7 of the Best Beaches in Southern Vietnam

Last updated October 2015 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle


Vietnam has a coastline of over 3,000km, but the best beaches are found in the southern half of the country. Blue bays, hidden coves, white sands, swaying palms: Vietnam has it all. Yet travellers and expats often complain that the beaches in Vietnam are not as good as those in Thailand, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian nations. I disagree. Here are my 7 Best Beaches in Southern Vietnam.

Best Beaches in Southern VietnamSouthern sands: the best beaches in Vietnam are in the south

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The following beaches are not in order of preference: I like each one just as much as the others. I’ve written a description (including accommodation information) for each beach and plotted them on my map. Although these beaches are far from being remote, they are best accessed by your own means of transport, ideally by motorbike (see Related Posts for motorbike guides and more). Unlike the popular, easily accessible beaches of, for example, Thailand, the relative inaccessibility of these 7 beaches is part of what makes them special and, more importantly, keeps them empty.

Click on one of the beach names to read more about it: 

     1. MON BEACHPhu Yen Province

     2. HON GOM SANDBARKhanh Hoa Province

     3. NHAT BEACHCon Son Island, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province

     4. DAI BEACHPhu Quoc Island, Kien Giang Province

     5. BINH DINH BEACH HOPPINGBinh Dinh Province

     6. NINH PHUOC & NINH VAN BAYSKhanh Hoa Province

     7. CAM LAP PROMONTORYKhanh Hoa Province

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My 7 Best Beaches in Southern Vietnam:

View in a LARGER MAP

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Vung Ro Bay, Phu Yên Province [MAP]

A triangle of sand wedged between rocky headlands, Môn Beach is just south of Tuy Hoa City, in south-central Vietnam. On a clear day, the water is the colour of Bombay Sapphire gin. There’s often a handful of wooden fishing boats floating in the bay – the water is so clear that you can see the shadows of their hulls on the seabed. National holidays aside, there’s never anyone here. For now, there’s no accommodation on Môn Beach, but you can stay on nearby Dai Lanh Beach instead. (For much more about Môn Beach see my Guide to Vung Ro Bay).

Mon Beach, Vung Ro Bay, VietnamGin-clear water and a perfect triangle of sand: Môn Beach, near Tuy Hoa City

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Van Phong Bay, Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

Stretching for more than 10 kilometres, the beach on the east side of Hòn Gốm Sandbar is long, windswept, and deserted. Backed by shrub-covered dunes, the sandbar juts out into the East Sea, 75km north of Nha Trang. Medium-sized rollers break onto the endless sandy beach, the white surf mixing with the turquoise water and making it appear phosphorescent. There’s rarely anyone here, and even if there is, the beach is long enough to find a private spot. Whale Island Resort lies to the southwest of the sandbar – it’s in an incredible location and offers good mid-range accommodation for a couple of isolated nights off the grid. (For much more about the area check out my Guide to Hòn Gốm Sandbar.

Hon Gom Sandbar Beach, VietnamLong, windswept and deserted: enjoy acres of space on Hon Gom Sandbar

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Con Son Island, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province [MAP]

Nhát Beach is a bright ribbon of white sand, squeezed between the bottom of a mountain and the ocean, near the southern tip of remote Côn Sơn Island. Only exposed during low tide, the sand at Nhát Beach is the colour of porcelain, and the water the colour of aftershave. This beach boasts one of the most dramatic and exotic backdrops of any in Vietnam: I like to call it ‘Jurassic Beach’. For the time being, there’s no accommodation on this beach. (For much more about Nhát Beach and Côn Sơn Island check out my Con Dao Islands Guides)

Nhat Beach, Con Dao Islands, VietnamPorcelain-white sand and a ‘jurassic’ backdrop: Nhat Beach on Con Son Island

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Phu Quoc Island, Kiên Giang Province [MAP]

