While the coast of mainland Vietnam certainly isn’t lacking in terms of beaches, it’s at the islands of Phu Quoc and Cun Dao that the most spectacular and beautiful beaches can be found. These islands are particularly attractive for tour packages focusing on luxury and comfort, with many very nice resorts located right on their many beaches.
A small traditional pier on Phu Quoc Island.
Phu Quoc, located in the extreme south of Vietnam, not far from Cambodia, is by far the largest island in the country. While the interior is covered in rugged jungle, the coast is lined by 19 (yes, 19!) beaches, some easy to get to and increasingly crowded, and others remote and off-the-beaten-track. First up is Ganh Dau Beach, situated on the northwestern-most point of the island, it’s a great spot to enjoy a view of the bay and the nearby Cambodian islands, and there’s also a small village nearby, letting you see authentic Vietnamese beach life which can be hard to see on the more crowded beaches.
Ong Lang Beach is a highlight for many visitors to Phu Quoc.
For something nearer to town, Ong Lang beach caters to travel groups of all sorts, from families to luxury travellers to backpackers. Like almost every beach on Phu Quoc, the crowds are steadily growing, but luckily most of the development along this beach has been low-rise instead of the giant resort monstrosities found elsewhere. Despite the growing popularity, Ong Lang still feels incredibly serene and peaceful with its chain of small bays and green back of palm trees.
Should your guests be more interested in remote beaches devoid of people and businesses, then Phu Quoc also has what you’re looking for. The newly opened East Coast Road now makes it possible to visit the long stretch of completely unused beaches along that side of the island. This is a great place to go if you want to impart a feeling of what Phu Quoc used to be like, 10 to 15 years ago, before the development of the island went into high-gear.
Rach Tram Beach is properly off the beaten track, visited mostly by local fishermen, but is being rapidly developed.
Another beach that has been traditionally remote and off-the-beaten-path is Rach Tram. However, due to the road being widened and paved recently, in order to facilitate resort development, this is sure to change, so visit here sooner rather than later if you want an untouched beach to wander.
While Phu Quoc may be the largest, Con Dao is probably the most visually stunning among Vietnam’s islands. First among its beaches is probably Bai Nhat, known to be best sunset spot in all of Vietnam, it features a long stretch of pearly white sand, but only appears during low tide between 2pm and 7pm.
For luxury resorts on the beach, the prime spots are An Hai and Dat Doc, with the latter being home to the extremely extravagant Six Senses resort.
Aside from beaches, Con Dao also offers excellent trekking if you venture into the interior.
At Lo Voi, your guests can make like the locals and collect their own fresh shellfish if you arrive right after sunrise as the tide recedes for dozens of meters. If you’d rather spend the time swimming, come during sunset hours as the tide comes back in.
Dam Trau Beach meanwhile, features stunning deep yellow sand, and as it’s located near the airport, you can spend an evening at the beach watching both the sunset and the planes as they come in over the ocean.
Beautiful turquoise waters in Con Dao.
There are also numerous beaches located more off-the-beaten-track that requires some hiking and occasionally guides to reach, but the access to these varies greatly as they’re often shut down for tourists due to various risks.
In short, the Vietnamese islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao are excellent destinations for travellers looking to unwind in a luxury resort on a serviced beach, or those who prefer trekking through rugged nature to discover hidden gems nestled between the sea and jungle.