With a coastline 3,200 kilometers long with varying weather conditions from north to south, Vietnam has countless to offer. But wait, if so then where do we visit first? Let us start by checking out the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam.
Why are they the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam?
Because in terms of tourism quality and experience, they surpass every other beaches.
And even better, they fit all qualities such as beautiful scenery, clean environment, high standard services, friendly community and so forth. The list also includes some famous and high class luxury resorts too.
Let’s check them out. Do note that order in this list is NOT from the best to worst, since among these destinations, it’s really hard to say which one is the best of all.
I’m not including food here because it’d be too long with too many things to read, so yeah, I’ll write another article on that.
Top 5 Best Beaches in Vietnam
1. Phu Quoc
First thing to know about Phu Quoc is that it isn’t just a beach. Phu Quoc is an island, situated at the southernmost region of Vietnam.
And no you can’t just come at any time in a year.
I “accidentally” came to Phu Quoc in August 2016 and had to endure perpetual raining. No really. It’s just annoying, and I felt as if the rain would never stop.
Sadly, it kinda ruined my experience. So when I came home, I asked my other friends who had been there and they all told me the same thing: Avoid Phu Quoc from May to September. It’s the raining season.
Now what makes Phu Quoc one of the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam?
This picture was taken at Bai Khem, one of the four beaches of Phu Quoc. I can guarantee you that all of the beaches are unbelievably magnificent.
White sands, blue, clean seawater, coconut trees and sometimes there’s no one around you at all and the beach is entirely yours. It just feels like paradise on Earth.
I headed to Starfish Beach (so named because there are starfishes at the beach bottom) back then and there was absolutely no one around. Absolutely. Maybe I was just lucky.
The weather is really pleasant, you can either take a motorbike ride to enjoy the brisk of the outdoors. Or, chill at Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc, a 5-star resort which pretty much has everything you need in entertainment and relaxation.
It’s really up to you whether to stay in one of the hotels on the island, or spend the vacation at Vinpearl Land Phu Quoc. Here’s a picture taken by a friend of mine who’s working at the resort.
Oh and I almost forgot this extremely important detail.
You can enter Phu Quoc without a visa! Regardless of your nationality, you will be granted a 30-day visa exemption if you enter Phu Quoc island from another international airport. This is an unique policy by the government to promote Phu Quoc tourism.
For more details regarding visa exemption to Phu Quoc, follow this link: https://www.phuquocislandguide.com/phu-quoc-visa/#2015-vietnam-visa-updates
Truly, Phu Quoc is one of the top 5 beaches in Vietnam.
2. Nha Trang
I came to Nha Trang 3 times in my life, in fact Nha Trang was the first beach in southern Vietnam that I visited.
Nha Trang has been popular since the Vietnam War. It was a favorite place of U.S. soldiers on leave or short-term R&R to take a break, get high, get laid and all.
Emerging from a relatively small community living by the beach, today Nha Trang is a major tourist hub in the south. Over the years the city has earned its rightful place in the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam.
Why? Let me tell ya.
Nha Trang’s weather is pleasant throughout the year, and the beach is famously known for its sanitary quality. It’s just so clean, so fresh and so clear. The first 8 months of the year is the appropriate time to visit Nha Trang, but going from February to April is the best. (I went there twice in June and once in May, sadly).
Unlike Phu Quoc, Nha Trang is a dynamic and exciting city. Its beach during the day is always lively (but never too crowded) with people, and filled with lights, music from pubs, bars and clubs at night.
Also, unlike another candidate for the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam, Da Nang, Nha Trang is never too hot or too cold. The weather is always comfortable.
Oh and in Nha Trang you can do a hell lot of things, not just swimming at the beach.
Go scuba diving. Surf the waves. Go kite boarding. Rent a motorbike to discover the good food, good life and good vibe of such a wonderful holiday city. Anything is possible.
