PICK YOUR FAVORITE VIETNAM BEACHES
A 2100 mile coastline and thousands of islands provide many attractive Vietnam beaches that invite travelers to relax and enjoy the sound of the surf and the warmth of the sun. The thousands of islands, both large and small that have their own sandy beaches. Some of the Vietnam beaches are developed for tourist enjoyment with hotels and restaurants, while others offer secluded primitive beaches for daytime picnics or small group camping.
Here is the lowdown on some of the more popular Vietnam beach destinations – but surely not all.
Starting in the north is Halong Bay with its many sandstone islands – a photographer’s dream. Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay with Lan Ha Bay Beach is on the east side. Halong Bay has several other islands where the hotel junks anchor and allow passengers to enjoy a beach swim.
Do Son Beach is near Halong Bay about 12 miles southwest of Haiphong. It’s on a small peninsula shaded by sandalwood trees with pine tree covered hills nearby and mountains in the distance.
Further south is Lang Co Beach is located 50 miles south of the Imperial City of Hue. It is fed by several fresh water streams and an ideal tourist beach. The water is warm year around and very shallow. It offers great scenery such as distant mountains, nearby forests and, of course, a beautiful blue sea. You can use “S” shaped Lang Co Beach as a base to go diving, hiking, boating and fishing.
China Beach , (More Info below) between Danang and Hoian is the best known of the Vietnam beaches to Americans from an historical perspective. There is some question among purists of the exact location of China Beach. For travelers, the beach in the vicinity of Sandy Beach Resort is a good location from the beach goer’s point of view. The upscale ($150 – $200 per night) Fumara Resort us about 5 miles north. Development is on the way – Saudi Financier Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is backing construction of a destination type resort on China Beach. China Beach is close to the Marble Mountain Monastery complex. It is also about 10 miles from the Ancient City of Hoian, a popular tourist attraction.
Hoian also has its sunny beaches with hotel facilities. Hoian should be the destination for the budget traveler. It has much more to offer – restaurants, shopping and tours to China Beach/Marble Mountain as well as the Cham ruins of My Son. You might consider a boat trip to Huong Beach on Cham Island for a bit of relaxation or site seeing on the Song Thu Bon with one of the local tour boats.
The next of the Vietnam beaches to the south is the Riviera of the South China Sea – Nha Trang. Nha Trang has a 5 mile white sand beach, with mountains at each end, and over 70 off shore islands. There are other beaches and resorts north of Nha Trang. Consider Doc Let Beach – 22 miles north of Nha Trang or Dai Lanh Beach – about 25 miles north, or maybe Bai Tru Beach on serene Bamboo Island.
Scuba diving and snorkeling tours are available in Nha Trang. Or you can relax on the beach or on a rental boat. There are great sea food restaurants. Walking on the beach or Tran Phu Street running parallel to the beach, or bicycle tours are popular as well a renting a cyclo for a local tour of the Cham ruins, market and Buddhist shrines.
Mui Ne Beach and surrounding environs are a bit closer to Saigon – east and a bit south about 120 miles. Mui Ne has fantastic sand dunes that have grown from presence of continual winds over the ages. Thus it has become a Mecca for wind surfing and kite surfing. They have been host to international competitions. This community also has the least rainfall in Vietnam – It is actually hot and dry there. Hotels are quite reasonable.
Vung Tau – The beaches at Vung Tau aren’t especially great, but its closeness to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) results in many Vietnamese weekenders as well as tourists making the trip to this beach community. Vung Tau is about 80 miles from Saigon and can be reached by hydrofoil from the city – round trip is about US$10. Today Vung Tau is a bit seedy, but future development should make it a lot more attractive.
Hon Chong Beach and Hon Trem Beach are near Ha Tien Town (about 200 miles west of Saigon). Ha Tien is on the border with Cambodia (5 miles away) and is home to these superb Vietnam beaches. Hon Chong Beach is a very seductive beach with soft white sand and warm water, while nearby Tien Cave has interesting rock formations with two beach entrances. White sandy Duong Beach is also worth a try. The small islands at Hai Tac offer some great scuba diving and are accessible by boat from Ha Tien. The biggest of these islands, Hon Doc, has some very nice white beaches.
Last, but most certainly not least, is Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand. Vietnam’s largest island, with mountains, jungles and pleasant sandy beaches, attracts nature lovers as well as sun worshipers. Some beaches are accessible only by foot path. Bai Truong on the west coast is one of these. It is the furthest west of the Vietnam beaches – here you can sit, relax, and watch the sun go down.
If you’re a traveler who enjoys catching a few rays, some of these Vietnam beaches should be on your itinerary. Beach accommodations can be very reasonable if you are a diligent shopper. These beaches, in most cases, are close to other attractions and distractions. A creative traveler could easily take a trip from one end of Vietnam to the other and not only enjoy tremendous amounts of sun and sand, but also enjoy many of the cultural and scenic features of Vietnam. Start planning now.
CHINA BEACH CALLS
The central Vietnam’s China Beach is just one section of a beach in central Vietnam which stretches uninterrupted for over 35km. Starting from the Son Tra peninsular northeast of Danang City down to Cua Dai beach adjacent to the ancient World Heritage Town of Hoi An in central Vietnam.
Some consider My Khe and Non Nuoc to be the same beach. Others regard them as entirely separate entities with their own water quality, wave and tidal actions. One could reckon of them as the names for different sections of the same beach. With My Khe adjacent to Danang city and Non Nuoc opposite Marble Mountain.
Close proximity to Danang city makes both of these beaches extremely well loved, especially on weekends, but thanks to the size of both beaches there is always a spot available. Because of their popularity, these beaches attract nearly as many vendors, touts, peddlers, hawkers and panhandlers as they do swimming beach goers.
Both beaches are located within very convenient distances from Danang city and are anything but secluded. The waters are generally crystal clear, but can be disturbed when there are storms out in the South China Sea. The beaches along this stretch of Vietnam’s central coast have some of the most powdery white sand anywhere on the planet.
Where is China Beach?
Danang city is 965km north of HCMC and 759km south of Hanoi. Both beaches are approximately 6-10km east-southeast of Danang city center.
When to visit China Beach?
June to August is the best time to visit the beaches around Danang. August-September also heralds the beginning of the typhoon season, so some pounding surf and stormy weather can be experienced.
How to get to China Beach?
By Air – Vietnam Airlines flies to/from HCMC (Tan Son Nhat), Hanoi (Noi Bai) and Danang daily. Check here for Vietnam Airlines Domestic fares. Several regional international airlines also glide directly into Danang Airport.
By Train – Rail service is available from Hanoi and Saigon.
By Ground – Public and private ground transport is available.
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