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Best Beaches in Vietnam

 

 

 

Beach in Vietnam

 

Bai Chay Beach - Halong City - Vietnam

Upon arriving in Ha Long city, the visitor will be driving along 'Bai Chay' or scorched beach. The sand on this stretch of beach is dark. And judging by the name the visitors may mistakenly think that this is due to the dry climate or lack of wind in this area. However, contrary to this interpretation, the area is quite pleasant during the summer and fall months and the temperature here is around 70 deg F. According to the locals, Bai Chay got its name long ago, based on another historical event. Bai Chay was once a forest. In 1287, the Mongols led by the great Truong Van Ho,(a Vietnamese name for this Mongolian general) attacked Vietnam and was driven back by general Tran Khanh Du. Many Mongolian ships were set afire and drifted to shore aided by high wind setting the forest on fire. Since then this stretch of beach became known as Bai Chay or scorched beach.

From Bai Chay, visitors can hire a boat and go out to the bay. It is here that visitors will be find some of Southeast Asias most fascinating sites. Visitors to the bay speak highly of its almost mystical qualities and the surrealistic scenery that defines this bay. The limestone formations are both bizarre and awesome. Over thousands of years the base of many of the formation have corroded to a point where many seem to be balancing on thin air. The shapes and the positioning of these formations often resemble people, animals etc., hence, most are given a name by the locals. Some of the more famous are: Hang Dau Go ( Wooden Stakes cave), Hang Bo Nau (Pelican cave), Hang Trinh Nu (the Virgin), Hang Sung Sot (Cave of Awe), Dong Hang Hanh, Dao Tuan Chau (Sentinel Chau Island), Qua Chuong (the bell), Con Voi (the elephant) etc.. Now, about one thousand formations have names. One can't possibly see all of Ha Long grandeur in one day or even a month since depending on the time of the year, the weather, or the condition of the bay the visitor may see only one small aspect of Ha Long's beauty.

 

Nha Trang Beach - Vietnam

Nha Trang is a place to relax by day and to party by night. Its long beach is visited by locals first thing in the morning, from 5 am to 8 am. Vietnamese do not appreciate tanned skins. Foreign visitors come to the beach quite later.

Throughout the public beach are restaurants and bars that offer umbrellas and beds for rent. Most of these bars offer drinks and food. Prices are quite low, and the quality of the food is surprisingly high. Local vendors will offer you everything else you need. From fresh fruits to massages. I found these sellers some times annoying, but at the same time I found the goods they sold useful.

Nha Trang has an airport with daily flights from Da Nang, Hanoi and Saigon. You can also come from Saigon by train or bus. If you are traveling from the North, you can get to Nha Trang from Da nang by train. It is also possible to get to/from Da Nang by bus. I cannot recommend the bus, unless you have plenty of time and a low budget. By the way, if you are planning a backpack travel to Vietnam, there is a bus service that offers an open ticket from Hanoi to Saigon (or vice versa) for a few US dollars. With the Open Bus, you can stop in several cities on the way to your destination, stay there as long as you want, and continue the trip. You will find more info about the Open Bus tickets in any travel agency in the center of Hanoi and/or Saigon.

The offer of accommodation in Nha Trang is very varied. You may have to book in advance if you come during the high season (summer), but if not, it may not be necessary. Most hotels are located along the city's main beach road, Tran Phu Boulevard. Unless you stay in a first class hotel, I recommend staying in hotels one street back from this road. Hotels in front of the road can be noisy. You will also find better deals and better services if you move inland.

If you do not have a hotel reservation, I recommend bringing a good and updated travel guide. If not, you will have to ask a taxi driver to look for a hotel. It is not that taxi drivers will rip you off, the problem is that you may waste a lot of time going from one hotel to the other till you find the one that satisfies you.

The culinary offer in Nha Trang is also very varied. One of the reasons I enjoyed my stay in Nha Trang was the quality of the food. This city is nation wide famous for its sea food specialties. Around the first class hotels you will find the best restaurants in town. In the tourist center of Nha Trang you will find some cheaper options. Some of the restaurants in this area serve western food (pizzas and burgers). For the real deal, ask a taxi driver to bring you to one of the local sea food restaurants. I went to a sea food restaurant North of the city, on the other side of the bridges, with an excellent offer of local sea food. Prices were not very high.

