Photo: Binh Tien beach, near Cam Ranh Bay.

Introduction

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Located on the south central coast of Vietnam, Cam Ranh Bay is one of the finest deep-water harbours in the world. The bay has been touted as the next big tourist thing for years now, and it’s not difficult to see why: there are miles upon miles of stunning and largely unspoilt coast. Despite this beauty, and its proximity to Nha Trang, most travellers pass it by, zipping through Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR) on their way to the big smoke further north.



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While the city still has very little tourist infrastructure, Cam Ranh however will appeal to intrepid travellers who love beaches and aren’t afraid of independent exploration. There are adequate (though by no means fancy) hotels in town and, like Nha Trang to the north, Cam Ranh benefits from a long dry season, lasting from around February to September. The rainy season is short, from October until January. Though this usually just means a short afternoon downpour, there is risk of typhoon. Run-off from the rains will also turn the typically blue waters murky.

Rather scenic. Photo taken in or around Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Rather scenic. Photo: Cindy Fan

Cam Ranh Bay has a long history of military use – it was one of the US military’s largest bases during the Vietnam War. When the US packed their bags and went home, the Soviets moved in and adopted the facilities until their presence was scaled back and the Russian base was eventually closed in 2002. Today it’s controlled by the Vietnamese military and it remains one of the most important strategic bays in Asia, which has countries enviously jockeying for position in a complicated tug of war between Russia, China, the United States, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries. Disputes over the “South China Sea” flare up every so often and in 2015, US officials weren’t so happy when Vietnam struck a deal with Russia to use Cam Ranh Bay to refuel Russian nuclear-capable bombers that were conducting “provocative” flights near an American air ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Cam Ranh Bay.
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