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Cua Dai Beach/Vietnam

Introducing Cua Dai Beach

Heading east of Hoi An, you cruise through paddy fields and follow the meandering riverbank for 5km or so before hitting glorious golden sandy beaches. This palm-fringed coastline heads north all the way up to Danang, and, if you choose your spot carefully, there are still some wonderful undeveloped stretches.

The nearest beach to Hoi An, Cua Dai is subject to intense development and is probably best avoided. This is also where gangs of hard-selling beach vendors target tourists – even with an iPod and an eye mask, their attentions are impossible to block out. There are some seafood restaurants here (and the Zero SeaMile club), but better places lurk close by. The 5km of coastline south to Cua Dai port (where boats leave for the Cham Islands) is being totally transformed, as a strip of five-star resorts emerges from the sand dunes. Coastal erosion is a huge problem, and several of these hotels have seen opening ceremonies postponed for years due to vanishing beaches and resulting construction woes.

The shore-side club Zero SeaMile really looks the part, with a large covered dance floor that catches the sea breeze, stylish decor and even a pool. However, don’t expect anything too interesting sonically – a predictable flow of party and chart anthems is usually served up. It’s also open in the day for drinks and meals. Free hourly buses leave from (and return to) the Before & Now bar in Hoi An from midnight between April and September.

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