Vietnam Beaches with Sun, Surf, Seafood and Sightseeing

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The Vietnam beaches most people hear about Nha Trang or Halong Bay and plan their trip through Vietnam accordingly.

But there are some undiscovered gems along Vietnam's 3,000 mile coastline that are less touristy, easier to get to and possibly even more beautiful.

Read what we have to say or Click here to write about your own favorite beach and even upload your own photos.

The Great Beach Debate

Phu Quoc Island and Mui Ne Beach are my favorites. Incredibly, both are pretty much ignored by tourists and yet are the best of any of the Vietnam Beaches.

I would like to include Halong Bay but unless you plan on flying into Hanoi, it's just too far and too cold in the winter months from November to April.

People will say China beach near Danang City but that is more Central Vietnam than Northern and is a far trek from Hanoi.

I guess it all depends on how much time you have and how much you are willing to part with in Vietnam because Halong Bay is as unique a place as any I've seen in Asia.

I drove a Honda Wave 125cc from Saigon to Dalat then down to Nha Trang and then up to Danang and back to Saigon again. It remains one of the most memorable things I've ever done.

That was back in 2005 and I'll never forget the amazing coastline that begins once you get into central Vietnam, just past Hue City.

Just endless deserted beaches with untouched sand. On motorbike or cycling the feeling of connection is more heightened. I would recommend anyone to take that trip.

vietnam-on-motorbike

If you're arriving in Ho Chi Minh City and have a short period of time then the beaches in the South are for laying in the sun, swimming in the warm waters and drinking banana shakes or sipping crushed sugarcane juice.

Mui Ne Beach is just 160km from Ho Chi Minh City or about 5 hours by bus. But Nha Trang is twice that distance and more, taking about 14 hours from departure to arrival by bus.

There is nothing worth seeing in the North but Halong Bay. People may argue that. If you want to make your own web page with photos of a beach in the far North worth seeing then just Click here.

O.K. The rock formations in the North are really a sight-see but the Vietnam beaches beginning in Central Vietnam are incredible, even in the winter months when the waves smash into the shoreline, often driven by offshore typhoons.

The Beaches of Vietnam

I'll list the beaches of note starting in the North of Vietnam and work South, checking in with most noteworthy Vietnam Beaches.

  • Tra Co Beach

This is the very first beach you'll encounter in the far North of the Vietnamese coastline. It borders with China and is a first stop if you've come through China via Nanning.

A good first stop for a night's rest but not to see the beaches. Most of it is mud flats cracked where jutting from the water and baked by the sun.

I heard a story about a man coming to this beach and ending up to his waist in oil-colored quicksand. I mention it because when the tide is out you can see the thick black mud that makes up the sea bottom here.

  • Bai Chay Beach

Of all the Vietnam beaches, this one is the closest to Hanoi, the Capital city of Vietnam. It's a beach that locals from Hanoi use as a primary destination on weekends and Holidays.

The crowds can be huge because of its proximity to the Capital City but it's not that great of a beach anyway.

The Vietnam beaches in the North of the country get down to as low as 12 Degrees Celsius in the winter.

Bai Chai beach is not a place to go in the winter and even in the summer it has the usual characteristics of a cold climate beach. It is rocky and the sand is course and unforgiving.

It does cater some pretty great seafood but most of it is harvested from nearby Halong Bay.

Most of the Vietnam beaches here are found on the islands in the middle of the Bay. You'll have to look for them or get a guide to take you to them.

There are tour boats and group galore so you can book it once you're there quite easily.

The Vietnamese call this beach My Khe beach. It is better known amongst foreigners as China Beach.

There is a little mountain to the East that people kept calling Monkey Mountain (also heard of them referred to as Marble Mountains) but I'm not sure that is the Official name.

We'll stick with Marble Mountains as I doubt you'll be climbing them in search of Golden Banana Fields.

China Beach never seems to be without someone on it. Usually local kids playing football badly and arguing over who cheated.

An early morning visit will put you in touch with the heavens as the entire sky brightens with the coming morning.

It is spectacular and there is someone doing The Slow Karate exercise to your left and a guy pulling a fishing net out of the water to your right.

It is hard to believe that this, of all the Vietnam beaches was the center of fierce fighting in the late 1960's between American forces and the Vietnamese minions of Chinese and Russian control.

Some people will tell you of unexploded ordinance about the area but from the reading I've done that seems nearly impossible.

If you are looking to Dodge Mines then the DMZ area to the North is where you'll find it.

  • Cua Dai

Cua Dai is the longest of any of the Vietnam beaches. It begins just after Danang City and stretches for another 30km South. The main road runs almost alongside the shoreline at times and it can be mesmerizing watching the waves come in onto this almost endless stretch of untouched sand.

You can stop anywhere if you're on your own transportation and walk down onto the beach. The bus to Danang also runs along this route at times and you can always force the bus driver to stop if you pretend to be a little sick in the stomach.

Some of the time you'll see towns along the road. Hoi An City is just a few kilometers off Cua Dai beach so you'll find a few, rairly remote Resorts along that stretch of sand. But Cua Dai is so large that you can always find your own private stretch of sand.

