With more than 2000 miles of coastline, Vietnam brims with secluded coves, white sands and waters fit for snorkelling. For days spent basking on sun-baked strands and evenings taking in the sunset, these are the best beaches in Vietnam.
1. Long Beach, Phu Quoc
Long Beach (Bai Trong), spanning the west coast of Phu Quoc Island, is a 20km stretch of largely deserted soft yellow sand and swaying coconut palms. Ideal for sunbathing, sunset watching and swimming, this beach is great for classic tropical beach views. It's undoubtedly the best Phu Quoc has to offer.
2. Star Beach, Phu Quoc
The largely undeveloped east coast of Phu Quoc is less frequented than, but just as beautiful as, the more popular west. One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Star Beach (Bai Sao) has dazzling white sands and mesmerizing, usually calm waters. A few beach restaurants line the pale blue waters, and in season there are kayaks for rent and half-day snorkelling trips by boat.
3. City Beach, Nha Trang
Nha Trang, a delightful south-coast city, is generally recognised as Vietnam’s premier beach destination. Six kilometres of sand joins the sea to the city; rolling waves are on one side, the others is fringed by cafes, restaurants and some unusual modern sculptures. Watersports, day trips by boat and, of course, fresh pineapple are all readily available – but bear in mind that the more choppy waters of November and December mean the beach loses much of its appeal.
4. Hon Chong Beach, Nha Trang
Just north of Nha Trang lies the secluded Hon Chong Beach. It's less refined than its central counterpart but worth the trip for the night-time views across the bay to the city centre. Cheap seafood restaurants abound at its far end.
5. Doc Let Beach, Hon Khoi peninsula
Doc Let beach, on the splendid Hon Khoi peninsula, is a pristine location for a day’s beach-bumming. White sands and casuarinas (evergreen trees) make for a delightful, uncrowded scene. Good accommodation options are available, and even more secluded beaches can be found nearby.
6. Ho Coc Beach, Ho Coc
A spellbinding, often deserted beach, Ho Coc offers a primitive but wonderful five kilometre stretch of golden sand. The beach has clear waters and is backed by fine dunes – and the Binh Chau Hot Springs are located conveniently nearby in case sunbathing gets too much.
7. Dai Lanh, Hon Ghom peninsula
The Hon Ghom peninsula is coated in largely empty, endless beaches. Perhaps the best is next to Dai Lanh, a tiny fishing village at the northern end of a one kilometre-long beach, hemmed between clear, turquoise waters of the South China Sea and a mantle of green mountains.
8. My Khe, Quang Ngai
My Khe in Quang Ngai consists of seven kilometres of powder-soft sand, backed by casuarinas (evergreen trees), and is very good for swimming. Hamlets stand along the beach, while fishing boats are sometimes moored off it, and there’s a handful of restaurants that only get busy at the weekend.
9. Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An
It’s a popular bike (or motorbike taxi) ride from Hoi An to the clean, white sands of Cua Dai Beach. The best way to enjoy this stretch is to take an umbrella and deck chair at one of the many beachfront café-restaurants. That way you can sip cocktails and watch spectacular sunsets over the Chám Islands just off the shore.
10. Cam An Beach, Hoi An
Cam An Beach, just north of its more popular counterpart, Cua Dai Beach, is a pleasantly scruffy alternative to the tourist-focused Cua Dai. Ramshackle bars dot the far less visited beach, seen as the local expats’ beach of choice.