Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities. Hanoi, the capital, pays homage to the nation’s iconic Communist-era leader, Ho Chi Minh, via a huge marble mausoleum.
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) has French colonial landmarks, plus Vietnamese War history museums and the Củ Chi tunnels, used by Viet Cong soldiers.
Vietnam, also known as Viet Nam or the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country in Southeast Asia and is highly frequented by tourists, especially backpackers, from around the world.
Vietnam is strategically bordered with several other countries of importance in the tourist trail of SE Asia, some of which are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and China.
Hanoi is the capital city and Vietnamese is the national as well as official language in the country. The widely-accepted currency is Vietnamese Dong.
While Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City are necessarily the major entry points in the country, cities such as Hoi An, Hue, and coastal regions such as Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang, and Da Nang are widely popular among tourists globally.
Let us now explore the coastal regions – mainly the best beaches in Vietnam.
1. Long Beach, Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is by far the largest island in Vietnam, a country famous for its 2000-mile-long shoreline and one of the best cuisines in the world. The island has a long list of beaches scattered around, however, Long Beach is the most famous of all for its long stretch of sandy beaches enclosed in a palm-fringed coastline.
While sunbathers and swimmers find the waters of Long Beach extremely favourable to venture in, the beaches are also a hit among photographers and sunset lovers. Squid fishing, hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, stand-up paddle-boarding and biking around the beach town are some of the other usual activities enjoyed at Long Beach.
Located only 4 miles from Phu Quoc International Airport, the beach is easily accessible.
Long Beach being one of the most prevalent towns in the country, has plenty of hotels, beach resorts, bars and restaurants, travel agencies, and other tourist facilities.
2. Star Beach, Phu Quoc
While Long Beach at Phu Quoc Island may be considered as the epicentre of all tourist activities, Star Beach, located on the south coast of the island, is no less when it comes to pristine beach waters and impeccable surroundings.
Contrary to Long Beach, Star Beach is known for its white, powdery sand and blue waters.
Known as Bai Sao locally, ‘Sao’ meaning Star, the beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam. The seashore is covered with swaying palm trees and the big rocks are perfect for sunrise and sunset views.
Though not as optimally developed as Long Beach, Star Beach has its share of tourist amenities such as hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops.
Come night, the beach lights up with luminous planktons. Source: www.halong-bay-hotels.com
3. Nha Trang Beach, Nha Trang
Situated on the south-central coast of Vietnam, Nha Trang is a beach city known for its spectacular turquoise-coloured waters and a high-energy vibe that attracts visitors, especially backpackers from all over the world.
Considered as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Nha Trang Beach, also known as City Beach, has developed into a popular scuba diving site over the years. Visitors also enjoy kite-boarding and sailing in the clear waters of City Beach which remain warm throughout the year.
There are several high-end hotels and luxurious beach resorts in and around Nha Trang Beach, the most notable of which is Vinpearl Resort and Spa on the Bamboo Island which has its own Cable Car connecting the resort to the mainland.
If you wish to take a break from the party scene, indulge in a traditional Vietnamese spa treatment along with a visit to a mud bath.
4. Doc Let Beach, Hon Khoi Peninsula
Turquoise-coloured water, white sand, palm-fringed coastline, and vibrant fishing boats docked around are some of the key characteristics of Doc Let Beach, located approximately 28 miles from Nha Trang, in Hon Khoi Peninsula.
The beach caters to all kinds of visitors – from budget to luxury, and offers accommodation and dining options accordingly. There are several shops and shacks around the beach for easy tourist access.
Doc Let Beach is most admired for its salt fields which also provide an amazing opportunity for photographers who visit the area.
Unlike most other beaches in the area, Doc Let is considerably quiet and hence, provides the tranquillity you look for at a rejuvenating beach holiday.
5. Danang Beach, Da Nang
A central fighting area during the infamous Vietnam War, Danang Beach, in today’s time, is known for its mammoth stretch of white sandy beach which extends from Monkey Mountain to Hoi An with the popular Marble Mountain smack in the middle of it all.
With a pristine coral reef, palm-fringed shoreline, and some top-notch beach resorts, Danang Beach is definitely one of the most well-liked beaches not only in Vietnam but the entire world.
The Beach is an excellent spot for water activities such as surfing, scuba diving, sunbathing, and swimming. Additionally, the area is known for its active expat scene.
There are several sections of the beach, some of which are My An, My Khe, Cua Doi and Non Nuoc, of which My An, My Khe, and Non Nuoc are collectively known as ‘beaches of Da Nang’.
Getting to Da Nang is easy and the beach can be accessible by train, bus, flight, and motorbike.
6. An Bang Beach, Hoi An
Hoi An’s new go-to beach, An Bang Beach is located 19 miles from Da Nang International airport and 2.5 miles from Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Frequented by the expat community in Hoi An, An Bang Beach is lined with perfectly manicured gardens, lively bars and restaurants, and plenty of accommodation facilities.
Noted for its surfing, swimming, and scuba diving scene, An Bang Beach is best visited during summer when you can actually put yourself on an “eat, swim, sleep, repeat” mode.
If everything else fails to suit your taste, try spending the day sunbathing and sipping on refreshing cocktails until the exotic beach sunset hits the canvas.
7. Mui Ne, Phan Thiet
Located around 125 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, Mui Ne is a beach resort town in the fishing district of Phan Thiet. Over the years, the area has developed into a trendy holiday destination.
Even though the fishing scene around Mui Ne remains unchanged till date, mass tourism and urbanization are rapidly taking place in this beach town.