It is also possible to have sea food on the beach. While I was lying on a bed, this nice lady asked if we wanted to try the local lobsters. After a long negotiation we agreed on the price. She went to the local market, bought two lobsters and brought them alive. She cooked them on a small pan on the sand. Although tropical lobster is not as good as cold water lobster, this was a great lunch. If you buy sea food from a local, make sure it is alive.

Although I enjoyed my stay in Nha Trang, I think there are better options to spend a few days relaxing on the beach in the South of Vietnam. 150 miles (250 km) South of Nha Trang lies the town of Phan Thiet and the resort town of Muine. I consider these better places to relax. There is also the option of going to Phu Quoc, a paradisiacal island in the soth of Cambodia that belongs to Vietnam

If you want to do some tourism in Nha Trang, there are a couple of things you should not miss. One is the Long Son Pagoda. The other are the Cham towers.

In the picture you can see the Town Hall. It sits in front of the beach, in the tourist district of Nha Trang. In this area are the best hotels in town. Not far from here is one of the most popular discos in Nha Trang. Unfortunately it was closed when I was here. I cannot give you my opinion about it. If you ever go to Nha Trang and go to the disco, you can drop me a line, and I will add your comments here.

 

Mui Ne Beach - Phan Thiet - Vietnam

Binh Thuan is a coastal province, lying in the south of Vietnam, 200 km away from Ho Chi Minh City, with nearly 200 km of coastline which makes up beautiful beaches.

Phan Thiet is the capital of Binh Thuan province. This town is well-known for fishing industry and the popular Vietnamese fishsauce. Off Phan Thiet 24 km to the North East is Mui Ne, an ideal tourist site and a source of inspiration for artists and for relaxation.

The lonely beaches, still untouched by tourists made Mui Ne became popular. It boasts shady roads under coconut trees, a beautiful beach and cliffs battered by the waves of the sea. The typical scenery of Mui Ne lies in the moving lines of golden sand caused by the wind and when they are seen from afar they look like moving waves. The scenery looks more fascinating at dawn, when young Cham girls in green dresses go to work. That's why no photographer fails to visit this area.

This is an ideal place for rest and relaxation. Visitors can certainly enjoy swimming in the blue water of the sea, climbing the sand dunes or relaxing by a swimming pool. In fact this oasis enter-people of all ages, and furthermore, provides an endless inspiration to the artists' creation.

 

Lang Co Beach - Hue - Vietnam

Lang Co Beach is 20 km from Danang and 80 km south of Hue. Lang Co is the most easterly point of Vietnam and is a great place to watch the sunrise.

The beach is a long stretch of fine sand, with a gradual slope and shallow waters. The average sea temperature here is 25 degrees. From here it is easy to reach other great beaches on the Son Tra peninsula. Boats leave from here for Ngoc Island, where there are many aquatic activities on offer.

The Lang Co peninsula is renowned for its myths, history and spectacular landscapes; its where the Chan May and Hoi Cam rivers run into the sea.

Here tourists can enjoy diving, mountain climbing, and expeditions with local fishermen

This beach in the news

Lang Co is a small fishing village nestled by Hai Van Pass sixty kilometers south of Hue City and forty kilometers north of Da Nang City.

Covering Chuoi (Banana) plain, Ghenh Da (Rocky Bank), and Hai Van Highway, Lang Co Tourism Area is considered one of the four main national tourism destinations in the central region that attract many local and foreign tourists.

In an effort to get rid of the nickname “Forgotten Paradise” given to Lang Co, Thua Thien Hue People’s Committee has paid much effort in organizing the “Legendary Lang Co” Festival in 2005.

 

Con Dao Beach - Con Dao Island - Vietnam

Con Dao Island is a paradise for nature lovers and beauty seekers, as well as honeymooners. After an hour’s AN-38 flight, visitors will find themselves among wild sandy beaches, virgin forests and a vivid underwater world. The atmosphere is extremely peaceful and tranquil and visitors can roam through deserted roads hidden beneath the fresh shady vaults of old arjuns and enjoy outdoor dinners under the stars. The charming resort of Saigon - Con Dao with French-styled villas will surely make your stay enjoyable.

