Vietnam might not have the reputation of its Southeast Asian neighbours when it comes to leaning palms and turquoise waters, but its 3400km of coast hides its fair share of resplendent beaches – not to mention the handful of tropical, coral-ringed islands bobbing off shore. Whether you’re looking for a stretch of sand near one of the country’s buzzing cities, a spot suitable for families, or a quiet cove to escape the crowds, here’s our pick of the best beaches in Vietnam.

People on An Bang beach in Hoi An. The golden sand is being lapped by blue ocean waves, with a crowd of people standing on the sand.
An Bang beach is a great place to base yourself when visiting Hoi An © Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

1. An Bang

Just 3km north of Hoi An, An Bang is one of Vietnam’s most happening and enjoyable beaches. There's a wonderful stretch of fine sand and an enormous horizon (with less of the serious erosion evident at Cua Dai), and with only the distant Cham Islands interrupting the seaside symmetry. Staying at the beach and visiting Hoi An on day trips is a good strategy for a relaxing visit to the area.

Beach goers walk on the white sandy Sao beach on Phy Quoc island, Vietnam. The ocean lapping the shore is blue and palm trees are visible.
Phu Quoc is home to some of Vietnam's best beaches © gg-foto / Shutterstock

2. Phu Quoc

Fringed with white-sand beaches and with large tracts of the interior still cloaked in dense tropical jungle, Phu Quoc has rapidly morphed from a sleepy island backwater to a must-visit beach escape for Western expats and sun-seeking tourists. With its picture-perfect white sand and mineral-water clear sea, Sao Beach is probably the pick of the lot, but venture off alone and you might find a section of sand all to yourself.

Island hopping tours visit the islands off of Phu Quoc's southern coast or its lesser-visited northern coast. Or catch the reasonably-priced 8km-long cable car from the An Thoi Station on the islands far south to Hon Thom Island with bonus panoramic views.

An aerial view of Nha Trang, with a number of high-rise buildings on the left side of the shot and the golden strip of beach running alongside the city on the right hand side.
Nha Trang's beach runs right alongside the city © Zhukov Oleg / Shutterstock

3. Nha Trang

Forming a magnificent sweeping arc, Nha Trang's 6km-long golden-sand beach is the city's trump card. Sections are roped off and designated for safe swimming (where you won't be bothered by jet skis or boats). Two popular lounging spots are the Sailing Club and Louisiane Brewhouse. If you prefer tanning alone, head south towards the airport to avoid the majority of the crowds.

There are plenty of very reasonably-priced island hopping tours available that include lunch and snorkeling. The beaches north of Nha Trang, around Ninh Van Bay, are also worthy of a day trip.

Crescent-shaped Dam Trau beach on Condao island, Vietnam. The beach has golden sand and is backed by green forest.
The Con Dao islands are home to a number of amazing beaches © OldCatPhoto / Getty Images

4. Con Son

Isolated from the mainland, the Con Dao islands are one of Vietnam's star attractions. Long the preserve of political prisoners and undesirables, they now turn heads thanks to their striking natural beauty. Con Son, the largest of the chain of 15 islands and islets, is ringed with lovely beaches, coral reefs and scenic bays, and remains partially covered in tropical forests. Just an hour's flight from Ho Chi Minh City (or a longer ferry ride from several southern cities), Con Son remains relatively undeveloped, more popular with local Vietnamese as a historic site rather than a beach destination.

Mui Ne beach in Vietnam. The beach is a long white strip of sand, while the sea is filled with kite surfers, whose colourful kites are visible in the sky above.
Mui Ne is a major draw for kite surfers © Dmitry Polonskiy / Shutterstock

5. Mui Ne

Mui Ne was once the jewel of Vietnam’s beach resorts, but recent years has seen harsh tides erode away the sand from the golden beach and over-development erode away its charm. That said, there are still some nice sections of sand tucked away here, ideal (in season) for those who like to party at night and snooze on sunbeds during the day. Kitesurfing is also a huge draw – there are several excellent schools and world-class wind conditions between late October and April. The opening of the Dau Giay-Phan Thiet highway in mid-2023 has cut down travel time between Ho Chi Minh City and Mui Ne from 4.5 hours to a little over two.

A view of Doc Let beach from the shallow waters. The beach has white sand and is backed by palm trees.
Despite ongoing development, Doc Let remains one of the country's most idyllic beaches © Margarita Bagova / Getty Images

6. Doc Let

Stretching for 18km, the chalk-white sands and shallow turquoise waters of Doc Let ensure it ranks among Vietnam's best beaches. However, in the last few years developers have moved in big time, and busloads of tourists are herded here on tours from Nha Trang. Keep heading north along the coast for more secluded spots including Bai Bau and Bai Xep.

A number of fishing boats on the golden sands of Ho Coc beach, Vietnam
Beautiful Ho Coc beach is less than three hours from Ho Chi Minh City © Huỳnh Thanh Thảo / Getty Images

7. Ho Coc

With golden sands, clear waters and a journey time from Ho Chi Minh City of just two and a half hours, this beach – which stretches for almost 10km north of Ho Tram – makes a tempting place to stop. Ho Coc is getting increasingly busy with visitors from Saigon but on weekdays it still remains peaceful.

View of the seafront high-rise hotels behind sandy My Khe beach in Da Nang, Vietnam. Many people are on the beach or swimming in the sea.
Mix urban thrills with serious beach time at My Khe beach in Danang © Dennis Gross / Getty Images

8. My Khe

My Khe is fast becoming Danang’s easternmost suburb. In the early morning and evening, the beach fills up with city folk doing t’ai chi. Tourists emerge during peak suntanning hours, while locals prefer the evening; fishermen still cast off from the sands in their coracle boats. The water can have a dangerous undertow, especially in winter, however, it's protected by the bulk of Nui Son Tra.

An aerial view of two of Cat Ba island's beaches. New building construction is being done on the beach. The water and sky are both a lovely shade of blue.
Visit Cat Ba island out of season to see the island's wonderful beaches at their best © fbxx / Getty Images

9. Cat Ba

Rugged, craggy and jungle-clad Cat Ba, is the largest island in Halong Bay and a stop-off for some tourist boat trips around the Unesco-listed region. To that end, the island can get very busy, which shatters the serenity somewhat; but visit during quieter months and its beaches are up there with the best in Vietnam. The three beaches of Cat Co Cove, a ten-minute walk southeast from Cat Ba Town, are perhaps the pick of the bunch.

The sunrises over the empty, golden sands of My Khe Beach, Quang Ngai, Vietnam
My Khe is a great beach for younger swimmers © HuyThoai / Getty Images

10. My Khe Beach

Not to be confused with Danang’s beach of the same name, this My Khe is located a couple of kilometres from Quảng Ngãi in central Vietnam and boasts a superb beach, with fine white sand and good swimming. It stretches for kilometers along a thin, casuarina-lined spit of sand, separated from the mainland by Song Kinh Giang, a body of water just inland from the beach. If you avoid holidays and weekends you've a good chance of having this pretty beach largely to yourself. The shoreline's profile is gently shelving so it's great for children.

You might also like:

A first-timers guide to visiting Halong Bay
The best rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam's best natural wonders

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This article was first published December 2012 and updated November 2023

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