Islands have always held a strong fascination for us. That’s why we chose Bình Ba as the destination of our latest trip. We spent two nights there and got back quite satisfied! In this post, we summarize a few interesting things found out along the way!
About Bình Ba
Bình Ba is an island in Cam Ranh Bay. Administratively, it belongs to the sub-district of Cam Bình in Cam Ranh, Khánh Hòa. The size of the island is about 3 sq. km.
Getting to Bình Ba
The only way to get to the island is by boat. Boats bound for Bình Ba depart from Cam Ranh Port. If you fly to Cam Ranh Airport, just take a taxi to Cam Ranh Port, which is about 15 km. away. There are two boat options: speedboat (ca-nô) and normal boat (tàu). The first option is quicker but the second option is more pleasurable. You get a feeling of what traditional seafaring really is. We decided on the second option and that only cost us 30,000 VND a person, plus a fee of 10,000 VND per person that is “collected on every passenger that departs from the port,” according to port rules!
Orientation on Bình Ba
The pier is the first thing you set your feet on after leaving your boat. Go straight from the pier and you reach the market. Keep walking through the market and you get to Bãi Nồm, the busiest area of the island. If you turn left from the pier, you are heading to Bãi Chướng, which is very sparsely populated.
Staying on Bình Ba
Tourists visiting the island often stay in hostels, which are numerous on the island. There is one so-called resort named Anami. It is located at Bãi Chướng. As of September 2017, it is still under construction and only has about 6 bungalows in operation. The bungalows are made from wood and face the sea, which is great! There is no TV and Internet, so make sure you have equipped yourself with a 3G simcard before coming here. Because there are almost no locals’ houses around, you can get quite excited at night! We enjoyed our 2-night stay at Anami, except for some serious rain leaks because the roof was not properly sealed!
Moving Around Bình Ba
The best way to explore the island is on foot. You can hire a motorbike but this may not be necessary as the island is really small. It is possible to walk a full circle around the island. If you really need a motorbike, there’s a rental shop near the pier. Remember to ask for a semi-automatic bike (xe số), not an automatic one (xe ga). Automatic bikes are totally unsuitable for the very steep slopes of the island.
Eating on Bình Ba
For breakfast or a quick lunch, the surefire way is to go the market, where you can find a lot of delicious foods.
If you want a slow-paced meal in full view of the sea, visit one of the floating restaurants. There are about ten such floating restaurants on Bình Ba, most of which can be found immediately as you turn left from the pier. We recommend Hùng Hiệp, a restaurant that sells appetizing seafoods at reasonable prices.
Another great way to eat is to wander around the small streets of the island and stop randomly at locals’ food stalls where you can sample traditional Vietnamese dishes.
Sightseeing on Bình Ba
Bình Ba has many beaches but the best known are Bãi Nồm and Bãi Chướng. Bãi Nồm is near the market and has many tourist facilities such as hostels, restaurants, water motorbikes. The waves are really strong here, so be careful if you take a swim. On the contrary, there are almost no waves at Bãi Chướng. The sea is extremely calm, just like a vast lake. Sunrise can be seen at Bãi Chướng, so you can see tourists flocking to this beach at as early as 5 am, camera in hand hoping to catch the best moments.
Hòn Rùa, a headland that looks like a tortoise, is another popular sightseeing stop. From the pier, turn right and keep going straight up a very steep slope until you see Hòn Rùa on your right. There will probably be some tourists posing for pictures there, so you cannot miss it!
Điện Quan Âm is an important religious place on the island you may also want to visit. Quan Âm (Guan Yin) is the goddess that protects seafarers, so it is understandable that the place dedicated to her worship should be prominent. You can easily see Điện Quan Âm from offshore. To get to the place, turn left from the pier and walk a short way. The flight of steps leading to Điện Quan Âm is on your right.
Specialties of Bình Ba
Without doubt, the island is most famous for its sea products. Tourists have nicknamed Bình Ba “the lobster island”. But besides lobsters, the island has a lot to offer. If you want to buy something to take back with you, go for dried shrimps, squids, seaweeds, etc. These are sold at much lower prices than normal and the quality is guaranteed.
We hope these tips will be useful if you plan to go to Bình Ba!