Visiting the Beautiful Beaches of Vietnam
With more than 3,000 km of coastline along the East Sea in the north / central regions on down to the Gulf of Thailand in the south, Vietnam offers dozens of beautiful beaches with great seafood eats.
Made up of nearly 2,000 karst islands, most of which are untouched by man, Halong Bay is a surprisingly beautiful beach destination. While it’s undeniably more famous for its caves, kayaking, and cruising, there are a few island beaches worth visiting. Titop Island is one of the most popular as it’s on the itinerary of most overnight cruises, including the vintage Emeraude and the contemporary L’Azalée. The small island has a sandy beach with great views of the surrounding islands, and a hilltop viewpoint.
At the time of writing, the local authorities aren’t allowing swimming from the boats, so the island beaches are the only place where you can swim. The provincial government is also enthusiastically promoting Halong City, the gateway to Halong Bay. In the past, visitors just transited through the city, but now it’s becoming a destination in itself. Bai Chay Beach is just 15-20 minutes from the city center and has gotten major renovation and cleanup in recent months. Its close proximity to the city, shops, and restaurants makes it a convenient swimming spot.
Danang has popped up on several must-visit lists in recent years, and for good reason. The long stretch of beach on the Bay of Danang is seriously beautiful, along with the famous beaches of My Khe and Non Nuoc which are just 15-20 minutes from the city center. Danang’s beaches are also home to surfing (best time is between November to March), kite surfing, and other water sports. The stretch of beach between Danang and Hoi An is also being developed with big-name resorts and hotels entering the mix. From Danang or Hoi An, it’s easy to rent a scooter and drive up and down the coastal road, stopping for seafood meals or coconut smoothies.
Danang also has the forested Son Tra Peninsula, home to secluded beaches including Bai Bac, Tien Sa, and Con Beach. The peninsula is also home to the very colorful red-shanked douc, known as the “Queen of Primates”. The species is considered endangered, with about 1,300 individuals on the Son Tra Peninsula. The top of the mountain is 700 m above sea level, affording gorgeous views of the sweeping coastline.
This UNESCO-listed city in Central Vietnam is best known for its beautifully-preserved Ancient Town with gorgeous, ochre-colored shop houses and heritage buildings featuring French, Chinese, and Japanese architecture, many dating back to Hoi An’s heyday as a medieval port city. However, just 20 minutes away, you’ll find lovely An Bang and Cua Dai Beaches, as well as the Cham Islands, an archipelago of 8 small islands and home to Bai Cong Beach, Bai Ong Beach, Bai Bac Beach, and Bai Xep Bech, the ideal island getaway for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports including water skiing, kayaking, and diving.
On your next visit to Hoi An, why not stay by the beach and enjoy culture and a relaxing getaway all in one?
Phan Thiet / Mui Ne:
The neighboring towns of Phan Thiet and Mui Ne very much retain their fishing village vibes. Colorful boats bob in the calm waters while palm-tree lined beaches beckon sun-seekers looking for a quiet escape just 4-5 hours from Ho Chi Minh City by car, bus, or train. There’s only one coastal road that runs between the two towns set 19 km apart, lined with luxe resorts and rustic guest houses. The seafood restaurants are a must-visit, where diners can choose live fish, shrimp, clams, and lobsters from tanks to be cooked to order. We suggest spending a few nights decompressing on the beautiful beaches of Phan Thiet, an excellent way to end an activity-packed trip to Vietnam.
The name of an archipelago comprised of 16 islands off the southeastern coast of Vietnam as well as its largest island, Con Dao is a virtually untouched beach paradise. Just 80 km from the Mekong Delta or less than an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Con Dao is known for its quiet, scenic beaches, turtle nesting, and excellent snorkeling and diving. Previously used as a prison by French colonial authorities and then by the South Vietnamese government, the island was only permanently settled in the late 1970s. Even today, there’s only one main road that bisects the heavily forested island. Don’t go expecting any real nightlife, though, as everything moves at a slow pace on Con Dao where there’s not much to do other than laze on the long, quiet beaches, explore the island by motorbike, or enjoy a coffee in town while watching a lively beach football game by the island’s youngsters and military personnel.