It’s a shame the beaches of Bali and Thailand are as far as most western travellers are willing to go. From Nha Trang to Phu Quoc to Mui Ne, Vietnam has what sand-seekers want: thousands of kilometres of coast, sand fine as icing sugar, crystalline lagoons, palms where palms ought not to be, and seaside comforts purpose-built to satiate visitors.
If Vietnam is at all on your radar, you’ll know Nha Trang has some of the country’s (and region’s) most pristine beach real estate. Nha Trang may be a frantic party town, but crossing the city’s main esplanade and hitting the sand amounts to crossing over to another plane of existence. It’s that serene, somehow.
The dunes at Mui Ne are a spectacular feature. Those into watersports will find a thriving kite and windsurfing scene operating out of clubhouse shacks built right on the sand. Hire a kite and board and carve it up in the surf. Prefer heavenly inertia? Join the thousands of locals and tourists bathing in the sun.
Mui Ne’s sand is a light yellow; Phu Quoc’s sand is dove-white. The island is the quintessential tropical ecozone: sea meets sand meets dense rainforest. The two best beaches are Long Beach and Ong Lan Beach; they’re both sunsets place made for sharing. While you’re waiting for twilight, hire a kayak or do a little bush walking.
It may not be easy getting to Con Dao, but the expedition is worth the sense of solitude an under-exposed beach provides. While you won’t be the first to go there, it will certainly feel like it. Chase that feeling and feel it before everyone finds out about it.
Ho Coc is a sandbar located between Vung Tau and Phan Thiet beaches, and it invites intrepid travellers keen to escape the comparative bustle of Nha Trang. Ho Coc is as plugged in as you’ll need it to be – meaning you can get a refreshment if you want – but, like Con Dao, promises a singular sense of solitude you’ll remember for a long time