How To Get There
From Ha Noi, going by motorbike or car would take you about 4-5 hours to reach Van Don where you have to get on a boat to Co To. A coach ticket from My Dinh bus station or Luong Yen station is about 130,000VND to 150,000VND. The best brands are Hoang Long and Viet Thanh. To get to Van Don, you are expected to get off at the Cua Ong market. Once you are at Cua Ong, get a local bus named “BUS VAN DON, BUS QUANG NINH” to Cai Rong Port, with price from 5000VND to 8000VND. Again, get off at Van Don post office; you are 2km away from Cai Rong port. You should get a motorbike taxi or hike to Cai Rong, spend your first night near the port.
If you go by motorbike, you can go straight to Cai Rong port, from here you can either hire someone to bright the bike on boat for you or leave it in the parking plot (running by locals). You have to pay 40,000VND to 100,000VND to get your motorbike on the boat.
Hotels, hostels and homestays are available both around the port and at Co To town. From Co To port, take a motorbike taxi to the central market, the busiest place in the town to easily choose a hostel. The average price for one room on the island is higher than other places, often from 200,000VND to 400,000VND. Co To Island is often cut off, especially at the weekend, so you should choose the coastal motel to enjoy the cool air.
When To Visit
Co To is best to visit in summer when it’s sunny and windy. However, in summer, there are also storms so you need to check up the weather before planning you trip. In autumn, the weather turns quite chilly and not suitable to swim. During April and May, it’s sunny enough and less storms then other months.
Cau My Stones
Visitors to Co To Island shouldn’t miss this very masterpiece of nature which is located in the south of the island. Cau My with a sedimentary rock system has been eroding over thousands of years by the sea to create a rare natural wonder compared to other islands in Vietnam. The rock layers are distinct by different colors and setting making the whole area looks like a vivid picture of rocks under the sunlight.
Hong Van Beach
Hong Van Beach is one of two beautiful beaches in Co To. Lying on the east side of the island, the beach is calm with blue water and white sandbanks. The waves are small because Thanh Lan island stands at the front and block the winds. Therefore, this beach is the most suitable for swimming, especially children.
Van Chay Beach
This wonderful beach of Co To lying far to the west side of the island has always been praised for its surreal beauty especially in sunny days. Van Chay is known for the stretching sandy beaches, the cool and crystal-clear water, especially the blue seawater reflecting the sunlight to make many different shades of blue once the small waves approach the shore. Remember to watch the sunset scene on Van Chai beach, it will be a really memorable experience.
Small Co To Island
The smaller Co To is only 1km away from the greater one. This island is called “paradise” because of its majestic and magnificent landscape. Due to the fact that there are no people living on the island, its beauty is reserved with romantic beaches, green mountains and islets, cool air and seawater. Enjoying the sunset scene on the remote shores of the island is something special that you shouldn’t miss.
Co To Island Lighthouse
Co To lighthouse is one of more than 30 “eyes of the sea” operating throughout the territorial waters of Vietnam, the lighthouse was built in the late 19th century. To climb the lighthouse, You have to cross the steep cliffs, then climb up the 72 stairs from the bottom to the top of the lighthouse. From here you can comfortably take in the panoramic view of Co To Island, from the beautiful seaside town, interspersed with green forests, smooth and humble roofs and simple.
Jellyfish Salad is one of the most stunning salad recipes in Vietnam, especially in Co To district. Besides, it is served in almost restaurant in the country. The food is different in each region. However, the popular ingredients includes carrots, cucumber, papaya, boiled chicken which are torn small, vegetables, lemon, chilly…. Including green mango, the salad will create the flavor with a little crunchy, sour and sweet flow to your throat and your stomach.
Grilled oyster, Crab, Abalone, Be Be, Trap fish, Nail-shaped shellfish, Marble-shaped oyster are also other dishes you should try when visiting Co To.