Feature: Vietnam’s most delightful beaches

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As a long,narrow country skirted by the South China Sea, Vietnam is full of endless beaches where the only sight for miles around might be the gentle bobbing of wooden boats. From the border with China at the top to the fertile lands of the Mekong Delta, the country boasts over 2000 miles of beach. And as the country is very narrow in places, you are never very far from a dream-like location where some of the most stunning beaches in the world lay out before you!

Due to its prominence as an up and coming travel destination, more and more people are beginning to experience Vietnam’s sultry experience for themselves. And while cultural shows, scenic towns and great dining options abound, many of the beaches have been left completely unspoilt. Some on the other hand look a little like developed Mediterranean resorts!

With Vietnam Airlines flying non-stop from the UK to Hanoi and Saigon, getting half the way around the world to visit Vietnam has never been easier. So if you’re thinking of seeing what the country has to offer for yourself, here are the best beaches in the whole of the country…

Halong Bay

Not really a beach, but more of a staggeringly beautiful collection of limestone karts and islands jutting from the warm South China Sea off the north east coast; Halong Bay is a treat. The bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site too, so you can easily be expected to be blown away. While numerous private islands do have isolated beaches, the only way you are going to see one of them is by taking a junk boat tour. For anything up to three days you can eat, sleep, sunbathe and swim off these magnificent wooden boats that look like pirate galleons. It’s really worth doing as the area is so magnificently beautiful. There many different tours available, ranging from budget to high-end options so you’re bound to find something to suit.

Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is Halong Bay’s largest island, spanning a staggering 260 square kilometres. Right out of Jurassic Park, the island is known for its jungle clad mountains, towering limestone cliffs, waterfalls and abundant seashore. Half of the island is a national park, which should hopefully protect it for future generations. There are numerous beaches to explore, some more deserted than others; and the nightlife of the island is quite legendary, resembling Thailand’s Ko Samui more than Vietnam. The most sophisticated hotel on the island is easily Sunrise Cat Ba, which offers 8000 metres of private beach front and a pool. Rooms are spacious and the hotel itself is pleasant to look at.

Nha Trang

Known as the Vietnamese riviera, Nha Trang is a six mile stretch of beautiful white sand beach that’s sometimes regarded as the best in the country. Numerous islands dot the offshore reefs, which can easily be explored by a fun boat trip. Although a high rise working city, Nha Trang has always been the premier beach destination for the Vietnamese themselves. But the west has found it now, and sometimes it seems like you’re in the Med! The international beach has clean, clear water, excellent diving conditions and some fantastic bars along the beach. Sun beds are numerous, as are watersports. Make sure to head to Vinpearl for the great waterpark flumes. While budget beds abound, if it’s luxury you’re after, the fantastic Ana Mandara Resort will be right up your street.

China Beach

Beautiful China Beach is most famous for its 20-mile stretch of beachfront property and well maintained, yellow sanded shorefront. This is where US troops landed during the Vietnam War. Over the years it has made a reputation for itself as one of Asia’s most beautiful beaches. You can easily take day trips to the darling colonial town of Hoi An, or climb the majestic Marble Mountain near Danang from here. While the stretch is only full of a handful of hotels at the moment, the Vietnamese government have allocated a lot of land for high end hotels such as Raffles and Hyatt. So next time you book your holiday they may have arrived!

Mui Ne

At any time of the year, Mui Ne in Southern Vietnam boasts hot, sunny weather, beautiful sand dune landscapes and miles of fine white sand beaches where the sunsets are spectacular. With its long stretch of hotels and bars, nightlife here is quiet but brilliant with numerous cheap restaurants serving Vietnamese and Western food. Windsurfing and kite surfing is also very popular, but perhaps the most fun thing to do here is to head out to the dunes where you can ride down them on a plastic bag!

As Vietnam is so long, there are hundreds of miles of unspoilt beaches, so it’s very easy to find a mind-blowing stretch of water all to yourself!

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