You may not have thought of Vietnam as a beach holiday destination, but after reading this, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s the perfect place for enjoying sun, sand and sea.
As beach holiday destinations go, Vietnam perhaps isn’t the obvious choice. However, the country’s beaches are beautiful enough to rival those of the more famous Thailand resorts, and there are plenty that haven’t yet been spoiled by high-rise resorts and an influx of western travellers. In this guide, we’ve included popular Vietnamese beach resorts alongside less frequently visited beaches that enable you to get away from the tourist traps.
Map: Vietnam’s key beach resorts
Da Nang may be the third largest city in Vietnam, but that doesn’t mean its beaches are anything to be sniffed at. China Beach - also known as Non Nuoc Beach – is the place to go; this rapidly expanding beach resort was used as a relaxation destination for American soldiers during the Vietnam War, and now plays host to major hotel chains and Asia’s first spa inclusive hotel – the Fusion Maia.
Best time to go: February to August
2. Lang Co
The beaches of Lang Co, Vietnam
Though not an island, Lang Co in central Vietnam enjoys a tropical island vibe thanks to its vivid blue lagoon and soft sandy beaches. Favoured by the locals, it’s a good place for those wanting to escape the tourist trail.
Best time to go: February to July Nearest airport: Danang or Hue
Beautiful Thuan An Beach lies 14km from Hue, and it’s a chance for you to see one of the less developed beaches. It’s particularly popular as a day trip from the former capital and is home to the Ana Mandara Hue beachfront resort.Best time to go: February to July
Nearest airport: Hue Best time to go: February to July
4. Hoi An
The beaches of Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An’s main beach, Cua Dai, lies 5km from the city’s atmospheric Old Town, and is a great place to swim and relax. Palm trees provide welcome shade, and food is in plentiful supply from vendors on the beach and the many restaurants that boast beachside dining. Watersports such as kayaking and jet skiing are available. Hotel choices are plentiful on the beach and in the UNESCO protected town. All round Hoi An provides the perfect combination of beach, culture, dining and shopping.
Best time to go: February to AugustNearest airport:Danang
5. Nha Trang
The beaches of Nha Trang, Vietnam
This is the most well established Vietnamese beach holiday destination and is the place to go scuba diving. The beautiful bay around which Nha Trang is centred is home to many high-rise resorts which give the place a more urban vibe, but it’s easy to escape the party atmosphere at out of town low-rise villa resorts north or south of the city.
Best time to go: February to August Nearest airport: Nha Trang
6. Mui Ne
The beaches of Mui Ne, Vietnam
Mui Ne has managed to hold onto its individual charm despite the number of beachside resorts that have grown up around this fishing village. It has a reputation for being a destination for adrenaline junkies looking to surf and explore the sand dunes, but is fast becoming a popular beach destination for all types of travellers looking for rest and relaxation.
Best time to go: November to April Nearest airport: Saigon (4½ hour drive)
7. Con Dao
For a more secluded beach experience, try the Con Dao islands off the southern coast. This group of sixteen islands previously played host to a prison housing political prisoners (you can still visit the prison buildings), but it’s now a National Park famed for its beauty. The islands are ideal for snorkelling, and have beautiful beaches on which you might even be lucky enough to observe sea turtles. Diving is possible all year round.
Best time to go: November to April Nearest airport: Con Dao (via Saigon)
8. Phu Quoc
The beaches of Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Phu Quoc is a classic tropical island: dense forest framed by white sandy beaches and palm trees. The main resorts can be found around Long Beach, but beyond that you’ll find the island pleasantly unspoiled. The clear waters around the island are perfect for diving, with kayaking another popular water-based activity.
Best time to go: November to April Nearest airport: Phu Quoc (via Saigon)
Beaches and culture
Local ladies of Saigon, Vietnam
Spend a few days or longer at the beach as an addition to any Vietnam or Indochina holiday. Whether you’re travelling on one of our legendary escorted small group tours, such as our 11-day Vietnam Insight, cruising the waterways of Asia or including some rest and relaxation as part of a tailor-made itinerary, Vietnam is a beach lover’s dream.