 

Cua Dai Beach - Hoi An - Vietnam

Hoi An is very beautiful town in Vietnam. Though Hoi An is small in size, its scenic beauty and tourist attractions attract thousands of tourists throughout the year. There are numerous exotic beaches in this small town. One of them is the famous Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An. The pristine beach is located in the about 5 kilometers away from the town of Hoi An. While visiting the place in Vietnam, you must not miss the chance to visit this amazing Cua Dai Beach.

Roaming around this pristine beach is in itself a charming experience. Walking through the white sand of the beach is awesome. The environment is very peaceful and relaxing. You can reach this pleasant beach only in few minutes by riding a bicycle. Except this natural beauty, the Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An also holds many resorts and hotels in its lap. Some of these resorts are Dong An Beach Hotel, Glory Hotel, Hoi An Trails Resort, Indochine Hotel Hoi An, Phu Thinh 2 Hotel, Swiss - Belhotel Golden Sand Resort and so on. All these resorts are located in the center of the Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An. You may stay in these hotels so that you can spend some peaceful time in the lap of the beach.

Along with the pleasant accommodation in the Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An, you will also get several restaurants and bars. The beach is well known for its seafood and various other food items. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead with your holiday planning and spend your weekend in the Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An.

 

Cua Lo Beach - Nghe An - Vietnam

For a day-long beach break, vacationers can travel about 40km away from Cua Lo to see the monument to Phan Boi Chau (a patriot and reformer, 1867-1940), hike up Dun Mountain, or take a riverboat ride along the Lam River. Sen Village where late President Ho Chi Minh grew up, is also only about 38km away.

Longer excursions include lowland trekking to Pu Mat in Con Cuong District, a village inhabited by the Dan Lai ethnic minority. Visitors can do a homestay with a Dan Lai family and hike to famous Khe Kem waterfall, or browse brocade made in Yen Thanh-Luc Da Village. On the way back to Cua Lo, tourists can take a dip in Giang Son hot springs, just off National Highway 7.

Another two-day tour explores the mountains, stopping at Quy Chau District, home to Bua and Tham Om caves and Xao Va waterfall. The Thai ethnic minority also live nearby, and will show their collection of rare antiques to interested passerby.

 

Do Son Beach - Hai Phong - Vietnam

Do Son Beach is situated in Do Son Town, 20km from the southwest of Haiphong City, about 120km from Hanoi.

Do Son Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Vietnam.

Do Son is a small peninsula located between the Lach Tray and Van Uc Rivers. Do Son beaches are shaded by thousands of sandalwood trees and surrounded by mountains and Pine Hills.

The sea resort town is composed of tree zones, each having bathing beaches, hills and forests. Around the hills are French-style constructions looking towards the sea. Since 1975, many large hotels and guest houses have been set up over the town and Do Son has become a weekend sea resort for Vietnamese and foreigners.

Immediately upon setting foot in Haiphong, the French turned Do Son into a summer resort for their expatriate community and the Vietnamese upper class.
Today, Do Son is alive with tourists from all over the world. They mainly come here to spend time on the beach, relax, and hike.

 

Phu Quoc Beach - Phu Quoc Island - Kien Giang - Vietnam

To get to the island you have two options, planes and ferries. From Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) by plane to Duong Dong the flight takes less than an hour. You can also fly from Rach Gia (South of the Mekong Delta).

You can go from Rach Gia to An Thoi (South of Phu Quoc Island) by ferry. Even though there is a fast ferry, I can only recommend going to the island by plane, because most of the times the sea is not very calm.

No matter which transportation you choose to get to the island, reserve ahead.

Cruise ships also visit the island. I think it is on Saturdays that ships dock in Duong Dong.

If your hotel does not have a pick up service, you will have to take a taxi from the airport

Although there are also some good hotels North of Duong Dong, the best hotels are on Long Beach. Currently there are two luxury resorts on Long Beach. New ones are under construction.

If you are on a tight budget, there is also some accommodation for you on Long Beach.

Most of the resorts have bungalows on the beach. And they are not as expensive as you may think!

Although tourism is developing fast, this is still a fishing island. Every day you see fishermen going to the sea first thing in the morning. In the afternoon, they come back. Most of the times with their nets full.

