We're looking for an unspoiled, authentic, calm beach in Vietnam for this summer (July/August) to spend 3/4 days. We were thinking of Mui Ne as being out of Nha Trang's tourism boom but I just read about people saying that they found plastic bags floating in Mui Ne. Is it easy to find small unspoilled fishing villages with clean beaches in the South Central Coast while being in the area? Otherwise we were thinking of the eastern part of Con Dao as apparently it is good in the summer, opposed to the western part. Or maybe Phu Quoc, as rain may eventually not fall?
Thanks alot for your ideas!
#1 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
I'm not sure if it's far enough south for you, but personally I think the beaches at Hoi An are great. Maybe we were just lucky when we were there (last August) but when we visited An Banh beach there was hardly anyone else there, the water was warm, the sun shone and - whilst you had to pay for them - there were plenty of loungers and umbrellas.
I also liked Mui Ne but it's not as idyllic. We didn't have any plastic bag problems and had a lot of fun with the waves.
The only difficulty is your desire for clean beaches in local places. Most local and "untouched" beaches are not clean since the locals do not care for a clean beach. They're mostly fishermen so you can hardly expect them to clean the beach while they never spent time there (nor have the money for it).
- Hoi An beaches: Personally I do not care for such beaches because they're just very wide with sand but not much seclusion (or tropical feeling). If you like vast stretches of sand it is yours.
- Mui ne: getting a bit touristic but it is for the obvious reasons because it appeals to a lot of people. Smaller beaches and palm trees. enough resorts and bars for variety. Nice place if you want a mix of things. And it really isn't that dirty. Less touristic is nearby Phan Tiet but I doubt whether the beaches are cleaner there.
- unnamed beaches: All along the coast you have some truly beautiful untouched beaches with fishing villages. Since most of them do not have hotels or guesthouses you'll have to rent a taxi for a day to visit. The best are around Quihn non (I forgot the right spelling)
- Phu Quoc: if clean beaches are the most important thing for you. Vietnam really tries to push this destination so it caters for tourists (they even introduced a plastic bag ban). Still in it's infancy but the whole thing is not my style but certainly not bad and with some real beautiful beaches waiting to be "discovered".
- Con Dao: My personal favorit but be prepared for the big "nothing". There is really nothing to do so make sure you have good company and/or a book. The ocean is wild and vast, the beaches small, very view tourists and beautiful scenery (and hardly any plastic bags). The type of island when you rent a motorbike for a day you'll will have seen the whole island. It is designated as one of the 11 main tourist attractions of Vietnam and the aim is for it to be developed with mid and high end tourism in 5-10 years. One of those places of which you can say "I was there before it got ruined by tourists"
Thank you very much for your posts! The dicision will eventually depend on the mood of the moment, but we can certainly start dreaming!
Do you confirm that eastern Con Dao's weather is good in the end of July/begining of August?
#4 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
Did you read the Con Dao report in the NY Times?
#5 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111
"We're looking for an unspoiled, authentic, calm beach in Vietnam for this summer (July/August) to spend 3/4 days."
"Unspoiled" and "authentic" are not very compatable. In Southeast Asia the idea of throwing trash in a trash can is somewhat of a foreign notion. So unless your "authentic" beach has no Southeast Asians living near it then it will not be unspoiled.
#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
I do not have first hand experience of the weather in that period on Con Dao. Late August/September you must be wary of the storm season but that goes for all of Vietnam. Guess you'll be fine in July/ beginning of August but try to aim for a July beach visit. Less likely to rain (in whole of Vietnam) and especially on Con Dao you do not want to be stuck if it rains and storms. Do the cultural things later because cities offer more alternatives when it rains.
Keep in mind that the island is in the middle of the ocean but I do not know what consequences that has for weather. As you said there is a calm side and rough side which you will notice by the vegetation or lack there of. But it's easy to get around if you rent a motrobike.
Thank you all for your tips! As I said the final decision will be made on the spot so now it's just about knowing possibilities and dreaming!
I've read the article, it was the trigger for willing to go to Con Dao actually.
#8 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
Ohh that sounds really nice!!
#11 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
I was in Con Dao in March and there were plenty of plastic bags and other rubbish on the beach. Worse was that sometimes when in the water I could smell diesel from the fishing boats. I also found that the cheapest I could get a room for was $40 and the food options weren't great. Although I didn't eat much because I got sick early on.
Mui Ne also had a lot of rubbish (there last week)and the kite surfers can be a bit of a problem for swimmers. There are some nice little resorts though so sitting around reading in the sun is very pleasant. Lots of the resorts have a pool.
Cham island (off Hoi An) had the best beach I went to, and the cleanest water. I believe there are places to stay there, but as there is no electricity on the island, facilities are minimal.
I liked Phu Quoc too but that was 3 years ago and I don't know what it's like now.
#12 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151
Was just thinking the same thing as abc. Even that Nha trang is cool tourist place the beach is just like any other but still nice. as the one a little bit south of nha trang (about 30 mins drive by motorbike) is really nice, chill out and really no tourists.
I have been looking at the postings so far and I agree with EastWest's post about the unnamed beaches in Vietnam being beautiful and untouched. I have taken a few trips up north from Saigon (up to hoi an and da nang) with a driver and car and really enjoyed stopping along the way at small beaches that were more or less empty. If you can rent a car I would suggest this route.
As a side note, I am going to con dao at beginning of july and i'm a bit disappointed about what I am hearing in this post- it seems rather expensive (NY Times article says dives start at 90usd, violets says cheapest room was 40usd). Although i am not a fan of Nha trang for relaxing (very crowded), it is MUCH cheaper (2 dives and lunch for ~40usd, room at beach for low as 15usd). However, if con dao was a cheap as nha trang, it would probably be very crowded too!
Follow up- I just returned from Con Dao and had an amazing time. However, it is expensive by Vietnamese standards (but I think well worth it!). I have written a basic review at my blog. I don't want to flood this post with the review so if you want to read it, go check here. I definitely will return!
It seems abit to late to look for unspoiled beach in Vn?.
If you have time and really want to get around, there is a very nice beach in the north of Nhatrang. Catch Bus from nha trang and go the north 60 km called Gia ( small fishing village) and keep up north of 10km to Dai lanh, leave the National highway to Dam Mon penin. This new road just onpen 3-4 years ago, and the Beach there is just stunning! No hotel there at the moment. Camping would be an option.
#17 stillgoing has been a member since 10/4/2010. Posts: 20