Dear island hoppers, what comes to your mind when you hear “tropical island”? Are they endless dunes occupied with coconut tree lines? If so, let Ly Son island in Quang Ngai bring you a new definition of that word. With barren soil and amazing karst terrains, this so-called “Garlic Kingdom” is a must-visit for any adventurous souls.
What Our Guide Will Cover
Overview of Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
- Ly Son is an island district in Quang Ngai, a province in Central Vietnam;
- Ly Son is the vestige of a volcano formed about 25-30 million years ago. This former volcano keeps the source of groundwater that supplies all citizens in Ly Son;
- The distance between Ly Son and the mainland of Quang Ngai is 15 nautical miles so people usually travel by high-speed boat to reach the island;
- Best time to visit Ly Son:
- For beach lovers and those planning for island hopping in Vietnam, May to September is the most favorable time to immerse in the crystal-clear water of Ly Son;
- In case you are curious about the nickname “Garlic Kingdom”, come to this wonder from September to December, you will awe at the endless fields of garlic here.
Transportation to Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
Transferring to Quang Ngai City – the capital of Quang Ngai Province
Since there is no airport in Quang Ngai, you should take a direct flight to Da Nang International Airport. Once arriving in Da Nang, you will have to switch to a taxi or a bus to reach Quang Ngai City.
For those having a tight budget, this is the most ideal way to travel a long distance. However, don’t be surprised if you feel dizzy or tired when you reach Quang Ngai since the trip could take you a whole day.
Price: VND 250,000 – VND 600,000 (from Saigon and Hanoi)
Duration: 14 hours – 17 hours
- For your convenience, you should book tickets online beforehand;
- Reliable companies are Hoang Long and Phuong Trang;
- Middle and front seats are more comfortable than those at the back.
Not as pricey as a plane but comfier than a bus, the train offers you a sightseeing tour at a reasonable price. From the train window, you will have a panoramic view of striking mountains as well as the clear blue sea of Central Vietnam.
Price: VND 400,000 – VND 1,200,000
Duration: 13 – 16 hours
- Tickets can be booked on Vietnam’s Railway website or 12go.asia;
- If you want to have a deep sleep on the road, choose the bunk bed instead of normal seats.
Read this article for more tips on Taking the Train in Vietnam.
Moving to Ly Son Island
The only way to move from Quang Ngai’s mainland to Ly Son island is by high-speed boat. First travel from Quang Ngai City to Sa Ky Port in Binh Son Commune, then you will buy tickets at the port and get ready to go onboard.
Price: VND 130,000 – VND 180,000
Duration: 45 – 60 minutes
Recommended brands: Chinh Nghia Express, An Vinh Express, Super Bien Dong
Attractions in Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
Unlike other coastal areas with exciting seaside bars and resorts, Ly Son welcomes you with its stunning nature and mesmerizing garlic fields. As the main island of Ly Son is divided into West Village and East Village, let’s look at must-visit attractions in each area:
To Vo Gate
This stunning lava arch is a destination you cannot miss when visiting Ly Son island. Standing here, you can either observe the busy life of a nearby fishing village or admire the sunset and snap some aesthetic photos.
To Vo Gate is also known as Heaven’s Gate
To visit Duc Pagoda, you must pass more than 100 stairs along Gieng Tieng Mountain ridge. When entering this place, you will feel a sense of holiness and purity right from your first step. For those stressed out with the fast-paced life, the tranquility here will surely help you calm your mind and find your inner peace.
You need to go 100 steps to reach Duc Pagoda
Before reaching Hang Pagoda, you have to climb along the edge of the sea and when you see a vertical cliff about 20-meter high, carved with 4 Chinese characters, you know the pagoda is just a few steps away. Once coming inside, you should burn incense, make a wish, and offer it to the altar. Also, remember to talk softly since Vietnamese people always try to minimize the sound in worshipping places.
Hang Pagoda is placed in a mysterious cave
Thoi Loi Peak
As the highest one among the five former volcanoes in Ly Son island, Thoi Loi Mountain is a wonderful spot for enthusiastic trekkers. When you reach its peak, remember to take your time and enjoy the panoramic view of the crystalline sea.
From Thoi Loi Peak, you can see a masterpiece of nature
Specialties in Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
Blessed with fresh seafood from the sea, Ly Son island in Quang Ngai is a perfect place for any foodies. Here are some delicacies you cannot miss:
Goi Sua (Vietnamese Jellyfish Salad)
This dish is a mixture of sliced mango, carrot, herbs, and of course, jellyfish. For those curious about jellyfish’s taste, it is like a crunchier version of white Jell-O.
Recommendation: Hoang Khuyen Restaurant
Address: West Village
Opening hours: 9 AM – 11 PM
People usually enjoy Goi Sua while drinking beer
Goi Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Salad)
Goi Rong Bien is a seasonal dish since you can only enjoy it from February to April (lunar calendar). Its ingredients consist of chopped seaweed, oil, and spices like fish sauce, lemon, sugar, and seasoning. After combining all these, the cooks top it with herbs and roasted peanuts to add more flavor.
Recommendation: Son Thuy
Address: near Hang Pagoda, East Village
Opening hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
Goi Rong Bien is served with grilled rice paper or rice
Bun Cha Ca (Elongated Fish Balls with Rice Vermicelli)
Bun Cha Ca is a prevalent breakfast for residents in Ly Son island so you can easily have a bowl of it at any market. Thanks to the fresh fishes and the culinary skills of locals, Bun Cha Ca has a fine taste that can surely imprint on your mind.
Recommendation: Bich Vien
Address: East Village
Opening hours: 7 AM – 9 PM
Once ordering Bun Cha Ca, you will also be given a side dish of vegetables
Accommodation in Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
Muong Thanh Holiday Ly Son
Price: VND 1,000,000 – VND 3,000,000
Modern facilities and professional staff are what you should expect when entering this hotel (view price and availability)
Ly Son Pearl Island Hotel & Resort
Price: VND 1,000,000 – VND 2,500,000
Situated in Ly Son coast, this resort brings you a stunning view of the blue ocean (view price and availability)
Final Thoughts on Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai
If you opt for an off the beaten path destination, why not pack your bags to the spectacular Ly Son island in Quang Ngai right away? Though the island does not provide you modern facilities, it will bring you the exotic nature as a better compensation. And finally, don’t forget to let us know what you think about this wonderland by giving comments below!
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