Cam Ranh beaches
What we say:
You're heading for the beach. To get there, head towards Phan Rang-Thap Cham on route 1A, the main road through town. You'll be looking for a left turn about 11km outside town on to a paved road to take you over to the peninsula. There are only two -- the first one leads to a fish farm, and the second, a kilometre further on, is the one you're looking for. After about 6km there's a left turn you can take -- this road crosses bridges and the hilly terrain along the bay -- beautiful views, highly recommended for a wander. The paved road comes to an abrupt end 10km later, and you'll be deposited into a no-man's land of mango groves, but if you make your way straight as the crow flies there's a good beach to be found, and a small place for refreshments. The road is usually washed out, so you'll have to pick your way through the trees if you're on a motorbike, or park and walk. There are usually plenty of locals there to point the way.
But the best beach, Binh Tien, is found by heading straight at the junction on the new road, 4km, to where the pavement ends. The dirt road is pretty solid and you can follow it all the way up to the edge of the beach. There are some salas with tables and chairs, and a small restaurant -- that's it. It doesn't look much like a restaurant, but it is -- we had some excellent seafood here -- sea snails, oysters, and some very flavourful squid (call it calamari and it goes down better). Be prepared to break out a phrase book to get what you want.
And there is, of course, the beach. The beach sits on a bay of its own, about 10km across, featuring a long strip of beautiful sand along the shore, very gentle waves, and shallow water for the first 50-metres. It's usually, for all intents and purposes, deserted, and you'll be the only foreigner here, if not the only one on the beach altogether.
Just out to sea, you'll notice an island -- some of the locals call it Dao Binh Ty. There are reportedly more beaches on the island, and it looks like a great place to explore if you can hitch a ride with one of the fishing boats. Judging from the maps we've seen, there are almost a dozen more beaches along the bay peninsula. Go forth, Travelfish reader, and explore.
More detailsHow to get there: Having your own transport is ideal, but you can scare up a moto-taxi. There's no set price for a trip to the beach, and your driver may not even know how to get there. Once you get to the beach, there's no return transport, so your driver will have to wait for you, or take a chance that a local will give you a lift. We didn't use a moto-taxi, but drivers warmed up to the idea, to the extent they understood it, at about 100,000 VND for the day. If you don't speak Vietnamese, it's going to take some skills and some patience to get your point across.
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