Boasting around 11 miles of of chalk-white shores and turquoise waters, Doc Let is a quick, one-hour trip from Nha Trang. The north section of the scenic bay is frequented by tourists, and is home to most of the beach resort and hotels. The central section, meanwhile, has sections of pristine shores, but beware the Hyundai shipyard and busy port area.Lastly, the southern part of Doc Let, known as Jungle Beach, is a longtime backpacker favorite surrounded by fishing villages. Note that most of Doc Let is not as developed as Nha Trang, with mostly family-owned shops providing food, kayak rentals, and accommodations. The closest city is Ninh Hoa.
7/Ho Coc Beach
If you’re able to drive, take advantage of the newly-developed road out of Saigon and head to the lesser-known Ho Coc Beach on the picturesque eastern coast. Located north of the Ho Tram hamlet in the Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, the beach here is situated in a curved bay and set against a backdrop of forests and sand dunes. Though there are a number of hotels and resorts along the way, the area is mostly un-trafficked by tourists, with plenty of local seafood shacks and beach chairs for rent.
8/ Mui Ne Beach
A hop-skip from the hustle and bustle of Saigon, the area commonly referred to as Mui Ne (though it includes portions of Ham Tien ward and Phan Thiet city) is renowned for its coastline as well as a number of other natural wonders. A small fishing town with beaches to rival those on this list, Mui Ne is differentiated by a majestic, nearby expanse of desert known as the White Sand Dunes and Red Sand Dunes, which are popular for sand-surfing and even hot-air balloon rides.The best-known beach portion of the Mui Ne area, however, is actually located a quick 15-minute trip away in the Ham Tien ward, which is also home to the surreal Suoi Tien, or “Fairy Stream,” known for its hardened sand embankments and waterfall.
9/Ly Son Island
With a remote location off the central coast of Vietnam, the lesser-known Ly Son Island is a cluster of volcanic craters that’s not yet well-known among tourists. There aren’t as many palm trees and beach resorts on the two main islands, known as Dao Lon and Dao Be; instead, find many fascinating geological formations as well as over 50 temples and shrines and world-famous garlic and seafood. Much of the Dao Lon is taken up by the garlic farms, which can be smelled from miles away, but the acclaimed To Vo arch (pictured above) opens up to clear blue waters and fossil reefs.
If you’ve got time, take a 15 minute ferry to the tiny Dao Be, also known as An Binh, where you can swim off the shores and enjoy the underwater views of seaweed fields and colorful reefs.
Dating back to the 15th century, Hoi An is a tourist-loved city in Central Vietnam, whose well-preserved architecture speaks to its history as a trading port influenced by the French, Chinese, and Japanese. Nearby, find ancient ruins of the Islamic Champa kingdom that once occupied the region.
After checking out the Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, carve out some time to hit the nearby Cua Dai Beach, where three major rivers converge before reaching the sea. The calm and crystal blue water have traditionally attracted those seeking an escape, but recent resort developments have attracted larger crowds and an array of dining and drinking options.
Hoi An’s underrated gem, however, is the Cham Islands, a group of eight pristine islands lying along the coast. UNESCO has recognized the Cham Islands as one of the world’s biosphere reserves for its stunning variety of plants and marine life, which includes over 200 varieties of fish. On the main island, Hon Lao, swim at Chong Beach head up to Bac Beach to enjoy natural caves.
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