Dài Beach, in the northwest of Phu Quoc Island, is 5 kilometres of sand shaded by whispering casuarina trees, with the calm, clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand lapping at their exposed roots. Phu Quoc Island might be developing fast but, until recently, Dài Beach had yet to see any major changes. This was partly because the dirt road to Dài Beach had yet to be paved, and there was nowhere to stay. However, that has all changed now with the completion of a new road and the construction of the enormous Vinperal Resort, a five star complex which signals the start of a mammoth building frenzy on this tranquil stretch of sand. At my last visit, there was still a lovely bit of Dài Beach left untouched at the southern end, so you get here soon and you might still be able to enjoy it, because the rest of this beach is already gone. (For much more about Dài Beach and the rest of the island take a look at my Phu Quoc Guides)

Dài BeachAll change? Dài Beach is still tranquil but could be on the cusp of a building boom

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South of Quy Nhon City, Binh Đinh Province [MAP]

Quy Nhơn City, in central Vietnam, is a great beach town in its own right. But the ocean road, just south of the city, passes half a dozen superb beaches and coves, making it perfect for a day or two of blissful beach hopping. For more than 10 kilometres the road meanders along the honeycombed coastline, each bend revealing tantalizing glimpses of hidden coves with perfect crescents of sand and blue waters. Look out for pathways and tracks leading off the road and down to the beaches. My favourite is Bãi Rạng Beach: an arc of yellow sand lined with coconut palms between two jagged bluffs. A small fishing community lives on the beach here, and late afternoons a local woman sells delicious rice paper rolls beachside. There are a couple places to stay along this stretch of road, including the smart and tasteful AVANI Resort & Spa (formerly the Life Wellness Resort), and the excellent Life’s A Beach.

Quy Nhon beach hopping, VietnamBeach hopping: the ocean road south of Quy Nhon City offers access to half a dozen excellent beaches

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Van Phong & Nha Phu Bays, Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

An hours’ drive north of Nha Trang lies a chubby peninsular, whose forested mountains give way on both sides to gorgeous bays, beaches, coves and lagoons. On the north side, beyond a large Hyundai shipping port, there are a series of long, arcing bays between Ninh Phuoc and Ninh Van villages. The former is close to the ever popular yet ever laid-back Jungle Beach, where you’ll find atmospheric accommodation by the sea. The latter village, Ninh Van, is right at the tip of the peninsular, and is the kind of sleepy fishing hamlet one wished there were more of in Vietnam. This is the end of the road but, although you can’t stay here, there are two extremely luxurious resorts – famed throughout Vietnam – on the south side of the peninsular, which take their name from this fishing village: Six Senses Ninh Van Bay and An Lam Ninh Van Bay are only accessible by private boat from the Nha Trang side. (Note: the north side of the peninsular is commonly referred to as Doc Let Beach)

Doc Let Beach, VietnamAn hour north of Nha Trang lies a sublime peninsular with gorgeous bays and lagoons on both sides

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Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Province [MAP]

Cam Lap Promontory is a rocky finger of land jutting out into the glassy waters of Cam Ranh Bay, a fabulous natural harbour just south of Nha Trang. On both sides of the promontory cashew and mango plantations open onto white sand beaches, strewn with large boulders that have been washed into strange shapes, like an alfresco sculpture gallery. The water is as calm and clear as an infinity pool, and there’s a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the fishing hamlets dotted around the bays. There are a few low-key accommodation options, including some terrific campgrounds that you can read more about in my Camping Guide.

Binh Lap Beach, Cam Ranh Bay, VietnamCam Lap Promontory is a secret world of hidden coves and boulder-strewn beaches

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Want more beach? Browse all things beach-related on Vietnam Coracle…..read more

Beaches, Vietnam

Check out everything southern Vietnam has to offer, beaches included…..read more

Rice field, southern Vietnam

Ride spectacular ocean roads to beautiful empty beaches on these coastal road trips…..read more

Beach road trip, Vietnam

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Selected Resources for Travellers & Expats:  What's this?

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34 Responses to 7 of the Best Beaches in Southern Vietnam

  1. elsa says:

    Hello Tom!

