Starting in the north is Halong Bay with its many sandstone islands – a photographer’s paradise. Cat Ba is the largest island in Halong Bay, attracting many visitors. Halong Bay has several other islands where the hotel junks anchor and allow passengers to enjoy a beach swim.
Do Son Beach, on a small peninsula near Haiphong, is shaded by sandalwood trees with pine tree covered hills nearby and mountains in the distance. Close to Halong Bay, though not as busy.
50 miles south of the Imperial City of Hue is Lang Co Beach. The water is warm year around and very shallow. It offers great scenery such as distant mountains, nearby forests and a beautiful blue sea. Diving, hiking, boating and fishing are offered here. China Beach, between Danang and Hoian, is the beach best known to Americans. This community is attracting many upscale resort hotels. China Beach is adjacent to the Marble Mountain Monastery. Bring your hiking boots. Small marble statues made by local artists make great souvenirs. China Beach is also about 10 miles from Hoian, a popular tourist attraction.
The Hoian with its beach area is the Vietnam destination for the budget traveler. Hoian has much to offer – restaurants, shopping and tours to China Beach & Marble Mountain as well as the Cham ruins of My Son. Huong Beach on Cham Island provides a bit of relaxation from the stresses of traveling.
Nha Trang, the Riviera of the South China Sea, is the next beach destination. Nha Trang is surrounded by mountains together with a 5 mile white sand beach front and over 70 off shore islands. Scuba diving and snorkeling tours are available. You can relax on the beach and enjoy great sea food restaurants. Walk Tran Phu Street, which runs parallel to the beach, or hire a cyclo for a tour of the Cham ruins, market and Buddhist shrines.
On to Mui Ne Beach, about 120 miles east of Saigon. Awesome sand dunes have been created by continual winds. Wind surfing and kite surfing are popular here. Mui Ne offers the strangest weather in Vietnam – It is actually hot and dry there.
Vung Tau – The beaches at Vung Tau aren’t that great, being near Saigon (80 miles) it attracts many Vietnamese weekenders as well as tourists. Vung Tau is about 80 miles from Saigon and can be reached by hydrofoil for about US$10 round trip.
Ha Tien is on the border with Cambodia (5 miles away) and is home to several superb beaches. Hon Chong Beach has soft white sand and calm tropical water, while nearby Tien Cave attracts visitors with two beach entrances. Nearby islands attract scuba divers, snorklers and those just wanting to enjoy a boat ride.
Phu Quoc Island, in the Gulf of Thailand, is Vietnam’s largest island, offering mountains, jungles and pleasant sandy beaches; it attracts nature lovers and sun worshipers. The furthest west of the Vietnam’s beaches is Bai Truong Beach, here you can sit, relax, and watch the sun go down on the Gulf of Thailand.