Home » 8 beaches in Vietnam you have to visit

8 beaches in Vietnam you have to visit

written by Bex Shapiro August 21, 2017
Cat Ba Vietnam

There are many things that come to mind when you hear ‘Vietnam’: motorbike-filled cities, streetside pho, the mighty Mekong, the Buddhist pagodas.

And with all this allure, it’s easy to forget the joys of a good old beach. But don’t travel to Southeast Asia and neglect the country’s near-endless coastline. The best beaches in Vietnam – all turquoise waters and white-sand wonders – are destinations you don’t want to miss.

The good news is that there’s quite a few beaches in Vietnam (have you seen how long and thin the country is?!), so you’re bound to bump into one. The bad news is exactly that. There are simply so many beaches that it’s tough to know where to begin. Worry not, because we enlisted the help of Intrepid Travel’s very own Vietnam expert and Destination Manager, Laura Farnell, to show us all the must-visit spots.

Nha Trang Vietnam beach

Island off the coast of Nha Trang

And here they are. Check out these eight outrageously beautiful beaches in Vietnam, and you won’t return home disappointed.

An Bang Beach, Hoi An

Just 30 kilometers from Da Nang International Airport lies paradise. Yes, quite literally. An Bang Beach is not just the perfect day (or afternoon) trip from Hoi An, but is one of the country’s most pristine beaches. And for the price of just one drink, you can use a restaurant’s sun lounger for the day, so sit back, relax and take in the views. You’ll be able to see the turquoise Da Nang Bay right by you and the Cham Islands in the distance.

Aside from sunbathing and swimming, paddle-boarding and surfing is pretty big here. There are plenty of places to rent boards from, as well as classes for beginning, so no excuses! The beach is also suitable to visit all year: wet season (September to March) means cooler conditions but six-foot waves that are perfect for surfers. Whereas, dry season – between March and September – is better for lounging around with a cocktail (or three).

Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An

Cua Dai Beach Vietnam

Cua Dai Beach

Even closer to Hoi An than An Bang, Cua Dai Beach is just a short bike ride from the city’s Old Town. And if you’re on our 15-day ‘Vietnam Discovery’ trip, you might even visit it on the countryside cycle with the group. The beach itself is palm-fringed and the perfect combination of lively and laid-back. Though coastal erosion has began to make its presence known the past decade or so, there’s still plenty of beautiful coastal vistas and delicious seafood spots to leave you satisfied.

Bonus: it was also voted the best-value for money beach in the world, according to the 2017 Beach Price Index. (310 popular beaches from 70 countries were ranked based on the price of a typical day at the shore, and turns out Vietnam is where the bargains are at!)


Ti Top Island Beach, Halong Bay

You’re hardly going to visit Vietnam without venturing to the crown jewel: Halong Bay. And if you do go, it’ll be pretty hard to resist its shimmering blue-green waters. Luckily, you won’t have to if you visit Ti Top Island Beach. Ti Top island itself, located in the center of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a small summit you can climb to, for breathtaking, 360-degree views of the entire bay.

And the beach! What a reward for the aforementioned climb! Every trip that goes to Halong Bay will visit it, and for good reason. It might be fairly small and it might be fairly crowded, but it’s absolutely stunning. It’s also the only place where swimming is allowed in Halong Bay for overnight junk cruise trips. Chill out, swim in the clean, blue waters, and take all the quintessential Halong Bay snaps your memory card will let you.


Nam Cat Island Resort Beaches, near Halong Bay

Cat Ba Vietnam

Cat Ba

We’re letting you in on a little secret here: your Halong Bay trip doesn’t have to be filled with tourists. Although Cat Ba, the largest island in Halong Bay, has become more busy and developed in recent years, much of it remains rugged and jungle-like. But that isn’t the secret. The secret is Nam Cat Island, just off Cat Ba.