    Thank you for making us dream but now we are facing a dilema 🙂 . We dont have enough time to visit all these awesome places. If we had to make a choice between Con dao Island and Cam ranh what would you advise us?

    Thank you!
    Elsa and Mael

  2. Tuan Anh says:

    Oh my God! You went to Quy Nhon but haven’t mentioned Hòn Khô (Khô island) or Kỳ Co beach? You missed the best of Binh Dinh province, haha

  3. Rachel says:

    Hi Tom,
    Your website has been great while we’ve been travelling through Vietnam, thank you!
    Our favourite place on the coast was Nhon Hai fishing village not far from Quy Nhon, there’s a new hostel just opened up on the beach there and the people are so lovely and the sea was the best we had for swimming and snorkelling. It would be good to keep it a secret but it’s too nice not to share! It’s well worth the detour to stay for a few days off the main roads!

    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for sharing that – it sounds great and I’ll check it out next time I’m in the area. I’ve been planning to write more about Quy Nhon and the surrounding beaches for ages now.

      Great to hear that you have enjoyed travelling through the country,


  4. Nathan says:

    Is it possible to camp at any of the beaches around Quy Nhon City or Binh Đinh?

    • Hi Nathan,

      Yes, it is. But when I’ve camped in those areas it’s just been ‘wild’ camping: I find a nice spot near the beach, where I’m not visible from the road so as not to attract attention, and pitch my tent for a night. There’s a lot of talk about camp sites springing up in that area, though. So perhaps you’ll find some official campgrounds too. It’s a lovely area, and great for exploring.



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  7. Anna says:

    Mark – this is a gem of a website, I am so happy we found it. Once we figure out an itinerary for our weeklong to 10 days trip to the South, we will use your site to book accommodation to support the site. We will be travelling to HCMC a few days before tet officially takes off next month. These beach descriptions are fantastic.

    I am wondering which of these 7 beaches (excluding phi quoc beaches) you might recommend for two of us who will not be travelling using motorbike (we may use motorbike when we arrive, but not to and from the city to the coast, where we hope to arrange other transport).

    We are a little concerned about travelling on and around Tet and hope to do a bit of the coast and if possible a bit of the deep delta, plus mountainous area + HCMC. If we can work with you in any way independently to develop an itinerary that would be amazing.

    Many thanks, Anna

    • Hi Anna,

      Thanks, it’s great to hear that you like my site.

      Yes, everything gets extremely busy during Tet, but if you are travelling just BEFORE Tet (which I think is on Jan 28 this time) then you should be fine 🙂

      Try Cam Lap and Ninh Van beaches in this list – they are both beautiful and secluded. You can arrange transport to both of them from Nha Trang and there are a few places to stay on both beaches. Once you’re there, you could rent a motorbike to explore the area, which is very quiet.

      If you have more questions about your itinerary you can also email me: vietnamcoracle@gmail.com

      And, yes, that would be great if you could support the work I do by booking your hotels through this site.

      I hope this helps,


  8. Alon says:

    Hi Tom thanks for your great tips.
    We are a couple and currently in dalat, we have a few days before getting back hone from Saigon, we would like to get to 3 days in a beach around, i saw that from the list you mentioned only Cam Lap is an option, but i cant find any information about hotels in this beach.
    do you have any information redarding to some stay for budget room? i found one resort but its above 100 dollar per night..

    We will be happy to get any other nice and quiet beach around…
    we heard about Mui nhe but i heard that its dirty beach..
    thanks a lot

    • Hi Alon,

      Yes, you could go down to Cam Lap. That little promontory is a lovely spot. You can stay at Dao Hoa Vang – there are good dorms for 120,000vnd or rooms too, or stay at Bai Binh Chau – they have rooms for about 400,000vnd or you can rent tents on the beach there, or you can stay at Sao Bien – they have small huts on the beach for 500,000vnd.

      I haven’t written a dedicated guide to this area yet, but you can find a bit more information about it (including contact information for the places to stay) in this guide.

