Spoilt for choice: Vietnam's best beaches

Vietnam might have been late to Southeast Asia’s beach party, but it was well worth the wait. The country boasts more than 3400km of coastline, with infinite stretches of powdery sand, coves, lagoons, impossible boulder formations and tropical islands ringed with yet more beaches. We can help you navigate the overwhelming amount of choices.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang coast by J Y White. CC SA 2.0

The heavyweight champion of Vietnam, Nha Trang has been knocking out visitors for years. True, the town is brazen and brash, but the beach is bold and beautiful and a gateway to a cluster of quieter islands.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne Beach by Mark (LP).

Set on a seductive swathe of sand, Mui Ne is an absolute charmer with swaying palms and towering dunes. Get pummelled on the beach by a masseur or pummelled by the waves with some water sports – this place blends action and inertia to perfection.

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc by Mark (LP).

Simply the most beautiful island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc is liberally sprinkled with picture-perfect white sand beaches and cloaked in dense, impenetrable jungle. Long Beach is sophisticated, Ong Lan Beach romantic, and Bai Sao simply irresistible.

Con Dao

The Con Dao islands have been protected from over-exposure by their isolated location off the coast. Enjoy it while it lasts, with their smattering of resorts and an overdose of idyllic beaches, as this is sure to be the next big thing in Vietnamese beaches.

My Khe/Cua Dai

China beach by @Saigon. CC SA 2.0

Whether you call it My Khe to the north or Cua Dai to the south, or even China beach, it’s all just one long, luscious stretch of sand. Try surfing off the shores of Danang or just pamper yourself at the resorts near Hoi An.

Doc Let

Doc Let Beach by Cmic Blog. CC SA 2.0

While the rest of the world is sunning itself in Nha Trang, slip up the coast to this little teaser, home to some atmospheric resorts and some squeaky white sand; a place to get away from it all.

Ho Coc

Vung Tau to Phan Thiet is almost one long beach, but much of it remains mercifully inaccessible to the masses. Sample its potential with a retreat to Ho Coc, a glorious sandbar about midway along this stretch.

This article was published in December 2010 and updated in December 2012.