Photo: Late light on Hon Son.


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Rugged, lush, wildly beautiful – these words pop into your head as you stand atop the pass that cuts through the middle of Hon Son Island. The scope and details of the vista take a moment to sink in: your eye will follow as a carpet of thick impenetrable greenery sweeps down to bright blue water and a coast strewn with dramatic boulders and languid palms. As if this description was not fantastical enough, Hon Son is connected to the mainland by a one and a half hour fast ferry, yet few foreigners venture there.

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Keep reading to learn more about Hon Son!

The little known Nam Du archipelago (pronounced “nam yu”) is 21 islands and islets off the southwest coast of Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand. A few of the islands, like Nam Du, are large enough to be inhabited, colourful fishing boats and gritty fishing villages clustered along its crust, while tiny islets like hon Do Nai are no more than a bump of rock drowning in ocean. Three of the islands – Hon Tre, Hon Son and Nam Du – are connected to provincial capital city Rach Gia by Superdong fast ferry. Hon Son, officially called Lai Son commune and sometimes known as Son Rai or Rai Island, is the second ferry stop.

Damn. Photo taken in or around Hon Son, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Damn. Photo: Cindy Fan

Word has started to spread in Vietnamese media and the islands do attract a handful of domestic tourists but the majority head to Nam Du, part of the cluster of 19 islands another 40 minutes further. Ironically, Hon Son is closer to the mainland yet at times it feels even more low-key than Nam Du. We highly recommend you visit both.

Like Nam Du, Hon Son is relatively poor and developing; the primary industry is fishing, tourism is in its infancy. But good news for independent travellers, recently a few purpose built guesthouses have appeared, including two on the water.

Unspoilt. Photo taken in or around Hon Son, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Unspoilt. Photo: Cindy Fan

There’s nothing to do per se except pig out on fresh seafood, drink in the scenery, breathe in fresh air, frolic at bai Ban and bai Bo beach, watch fishermen unload the catch and do laps around the island on two wheels – although Google Maps doesn’t work here, don’t worry, stick to the road and it’s impossible to get lost. A single road rings around the entire island while a way runs through the middle, connecting north ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Hon Son.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Hon Son.
 Read up on how to get to Hon Son, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Hon Son? Please read this.
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