      I hope this helps,


      • Alon says:

        Hi ! thanks for your fast reply and thanks for the information.

        do you recommend for us to go to Cam Lap or maybe try Mui ne? what is the best option for tasting the good side of vietnam beaches for only 2 days?

        • Hi Alon,

          If you have motorbikes and you like getting off the beaten track, definitely go to Cam Lap. If you’re taking public transport and you like a few more creature comforts, go for Mui Ne. Bear in mind that both beaches will be a little bit busier than usual, because it will be the weekend 🙂


          • Alon says:

            Hi! thanks again.

            we decided to take an easyrider tour of two days to Nha trang, and stay twi nights in Nha trang, where is the best to stay in nha trang area? where is the beat beach with budget hotel?

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  11. Cathy Di Pietro says:

    Hey Tom,
    After exploring Saigon with your help, we also did some beach hopping south of Quy Nhon City. We had planned to ride bicylces along this stretch, but pleased we changed those plans when we saw the hills. Note to self to master a motorbike before our next visit!
    Had a beautiful stay at Bai Xep beach at a place called Life is a Beach – well worth a look in if you are in that area next time. Its quite close to tbe Avani Resort, but more unique and affordable. Located along side, and quite connected with the local fishing village.
    Once again thanks for the info that led us to explore this area, otherwise it would never have been on our radar, and our trip would have been tbe poorer witnout these experiences,

    • Hi Cathy,

      Oh that makes me want to go back to Quy Nhon now! 🙂 Yes, I know Life is a Beach, but I’ve never had time to get to know it properly – I’ll make sure I do next time I visit. Thanks for the tip.

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed exploring these beaches, especially now before they are developed.


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  13. Joe says:

    you suck!! jokes… your awesome

  14. mark says:

    You better hurry if you want to see Vung Ro. The world’s largest oil refinery is being built a few km from there and a city to house the 8,000 workers (in Vung Ro Bay) is in the works.

    • Thanks, Mark. Yes, I read about the development of Vung Ro Bay last week. I heard the Rockefeller family are part of a new development that will consist of an integrated resort, hotels, apartments and marinas! I’m glad I had the chance to see and swim in the bay these last few years before the development started 🙂

      • Mark says:

        Don’t believe what you read in the press. It will not be some kind of beautiful integrated resort community. It will be housing for oil workers and the industries that support the oil refinery. Throw in a huge upgrade to the cargo port and you’ll see that Vung Ro Bay will become another Vung Tau.

  15. Dominique says:

    THANK YOU for all of that! Your blog is awesome!! You give so much good infos with great details. Last week, with my boyfriend, we did the beach hopping near Quy Nong and like you, we really liked Bai Rang beach. I think we wouldn’t have find it without your blog. The weather was not so nice, but the damatic sky made really good pictures!

    Tomorrow we will do the ride outside Mui Ne. We’re really looking forward to it because there nothing like escaping the crowds on your motorbike! Your directions will be so usefull because when it’s the first time you visit one place, it´s not always easy to find the great spots.

    I also took many notes of all the cafés and food you are recommanding in Saigon. We’ll be there for 10 days for Tet, so we will definitly have time to try some of them. Your entry about the snails in particular made me very happy! I’ve wanted to try those since Hanoi but was a bit intimidated because I had no idea how they were cooking them and what to ask for. Now, all the translations are in my notepad, so I’ll be able to ordre and know what I eat!

    Thanks again, you are doping a terrific job. I think in Vietnam it’s pretty easy to feel like you’re in a herd, but with blogs like yours, there is absolutely no reason to be a part of that!!

    • Hi Dominique,
      Thanks for your comment, I very happy my blog has been so much help to you on your travels through Vietnam. It’s great that you’ve got on a motorbike and traveled to some of the lesser known and little visited places in Vietnam. Good luck in Mui Ne and I hope you find some delicious street food in Saigon – there’s lots to choose from! 🙂

  16. Hana says:

    I traveled to some beaches along Vietnam, but never been in these beaches :(. Your information is very useful, I would like to try at least one of these beaches in the near future :). Uncle Tom, you are amazing 🙂

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