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Beach of Phu Quoc Island | © Mgzkun/Flickr
Beach of Phu Quoc Island | © Mgzkun/Flickr
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5 Amazing Beaches Within Reach of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Picture of Matthew Pike
Writer
Updated: 29 October 2017

Many tourists arriving in Vietnam start in Ho Chi Minh City, smack in the middle of one of the most hectic scenes in the world. It’s an overwhelming introduction, for sure. For those looking to vacate the city and get to a beach as quickly as possible, here are five amazing beaches less than a half-day’s travel away.

Phú Quốc Island

As long as you don’t mind taking another flight, Phú Quốc island is a paradise you need to visit. There are so many amazing beaches on this little island. Also, keep in mind that domestic flights within Vietnam are super cheap. For this one, you’ll spend more time at the ticket counter than you will in the air.

There’s a mix of beaches on Phú Quốc to accommodate varied tastes — from lavish resorts for those looking to be pampered, to remote stretches of quiet shoreline for those who just want to escape it all. The island itself is almost the mirror opposite of HCMC’s madness. There’s a relaxed vibe, and tourists are treated very well.
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Vũng Tàu

If you’re sick of traveling and just want to be on a beach as soon as possible, then catch a shuttle or bus to Vũng Tàu. It’s two hours southwest of HCMC, and you can get there by bus, or by sprinter vans. If you go by sprinter, prepare yourself for a white-knuckle experience. It can get pretty scary.

The beaches in Vũng Tàu aren’t as superb as some of the others on this list, but you’ll still enjoy yourself. There are two: Front Beach and Back Beach. Front Beach is a curved little stretch on the west side of the bulging hill that props up a gigantic Jesus statue. Back beach is on the east. Both are similar in quality and amenities. To get the full experience out of Vũng Tàu, rent a motorbike and cruise around until you find a spot you like.
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Vietnam has some great crab | © Matthew Pike

Vietnam has some great crab | © Matthew Pike

Hồ Tràm

Ho Tram is 30 minutes (by car) further away from HCMC than Vung Tau, but its beaches are much, much quieter. This sleepy little town made a big splash on Vietnam’s tourism scene a few years ago when the Grand Ho Tram Strip opened — a 541-room behemoth perched on a small hill overlooking the beach. It’s a world apart from everything else in its vicinity. For those of you with an affinity for gambling, it also has one of the few casinos in the country. If mega-resorts aren’t your thing, there are a bunch of options for places to stay along the beach, but most are on the costlier end of the spectrum for Vietnam. Consider Ho Tram to be Vung Tau: Deluxe Edition.
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Mũi Né

Mũi Né is actually a ward of Phan Thiết, which is the seat of government for the Bình Thuận province. Phan Thiết has its own beaches, but you’ll still feel like you’re in a sizable city. Mũi Né, on the other hand, is a quaint fishing village with long stretches of touristy beaches growing out from it. The main drawback of Mũi Né is the five hour bus ride from HCMC. It’s a bit of a haul, but what’s a half-day’s journey between you and paradise/
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Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a short flight from HCMC. It’s a lively city, but it doesn’t feel as overcrowded — and it also hugs one of the most picturesque beaches in the country. It’s so popular that many tourists fly straight to Nha Trang and spend their entire holiday there. Because of its size, you can have your choice in terms of accommodation. There are cheaper, hostel-type setups for backpackers, and luxurious hotels and resorts for those with refined tastes and cash to spare.
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