While many people visit Vietnam for the chaotic energy of Hanoi, with all its culture and history, the beaches provide just as much of a pull. Vietnam boasts some of the best beaches in the world, with varied topography and aesthetic charms.
Of course, there is no way to objectively judge which beaches are “the best,” but the following 3 beaches are really incredible and worth a try. I’ll explain my reasoning for including each of them.
Cát Bà Island
There’s a reason I’m starting with Cát Bà Island. When you are in Hanoi, you will be overwhelmed by offers of tours to Halong Bay. Halong Bay is a stunning archipelago with gorgeous beaches and limestone cliffs. However, as you can imagine from all the hype in Hanoi, it is crowded and, unfortunately, full of unseaworthy boats. That is at least the case in Halong City.
Cát Bà Island is in the same archipelago, but you can travel straight from Hanoi to Cát Bà. It’s worth being a contrarian in this case. Cát Bà Island is as close to untouched as it gets. You can book a stay in a guesthouse there, but don’t expect luxury. Rather, expect the necessities to be covered, with an unbelievable view making up for any discomfort.
Long Beach, Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc is the largest island in Vietnam and therefore has a range of beautiful beaches. However, Long Beach makes it to this list because it provides everything most people want from a beach. You can swim far out in the clear waters, and you can spend a whole day lying comfortably on the beach.
But there is also plenty more to do. If you are an avid Instagrammer, you will get a front-row seat to an idyllic sunset. You can also get active and go squid fishing, snorkeling, or paddleboarding. If you have the fitness or courage, you can also go jet-skiing and kayaking. You can even go on a hike if the urge for some exercise strikes you.
The beach is lined by palm trees, making Long Beach the very picture of a tropical paradise. Long Beach is well worth the extra travel and is an absolute must if you are visiting Phu Quoc anyway.
Ho Coc Beach, Ho Coc
The tiny town of Ho Coc is home to one of the most exciting beaches to visit in Vietnam. Close to Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Coc Beach makes the list for a number of reasons. For one, it is truly stunning, with golden sands and crystal clear waters. There are boulders and sand dunes filling up the landscape, creating the perfect aesthetic experience (or photo).
But it is also amazing because it is relatively empty, at least on weekdays. Ho Coc Beach is mostly visited by locals, meaning you won’t get caught up in a tourist rush. This makes it ideal for those of us who like to go off the beaten track and experience something with a bit more exclusivity.
There are so many more beautiful beaches in Vietnam, and what you end up preferring is obviously very personal. However, the above 3 beaches each have their own specific charms.