For those who simply must have a beach to themselves, here’s one that involves a two-hour drive from Nha Trang. Son Dung Beach, the jewel of Van Phong Bay, has the stillness of a forgotten world despite the ubiquitous fishermen’s boats and the presence of other people also seeking somewhere solitary. It is not entirely uninhabited, there are few restaurants on offer, but this still leaves part of the beach virtually untouched. It is tempting enough just to stay and enjoy the transparent, turquoise water and white sand.
Vietnam has no shortage of gorgeous beaches, but when it comes to accessible and family-friendly options, An Bang Beach, located around six kilometres from Hoi An town centre, is hard to beat. Along the spectacular, sweeping stretch of sand, there are plenty of deck chairs, umbrellas, loungers for rent and several restaurants offering local seafood and western dishes. It is certainly not a hidden gem but still feels remote, fresh and laid-back when compared with the nearby Cua Dai Beach.
Imagine walking along the shore and feeling like you can have a car-free piece of paradise all to yourself. While Quy Nhon features pretty much on every tourist’s hit list for beautiful beaches, travellers to Bai Xep are few and far between. The location in a remote, tranquil fishing village makes it a perfect stop for an authentic local experience and an escape from the summer crowds. There is always something going here: small fishing boats bobbing up and down, unloading their catch, young lads diving into the clean and clear sea, visitors snorkelling around the little island, paddling out or just soaking up the sun. For a dose of solitude, discover your own deserted stretch of sand or stroll through the village. The best place to stay is the well-known Life’s a Beach backpacker hostel.
Keep a sharp eye out for the sign in time to make the turn off a 70-metre sandy trail. Be warned that the descent may require some driving skills if you are on a scooter. The experience, however, is rewarding. While it has the feel of a private find, there are still many loungers, beach chairs, sofas for hires, toilets and showers, and a good choice of restaurants and cafes. The absence of any hotels has kept everything pleasantly low-key. From the beach, you can even see the planes fly just metres above your head as they take off at the nearby airport.
In Phu Quoc, the Vietnam’s largest island that has become synonymous with backpacker’s party haven, finding your very own beach paradise is a serious business. At Ong Lang Beach, you can marvel at its tranquility, remoteness and a natural, raw and undeveloped beauty. It is a perfect spot for a late afternoon beer and enjoying the spectacular sunset.