7 best beaches in Vietnam
Vietnam is developing fast as a top tourist destination. Southeast Asia has some extremely beautiful scenery and Vietnam is probably the most scenic of all the countries in the area. The Mekong Delta, Sapa and of course Halong Bay have been captivating tourists for many years. The epic scenery is beyond question. The beaches of Vietnam though, have for some reason, remained something of a secret. In recent years that has been changing somewhat, as tourists flock to the beautiful beaches dotted along Vietnam’s superb coastline.
Vietnam has an amazing coastline, 2,100 miles of it, surrounded by the clear blue waters of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. It is an enviable geographic position that provides both economic and tourist opportunities to its citizens. Most of the beaches are close to Nha Trang and it is here that the list begins. Here are seven of the best beaches in the country working round the coast from Hoi An and heading south.
1. Cua Dai
Cua Dai beach is about 2 and a half miles out from Hoi An town. It is a two mile strip about 300 yards in width and its name means “Big Sea Mouth”. It has perfect fine white sand and clean blue water. The gentle slope of the beach makes it a perfect family bathing area. Thatched beach umbrellas provide shade from the sun, which can get quite fierce here, in the hot season. The deck chairs are free if you buy either a Banh Mi (baguette style sandwich) or drink. Whilst it can get busy with Vietnamese workers, getting away for the weekends, through the week it can be extremely quiet.
2. My Khe
Danang, is towards the south of the eastern coastline about 150 km from Ho Chi Minh City. It has become one of the beach resort centers of the country, mainly because of its location. Many middle class from Saigon, now fly off for the weekend to get some rest and recuperation. The most well known of the beaches here is China Beach, made famous by the American hit show named after it. Known locally by it’s Vietnamese name of My Khe, it is one of the finest beaches in the world. In the war it was a center for GIs in which to unwind, away from the horrors of war. It is a six mile long strip of golden sand, lined with palm tress and enjoying magnificent mountain views as a back drop. As with all the seaside resorts it is a superb center for water sports and divers come here in large numbers to explore the corals.
3. City Beach, Nha Trang
The lovely coastal city of Nha Trang is the setting for City Beach. Nha Trang has less motor bikes as more people choose to walk or ride bicycles. This simply adds to the tranquility of the place. The local beach is picture postcard pretty, with palm trees and a backdrop of islands to complete the delightful vista. This really is a beach for the people and it fills up very early each day with people walking, playing sport or swimming before work. People start arriving here as early as 5.00am. It is quite a sight, yet by 8 o’clock everyone disappears leaving this lovely beach, isolated and the perfect spot to take in the sun and swim in the crystal clear water.
4. Doc Let
Just along the coast from here is the Doc Let Beach Resort. It is easily accessible as a day trip from Nha Trang. This is a government run resort and entrance is charged at 10,000VND. This is heavily visited and can get quite busy. However it is a wonderful place to explore and renting a motor bike locally, opens up a whole world of adventure in the area. Despite the large numbers of tourists, it is still possible to find quiet spots. This area is best for those who simply like to lounge around doing nothing. There is a small town close by, but it is a fairly quiet place in which to chill out.
5. Mui Ne
Heading further south along the coast from Nha Trang, Mui Ne is about mid way between Nha Trang and Vung Tau. This used to be a completely isolated strip of sand enjoying complete tranquility. However, it was so beautiful that it was never going to stay a secret for long. In recent years many hotels have sprung up and the number is growing every year. Thankfully the town planners have been strict in what they will and will not allow. As a result, Mui Ne has managed to retain much of what made it so popular in the first place. This has developed as something of a surfing center and as a result, attracts a younger crowd of tourists.
6. Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is an island, that is actually off the coast of Cambodia, but comes under Vietnam’s ownership. This has been a source of contention between the two countries for years. It is a paradise, superb scenery and magnificent flora. Much of the island’s natural animal life has unfortunately been eradicated by the wild dogs that live here. It is the largest of Vietnam’s islands and is covered in lush green tropical jungle and fringed with white, sandy beaches. Locals make a living from the sea and produce the best fish sauce in the country. However pepper growing also plays an important role in the country’s economical survival. Seventy percent of the islands area is given over to Phu Quoc National Park. The sea water here is magnificent, clear, turquoise blue and delightfully warm and still.
7. Con Dao
The Con Dao Islands lie sixty miles of the coast of Vietnam due south of Ho Chi Minh City. This was the scene of a notorious prison camp during the war, but now is known simply as a scenically stunning string of 15 islands covered in lush forestry and fringed with fabulous beaches. Approximately 80% of all the land area is given over to the Con Dao National Park and is an important nesting ground for sea turtles. The World Wildlife Fund works with local people to help protect the nests and the eggs during the hatching season. Also seen in these waters are the rare dugong, a kind of salt water manatee. Tourism is less here than at other beach areas and as a result, much of the charm of the islands has been preserved.
So you see, Vietnam is a country of many surprises. Not necessarily known as a beach resort holiday center, it certainly holds its own for the number and variety of its beaches. There is much to see and do in the country, but if the sightseeing starts to tire you out, there is plenty of opportunity to get away and relax.