The serene atmosphere around the beach makes it idyllic for sunbathing, walking, and jogging. The atmospheric tranquillity and the beauty of the surrounding coastal landscape is not to be missed.
Kitesurfing, swimming, surfing, and windsurfing are some of the other common beach activities in the area.
The beach town of Mui Ne is also known for its sailing scene, so much so that it is considered as one of the best locations in the world to sail.
8. Ho Coc Beach, Ho Coc
Considered as the most enthralling beach in Vietnam by visitors from all around the world, Ho Coc is a small beach town located around 78 miles from Ho Chi Minh City.
The beach at Ho Coc is a long, 3-mile stretch of fine, golden sand and crystal-clear waters. The coastline is dotted with large boulders and coracles with sand dunes in the background.
Ho Coc is still aloof to mass tourism and commercialization but there are plenty of modest accommodation and dining businesses around the beach area.
The area gets really busy during the weekend with locals as well as a western crowd but remains pretty deserted and calm during the weekdays.
One of the most notable places aside from the beach itself is the the nearby hot springs and rainforest that are a good stopover in case you wish to explore the area.
9. Quan Lan Island, Hanoi
If your idea of a beach vacation is away from the hustle and bustle of a usual beach town and in a secluded location with pristine blue waters and refreshing ocean breeze, Quan Lan is your perfect place to be.
Once a commercial hub, the islands of Quan Lan nests within the Bai Tu Long Bay and has emerged as a promising tourist destination over the years. The remote location of the island makes it one of the very few unspoiled beaches in Vietnam.
Though the island has several beaches, Minh Chau Beach, with its 1.5-mile-long crescent-shaped shoreline, is highly popular among visitors, especially those interested in surfing and kayaking.
Beachside restaurants and cafes are well-known for their seafood and beer, that too at prices that don’t dig a hole in your pocket.
10. Con Dao Islands, Con Dao Archipelago
Also known as Paulo Condore, Con Dao Islands is an archipelago consisting of 15 islands in the south-eastern coast of Vietnam. Most renowned for its colonial past, the islands are considerably untouched due to the lack of proper transportation facilities to and from the islands. It is also because of the same reason that the islands maintain its pristine natural beauty and soothing atmosphere.
The brilliant reefs, amazing underwater creatures including the green sea turtle, and the scenic beach provide for impeccable water activities such as swimming and scuba diving. Among land activities, hiking, biking, and trekking are quite common.
Con Dao Islands have a total stretch of 125-mile-long coastline and numerous immaculate beaches, soft, white sand, and crystal blue waters.
11. Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)
Perhaps the closest beach to the main HCMC centre. Vung Tau, once named as Cape Saint Jacques by the French, is one of the most liked beaches in the southern part of Vietnam.
The four beaches in Vung Tau are coined as per their geographical location and every beach is different from the other.
Even though HCMC is well-known in the world for its vibrancy and urbanization in today’s world, people living in the city have well-maintained the natural beauty of their beaches and landscapes.
Due to its proximity to the city centre, Vung Tau is frequented by visitors during weekends and public holidays.
12. Thuan An Beach, Hue
Perched on the spectacular Tam Giang – Cau Hai Lagoon, in the northeast of Hue, lays the spectacular beaches of Thuan An. Due to its close distance from the city of Hue, it is a top choice for locals, especially during the summer.
Though it is not as promising when you count astonishing landscape, but what it lacks in pictorial beauty, it makes up for it being a fun, lively local beach town where you can hang around with the locals, get to know the life and culture in Vietnam, and enjoy your summer away from the normal touristy crowd that line the beaches of the country all around the year.
Seafood complemented with mugs of beer and natives cheering merrily is a usual view here.
13. Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh
Stretching from the port in the north to the mountains in the south, Quy Nhon is a blessed stretch of long, sandy beach. Quy Nhon Beaches have everything to offer you that the beaches of Nha Trang claim to provide minus the crowd.
An amazing seaside and well-planned, litter-free town, Quy Nhon is often considered as one of the best options in Vietnam for tourists who wish to spend their holiday unwinding and relaxing in a luxurious ambiance.
There are a handful of landmarks in the city, one of which is the gigantic statue of Tran Hung Dao, that provides for a nice scope to walk around.
Down south, the beaches are quieter and make for great romantic locations.
14. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
Situated approximately 2.5 miles away from Hoi An City Centre, Cua Dai Beach is claimed as one of the main jewels among the beach jewels in Vietnam. The Beach owes its recognition to its soft, white sand, crystal blue waters, clear sunshine, and the tender waves.
Despite being visited by hundreds of tourists around the year, the Beach maintains its natural beauty and remains unaffected by the rate of tourism in the area.
Cua Dai can get fairly crowded during the weekends and public holidays so it is best to avoid visiting then if you are looking for some alone time.
If nothing else, come here for the biking experience that you will enjoy riding around the town and exploring the sweet nothings every now and then.
Cua Dai also has plenty of water activities to offer those looking to spend their vacation indulging into an adventure.
15. Halong Bay
Though not really a beach, any of Vietnam’s “to-do” list seems incomplete without Halong Bay being a part of it. Located in northern part of the country, Halong Bay is known for its spotless oceanic beauty and is also often considered as one of the natural wonders in the world.
Ha Long Bay archipelago consists of approximately 1,900 islands, many of which are still uninhabited.
Due to its popularity among local and international visitors, the Bay can be reached quite conveniently from any part of the country.
Needless to say, there is no dearth of hotel, restaurants, bars, stores, travel agencies, and other tourist-related businesses in the area.
Plan a few days when you visit Halong Bay because one day can never be enough.