A beach for backpackers
Under the same umbrella as Life’s a Beach on Bai Xep, Life’s a Beach Backpackers (formerly called the confusing name “The Beach”) offers an even more removed-from-the-world getaway for budget travellers. Located on a wilder patch of coast 3.3 km south of Bai Xep, everything at this backpacker “resort” has been built with the humble traveller in mind.
Accommodation is built along a hillside that runs down to a relatively undeveloped beach. The rooms will be just right for travellers on a tight budget. It’s your choice of dorm or private room, all with shared bathroom. The fan-cooled dorm has 5 metal bunks (10 beds) in a spacious, airy rustic bamboo and thatch structure with concrete floor. Each bed has a mosquito net, small locker and a power point. There’s also an air-con dorm option in a bricks and mortar building for a bit more.
Like the dorms, there are two kinds of private rooms: bamboo and thatch rustic or solid building, however both are fan only and still make use of the shared bathroom facilities which are basic but clean.
Those who really like being close to nature, it’s possible to pitch your own tent or rent one, or rough it in a hammock.
There’s plenty of space to spread out here, with a meandering path leading all over the hillside to different pockets of the resort as well as down to the beach which will most likely be empty. For now this is the only accommodation here. Yet also be prepared to be social at some of the great hangout spots including terrace with a fantastic vista of the water and main reception/restaurant with more hammocks, a billiard table and bar.
The staff are enthusiastic, helpful and friendly, and the place is pretty well set up to cater to the backpacking crowd with entertainment and amenities available for a fee whether you need to rent a towel, a hair dryer, cool box, fishing rod or motorbike. They even have a small supply of snacks, toiletries and sim cards for sale and bus ticket booking services, though the 20,000 dong beach “entrance fee” refunded at the end of the stay seems a little ridiculous.
There are some key differences between staying here and Bai Xep. We’ve pointed out the relative isolation of this place and that does mean you will likely be having most of your meals here. There’s less people, especially on the beach which is more exposed than Bai Xep. During the rainy season, there are big waves and it is not likely swimmable. In contrast, Bai Xep has a small island in front that forms a natural barrier and swimming is more possible in the windy months. Bai Xep also has three dining options and all the properties are compact and feel more intimate.
Whichever you choose, count on staying longer than anticipated. It will be difficult to pull yourself away.
Note that Life’s a Beach Backpackers is only open to those over 18 years of age.
Address: 13 km south of Qui Nhon, off of QL1D between Bai Bau and Bai Rang beach
Coordinates (for GPS): 109º13'47.39" E, 13º39'39.72" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: Under US$10
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dorm fan cooled|
|Dbl fan share bathroom|
Up to $16 with a seaview
Hammock costs 70,000 dong
|120,000 dong||120,000 dong|
Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.
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