Have an extra day in your Nha Trang itinerary and need ideas on what to do? Consider spending the day on the secluded Hon Tam island (Hòn Tằm in Vietnamese). This island is a popular day trip from Nha Trang City and is considered one of the prettiest islands in Vietnam due to the clean beaches and clear waters.
The island is owned by Merpearl Hon Tam Resort so you’ll have all the amenities you need for your visit. Whether you’re looking for some much needed TLC with relaxing on the beaches or in the mud baths or want to experience fun-filled water adventures, there is an activity for everyone here. The resort is also children-friendly with playgrounds and swimming pools with shallow ends.
We didn’t see much information about this island so we put together this Hon Tam Island travel guide on what to expect when visiting this island and other helpful tips. Even though this place is a private resort, it is affordable to visit.
We visited this place at the end of October 2020 with a group of friends and didn’t experience crowds due to the current travel situation. Regardless, we hope you enjoy your visit to Hon Tam!
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How to Get to Hon Tam Island
To get to Hon Tam Island and Merpearle Hon Tam Resort, you’ll need to go to Nha Trang and head directly to the Hon Tam Pier. You’ll need to hire a taxi or ride-hailing car such as Grab or have a private driver as the pier is south of Nha Trang city.
From Cam Ranh International Airport, it’ll take around 45 minutes to go to the pier as it’s 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) away.
From Nha Trang Beach (along Tran Phu Street) or Nha Trang train station, it’ll take 10-15 minutes to go to the pier as it’s 6-7 kilometers (3.7-4.3 miles) away.
Read our post on various transportation options to take in Vietnam.
Once you arrive at the pier, you’ll need to wait until your departure time and then take a short 6-minute ride on a speedboat. The boat ride isn’t too rocky so you may not need to take motion sickness medication. If you’re prone to motion sickness, it’s recommended to sit towards the front of the boat.
From the pier to the Hon Tam entertainment area, boats depart every hour starting from 8:00am until 4:00pm. The departure times are 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, to 4:00pm.
For the return trip, boats depart 20 minutes after each hour starting from 8:20am until 4:20pm. The departure times are 8:20am, 9:20am, 10:20am, to 4:20pm.
**Note: Boat transportation must be booked at least 1 hour in advance. If you purchase the Sea Day tour package below, you’ll have your arrangements set up for you.
Hon Tam Island Admission Cost
You’re probably thinking that visiting a private island and food would be crazy expensive for the day. While the entrance fee to Hon Tam Island is dirt cheap, yet, it’s very affordable. The cost is similar to what you would pay at a theme park.
The prices vary depending on what tour package you pick. All packages below are from 8:00am-5:00pm.
All visitors receive tickets for the boat ride and lunch. Do not lose your ticket!!
**Note: You will need to pay extra for water activities that are not included in the packages, such as seawalking, renting jet skis, etc.
The Luxury Tour is the premium package you can order and has the full-day of pampering. It includes:
- Round-trip speedboat ride from the pier to mainland
- Access to the beaches, lounge chairs, umbrellas, kayak, and inflatable playground (no additional fee)
- Lunch at Hon Viet Restaurant
- Mud or herbal bath at the Mud Bath area
- Body massage
- Access to the large swimming pools with cascading waterfalls, and more!
Admission: 980,000 VND ($42.30 USD) Adults, 686,000 VND ($30) Children, Children under 99 cm (39 inches) is free
If you don’t need to have all of the amenities above, consider these budget-friendly options.
The Sea Day Tour Package #1 is a recommended package that provides the best value. You receive similar amenities to the Luxury Tour but the mud bath, body massage, and access to the large swimming pool with the waterfall are not included. We had this package and it was just what we needed for the day. We also had electric cars shuttle our group between the beach and the lunch location.
Admission: 560,000 VND ($24.20) Adults, 400,000 VND ($17.30) Children
Purchase this package ahead of time and save money here!
The Sea Day Tour Package #2 is cheaper but doesn’t include the speedboat travel. You would need to pay that separately. It’s better to go with Package #1.
Admission: 470,000 VND ($20.30) Adults, 330,000 VND ($14.20) Children
The Sea Day Tour Package #3 is the cheapest package yet it doesn’t include the speedboat transportation or lunch. You’ll need to buy the speedboat ticket separately.
Admission: 250,000 VND ($10.80) Adults, 175,000 VND ($7.60) Children
More information about these packages and to make a reservation here.
When To Go to Hon Tam Island?
The good thing about Hon Tam Island is that you can visit at any time of the day. If you’re looking for fewer crowds, it’s recommended to go on a weekday.
As with the season, you can visit any time of the year. The heavy rains are from September to December, so you’ll need to monitor the rain before you go. We went in mid-October and didn’t encounter any rain. We wouldn’t recommend that you visit during a rainy day as there may be high winds and rough ocean waters.
How Much Time to Spend on Hon Tam Island?
It’s up to you how long you want to spend on the island. Most people tend to stay at Hon Tam Island for the full day. Or, you can consider extending your resort stay at the on-site hotel which we’ll share more information below.