Nam Cat Island is close enough that it has the same picturesque landscape as Halong Bay (towering limestone islands, emerald waters etc.), but none of the crowds. And in our humble opinion, this region has even more to offer. Why? Because you can kayak as much as you like . Due to restrictions imposed on kayaking in Halong Bay in 2017, travelers can only kayak there in strict allocated zones (with all the other tourists). But because adjacent Nam Cat Island is technically part of a different province, the kayaking opportunities are endless.

That’s right, Nam Cat Island (and nearby Lan Ha Bay) is tiny, exclusive and oh so scenic. Perfect for the intrepid explorer. Perfect for the Intrepid one too: from 1st Jan 2018, our 10-day ‘Vietnam: Hike, Bike and Kayak’ itinerary includes kayaking in Lan Ha Bay and an overnight stay on a small resort on Nam Cat Island. Bliss.Thom Beach, Phu Quoc

Now this is seriously getting off the beaten path. Phu Quoc is a Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand (still will us?) that only recently began being developed by resorts. Though much of the east and southwest coast is now filled with hotels, the rest is heaven on Earth.

Over half the island is part of a national park featuring mountains, tropical jungle, hiking trails and more. And the white-sand beaches throughout it are simply unbeatable. One of our favorite beaches, however, is a little more rugged. A charming motorbike journey away from Duong Dong Town, Thom Beach boasts volcanic rocks, coconut palm trees, untouched vibes and some of the island’s best sunsets.

Bai Dai Beach, Nha Trang

Nha Trang Beach Vietnam

Nha Trang Beach

A beach resort and the scuba diving center of Vietnam, Nha Trang has something for everyone. There’s a glitzy city with great nightlife, gorgeous islands to explore, a mud bath to relax in, and, of course, beaches. If you’re looking for something convenient, Nha Trang Beach is bang in the middle of town. The 6 kilometer-long golden-sand beach and turquoise waters are pretty hard to beat.

Insider tip from Laura Farnell, Intrepid’s Destination Manager for Vietnam:

If you visit Nha Trang with Intrepid (on our ‘Best of Vietnam’ or ‘Classic Vietnam’ tour) you’ll get an included boat trip out to the islands of Nha Trang. Here you can visit the fishing villages, ride in a traditional basket boat and also go snorkeling. It’s a highlight for many of our travelers!

If you’re looking for something quieter and a touch more ‘local’, head to Bai Dai Beach. Just south of Nha Trang, it attracts a mix of locals, domestic tourists and travelers from abroad. The sand is white, the water’s blue, the seafood shacks are tasty, and it’s the perfect place to spend a relaxed day at. And if you’re in the mood, you can rent a jet-ski or speedboat too.


Tam Giang Lagoon, Hue

So, we’re slightly stretching the definition of ‘beach’ with this entry. But Tam Giang Lagoon is worth it, and it really sells itself. Just look it up on Google Images – the gorgeous waters and golden hour shades speak a volume. An hour drive away from Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam, the lagoon is 100% worth a visit if you’re in Central Vietnam.

We recommend visiting it on a local-led, half-day trip with Urban Adventures. Their motorbike tour offers a unique, exciting visit to Tam Giang Lagoon at sundown. Ride a sampan (small East Asian boat) to a fish and prawn farm to help fisherman with their catch for the market. See one of the most gorgeous sunsets of your life reflected in the lagoon. And visit the countryside just outside Hue, where you can enjoy fresh fruit and tea with a local host.

You can visit Tam Giang Lagoon as an optional activity on our 18-day ‘Best of Vietnam and Cambodia’ trip or our 10-day ‘Vietnam Express’ trip.

Lang Co Beach, Hue


And to end: a final often-overlooked gem. Lang Co Beach is more geared to Vietnamese day trippers than Western travelers. And that’s a shame for the latter group, because this small fishing village makes for the perfect stopover between Hoi An and Hue (we visit it on this 10-day trip).

As the above picture shows, Lang Co boasts a super-pretty, island-like stretch of white sand. There’s a turquoise lagoon on one side and oysters to eat that are simply otherworldly. Whether you spend a few days here or just a few hours, we really think it’s one of the best beaches in Vietnam. Trust us – that ocean is calling your name.

