With a coastline of almost 3,500 kilometres it is no surprise that tourists and locals alike have found many places to enjoy the sandy beaches and the warm East Sea. Film makers have added to their popularity by finding stunning locations for their fiction; the beaches in Vietnam are not fiction they really do exist.
There is more to it than sand. There are lovely lagoons, islands and caves. The climate in Vietnam varies from region to region so if you are looking specifically for a Vietnam beach holiday you should seek the advice of a Vietnam tour operator that will guide you on the seasons and the best locations. The climate can be unpredictable because Vietnam’s length means that two monsoons hit the land at different times of the year.
The months between October and December are the safest bet and a Vietnam beach vacation in the south is the wisest choice because even when it rains it is usually just showers. However, tourists coming from far away are unlikely to have a Vietnam holiday purely on the coast. There is so much to see and do in Vietnam that relates to history, culture and religion that there is a balance to be struck. The North demands some of your time if you are looking to see the best that Vietnam has to offer. The North’s beaches are at their best between May and August although the winds can rise towards the end of that period.
Southern Vietnam Beach Resorts
Ho Chi Minh City is fairly close to a number of the best beaches in Vietnam:
• Vung Tau is a Vietnam beach resort that gets fairly crowded because of its relative proximity to Ho Chi Minh City which will be on every Vietnam travel package. Its location is its major advantage because there are better beaches in Vietnam than this.
• Phan Thiet was a port in the times of the Champa Kingdom. It has a fishing fleet and is known for its fish sauce (nuoc mam) which tastes better in Vietnamese cuisine than it smells.
• Mui Ne is just over 20 kilometres from Phan Thiet and offers plenty of water sports as well as stunning white beaches.
• Hon Chong Beach, Ha Tien is on the Cambodian border and there are several islands ideal for exploration.
• Phu Quoc is an island off the Cambodian Coast and is regarded as one of the most beautiful on the whole of Vietnam’s coastline. There is plenty of accommodation on the island for those wishing to stay.
South Central Vietnam Beaches
Nicknamed the Vietnamese Riviera, Nha Trang has gained a worldwide reputation for a Vietnam beach holiday. It attracts those on organised Vietnam tour packages as well as backpackers. The seafood is truly wonderful and there is plenty to do. Not surprisingly the region gets very busy in the peak summer weeks.
• The Con Dao Islands are fairly isolated and therein lies their protection from over-development.
• Doc Let Beach is just over 30 kilometres north of Nha Trang.
• Lang Co Beach a similar distance from Hoi An has often been mentioned in lists of the best beaches in the world.
• The Da Nang beach was the site of the region’s first international surfing competition and there is plenty to do away from the beach; Hoi An, My Son and Marble Mountain.
Northern Vietnam Beaches
There is less coastal development in the north. July and August can be wild but at other times the beaches provide a good escape from the city.
• Bai Chay Beach is the best option for those in Hanoi though it cannot compare to some of the beaches in Central and Southern Vietnam.
• Halong Bay offers much more than beaches. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the whole environment. The islands, the fishing villages, there is so much to see and do. It is not known specifically for its beaches but there are many small sandy coves throughout the islands that offer quiet even in the peak tourist weeks.
There is little doubt that number of visitors to Vietnam will continue to rise. Vietnam travel packages can be fairly hectic and it is nice to have some time to relax. The resorts close to Ho Chi Minh City benefit from its proximity and travellers often depart the country from its international airport. A couple of days on the southern coast is an excellent way to wind down before the journey home.