If you click on the picture you will see a beautiful panorama shot in front of one of the best resorts on the island of Phu Quoc.

Phu Quoc Island is also known as the Emerald Island because of its tourism potential. In the last 25 years the population has increased more than ten times. In 1975 no more than 5,000 people inhabited the island. Currently, more than 70,000 people live here. Forecasts say that tourism will still draw more people to the island.

Phu Quoc Island is the largest island in Vietnam. The island is part of the Kien Giang Province. Khmer and Thai still claim the sovereignty of the island. But the major threat for the island is tourism. I am sure that the unique beauty of its landscapes and its weather, will draw thousands of visitors in the future.

Although some of the development plans the Vietnamese government had for the island have been pulled back, the tourist industry has set its eyes on the island. It is only a question of time before big resorts are built.

 

Quan Lan Beach - Quan Lan Island - Vietnam

This beach lies at Quan Lan Island in Bai Tu Long Bay, between Minh Chau and Quan Lan communes of Van Don District, 55 km away from HaLong City. Its pristine beauty features unspoiled environment. The deep blue beach has strong waves and white sand, which spans over several kilometers. Tens of meters away from the beach stand the very green wild pines, which further add to its original charm.

The Viet My Company is investing in a system of guesthouses taking the shape of stilted houses, which hide themselves under the lush foliage of casuarinas. A brick-paved road leads tourists from the artery to Quan Lan Beach. Its pristine beauty and pure environment have made it a mecca for tourists.

 

Quy Nhon Beach - Binh Dinh – Vietnam

Qui Nhon is the little visited provincial capital of Binh Dinh province. Although it was recognised as a city as late as 1898, its history reaches back to the days of the Kingdom of Champa. In the 11th century, the Cham people migrated southwards and moved their capital city to a location about 30km north of present-day Qui Nhon and named it Vijaya. It survived until 1471, when the citadel was sacked by the Vietnamese.

The nearby city of An Nhon (formerly Binh Dinh) was an old Annamese capital.

On both the railroad and coastal highway, it became an important naval and military base during the Vietnam War. The small fishing port was dredged and expanded by the United States military in 1965. Its strategic role led to heavy fighting in the surrounding area.

Today, Qui Nhon is an expanding port city with a population of about a quarter of a million. until recently, it has been isolated from the main tourism routes roughly half-way between Danang and Nha Trang. However, air links to Danang and Ho Chi Minh City has made it more accessible, and a recently-built international hotel offers the possibility of a relaxing break well away from the more travelled path.

The ancient Cham Pa legacy
Little remains of Vijaya. It became the capital of the short-lived Tay Son Kingdom in the 18th century and abandoned thereafter. Now only a few walls and a single tower remain standing.

There are fourteen Cham towers and monuments in varying stages of decay around Binh Dinh province, but the most convenient are a mere two kilometres from Qui Nhon city centre. The Thap Doi Cham Towers are surrounded by buildings, which diminished their impact somewhat, but they are good examples of Cham craftsmanship.

Further away, there are two notable sites. The four remaining towers of the Banh It group are on a hill just outside Binh Dinh town, about 25km inland from Qui Nhon. The 22m-high main tower has been restored, with plenty of replacement brickwork in evidence. The neighboring tower has also been tidied up, but has been left in a rougher state. Several fine bas-reliefs of dancers from Banh It are displayed in the Cham Museum in Danang.

Around 50km from Qui Nhon, the three Thap Nga (Ivory) Cham Towers are regarded as one of the best Cham tower complexes in Vietnam. The central building is 24m high, and embellished with granite ornamentation representing Naga and Elephants. The others are both 22m high.

The Quang Trung Museum
Nguyen Hue, a national hero of the 18th century, was one of three brothers who led the Tay Son Insurrection. In 1788, he led a peasant army northwards from Phu Xuan (Hue) to Thang Long (Hanoi) where they defeated the occupying Chinese forces and liberated the royal capital. Nguyen Hue declared himself Emperor Quang Trung, but his dynasty lasted only fourteen years before his forces were crushed by the Nguyen Lords.