Tempted to give this incomprehensibly beautiful country a visit? Check out our range of small group adventures in Vietnam.

(Image credits from top to bottom: iStock/Sapsiwai, iStock/Lquang2410, iStock/pjrimages, iStock/Sapsiwai, iStock/laughingmango, iStock/Leo_Dang)

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Ventori Nguyen August 7, 2018 - 1:17 pm

Lang Co beach, I stopped here as we traveled down there. It was a rainy day but I have to say the beach is not the best, the entrance to it is alongside a resort and a bit dirty, The beach its self is dirty with some rubbish along with it, I did not stay long

Mai April 30, 2018 - 3:52 am

In phu quoc island there have Kem beach so beautiful too white sand and you can look many Villa on top the ong DOI mountain soo lovely I really love Vietnam Beach

Linda April 25, 2018 - 6:43 am

How can a senior that travels alone get to these beaches? I’ve taken a bus tour thru Vietnam but now would love to do a month at a beach resort in Nha Trang.

Sandra April 26, 2018 - 8:01 am

You can catch a train (about 8 hours) from Hi Chi Minh City or fly to Nah Trang airport.

Michael V. April 30, 2018 - 1:19 am

I would avoid the train in Vietnam, especially nowadays you can buy an air ticket from VietJet airlines to fly between Saigon to Nha Trang on Airbus A320 aircraft for not much more than the train ticket. It’s much faster and more comfortable. I am a Vietnamese living in the US and love to travel by train in Europe (but not in Vietnam).

Jhon roach December 30, 2017 - 12:16 am

Hi Rebecca shapiro for this amazing and quite informative post.These images are so mesmerising and so are the places where one can spend their vacation.Mui has some of the best beaches and beautiful resorts one such resort is Bamboo village beach resort which is considered as best beach resort in mui ne,vietnam.This resort offers homely feeling to the visitors.

Kasia October 20, 2017 - 12:22 am

I lived in Vietnam for 7 months and Co Lang beach pic is filtered because in real life it doesn’t look that glamorous. Would be nice if writers show the reality not the Photoshop.

Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad September 17, 2017 - 5:41 pm

Aaaand now I want to go back to Vietnam! 🙁 We found some fantastic beaches around Hoi An that were less touristy than the main beach, I could have stayed there for a week just for them!

Ella September 4, 2017 - 5:49 pm

We are visiting Vietnam next Feb with intrepid and start in Hanoi, finish in Saigon. I have a day and night to waste before coming home and wondered if someone could recommend a beach/resort on the last day I. Which we could relax and be pampered? This ideally would be in the south due to flights and transfers. Thanks

JJ September 21, 2017 - 9:56 am

Vung Tau, which is about 2 hours by rapid transfer or by hydrofoil boat when they run, from Ho Chi Minh city , is a great beach with some of the best seafood in Asia Its an old fishing town that is slowly being turned into a tourist resort, yet the town is still charming. Best visited during the week as it is a popular weekend spot for the local vietnamese on weekends. Enjoy

Marg Breuer August 29, 2017 - 7:07 am

We spent 8 months in Vietnam last year. It was our third trip there. The beaches you mention are good, but they are on the main tourist routes, not intrepid at all. There are beaches on Son Tra Pennisular are close to Danang, but completely undiscovered by Western Tourists, and garlic island just south of Danang is amazing and visited mostly by locals.
We are travellers that only started doing this in our late fifties and we are very slow travellers, one month in a country is just too little, we will not see every country in the world, but we will come away with a tiny bit of understanding of each country and the culture. We see places that are uncrowded, and away from the tourist hordes. We don’t have a bucket list to tick, we have a yearning to understand the people of this world.

Sandra August 27, 2017 - 10:44 pm

I’m glad Nha Trang made the list. I stayed there for three months last year. Loved it! I describe it as the love child of Surfers Paradise and Waikiki.


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