About 14 kilometres from Hue is the nearest beach, Thuan An.
Though it's one of Central Vietnam's most beautiful beaches, it's ridiculously undeveloped with just a scattering of shacks in various stages of decline. The recent addition of Beach Bar Hue may start to change the scene, as this shabby chic spot is well on the way to being one of the most popular day trips from Hue – it's worth heading out of town for if you feel in need of escaping the stifling city heat from May through till September. The owners have hooked up with Hue Backpackers to provide a minibus service from town to beach every morning at 08:00 and another at 11:00, with return runs at around 17:00. The bar comprises a really cool fishing boat bar, beach cabanas and a basic restaurant, plus there are some dorms and a couple of private rooms. Entrance is 100,000 VND, which is fully refundable with food and drink purchases (you might also think of it as a minimum consumption charge).
At local places you'll pay 10,000 VND to rent a beach umbrella and chair for the day and 5,000 VND to park a motorbike. The Ana Mandara; a five-star luxury resort, lies further north of the beach bar and also welcomes outside guests looking to dig their toes in the sand for the day for a small fee. It's a classy resort with the only pool along the beach but it's let down by the food. Fortunately the village surrounding it has some brilliant local seafood restaurants well worth checking out once you've had your fill of beach/pool time.
How to get there
To get here, start off from Vy Da Ward on the south bank of the Huong River and go north on Pham Van Dong Road. When the road tees, take a right. The road eventually crosses an inlet over a bridge to Thuan An island. Drive through town, bear right, and you'll see signs for the beach on your left.
By Caroline Mills
Last updated on 10th November, 2014.