Update: 09:59 | 25/05/2020
An hour and a half boat ride from Rach Gia Pier could see you exploring Hon Son – a lesser-known island in Kien Giang Province, southern Vietnam.
Pristine Hon Son, often referred to as Hon Rai, is located 65 kilometers west of Rach Gia Town, capital of Kien Giang, and covers 11 square kilometers.
Hon Son Island in Lai Son Commune, Kien Hai District, Kien Giang Province.
Huynh Van No, from Ho Chi Minh City, who visited Hon Son in March on a budget of only VND2 million ($86), has some handy tips.
After breakfast, No and three friends bought a speedboat ticket for VND140,000 ($6) each to Hon Son Island.
The boat embarked at 8:15 a.m. and reached the island at 1:10 p.m. Hotel staff picked them up at the pier and lent them a motorbike at a price of VND200,000 ($8.6) per day, warning them to keep the helmets safe as they are easily stolen.
One hotel meal costs VND120,000 ($5). You can also buy fresh seafood at a local market, prepared by staff for VND50,000 ($2) to VND70,000 ($3) per kilogram.
Hon Son boasts beautiful sandy beaches like Bai Nha, Bai Gieng, Bai Bac, and the ultimate Bai Bang, lined with endless coconut palms.
If you prefer, trek to the 450-meter-above-sea-level peak of Ma Thien Lanh Mountain, which may take at least half a day both ways, made worthwhile by the panoramic view of the island.
With limited infrastructure, islanders are highly sensitive to the environment, employing eco-friendly paper straws at coffee houses.
The best time to visit Hon Son Island is from May to December, when weather conditions allow for calm seas and fresh, cheap seafood is in surplus.
Huynh Van No during his trip to Hon Son Island in March 2020.
To reach the island, fly to Rach Gia Airport from Hanoi or HCMC, then catch a VND140,000 ($6) per person, hour-and-a-half speedboat ride from Rach Gia Pier. Alternatively, you could also travel by traditional ferry for VND90,000 ($3.9), which takes around three-and-a-half-hours.
As boat owners operate only one return trip to the island per day, booking tickets before hand is recommended.