Traveling can be bumpy at times because there are still potholes here and there on the road.

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From Sa Ky, a speedboat can take you to Ly Son island in 30 minutes. Despite the fact that it departs several times a day, it is best to book your tickets 1-2 days in advance and the taxi drivers are always happy to help you. One-way fares range from $6.50 to $7.30, depending on the speed of the boat. If you are prone to seasickness, you should bring motion sickness medicine with you. When you arrive on the island, don’t forget to check in at the port or the police station, which is a five-minute walk from the port.

Now you can start exploring Ly Son by renting a motorbike for around $6.50 per day. Booking a tour is not necessary as the road in general is quite beautiful. If you are not familiar with dirt roads, booking a taxi is a good alternative.

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Best time to visit

With warm weather all year round, Ly Son is quite tourist-friendly. Sunny and warm from December to February. From June to September, it becomes sunny, hot and humid. Therefore, water and sunscreen are must-haves. From September to November, it rains more but that should not affect your trip.

Things to see

Thoi Loi Mountain

Thoi Loi Mountain is one of the region’s highest peaks, boasting stunning panoramas of the emerald-green coastline, black rock rapids and the town from above. Interestingly, many brides have conquered it for their engagement photos! As you ride up the hill, you will see a flagpole. Don’t cross it, though, as the guards are on the other side of their training facility.

Hang Cau

Cau Cave was formed from a volcanic eruption centuries ago. It creates a breathtaking scene where the ocean and mountains meet. As it leads to the shore, tourists can swim and take beautiful pictures of the sunset. Should wear water shoes because near the shore there are corals. For an ocean adventure, hire a valet at the parking lot to take you aboard a log boat and start diving with schools of colorful fish.

, Ly Son IslandPhoto by @Dao Trinh

Hang Pagoda (Hang Pagoda)

Hang Pagoda, located inside a natural cave of Thoi Loi mountain, is a unique pagoda made of stone instead of wood or cement as usual. It was established under King Le Kinh Tong about 500 years ago. If you have never seen people kneeling to pray in a cave, this will be a one-of-a-kind experience.

, Ly Son IslandPhoto by @Che Trung Hieu

To Vo Gate

Located on the east side of the island, To Vo gate is an arch-shaped structure formed from volcanic lava. This is a rare rock formation that can only be seen on TV so tourists often like to take this opportunity to take special photos. This place is less crowded in the early morning. From To Vo gate, you can walk through a colorful cemetery to reach Duc Temple, the next attraction.

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Duc Pagoda

Located between the slopes of Gieng Tien mountain, Duc Pagoda is a place where you can capture the whole sea and island. From the main gate, when you climb up the stairs, the huge 27-meter-high statue of Guanyin overlooking the ocean appears to amaze you. With over 100 steps, the climb can be tiring but the view you enjoy afterwards is definitely worth the effort.

Gieng Tien Mountain

From the statue of the Goddess of Mercy at Duc Pagoda, visitors can turn right, climb the stairs and follow the dirt road for 15 minutes to climb Gieng Tieng mountain, where you will be mesmerized by the view of the crater lying dormant. covered with a green blanket. . You can also view Duc Pagoda from a different angle.

Peace Island

If you have an insatiable craving for white sand beaches with emerald green poplars and palm trees, you will be satisfied at An Binh Island. Round trip train tickets are available at ticket agents near the port for as little as $3.40. The swimming position is beautiful but the waves are relatively strong so many swimmers will consider wearing a life jacket. To get to the calmer waters for snorkeling, you can rent a log boat for snorkeling for $2.60. If you walk from the rest area to the port, endless fields of onions and garlic will be in sight. Murals are painted along the way to raise awareness about environmental protection.

Eat what

Delicious dishes with garlic

Garlic is the symbol of Ly Son island, so it is served a lot in cuisine. Ly Son is famous for its one bulb garlic, which has a milder aroma and taste than usual. Garlic salad and garlic wine are good dishes to start your culinary career.


Seafood is extremely fresh and affordable on this island. Do not miss the dishes of sea snails, abalone, blood cockles, giant clams, scallops, sea urchins, tama fish, … and especially snails, this is the culinary symbol of Ly Son. Conch is often grilled or pan-fried with chili sauce and lemongrass to bring out the sea flavor and eliminate fishy odors. Copper crab, which was only served to kings, is now also a must-try dish. However, it is only available in October.

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Sticky rice cake wrapped with hemp leaves (Small cake with prickly leaves)

This cone-shaped cake is a staple in daily life in Ly Son island. The pleasant aroma of sticky rice and banana leaves blends with the rich sweetness of coconut milk, leaving the taste bursting in the mouth.

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Fruit Smoothies

Smoothies available at restaurants near the port can be a refreshing treat on a hot day, helping you rehydrate during the trip. And all this icy freshness for an incredibly reasonable $1 more.

Sticky rice and bread

The kiosks on the way into town offer colorful sweet sticky rice topped with salty peanuts and bread for breakfast. Casual street food makes for the most convenient, affordable and delicious breakfast.

Travel tips

  • Two days is enough to explore Ly Son island as it is quite small.
  • Hostels and hotels are within walking distance from the port. Rates range from $9 to $13 per night. Booking flight tickets 1-2 months in advance will save some money.
  • English is still not widely spoken on the island so learning a few Vietnamese phrases will make your trip easier.

If you intend to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, Ly Son Island will be one of the most ideal locations for you. The endless garlic fields, mysterious temples, unspoiled beaches and amazing architecture of Mother Earth will immerse you and recharge your batteries with positive energy to come back to life.

Useful information

  • Location: Ly Son, Quang Ngai, Vietnam

  • Best for: All Visitors

  • Entrance: N / A

  • Hours: All day

  • Distance to city center: 43.9km (27.3 mi)

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