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Long Hai, Loc An and Ho Coc beaches - anybody been?

  • smartlyndy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th May, 2009
    Posts: 31

    We (2 adults and our 12 year old) are going to Vietnam in July. We've been before and loved Mui Ne but did not love Nha Trang. Would like to check out one of the beaches beyond Vung Tau but cant find much info about them. Any advice would be appreciated.

    #1 Posted: 7/5/2009 - 12:13

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  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    smartlyndy

    Do you want advice on the beaches - ie, are the waves dangerous, or the sand OK for sunbaking, or such..

    Or, the villages / towns on or near the beaches - ie how the villagers interact with travellers, or such...

    Or, the accommodations on / near the beaches - ie what is good, or such ..

    Or, something else about the beaches?

    Cheers

    #2 Posted: 7/5/2009 - 12:59

  • smartlyndy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th May, 2009
    Posts: 31

    Hmmm.. general impressions I guess thanks brucemoon. We're looking for somewhere clean, relaxed (not overly developed like Nha Trang), good local food and good for swimming. Dont want much, huh?
    Hoping to find cheapish(flashpacker)bungalows-on-beach type accommodation.
    Also any advice on getting there from Saigon then to somewhere which will lead to Hoi An when we leave the beach would be very helpful.
    Thanks

    #3 Posted: 7/5/2009 - 19:48

  • smartlyndy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th May, 2009
    Posts: 31

    Oh, also very interested in villages and locals. Ta

    #4 Posted: 7/5/2009 - 19:55

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    smartlyndy

    I first 'did' the beaches north of Vung Tau some 40 years ago (in different circumstances). I s'pose things had to change!!!!! Nevertheless, there are some great beach locations north of Vung Tau, in the area of Long Hai (Loc An, Ho Tram, Ha Coc) and if you go midweek, you'll largely have the places to yourselves.

    Note that the Vungers & Long Hai area is a weekend 'retreat' for the Saigonese!

    But, Vungers (and northwards) are off the track that takes you to Hoi An . So, its a separate journey. If you are 'into' it, take the boat to Vungers, hire a couple of motorbikes (the 12yo can hop on the back of one) and just 'go'. You'll undoubtedly have to leave a passport with the hire place, but keep at least one for booking into accommodation (law in VN). This way, YOU can be in charge of your own destiny (personal freedom is great in VN - no 'please you buy', 'where you from', etc...)

    On a different tack, there is a magnificent beach that runs from Hoi An to Danang, and if you're interested, from north of Danang to near Hue. And, there are islands off Hoi An that have good beaches (and few tourists).

    I've made comments about that and water quality at:

    http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/vietnam/5968_best-beaches-in-vietnam----

    Phan Rang and Cam Ranh Bay (south of Nha Trang ) also have good beaches, and are nowhere near as 'touristed' as Nha Trang . That said, some of the islands out from Nha Trang have great beaches.

    I suppose the 'word' is that there are some wonderful beaches all the way from Vung Tau to Vinh. In some places, the villagers have catered to the tourists, in others, its way off the tourist trail.

    On villages and locals, if you are interested in getting off the tourist 'trail', perhaps buy a Lonely Planet and just explore.

    Cheers

    #5 Posted: 8/5/2009 - 06:26

  • smartlyndy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th May, 2009
    Posts: 31

    Many thanks Bruce

    Sounds like the beaches in the region are worth visiting then. We will be spending about 5 weeks in Hoi An (as we did in '07) and will doubtless spend some time on Cua Dai on the weekends but really just wanted to go somewhere we hadnt been in the past, before heading up there.
    Im guessing it wont be hard to get to Ho Coc etc from Saigon but I havent been able to work out how we will then make our way further north without having to backtrack. I've wondered about hiring a couple of local people to take us on the back of motorbikes to somewhere back on the main bus route. Do you think that's a plan? Or will we have to go back to Sgn?

    I agree with you about motorbike travel. We have had an absolute hoot, 3-up on little step-throughs in SEA. Unfortunately, our son insists on growing and I dont think 3-up is an option any longer. Not sure if Im brave enough to ride myself. Ive had very little experience.. we'll see.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Lyndall

    #6 Posted: 8/5/2009 - 07:05

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Lyndall

    I learnt to ride a moto (at age 60+) while at Hue. Now.... just fun!!!

    Getting an auto appears to be the easiest approach. I wrote about this to another at:

    http://www.travelfish.org/board/post/laos/3443_motorcycle-rental-in-pakse

    I really think if you take your time and do it slowly (at least till you get the hang of it) that you can manage. If everyone else can, why can't you?

    If you want to go into the Long Hai area for the beaches, there appear three ways to approach it.

    1/.

    You can go via Vung Tau (boat) hire moto's, and go. You'll have to return this way.

    2/.

    Or, boat then bus to Long Hai and hire moto's then go. You can either return to Saigon via Vung Tau, or take a bus to Bien Hoa from Long Hai (this is a goodish road).

    3/.

    Take a bus from Saigon to Long Hai, hire moto's and go, then bus it back to Saigon or Bien Hoa.

    I am advised you can rent moto's in Long Hai, the only hassle might be that there aren't too many automatic moto's.

    For an intersting overview, go check out:

    http://www.dgifford.com/PDFS/motorbikearticle1.31.07.pdf

    cheers

    #7 Posted: 8/5/2009 - 08:31

  • smartlyndy

    Joined Travelfish
    7th May, 2009
    Posts: 31

    Hi Bruce

    You're right - I should pluck up my courage and give it a go!
    Thanks for all your input re this and gibbon exp on the Laos thread. Enjoyed your blog.
    Im sure I'll have more questions before we head off, as well as while we're on our travels.
    Like your new photo - you've changed somehow!

    Lyndall

    #8 Posted: 9/5/2009 - 14:17

  • brucemoon

    Click here to learn more about brucemoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    Lyndall

    Yep, thought the grey hair on this site didn't quite fit the format. Hoped the cheerfulness would meet the (assumed) expectation.

    On more questions, if you send me an email from the travelblog, it'll go direct to me. That way, I can answer any concerns directly.

    cheers

    #9 Posted: 10/5/2009 - 06:58

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