Continue our introduction – Part 2 – about 7 Best beaches of Vietnam – Cambodia this summer with Koh Rong Samloem, Mui Ne, My Khe and Cat Ba beaches. We will recommend some new activities, new resorts and new beaches and new attractions.
4. Koh Rong Samloem island
With its brother Koh Rong island, Koh Rong Samloem is a new attractive beach suitable for all tourists. Independent travelers find themselves in many outdoor activities as BBQ party, trekking to lighthouse, snorkeling provided by Dive Shop, and joining a boat trip to M’Pay Bay fishing village. Family can extend their holiday from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem in 3 extra days. The tides are calm. The beache slopes gently to the sea, which is safe for swimming. Like other islands in the Gulf of Thailand, typhoon never hits Koh Rong Samloem, so don’t worry about when to go.
Koh Rong Samloem is a cheap destination for your summer holiday. Resorts on the beach are standard with simple bungalows and dorm rooms. The Beach Island Resort offers a wide range from dorm room at 10$/person to bungalow with air-con at 20$/night and VIP bungalow at 50$/night. Seafood is very cheap. All resorts have their own restaurants and bars. There’s buffet BBQ seafood every night in the Beach Island Resort. The chefs in Saracen Bay restaurant are excellent. You can enjoy seafood fried-rice, fish curry, seaweed salad at 3 -6$/person. You should try a mix cocktail of banana, orange, mango, soda at 4$. Night entertain with Fullmoon Part with famous DJs. For 1-day trip, you can rent a private boat from Paradise resort to get around M’Pay Bay fishing village, Koh Rong Samloem Villas and nearby Koh Koun island.
This is a featured 3-day tour in Koh Rong Samloem island from Sihanoukville:
9:30: take the speed boat from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem. On board: buffet lunch, dancing, snorkeling, jumping from sundeck into the sea
12:00: arrive at Koh Rong Samloem. Check in a beach resort.
Sunset view and BBQ seafood dinner with cold beer @ The Beach bar.
PARTY BOAT visits between Koh Rong & Koh Rong Samloem. Snorkeling to see coral.
Trekking to the lighthouse. Visit M’Pay Bay fishing village. Take the speed boat back to Sihanoukville. End.
5. Mui Ne beach
Mui Ne is so famous that Lonely Planet Vietnam guidebook 2009 Edition chose it as the cover page. Heading further south along the coast from Nha Trang, Mui Ne is about mid way between Nha Trang and Vung Tau. This used to be a completely isolated strip of sand enjoying complete tranquility. However, it was so beautiful that it was never going to stay a secret for long. In recent years many hotels have sprung up and the number is growing every year. Thankfully the town planners have been strict in what they will and will not allow. As a result, Mui Ne has managed to retain much of what made it so popular in the first place. This has developed as something of a surfing center and as a result, attracts a younger crowd of tourists.
The beach quality in Mui Ne varies upon its location. The beach of Novela resort and neighbouring central of Nguyen Dinh Chieu street is NOT good for swimming. When the tide is up, the tide occupies the whole beach and no sandy beach exists at all. We can say these resorts don’t have beach in the late afternoon when all staying guests want to swim. The beach of Victoria Phan Thiet resort and Melon resort is full of rocks, so tourists can’t enjoy the beach at all.
On the contrary, the beach on the edge of Nguyen Dinh Chieu street (from Dynasty resort to Canary resort) is larger. The beach of resorts on Ho Xuan Huong street (Pandanus resort to The Sailing Bay resort) is excellent, wide and sloped to the sea. Remember to ask our travel consultants before you book a resort in Mui Ne, then we will tell you which resort owns a good beach.
Compare with Nha Trang, Mui Ne offers less things to do, but because it’s nearer from Ho Chi Minh city of 4 hours driving, many travelers prefer Mui Ne than Nha Trang. Remember Nha Trang is 450km from Ho Chi Minh city and the most convenient way is by flight. The driving time between Mui Ne and Ho Chi Minh city is narrower because a new highway contruction of Long Thanh – Dau Giay and Dau Giay – Vung Tau will be finished next year, which making the time from 4 hours into 2.5 hours. Most people who need a beach near from Ho Chi Minh city choose Mui Ne instead of Nha Trang, and that’s why we also include Mui Ne in our Angkor Wat – Saigon – Mui Ne 8 day tour. Sometimes we allow Free 1-extra-night stay in Mui Ne for all early bookers.
6. My Khe beach, Da Nang city
My Khe is not only 1 of the best beaches of Vietnam. Forbes magazine voted My Khe as Top 6 World’s most beautiful beaches. Sunday Herald Sun magazine of Australia also rewards My Khe beach as Top 10 Asian beach in the World’s most favourite listing. My Khe beach, which foreign media often refers as “South China beach” wrongly, deserves those prizes !
A strong point of My Khe beach is that there are many DIRECT international flights to Da Nang city. Some daily flights from/ to Da Nang airport (DAD):
- Da Nang (DAD) – Changi Singapore (SIN) by SilkAir MI633
- Da Nang (DAD) – Siem Reap Cambodia (REP) by SilkAir MI636 or MI630
- Da Nang (DAD) – Kuala Lumpur Malaysia (KUL) by Air Asia AK1469
- Da Nang (DAD) – Incheon Seoul Korea (ICN) by Asiana Airlines OZ756 or Korean Air KE464
- Da Nang (DAD) – Hong Kong (HKG) by Cathay Pacific CX6803
As you see, Da Nang city is not a new destination and it has connected to other favourite tourist hubs in Asia every day by direct flights. That’s why many travelers ignore Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, and stay in Da Nang only, or extend 1-2 days in Hue Imperial city and Hoi An old quarter nearby which we pack in Vietnam World Heritage tour 5 days. As Da Nang city is becoming famous, My Khe beach is a more popular choice.
Best time to visit My Khe: Summer months from April to October, then winter will occupy Da Nang so the beach is rather cold for swimming. Temperature can be 10 centigrade in January. Moreover, you should avoid September when typhoons sometimes hit Central Vietnam.
7. Cat Ba beaches
Beaches in Halong city are polluted by thousands of boats fuel, and the operation of Hon Gai port nearby. That’s why not much travelers want to stay in Halong hotels and enjoy the beaches. They usually stay overnight on boats, or extend 1 – 2 nights in Cat Ba island, some 30km offshore South of Halong city.
Cat Ba is a popular choice for beach holidays in North Vietnam since French colonism 100 years ago. The most famous are Cat Co beach 1,2 and 3 in the downtown of Cat Ba. You can book a hotel in Cat Ba town, and walk to the beaches. However, you should NOT choose this tour during June – August when the whole town is full of Vietnamese tourists. The 3 beaches are small, so they are too crowded. In summer, room costs double as winter. If you need a truly relaxable atmostphere, you should change into a beach resort on an isolated island as our recommended tour here.
Best time to visit Cat Ba: North Vietnam winter last from December to early April, so you should avoid this period. Summer is sure the best time to enjoy Cat Ba beaches. However, apart from beaches, Cat Ba islands have many other things to do. If you don’t mind, it’s still fine you can visit Cat Ba during winter.
Must-do in Cat Ba: Cycling along the east coasts to Xuan Dam village; Boat trip in Lan Ha bay to isolated island and if time allows, swimming in some tiny beaches among the bay; Explore Cat Ba national park and overnight in the serene Whisper of Nature bungalow in Viet Hai isolated village among the park.
Check it out: 1 night on Halong cruise + 1 night in Whisper of Nature bungalow.