Photo: Nam Du isn't all that busy.

Riding around Nam Du island

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A single road wraps around Nam Du island, mostly hugging the coast and giving memorable breathtaking views. The best way to explore is by motorbike (or bicycle, if you have brought your own) and a few turns around the island is a must. There are moments along the way where nothing but glittering ocean stretches as far as the eye can see. As if that couldn’t be topped, a steep road leading up to the lighthouse/military post at the apex gives two scenic vantage points. Throw on your swim trunks and get your camera ready — here are a few notable spots on Nam Du.

Remote, wild and off-the-beaten track

Remote, verdant and off-the-beaten track — yep, all the cliches covered!

From the main village/pier, follow the steep road leading up. It’s 2.1 kilometres to the highest point on the island. At the very top is a lighthouse/military post and it is off limits – don’t bother going all the way unless you want to try your luck. We even had a local take us and we were turned away. It’s a pity because from that vantage point you can clearly see Nam Du’s many islands. However it’s not all for naught. On the way, there are two exceptional viewpoints that are worth it if you can handle the extremely steep undulating road – motorbike experience is definitely required. Otherwise walking is always an option. You’ll get a great shot of the village on the west coast and of nearby Hon Co Lon.

Hon Co Lon island just yonder.

Hon Co Lon island just yonder.

Back down at sea level, head south on the western coast. It’s where road meets ocean, a 4.5 kilometre treat of a drive before you arrive at Bai Cay Men.

Nam Du dream sequence.

Nam Du dream sequence.

Bai Cay Men (Cay Men beach) is the island’s most postcard-perfect spot. It’s just lovely: palm-fringed white sand, calm crystal waters and a family that keeps the beach clean. The family have owned this spot for generations and thankfully the beach has not been developed yet. There are just a few huts, hammocks and drinks for sale.

Cay Men beach, the thin scar in the hillside is the amazing coastal road.

Cay Men beach. The thin scar in the hillside is the amazing coastal road.

If you can eventually pull yourself away from the beach, continue along the stunning road.

Road, meet ocean.

Road, meet ocean.

Travel around the southern tip – 2.5 kilometres to be exact – until you hit Phong Vu guesthouse (there’s a small billboard and a narrow dirt road leading down). The shore here is rocky (no sand) but it’s still a pretty good spot to swim if you want some variety in your beaches. From Phong Vu, it’s another four kilometres back to the pier.

View at Phong Vu.

View at Phong Vu.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Nam Du.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Nam Du.
 Read up on how to get to Nam Du, 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 Nam Du? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.

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