Despite the brevity of his reign, he is regarded with great affection in Vietnam, hence the museum created in his memory. It’s located in Kien My village in Tay Son District, 45km from Qui Nhon,

The Long Khanh Pagoda
Quin Nhon City is short of attractions, but the Long Khanh pagoda is worth a visit. The 17m high Buddha is impressive, as is the ‘thousand-eyed and thousand handed’ Goddess of Mercy.

The Leper Hospital
Normally, this wouldn’t feature as a place to visit. However, this one is different. Instead of the usual depressing institution, Qui Nhon’s Leper Hospital is a model of good practice. Patients live with their family in comfortable chalets in well maintained gardens, and work on handicrafts. Visitors are always welcomed, and most find it an uplifting experience.

The Beach!
Qui Nhon’s beach is quite small, but OK. However, Qui Hoa beach is about eight kilometers away and much better. By coincidence, you get there through the grounds of the Leper Hospital.

 

Sam Son Beach - Thanh Hoa - Vietnam

At the turn of the 20th century, people discovered the priceless geographical treasure of Sam Son. The cool wind, healthy sun, fine sand and clear water all made this a sought out place for rest and relaxation. In 1907, the French colonial government started to develop Sam Son into a holiday resort for French civil servants and officials based in Thanh Hoa and northern Vietnam. The area has a long history steeped in legend and mysticism.

In 208 BC, Vietnamese King An Duong Vuong was tricked by his Chinese son-in-law Trong Thuy. Trong Thuy had stolen the magic trigger of the King's cross bow. The Golden Tortoise had given the trigger to the King as a gift. The trigger gave the cross bow extraordinary powers. It was able to kill hundreds of people in a single shot. Trong Thuy gave the trigger to his father Trieu Da. Trieu Da led his Chinese army to invade Vietnam. As his cross bow had lost its magic powers, King An Duong Vuong could not win the battle. The King retreated with his daughter My Chau to the south.

Local legend says that when King An Duong Vuong reached the location which is now Binh Hoa village Quang Duong district, about 4 km from Sam Son beach, he found himself completely cornered. In front of him was the sea and behind him was the enemy. In despair, he prayed to the Golden Tortoise to help him. The Genie appeared and took the King to the Underwater Palace.

The legend coincides with the geographical development of the area. About 2000 years ago, Binh Hoa village bordered on the vast sea. At the moment there is still the temple dedicated to King An Duong Vuong and Princess My Chau. No one has ever seen the Golden Tortoise, but the land bears its shape very clearly. Its hind legs are the two stretches of land pushing against the Truong Le Mountain. Its head is another land stretch reaching as far as the Lach Hoi estuary. The Golden Tortoise is also called the Green Envoy. Probably that is why this area is always green with trees. Some distance from the shore is the Truong Le Mountain. It shields the boats and beach from strong hurricanes. The entire area is known as Sam Son.

In the early days, Sam Son was only a collection of sun-baked sand dunes rising above long pools of blue water. The name Sam Son did not appear in written documents or verbal language until the beginning of the 20th century. At the foot of the mountains, north of the Truong Le range, there is Sam village. It is popularly referred to as Nua village. This is the oldest village in the area.

 

Vung Tau Beach - Vietnam

If anywhere in Vietnam could be described as the "Vietnamese Riviera," it would surely be Vung Tau.

Vung Tau is Ho Chi Minh City's closest beach resort, and can be reached by a picturesque hydrofoil ride down the Saigon River or by a rather circuitous highway route. The water is not terribly clean, but the town with its fishing fleet and outdoor restaurants is colorful and relaxing. Thousands flock there on Sunday afternoons to jump into the surf with most of their clothes on. Bai Truoc (Front Beach) is most popular.

Those suffering from burn out during an extended stay in Ho Chi Minh City will enjoy Vung Tau during the week, when it is relaxed. Be sure to visit the White Villa, the restored Governor’s residence. A hike at sunset to the giant statue of Jesus atop Nui Noh will reward you with a fabulous view.

If you can organize enough people for a hired car or even a mini-bus, head instead for Thuy Dong, a private beach a few kilometers north of Vung Tau. The water is clean, and the owners provide chairs, tables and umbrellas. Pack a picnic for the two hour drive from HCMC, but save room for cold beer and piles of steamed crabs you can order beachside.

 

 

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Why? The different weather patterns from the North to the South of Vietnam give each month in the year an advantage.

 

 

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