Known as Vietnam’s second Halong, Nam Du island is one of the most attractive destinations in the South Vietnam. It’s an ideal place for those who wants to escape from the bustle of life and relax after the stressful work.
Nam Du is an archipelago located some 80 kilometers off Rach Gia City of Kien Giang Province. It takes around two and a half hour to reach the destination from the provincial city by speed boat that costs VND220,000 a person. There are about three trips to the islands every day, leaving at 8:15 a.m. and arriving at Chet Beach in Nam Du at 10:30 a.m.
If you start the journey from Ho Chi Minh City, catch a Saigon-Rach Gia sleeper coach departing at 11 p.m. every Friday at VND170,000 for a ticket. After six hours, you will arrive at Rach Gia coach station at 5 a.m. in the next day and reach the provincial city after an additional 30 minutes.
While waiting for a boat heading for Nam Du, you can pay a visit to Nguyen Trung Truc Temple highlighted by a 100-year-old banyan tree situated at the entrance and then take a walk at Nguyen Trung Truc Park. There are vendors around, selling banh bo thot not (Vietnamese jaggery sponge cake) and many kinds of xoi (steamed sticky rice) made from corn, mung bean and peanut at very affordable prices.
What to do
On arrival at Nam Du Archipelago, there is a selection of lodgings close to the port at VND120,000 for one night. However, if you want to stay at a place overlooking scenic views as well as sunrise and sunset on the sea, head for Dao Huynh hotel located some two kilometers from the port with room tariffs remaining the same as other lodgings.
Most of the roads in Nam Du are paved but sometimes there are some rugged sections with old houses scattered on either side. You will get amazed by a number of beautiful landscapes of the islands for sure.
There are only two restaurants in Nam Du, namely Nam Nuong and Hoa Hoang offering an assortment of tasty dishes at affordable prices. On top of that, you can also order the chefs to make certain dishes. Fresh and delicious seafood will be served at lunch and dinner while breakfast there is quite similar to that in Saigon including broken rice with all the trimmings and various types of noodle soup.
You will have a chance to visit a lot of different islands in Nam Du by boat at VND100,000-200,000 a person and go sightseeing on the crystal clear water and beautiful coral reef formed in varied shapes where schools of fish swimming around. However, if you want something new and more exciting, you can go diving to admire such amazing views and creatures under the water as life jackets and swimming goggles are always available on boats. Cameras are always a good recommendation as you participate in diving to share what you have seen with your friends.
Afterwards, you will see how the islanders catch sea urchins as the main ingredient to make delicious urchin porridge which will be served to tourists at the end of the day. As the boat returns to the port, you can also pick some kinds of seafood by yourself to make preparations for dinner. As usual, the lodging owner will cook for the tourists with the ingredients they have bought earlier.
There will be only one trip from Nam Du to Rach Gia at 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. The archipelago is always crowded with visitors on weekends. Therefore, make sure your booking should include return tickets in the first place if you want to get back for your work on Monday on time.
Now you only have one morning left to discover Nam Du by hiring a motorcycle at VND150,000 to travel to Men Beach. On the road leading there, you will admire spectacular landscapes. Even though Men Beach is quite small, its water is extremely clean and clear while this place is also highlighted by a line of coconut trees.
Wake up early in the morning to catch the sunrise and enjoy the fresh and peaceful atmosphere. Wake up early to discover and experience something new in Nam Du.
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