Top 7 must-visit coastal getaways in Vietnam: Popular destinations and lesser-known gems

Top 7 must-visit coastal getaways in Vietnam: Popular destinations and lesser-known gems
PHOTO: Unsplash

There is no doubt over the last couple of years, Vietnam has risen as an attractive tourist hub. Whether it is it’s metropolitan cities or gorgeous landscapes, there’s something for everyone here. If you’re longing for a relaxing summer vacation, not too far from home, look to Vietnam’s natural 2,000 miles of coastline that are sure to leave your jaws dropped. From the lively shores of Da Nang to the secluded tranquillity of Doc Let Beach, here are some of Vietnam’s most popular coastal wonders as well as lesser-known hidden gems waiting to be explored.

Phu Quoc Island

The Largest island in Vietnam with beautiful white-sand beaches, Phu Quoc needs no introduction. The 150km shoreline is a known paradisiacal haven within Vietnam’s coastal repertoire, thanks to its gentle waves and turquoise waters. Long Beach is a hit amongst beach enthusiasts for the allure of its unobstructed sunsets and water sports. Whilst gems like Bai Dai and Ganh Dau are hidden away from tourist crowds. Beyond the sun-kissed shores, adventurous travellers can opt to trek the surrounding mountain range, explore waterfalls, rock pools, and caves or look forward to a rich tapestry of experiences like visiting the vibrant night markets, tranquil fishing villages, temples and more.

Ha Long Bay

An Unesco World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay stands as a crown jewel in Vietnam’s coastal crown, captivating visitors with its ethereal beauty and mystique. Whether you’re embarking on cruise or kayaking over, you’re in for enchanting otherworldly views adorned with towering limestone islands, lush greenery and hidden caves and grottoes. Nonetheless Ha Long Bay isn’t merely a natural wonder meant for cruising around on a boat. Make a stopover at the likes of Bai Chay ideal for seaside strolls, the peaceful Soi Sim Island, and Ti Top Island, a man-made beach where visitors can relax and enjoy panoramic bay views.

Nha Trang

A city in southern Vietnam, Nha Trang seamlessly blends natural beauty with modern comforts. The city adorned with resorts at every corner, has become a favourite destination for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. And all the credit goes to its pristine beaches and turquoise waters making it an ideal setting for various activities, like snorkelling and scuba diving amidst colourful coral reefs, as well as windsurfing and parasailing. Not to mention, the city’s lively atmosphere, bustling nightlife scene and a plethora of seafood restaurants serving up delectable local cuisine.

Mui Ne

Also known as a coastal desert, Mui Ne is a charming fishing village in Southeast Vietnam. The spot has become a popular weekend escape for locals and tourists alike. The steady wind conditions here play a big part in its tourism boom, making Mui Ne Beach, one of the nation’s top destination for surfing, kitesurfing, sailing and other water sports. Nonetheless, the main attraction here are actually the red and white sand dunes which offer a surreal landscape against the backdrop of the South China Sea. Other must-visit here is the Fairy Stream, a shallow, meandering river that winds through the golden and red sand formations, adding to the area’s enchantment, or taking an hour drive to the nearby Ta Cu Mountain known for its enormous white Buddha structure.

Da Nang

One of the biggest cities in Vietnam with about one million residents, Da Nang is no hidden secret. However, apart from its urban hustle and bustle, here you’ll find a number of waterbodies – from populated beaches just short drive away or hidden gems tucked away from tourist eyes. The China Beach, My Khe Beach and Tien Sa Beach are just a few standouts offering golden stretches of sand and water. The city’s vibrant atmosphere is further enriched by the Dragon Bridge, which comes alive with dazzling lights at night, the Han River, and the iconic Marble Mountains. A perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, Da Nang has simply go to be on your travel bucket list.

Ly Son Island

Ly Son Island, an enchanting gem off the coast of Quang Ngai province in Vietnam, is known for its volcanic terrain, expansive garlic farms and water quality – just a few of the distinctive charms that sets it apart from other beach destinations. The tropical island is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches, including To Vo Gate and Hang Cau, showcasing golden sands against a backdrop of crystal-clear waters. The Ly Son Island also has historical significance, with ancient temples like Hang Pagoda and Duc Pagoda reflecting the island’s cultural heritage, besides natural attractions like the Thoi Loi Mountain, offering panoramic views of the surrounding seascape.

Con Dao Islands

A hidden archipelago off the southeastern coast of Vietnam, Con Dao Islands present an idyllic natural retreat without the touristy crowds. Comprising 16 islands, at Con Dao, travellers are spoiled for choice when looking for secluded beaches and rich marine life. Some highlights include the An Hai Beach, Dam Trau Beach, Dat Doc Beach and Bai Ong Dung for snorkelling, diving or just simply sunbathing all day. Moreover, there’s no place better for cyclists and motorists to bike around surrounded by gorgeous vistas, windy beaches, and colonial buildings. History buffs can also head to Con Son which originally served as a site for prisons during the French colonial era and the Vietnam War with poignant remnants still preserved at the Con Dao Prison.

This article was first published in City Nomads.

ALSO READ: The journey of Braveheart: Explore the real-life locations of the epic war movie

This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.