Among 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.
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.
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.
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.