Binh Ba island (Đảo Bình Ba) is a beautiful island not far from mainland, about 20 km (13 miles), located in Cam Ranh bay, Cam Binh ward – Cam Ranh city – Khanh Hoa province (60 km or 39 miles from Nha Trang and 15km or 10 miles from Cam Ranh airport).
The island is also known under the name Lobster island (đảo Tôm Hùm), because this place is famous for big and tasty lobsters. Unlike its noisy, bustling and urbanized neighbors (Nha Trang, Mui Ne – Phan Thiet), Binh Ba’s sea is pristine with two long and beautiful beaches.
Travelling to Binh Ba is quite easy and convenient. Following informations will help you have a perfect trip.
How to get to Binh Ba island
You have to get to Cam Ranh first, then take a boat to Binh Ba island. There’re 2 ways to get Cam Ranh.
* From Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city), it takes around 10 hours for a 540km (340 miles) trip.
There’re many bus firms to Cam Ranh, fares about $11 for a bed or $8 for a seat. You can consult some reputed bus firms such as:
– Ha Linh bus. I think this firm is best. Add: 217 Pham Ngu Lao street – 1 district – Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +8483.920.9470
– Phuong Trang. 292 Dinh Bo Linh street – Binh Thanh – Ho Chi Minh city. Tel: +8483.8309.309
– Hanh cafe. 229 Pham Ngu Lao street – 1 district. Tel: +848.3920.5679 or +848.3837.6429
– Sinh Cafe. 246-248 De Tham street – 1 district. Tel: +848.3838.9597
* From Hanoi. The distance is 1400km (880 miles), which takes under 30 hours. Fare of buses from Hanoi is about $40 to $45. Some reliable firms are:
– Hoang Long bus. Add: Giap Bat bus station – Km 6 Giai Phong street – Hoang Mai district, Tel: +844.3664.6617 or My Dinh bus station – 20 Pham Hung – My Dinh, tel: +844.3795.1776
– Sinh Cafe (open tour). 38 Ly Nam De street – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi. Tel:+8498.8757.689
If go by bus, you need to tell driver to drop you at Cam Ranh post office or Cam Ranh bus station. These are close to Ba Ngoi port (cảng Ba Ngòi) where you will take boat to Binh Ba island. There’s only one trip from mainland to the island at 10a.m everyday, and 2 trip back from island to mainland at 5a.m and 12a.m.
Hotels and motels on Binh Ba island
There are not so many choice, and no luxury hotels on Binh Ba island too. Here are a few recommendations:
1. Mrs. Dung’s motel, tel +84972.332.202, about $4/night, and $4/meal.
2. Mrs. Tuyen’s motel, +84914.493.793, cool and spacious motel, comparable to Mrs. Dung’s motel. Additionally, you can buy seafood (lobster, snail,…) to eat in hotel with affordable price.
3. For homestay, you can contact Mr. Tu +8494.2016.958, who offers spacious, clean and comfortable house, close to market and beaches, suitable for big group of 20 people.
Where to visit and play on Binh Ba island
You are advised to spend 2 days for the attractive sites and interesting activities on Binh Ba:
1. Nom beach (bãi Nồm) is a sandy beach with clean and blue water. Most of locals and tourists choose this place to entertain.
2. Chuong beach (bãi Chướng) has many rock and reef, more for sightseeing and seafood.
Besides Nom and Chuong beaches, if you can rent a boat to visit other distant beaches then very amazing.
3. Historic sites from wartime (over 1 century ago) such as blockhouses, cannon, tunnel through mountain,…
Several interesting activities that you can’t miss:
4. Get up early to watch sunrise, as Binh Ba is among the first place in Vietnam to welcome sunrise. Not a bad idea!
5. Fishing and squidding. You can contact boat owners to enjoy this service. Fishing is usually in the early morning while squidding is at night.
6. Diving to watch reef. If you don’t have much time, you can dive at Nha Cu beach (bãi Nhà Cũ – on the island).
7. Travelling around island. You can rent a motorbike to take a tour around island, visit historic sites from wartime, go to the peak of hill to have the entire island in your view and a part of Cam Ranh bay.
8. Catch Cong (Còng – a kind of crab) in the evening. There’re many Cong on Binh Ba beaches. When the night falls, you will hold a lamp, find and chase after them, very interesting. What’s even more interesting is when you get to fry and try them!
Tour guide service on Binh Ba island
You can contact Mr. Quy +8493.2536.997 (or +8497.2000.784) or Mr. Hau +84123.3157.654 (owner of a fish boat) for a guide and information on the island.
Specialties of Binh Ba island
Don’t miss Binh Ba’s lobster (tôm hùm), which is fresh for 30%-60% cheaper than restaurants on mainland. There’re 2 types of lobster: alive and dead. Alive lobster is from $70-$90. Dead lobster is from $20-$30, which is also still very fresh and tasty coz they only just die anyway.
Additionally, there’re many fresh seafood on the island: many kinds of fish and snail, squid, sea urchin. Indulge yourself generously!