Ly Son Island - the Garlic King of Vietnam
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.
15 nautical miles from Sa Ky Port to the North, Ly Son Island in Quang Ngai Province is known as the “natural pearl island” for its charming and spectacular white sand and blue sea.
Arriving on the island, visitors find themselves lost in a dreamlike world of spectacular landscapes, including Mui Mu Cu, Gieng Tien volcanic mouth, To Vo gate, Ngu Linh inactive volcano, and well-preserved temples and pagodas. The island’s natural beauty attracts both domestic and international travelers.
Visitors should not miss the museum showcasing hundreds of valuable documents, photos, and exhibits of Hoang Sa (Paracel) troops, Hoang Sa and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos. The exhibits are seen as a token of gratitude to those who fought and sacrificed their lives for the sacred territorial waters of the nation. The items exhibited also affirm Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes. These are invaluable educational materials for the next generations, documenting the history of national construction and protection of former generations.
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.
If 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
Xe om wait on the pier for arriving boats. There are tuk-tuk tour vehicles that shuttle tourists to the island’s sights and a lunch spot (a restaurant the tuk tuk is associated with).
There are also a few yellow Tien Sa taxis on the island; T: (055) 386 7867. They tend to park at the pier and around Muong Thanh Holiday hotel. Fare starts at 17,000 dong, then it’s 23,000 dong per kilometre.
The best way to get around the island is to rent motorbikes from your accommodation. We were able to get one for 100,000 dong/day.
The island is easy to navigate. The road can be rough and coated with sand and debris. There’s no street lighting so take care when driving at night, especially if staying in Thon Dong village. It’s a maze of garlic fields to get there.
An Binh island is small enough to get around by foot.
How to get to and from Ly Son Island
Fast boats for Ly Son depart Sa Ky port (Cang Sa Ky) daily. Sa Ky port is located on the mainland 22 kilometres from Quang Ngai city centre, about 7 km north along the coast from My Khe beach.
The schedule changes weekly and reflects demand. In the busy season (during public holidays, Vietnamese summer holiday from June to August, weekends) extra boats are added and there are frequent departures. During this time it is best to purchase or reserve tickets the day before. Each person is only allowed to purchase a maximum of two tickets. It’s possible to reserve your ticket in advance, though you’ll need someone who speaks/writes Vietnamese. The contact for the ticket office T: (055) 362 6431; firstname.lastname@example.org .
In low or rainy season (approximately September to March), boats depart when there are enough people. The first departure at 07:30 is the surest bet. Buy your ticket at least an hour before the departure. If you’ve purchased your ticket in advance, you should still be at the port an hour before. Needless to say, boats won’t depart in rough seas.
The regular schedule:
Boat departs 07:30, 09:30, 13:30 and 15:30. Costs 95,000 dong and takes 1-1.5 hours
Different boat companies service each departure and speeds will vary between boats. You can see the day’s schedule written on the white board at the entrance to the waiting hall. We travelled with Bien Dong at 09:30 and the boat was good, with air-conditioning, assigned seating and the requisite Vietnamese pop music blasting on TV screens; it took 1 hour. The Chin Nghia on our return was older, run down and less comfortable, taking 1.5 hours.
Important note: Foreigners must present their passport to buy tickets. As of late 2016, China and Hong Kong passport holders were not allowed to visit Ly Son.
From Ly Son, fast tourist boats depart for An Binh (little island) every morning based on demand – it will depart when full. It’s best to arrive to the port from 07:00-08:00, and a roundtrip ticket costs 50,000 dong. The other option is the wooden cargo boat. See our An Binh coverage for full details.