There are many spots to go sightseeing too, including the millennium-old Po Nagar temple built by the Cham. Or, set your foot on Chong Island. If you’re interested in marine life, you can consider nerding out at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute.
Ah yes, I almost forgot about resorts.
There are several resorts in Nha Trang, but the biggest and most prominent is…you guess it? Vinpearl Land Nha Trang, of course. An island, Hon Tre, is dedicated solely to the site of the resort and its accompanying theme park.
You can reach the place by the Vinpearl Cable Car gondola lift, itself a tourist attraction.
There are other options for resorts too, which are Amiana, Diamond Bay, Mia, Evason Ana Mandara. Of these, Aminana and Mia rank as the best ones.
For a full list, click here: https://www.booking.com/resorts/city/vn/nha-trang.html
In all, with all of its qualities, Nha Trang deserves one worthy spot in the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam. If you’re from northern countries in cold climate with overall cold temperature, Nha Trang would be a viable vacation destination choice!
Fun fact: Nha Trang has a prominent Russian presence, with street signs in the city being in three languages: Vietnamese first, Russian second and English third. Each day there are roughly four flights carrying hundreds of Russian tourists to Nha Trang.
3. Da Nang
Oh man, this isn’t just another coastal city. Da Nang is special. It’s a place that has the weird magic of making people want to come back for more, again and again.
I came to Da Nang three times, twice in summer and once in winter. The weather is pretty predictable, with the annoying period starts from June to late January. You can’t really swim in winter due to rainfall and low temperature, and in summer it’s kind of too hot outdoors.
Again, if it’s hot, it’s suitable for travelers from regions in cold climate.
Regardless, it is best if you come from around February to May. My second trip was in April, and it was simply amazing.
Da Nang belongs to this list of the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam not just because of its beach (frankly in terms of looks, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc beaches look better), but because it has so much more to offer than Nha Trang or Phu Quoc.
Like Nha Trang, Da Nang has a nice street running along the seaside: Vo Nguyen Giap street. It’s a fantastic experience to have a bicycle, cyclo or motorbike ride on this street in the early morning or afternoon to witness in awe the mesmerizing scenery, arguably better than any coastal city with a seaside street.
It gets better.
Just like most of the beaches in southern Vietnam, Da Nang is totally clean. During all of my three visits I never could have found any piece of trash on the beaches.
It may not look as good as Nha Trang or Phu Quoc, but the clean atmosphere and environment is already a huge motivation to swim here.
Then again, all of the beaches in this article are chosen as the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam due to many important criteria mentioned above, one of which is sanitary.
Da Nang at night is also more lively than Nha Trang. The city seems to always be alive with countless activities and hangout spots around to explore.
So what can we do when we get here?
Rent a motorbike to explore Son Tra Mountain and Linh Ung Pagoda (with a giant statue you can see from afar), discover the Marble Mountains, swim at My Khe beach, witness the Dragon Bridge breathing fire and water at weekends, or sip a coffee at the À La Carte building, have a food tour, et cetera. The choices are endless.
Most of the time you’d hear recommendations about visiting Hoi An and Ba Na Hills. Yep, that is possible too but considering Hoi An is a small town and Ba Na Hills…well, it’s “hills”, so I’ll write another article on those. Let’s just stick with the city and the beach.
Worth mentioning is Da Nang recently hosted the final conference of APEC Vietnam 2017. With this in mind, you can tell the city has had major uplifting preparations in the months prior, as well as offering luxury and high class resorts.
Some of the big names are Intercontinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort, Pullman Beach Resort, Furama Resort (who owns and manages the convention center for APEC Vietnam 2017), Hyatt Regency and of course Vinpearl Resort & Villas.
For a full list, click here: https://www.booking.com/resorts/city/vn/danang
For further reading, check out my article about my first trip to Da Nang here: ß link: http://www.vietnamtourpedia.com/travel-blog/upon-time-da-nang
4. Phan Thiet
Phan Thiet rivals with Phu Quoc in terms of producing the best fish sauce in the country, and perhaps in the world. And…
Okay just kidding. Let’s talk about the beaches and the city.
