In the past few years Vietnam has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. But it is still full of small virgin islands that just have to be discovered. Among them — Bà Lụa Islands, which are, in our opinion, will be a great attraction for those travellers who search for exotic holidays among flawless nature. But before you start planning your trip, here’re the 5 things that you MUST know about Bà Lụa Islands!
Sunny day on a Bà Lụa beach Image Source: phototamtayvn.com
Where is it?
Bà Lụa Islands is an archipelago located in the Gulf of Thailand, in the South of Vietnam and belongs to Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang. It consists of more than 40 islands, that create together an absolutely stunning landscape spreading out over a 70 km2 water area. The biggest and the most populous island is Hòn Heo. Its name in translation from Vietnamese language, it means “pig island”. It comes from the fact that in the beginning of XX century French built here a piggery. Total number of population on Bà Lụa Islands does not exceed 500 families.
Beautiful view from the island Image source: baluaislands.com
How to get there?
By air: The closest airports are Rach Gia, Ca Mau and Phu Quoc. To/from these airports there are regular flights from domestic and international airports of Vietnam – Tan Son Nhat and Da Hang, and also to/from airports of South Asian countries – Indonesia, Cambodia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand.
By train: The nearest big station is Saigon Railway Station (Ho Chi Minh City). To/from here you can take a train to most of other big cities. You can check prices and available destinations on the website Vietnam Railways System.
By bus: From Ho Chi Minh City, you should catch a Mai Linh bus in Mien Tay Bus Station to get to Rach Gia, which is the nearest big station.
By car: This is, probably, the most preferred option, as you get by car from anywhere.
By water: In order to reach Bà Lụa Islands, you need to go to the dock of Hang Pagoda resort or Hon Trem tourism area in Binh An Commune where it is possible to rent a boat to explore the area. There you can also meet many locals offering you a ride to and between the islands. Since distance between the islands and mainland is only around 10 km, it will take for you even less than 1 hour to get there. The price starts from $5 and also depends on how you can negotiate with the owner. And if you are lucky enough, on your way to the islands you may even see the dolphins!
Rent A boat and prepare for the unforgettable trip Image source: pacificworld.com
According to a legend, Ba Lua was a name of a wife of one prominent Frenchmen who came here to exploit the area. Since all legal documents were in her name, the islands were also named Bà Lụa, that in Vietnamese language means “Lady Silk”. They say, the man wanted to immortalize the name of his beloved wife, that’s why Bà Lụa islands are also considered to be an idyllic romantic destination.
Unspoilt nature of Vietnam Image source: annamtravel.com
Things to do
Walk from one island to another. The water here is pretty shallow, so you can literally walk between the islands, especially during low tide. Where else would you get such an experience?
Meet the modern “robinsons”. Some islands are inhabited by not more than one family, so don’t miss your chance to meet people living in such a unique environment!
Buy seafood (or go fishing yourself!). Local fishermen can offer you a variety of fish, shellfish, shrimps, oysters, crabs and many other treasures from the water. And of course, never say no to invitation to taste local food specialities, that probably, you will not find in any restaurant in the world. Will you ever get a chance to taste salad fresh anchovies, cobia soup, grilled squid eggs, cellana, oyster porridge cooked by traditional secret on the desert island? Probably, no.
Enjoy a beautiful sunset. After a long day, spend some minutes with yourself or in a company of beloved people. Here, among wild and primitive nature, they are specially beautiful…
Magnificent sunset Image source: hqwallbase.com
What is it famous for?
Thanks to its breathtaking sceneries, Bà Lụa Islands are often called “Small Ha Long of The South”, which is a very popular tourist destination that belongs to UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Comparing to Ha Long Bay, it is much less known, but for sure not less fascinating.
Bà Lụa Islands are also famous for being dotted by numerous caves that you can find on majority of the islands. However, in terms of safety, it is strongly recommended to explore the caves either with a guide, or with local islanders.
Ba Lua Islands in the Gulf of Thailand Image source: baluaislands.com
Besides all the attractions, sights and other things that Bà Lụa Islands can offer, it has nicest beaches with palm trees, crystal clear water, fresh air, exotic fruits, stunning views and lots of other things that will for sure make your travel experience unique and memorable.