©istockphoto/DeltaOFFAmong Amer­i­cans, Viet­nam is chiefly known as the focal point of a cer­tain war that most peo­ple would rather for­get. Luck­i­ly, the locals have put a lot of effort into mak­ing their coun­try known for some­thing far bet­ter: its pris­tine beaches.

The coun­try is home to some of the best beach­es on Earth, and if you’re plan­ning a trip to get away from the win­ter blues, these are some of the best options to help lift your mood.

Nha Trang
For some seri­ous sun, head down to the Khanh Hoa province and make a pit stop at one of Vietnam’s most pop­u­lar beach­es, Nha Trang. Not only is it known for its beau­ti­ful sands and near-per­fect weath­er, but it’s also becom­ing one of the best div­ing spots in South­east Asia. The beach­es are lined with coral reefs, caves, and even some fan­tas­tic wake­board­ing and kite surf­ing for those who pre­fer to stay above the water.

Doc Let
Just down the road is equal­ly allur­ing Doc Let. While it’s close by, don’t expect the same atmos­phere as you’ll find at Nha Trang; this place is about as relax­ing as it gets. The par­ty crowd and fam­i­ly groups tend to stay at the main attrac­tion down the road, while Doc Let is left to those look­ing to get away from the noise. The sands are just as pret­ty, but here you’ll find more locals and few­er Westerners.

Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island was once a sleepy lit­tle island town hid­den away from the tourist track, but over the last few years, some­one must’ve let the secret slip on how strik­ing this place tru­ly is. Tourists have begun to flood the island and ameni­ties seem to be grow­ing by the day, but there’s still just enough of that local feel to give it the per­fect bal­ance of a beach­side oasis.

Ho Coc Beach
Ho Coc Beach is a lit­tle more than 100 kilo­me­ters out­side of Ho Chi Minh City, mak­ing it the per­fect place to escape the bustling town when you find your­self in need of a lit­tle peace and qui­et. Not near­ly as built up as some of the more pop­u­lar beach­es in the area, here you’ll find stretch­es of beau­ti­ful gold­en sands set between rolling dunes and crys­talline waters as far as the eye can see.

Quy Nhon
You’re unlike­ly to spot anoth­er for­eign­er walk­ing along the shores of the small sea­port town of Quy Nhon, which is pre­cise­ly why it’s one of the best the coun­try has to offer. This is tru­ly the place to get away from it all and immerse your­self in the Viet­namese cul­ture. It might not be the most beau­ti­ful, but once you spend time with the locals and expe­ri­ence the way they live, you might nev­er want to leave.

Danang is a ritzy resort town known for its great surf­ing and div­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. It also has some of the classi­est and most pop­u­lar resorts in the coun­try and is a pop­u­lar choice among retir­ing expats. With all of the palm trees, white sands, and coconuts lin­ing the shore, you might eas­i­ly mis­take it for a beach in Hawaii, just with­out all of the congestion.