Nha Trang is the epicenter of all the Vietnam beaches. This is where you'll find all the tourists, the tourist jacked prices and all the gift shops selling souvenirs.

And yet it's not even the most beautiful of all Vietnam beaches. But if you are set on seeing Nha Trang Beach then click on the link above for more details on how to get there and what is available for you to do.

  • Doc Let

If you head 41km South from Nha Trang, you'll run into Doc Let. I didn't overnight here like in Mui Ne or Nha Trang. The beach is wonderful and solitude is abound away from the bay.

You can run naked along this beach without fear of being seen!

The only reason I found it noteworthy amongst other Vietnam Beaches was the protective, shallow bay here that makes for great swimming.

Also, there are many little shacks along the roadside which sold some excellent boiled crab. There was very little English involved in communication but the Vietnamese are adept at body language.

  • Phan Thiet

When I was in Mui Ne, I took the bike out and we drove from Mui Ne to Phan Thiet. The drive there only took about 20 minutes and there is also a bus that heads out that way.

Just get to the bus station in Mui Ne and its a breeze to get there or you can organize a day trip with one of the 3 per block tourist companies.

Phan Tiet was much more populated by Vietnamese as it seems off the map to most tourists. It is a beautiful beach but gets so very crowded on weekends and holidays.

It was the drive there that was the most spectacular. The road winds along the shoreline and into the true Vietnamese countryside.

Mui Ne Beach is one of my favorites out of the other Vietnam beaches. As you drive along the main road, towards the White sand Dunes, you'll have the desert on your left and a beautiful coastline on your right.

The stark contrast means at one moment you are in Red Sand Dunes the likes of Africa and then, just meters away is the beautiful, still as of 2007, Deserted beach.

  • Vung Tau

This is the closest of all the Vietnam beaches to Ho Chi Minh City. It is the destination of choice for young Vietnamese on weekends and holidays and everyday in between.

Vung Tau really isn't a place you will want to lay on the beach or do any swimming. There is a ferry you can catch out of Saigon to get to Vung Tau, which makes a great day trip though.

Just head to the bottom of Nguyen Hue street and you'll find the hydrofoil Port and the ferry that will take you up to Vung Tau

If you want to see the best of all the Vietnam beaches then you have to get out to Phu Quoc Island. It's in the South China sea and has beaches very like those on Ko Chang in Thailand.

The amenities are still poor in relation, but its underdevelopment means less tourists.

  • Hon Chong Beach

This beach is the only one of the Vietnam Beaches to run right against the border with Cambodia. It's in the Southern tip of the mainland of Vietnam.

The coastline is named Ha Tien and has some superb beaches. Even the French seem to like it as the film L'AMANT (The Lover, 1995) was shot in and around Hon Chong Beach.

Hon Chong Beach will remind those who've come through Thailand and Sihanoukville in Cambodia of the beaches there.

The sand is very fine and soft and the waters are some of the most tranquil of all the Vietnam Beaches.

It is not a popular tourist destination as of yet but there are plenty of travel agents in Vietnam that do package tours to Hon Chong Beach.

From Hai Tien you can hire a boat to take you out to some of the islands, such as Hon Doc Island or Nghe Island.

I know that the travel agents in Ho Chi Minh City also offer Scuba Diving treks to the Hai Tac Islets.

I worked in Vietnam for 2 years and ran into quite a few Scuba enthusiasts that claimed there was some fantastic diving sites in and around the Islets off the coast of Ha Tien.

The Best Time To Visit These Vietnam Beaches

Hue and Danang, in the center of the country, are very hot and dry from February to August. Temperatures get up top the mid 30's Celsius but heavy rainfall between September and January is a certainty.

Ho Chi Minh City and the Vietnam Beaches in the South of the country are hot and dry from December till April with average temperatures around 28°C and a warm rainy season from May to November.

The Best Bang-for-the-Buck Vietnam Beaches

Go 160 miles North, along the coast, by bus or train to enjoy fantastic beaches at Mui Ne or fly to Phu Quoc Island for the best Vietnam Beaches.

That's just my opinion. Others may disagree but the best way to see the Vietnam beaches is to rent a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City and drive the coastline at least as far as Hue City or Danang.

The Best Beach in Vietnam?

So, which is the best beach in Vietnam? Tell us about it and why you think it is so good.

Maybe a fight will break out!

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Hey, I see on your website that you don't mention diving in Nha Trang. It is certainly not a "budget" activity but it is so much cheaper than anywhere …

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The Best Time To Visit These Vietnam Beaches

Hue and Danang, in the center of the country, are very hot and dry from February to August. Temperatures get up top the mid 30's Celsius but heavy rainfall between September and January is a certainty.

Ho Chi Minh City and the Vietnam Beaches in the South of the country are hot and dry from December till April with average temperatures around 28°C and a warm rainy season from May to November.

The Best Bang-for-the-Buck Vietnam Beaches

Go 160 miles North, along the coast, by bus or train to enjoy fantastic beaches at Mui Ne or fly to Phu Quoc Island for the best Vietnam Beaches.

That's just my opinion. Others may disagree but the best way to see the Vietnam beaches is to rent a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City and drive the coastline at least as far as Hue City or Danang.

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