Taking a tour around Vietnam to discover true beach paradises

Given its 3,000-km coastline, the country is the ultimate place to relax on beautiful beaches with smooth sands and turquoise waters.

Despite the recent tourism boom that has turned its popular tourist destinations somewhat boisterous, there is no denying that Vietnam has many glamorous beach paradises spanning from the southern delta to the central coast.

Touropia, a popular U.S.-based travel site, recently released a list of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Vietnam that you should take time out of your 2018 schedule to check them out.

1. Long Beach, Phu Quoc

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

To be honest, Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s biggest island and to its far south, is one of the places overrun by travel fever in recent years, resulting in crowded beaches and busy tourism services. 

Fortunately, Long Beach still remains off the beaten track and is recommended by seasoned travelers as an unmissable destination.

Stretching almost 20km along the southwestern coast of Phu Quoc, the beach does not disappoint beach lovers with its turquoise waters, golden sand, swaying coconut palms, and gorgeous sunsets.

It is not crowded, and offers a welcome respite from noisy tourists.

2. Mui Ne Beach

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

Once a sleepy fishing village, Mui Ne in the south-central province of Binh Thuan has transformed into a red-hot destination for adventure tourism.

That’s why Singapore-based news and lifestyle site Asia One has dubbed Mui Ne one of the best five places in Asia for sports fans.

If you are looking for a pure, clean beach lined with golden sand, gorgeous blue water and coconut groves stretching along the coast, Rang Beach, also known as Mui Ne Beach, around 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the northeast of Phan Thiet, a bustling port city in Binh Thuan, is a top pick.

This seaside paradise has added to its vacation value by offering exciting water sports like windsurfing, surfing, jet-skiing, and kayaking at prices ranging from VND300,000 ($12.85) to VND500,000 ($21.42) per person.

One of the highlights of the beach might be a traditional small fishing village at the northern end of the beach. It still manages to preserve its old-world charm despite the tourism boom and urbanization. 

3. Doc Let Beach

The coastal city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province has become one of the top vacation destinations in Vietnam and is no stranger to foreign tourists.

If you are bored with crowded tourist attractions such as Vinpearl Land, Ponagar Cham Towers and April 2 Square, Touropia has suggests a lesser-known place: Doc Let Beach, which has been compared with the U.S.’s Hawaii.

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

Around 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Nha Trang, the beach stretches for 18 kilometers with chalk-white sands and shallow turquoise waters that help it ensure its rankings among Vietnam’s best beaches.

Don’t forget to visit Hon Khoi, the largest salt field in central Vietnam, where mounds of natural salt are manually harvested from shallow fields along Doc Let Beach.

Salt workers, mainly middle-aged women, have to work from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. often in the scorching sun, forcing them to wear conical hats, rubber gloves, boots and facemasks. 

4. Dai Lanh Beach

It is no exaggeration to say that Dai Lanh, around 80 kilometers (49 miles) from Nha Trang center, is the most unspoiled beach in central Vietnam with its turquoise waters and stretches of white sand.

The World Tourism Organization last year ranked the beach among the breathtaking sights in Southeast Asia that have avoided the tourist rush.

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

Dai Lanh beach became well-known in 1836 when King Minh Mang, the second emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last family to ever rule Vietnam from 1802 until the end of feudal Vietnam in 1945, ordered its picture to be carved into the nine cauldrons placed in the yard of the Imperial Citadel in Hue.

Tourism is not yet popular here, so the services are still modest, but Dai Lanh has attracted many travelers this year thanks to its amazing natural beauty.

5. Con Dao

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

Con Dao, a chain of 16 islands and islets, has gone from being a notorious prison during French colonial rule to what it is today.

With improved flight connections from HCMC, Vietnam's isolated archipelago has stolen tourists' hearts with its breathtaking beaches, fresh seafood and rugged mountains.

The island is a mysterious untouched paradise that can even be a little scary for those who have read the hellish stories about its infamous prison where the French colonialists incarcerated and inhumanely tortured many Vietnamese freedom fighters.

But do not worry, the war ended decades ago and Con Dao has been transformed into a Vietnamese island heaven.

6. My Khe Beach, Da Nang

The 10-km beach running from the base of the Son Tra Peninsula to the Marble Mountains catapulted to global fame when Australian newspaper The Sunday Herald Sun listed it among Asia's 10 most beautiful beaches in 2012.

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

The beach still offers a laidback atmosphere and a perfect getaway with its sparkling blue waters, white sands and adventure sports activities.

Don’t miss a chance to get on a parasailing experience on the beach. You can soar in the air and admire the vast ocean view below, watch the 67-meter statue of the Goddess of Mercy situated on the slope of Son Tra peninsula.

Tourists have to pay VND500,000 ($22) for a 15-minute parasailing. Remember that the game is not for the faint-hearted. 

7. Cham Islands

Photo by Shutterstock/Vietnam Stock Images

A bunch of eight small islands form the Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area, a biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO.

The islands, a 30-minute boat ride from Cua Dai Beach, have been overrun as a result of their popularity among travelers in recent years, prompting local authorities to better control the number of tourists visiting the protected islands treasured for their biosphere.

The place boasts long beaches lying serenely along the crystal clear waters and coral reefs just two meters under the water that make diving here all the rage.

Local islanders are known for their eco-friendly lifestyle. In 2009 they gave up plastic bags and began an impressive campaign to clean up the environment.

8. Cua Dai Beach

Tourists sunbathe at Cua Dai Beach in Hoi An. Photo by Nguyen Dong

Cua Dai Beach near the famous ancient town of Hoi An has been named among the most affordable beaches on earth in the 2018 Beach Price Index compiled by TravelBird, a Netherlands-based travel site that breaks down the daily expenses of a beach holiday on 327 beautiful beaches in 90 countries and territories.

However, the beach was once at risk of disappearing from the global tourism map. In October 2014 huge waves demolished a concrete embankment and eroded nearly 200 meters of the beach for three kilometers. Scientists blamed the erosion on upstream hydropower plants that had robbed the beach of its sand.

Local authorities spent around VND70 billion ($3.08 million) building a new embankment, installing iron pilings and dumping sand in the area to save Cua Dai, which they viewed as a valuable tourism resource for Hoi An.

Last year the beach opened again and welcomed tourists back to enjoy the temperate climate and warm waters after three years of fighting the severe erosion.

9. Ky Co Island, Quy Nhon

Photo by Ho Huu Tan

Ky Co is a beach paradise in Quy Nhon, a quiet town in the central province of Binh Dinh, that has retained its pristine wilderness thanks to a relative low profile.

A 30-minute drive from Quy Nhon, Ky Co promises to enchant you with its crystal-clear blue waters, calm sea, smooth golden sand, and untouched beauty.

The water has two distinct colors: cyan blue near the shore and deeper blue off the coast. At Eo Gio, you can buy a package tour to Ky Co for VND350,000 ($15) per person. The tour includes a 30-minute motorboat ride, snorkeling in the coral reef and fresh seafood provided and cooked by locals. Tickets to enter the beach cost VND30,000 ($1.32).

10. Tran Phu Beach, Nha Trang

Photo courtesy of Khanh Hoa Tourism Department

The 12-km beach along Tran Phu Street in Nha Trang has found a place on Vietnam's beach tourism map over the past couple of years, meaning there is no shortage of travel tips when you do your research.

But it also means it has become a bit crowded especially with a recent influx of Chinese and Russian tourists.

On one side is the deep-blue sea and on the other is a busy street covered with an array of bars, hotels and luxury restaurants that operate round the clock.

Story by Nguyen Quy

Videos contributed by Ma Lum, Nguyen Dong