Things to Bring to Hon Tam Island
- Lock (There are lockers available for use in the bathroom area, but you need to bring a lock.)
Things To Do on Hon Tam Island Day Trip
1. Take photos of the Hom Tam Pier.
Once you depart from the speedboat, take photos on the pier. Depending on where you’re facing, you can have either the blue waters or the island with the trees in the background. You can also take photos when you’re about to leave the island since there will be fewer people on the dock.
2. Relax on the endless beaches.
Hon Tam Island has plenty of beaches for you to relax and get some much-needed rest and sunshine. The beaches have lawn chairs and umbrellas set up and they’re available for free! Yay! During our visit, the island wasn’t full so it was as if we had a private beach.
Hon Tam beaches are clean yet the sand in our beach area was packed harder than expected. It’s not ideal for making sandcastles if you’re looking for fine sand. Yet, it is great if you want to walk on the beach and not have to worry about sand getting into your sandals or shoes.
One of the coolest things to find on the beach are holes that mini crabs come out of. The crabs are translucent and they are so fast when walking from one hole to another.
The ocean also has a swing where you can take the perfect Instagram photo. You’ll need to figure out the timing of the low tides. When we visited in the morning, the swing was already covered by the water. Otherwise, there are other swings around the swimming pool area to take photos.
3. Go swimming in the numerous pools.
We were surprised at how many swimming pools were available for use. From the Hon Tam Island pier, the swimming pools are 100 meters away. The pools are constantly cleaned by the workers.
What we loved about the pool area was how tranquil it was since it’s surrounded by luscious coconut trees. For those who do not want to swim, there are plenty of lounge chairs in the shade to relax on.
4. Have fun doing water activities.
If you want to experience some adrenaline fun activities in the water, then head to the Sparkling Wave area. It’s an entertainment section where you can go fishing, kayaking, rent watercraft, go seawalking, and more. This area is about 300 meters away from the Hon Tam Pier.
There are extra fees to do these activities so you can inquire for more information at the Hon Tam Pier’s main reception area.
If you purchase the Sea Day tour package, you have access to kayaks and inflatable playgrounds for free. Life vests are available if you go on the kayaks.
5. Experience a mud bath and mineral hot spring.
One of Nha Trang’s local attractions is to take a mud bath and also lounge in the mineral hot springs. At Merperle Hon Tam Resort, experience both of these for yourself!
You get the opportunity to sit in a private tub filled with smooth, silky mud that has some skin rejuvenating properties. There are plenty of tubs in the area so you won’t be interrupted by others.
Tip: The mud will stain your colorful swimsuits, it’s recommended that you wear the swimsuits that the resort offers.
Afterward, you rinse the mud off, head to the mineral hot springs. There is a cascading waterfall at the end of the pool which would be a nice spot for taking photos.
More information about the mud bath and pricing (if you decide to pay for this a la carte) is here.
If you’re not able to try the mud bath here, we recommend that you visit I-Resort, located in the Nha Trang hillside. It’s a gorgeous location where you can sit in the shared mineral pools or mud baths or have private rooms. Learn more about our I-Resort experience here.
6. Enjoy lunch at Hon Viet Restaurant.
Our Hon Tam Island Resort admission included lunch at Hon Viet Restaurant, located next to the mud bath and hot springs. You will need to climb up a set of stairs to reach the restaurant.
The restaurant is beautiful with the high ceiling and open dining area. You’ll feel the ocean breeze pass through no matter where you’re sitting. Plus, you’re rewarded with a gorgeous view of the oceanside and the numerous coconut trees scattered across the island.
Each group receives a family-style meal with rice, vegetables, seafood, and soup. (The restaurant used to have a buffet-style but it has stopped.) On our visit, we had egg soup, Vietnamese fish soup (canh chua), prawns, BBQ squid, braised pork, stir-fry mixed vegetables, and jello with tropical fruits for dessert. The lunch was a good mix of Vietnamese food and was delicious. It was plenty of food for our group.
At the buffet area, there is iced water, iced tea, and hot ginger tea with unlimited refills. You can order soda and juices for an additional price. The passion fruit juice is refreshing to have on a hot day!
7. Go shopping at the gift shop.
On your way out to the Hon Tam Pier to return to the mainland, stop by the gift shop in the reception area. You’ll find souvenirs such as jewelry, casual dresses, stuffed animals, handbags, and other trinkets to remember your time on the island.
Hon Tam Accommodations
Consider staying overnight at the Merperle Hon Tam Resort Hotel. They have luxurious rooms with an ocean and/or garden view. Some of the rooms have a private swimming pool. Depending on the number of people in your group, there are family suites, romantic, and deluxe rooms.
Reserve your perfect room here.
We hope you get a chance to visit Hon Tam Island on your future visit to Nha Trang. It’s a fantastic getaway spot away from the Nha Trang city. Let us know in the comments if you have questions below.
Looking for ideas on other Vietnam cities to visit on your vacation? Check out our Vietnam posts to help with your Vietnam travel planning.