3 reasons Vietnam should be your next beach holiday spot

It may not be the first country that comes to mind for a beach holiday, but Vietnam's spectacular coastline is home to some unexpected gems. Here are the best.

Young man on vacation taking selfie in the sea.
  • Johanna Leggatt
  • June 2018

Vietnam is home to some pretty spectacular beaches across its 3400km of coastline, but, until now, these relatively quiet idylls have been dwarfed by big-city cultural and historic attractions. However, if you're looking for a beachy getaway, Vietnam can provide some unexpected gems. Here are three of the top beach destinations to head to.

Swing attached to a palm tree in the idyllic Bai Sao beach in Phu Quoc island in Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand.
Bai Sao beach on Phu Quoc island in Vietnam

Phu Quoc

The popular Phu Quoc island, off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand, is famous for its attractive white-sand beaches and the wide range of resorts that lace their way along Long Beach, on the western side of the island. Those hankering for a relaxing holiday can book themselves into one of the many five-star resorts to feast on local seafood and indulge in luxurious massages. If you’re after a more action-packed getaway, then rent a motorbike and explore the island’s coastline, with Ong Lang and Vung Bau among the more scenic beach destinations. The Suoi Tranh Waterfall is about a 10-minute drive outside of the main town Duong Dong, and is a quiet spot for birdwatching, picnicking and hiking. Sao Beach offers turquoise waters and many tourists finish the day here with a tipple at the nearby Paradiso Beach Club.

Flight time from Ho Chi Minh City: Approximately 1 hour 5 minutes

Aerial view with a Colourful fishing boats of Quy Nhon beach with curved shore line in Binh Dinh province, Vietnam
Quy Nhon beach in Vietnam

Quy Nhon

A coastal city in Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam, Quy Nhon is one of the country’s sleepier beachside destinations. The coastal city still attracts fewer tourists than the big-name resort towns, such as Nha Trang. Quy Nhon was built around its fishing industry and many traditional, brightly coloured fishing boats still bob in the waters. The most attractive stretch of coast is Quy Hoa Beach. Take a short stroll from here to the hillside tomb of the famous Vietnamese mystical poet, Han Mac Tu, who died in 1940.

Quy Nhon also offers a new promenade that runs the length of the city’s 5km beach. Dozens of nearby open-air restaurants with ocean views serve up seafood caught by local fishermen. Also worth checking out is Bai Xep Cove, a chilled little hub of beach shacks and low-key restaurants 12km south of the centre.

Flight time from Ho Chi Minh City: Approximately 1 hour 10 minutes

A man with Inflatable Lifebuoy while Enjoying in the Swimming Pool in a Resort.
Enjoying a waterslide in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang

You don’t go to Nha Trang to escape the hordes, but you do go to enjoy the buzzing atmosphere and stunning scenery of the bay with its mountain backdrop. The clean, sandy beaches are among the most attractive in Vietnam and tourists swarm here for the amusement parks, mud baths, shopping and family-friendly vibe. The main beach runs along Tran Phu Street and is backed by an attractive promenade with shops and restaurants that come to life at night. And when (and if) you feel as if you can’t possibly take another day of relaxing on the beach, head to the nearby ancient Po Nagar temple complex of Cham Towers, which are still used for worship by Cham, Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists.

Flight time from Ho Chi Minh City: Approximately 1 hour 10 minutes