Alright, so Phan Thiet is a coastal city similar to Nha Trang and Da Nang. Statistically Phan Thiet struggles to catch up with Da Nang and Nha Trang in number of tourists, but don’t be fooled; if it was bad then it wouldn’t be on this list.
Best time to visit Phan Thiet would be from December to April. The temperature is pleasant around this time at mostly 27 degrees Celsius.
Beach scenery at Phan Thiet has a flavor of both Nha Trang and Phu Quoc. However, what makes Phan Thiet stand out among the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam are its incredible white sand dunes.
Feels like standing in a desert at dusk, doesn’t it?
The sand dunes in Phan Thiet are called “doi cat” (literally “sand hills”) by the Vietnamese people. No other place in Vietnam has such magnificent scene like Phan Thiet.
The white sand at the beaches, when combined with crystal clear blue water of the sea, creates a master formula of wonderful nature.
Feel like swimming here yet? Well there’s even more.
Like other places mentioned here, the area around Phan Thiet has a lot to explore. I guess you wouldn’t be staying around in the water for the whole day and eventually you will feel the urge to go somewhere. Good news is, Phan Thiet offers a lot for you.
In fact, there are around 17 cool destinations around for you to check out.
Unfortunately I haven’t been to all, but I’d absolutely recommend that while not spending time at the beach, you should visit Mui Ne.
It’s an area not far from the main city, with everything you need: a beach (if you want further swimming), sand hills, good food and good life. Also, there are hundreds of bars, shops, restaurants and hotels too.
Anantara, the best resort in Phan Thiet is also located in Mui Ne,
Every tourists I know that had been to Phan Thiet had always made a stop at Mui Ne on the way.
As one of the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam, Phan Thiet is definitely a place you can’t miss.
5. Quy Nhon
Oy, who wants a break from the chaotic big city life?
Unlike the previous “big names” in this list, Quy Nhon is kind of like that short guy who seems unintimidating but is actually a master martial artist.
Lying some hours of driving away from Nha Trang to the south and Hoi An in the North, Quy Nhon is a particularly interesting and intriguing destination. Its population is on par with Nha Trang’s, yet Quy Nhon looks oddly…small.
Traffic is light, no heavy-duty vehicles, no industry. Unlike traffic in Hanoi which is hell. To see traffic in Quy Nhon, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxUjqMiMi2U
Perhaps it is because of this that the city is more or less an unexplored jewel. Quy Nhon due to its location often ends up as a passing-by destination or being ignored. Travelers arriving in the region will most likely go to Da Nang, Hoi An or Nha Trang.
The beach is around 4km long, not as impressive as Phan Thiet’s 10km. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice place to swim.
I guess I don’t have to talk about cleanliness and scenery again here, because this is one of the top 5 best beaches in Vietnam, you know. It has to be beautiful and clean as the minimum standard.
Cost of traveling in Quy Nhon is comparatively cheaper than other big names like Da Nang or Nha Trang.
Life here feels cozy and the people are less likely to scam for money than those in bigger cities.
Normally there are Nha Trang-Quy Nhon tours for conventional travelers. For backpackers, Quy Nhon is an excellent choice due to being less popular than other destinations, offering an authentic experience.
The most famous and most prominent resort on Quy Nhon is FLC Quy Nhon Resort. FLC is the second largest real estate corporation in Vietnam, after Vingroup (who owns and operates Vinpearl resorts).
I had a stay at FLC Quy Nhon last year and it was weirdly more peaceful than resorts in other major coastal cities.
There’s not many destinations to go sightseeing in Quy Nhon compared to the places mentioned above. Still, staying at Quy Nhon is a pleasant experience.
Quiet, lovely and peaceful, Quy Nhon has relaxed itself into this list of top 5 best beaches in Vietnam.
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