Even though there is plenty to do in the city, the nearest beaches by Ho Chi Minh City are close enough for a nice reprieve from the metro life. These beautiful sandy spots are unique and relaxing, compelling visitors to Southern Vietnam to explore the coast.
Many locals turn to these destinations as a way to decompress from the hecticness of Saigon, but travelers are pleasantly surprised to find an ocean retreat. Getting to the beach from Ho Chi Minh would require some transportation, but some destinations can be visited for a long day trip or better yet, a multi-day getaway. The easiest ways to travel to the shore from inland Southern Vietnam are by bus, train, motorbike, or car ride.
When you’re ready to plan your next trip to Southern Vietnam, be sure to carve out some time for some sand and salty air. Here are the top beaches near Ho Chi Minh City, in order of proximity.
Vung Tau – 96 km | 2 hours 20 minutes
The closest beaches to Ho Chi Minh City are in Vung Tau, which motor vehicles can easily reach on a two-hour drive. There are a handful of beaches around this city, but the most popular ones are Front Beach, Back Beach, Vung Tau Beach, and Pineapple Beach.
Vung Tau Beach is the most frequented one to travel to from Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s lined with cafes, rental equipment stands, and shops for browsing. Most people who drive down to this beach enjoy doing it as a day trip, but several opt to spend a night or two.
The best time to hit the beaches in Vung Tau is November through April, during its dry season. The weather will be a lot cooler from December to February, as the heat tends to come around starting in May, closely accompanied by the rainy season.
There are plenty of places to stay by the beach in Vung Tau, with accommodations fit for every budget and style. Water activities like swimming, sailing, and snorkeling are popular in this area. Kite-surfing is another sport that travelers enjoy, and there are numerous stands to rent equipment along the beaches. Fresh and seafood is served at several eateries by the water,
Long Hai Beach – 98.5 km | 2 hours 20 minutes
Based to the east of Vung Tau, Long Hai Beach (Bãi biển Long Hải) is a hidden treasure in southern Vietnam. The velvety yellow sand and aquamarine-colored water have maintained its natural beauty by avoiding construction related to tourism.
This environment is incredibly welcoming to nature enthusiasts and travelers looking for a more rural beach experience in Vietnam with a stunning forest backdrop. The waters on this shore are very clean with docile waves, along with some rock formations that liven up the scenery.
Long Hai Beach is a popular destination for people who live in Ho Chi Minh City, as it is a great place to relax and getaway for the weekend. Getting to the beach can be done by motorbike or car, but speedboat rides to the area are also offered from Saigon Port.
Ho Tram – 115 km | 2 hours 45 minutes
Ho Tram (Hồ Tràm) is a cozy little beach town located on the coast to the southeast of HCMC. There are numerous higher-end resorts in this area, so it’s a destination for those enticed by a more luxurious-style vacation.
It boasts a tranquil environment, so the beaches here are geared more towards relaxation and spa days instead of thrill activities and water sports. Not only is this region home to picture-perfect ocean scenery, but it also has rainforests where several types of wild birds live and can be spotted.
The Grand Ho Tram Strip (affiliate link) is considered one of Ho Tram’s most upscale resorts with immediate access to the beach, among other premium amenities. On the property is also a casino, spa, games room for kids, shopping, and the famous The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip golf course.
Another nearby beach, Ho Coc, is just outside the town and a known spot for camping, karaoke, and picnicking. For those traveling on a budget to this region, Ho Coc has less expensive accommodations than right in Ho Tram, with equally enjoyable sandy areas by the water to relax.
The easiest way to get to Ho Tram is to travel to Vung Tau first and then arrange a bus, taxi, or car ride to the beach town.
CoCo Beachcamp – 149 km | 3 hours 20 minutes
Located in the Binh Thuan Province near the town of La Gi, the CoCo Beach Camp (affiliate link) is a property based right on the ocean that offers visitors a whole beach experience. A wide variety of accommodations are provided at this venue, ranging from a luxury tent to a camping trailer to a mini beach-front family house.
This village of camping structures offers large and small groups a chance to gather and spend some time away from hectic city lives. At about three hours away from Ho Chi Minh City, this beach camp is an ideal place to stay for a few days in nature.
Lê Minh Công, Tân Phước, Hàm Tân, Bình Thuận | +84 93 316 33 33 | facebook.com/cocobeachcamplagi
Phan Thiet – 193 km | 4 hours 10 minutes
Located directly to the east of Ho Chi Minh City, Phan Thiet is a town on the coast encompassing Mui Ne. The most popular beach in this area is the Doi Duong Beach (Bãi biển Đồi Dương), a shoreline covered in soft white sands and has shallow waters.
Plenty of shops, restaurants, and clubs dot the back part of the beach and make this destination a popular place for couples and families looking for a getaway. Phan Thiet has numerous accommodations right at the beach that are affordable, classy, and provide fantastic access to the ocean.
The urban strip along Doi Duong Beach has a promenade that is enjoyable to stroll and window shop along the way with many vendors on the path. Bathrooms and showers are set up at the beach to make it easy for visitors to clean up, and umbrellas with lounge chairs are available for rent during the day.
Some of the most popular water activities at this beach include diving, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Another beach, Thuong Chanh beach (Bãi biển Thương Chánh) is located just a few miles to the west and offers even more space for some easy-going time by the waves.
Mui Ne – 215 km | 4.5 hours
One of Vietnam’s most coveted beach resort towns is Mui Ne, famous for its nearby fishing villages and sand dunes. Even though it is a few hours away from Ho Chi Minh City, this destination is popular for locals and visitors alike to plan a trip to the coast. With more than one picturesque beach in the area, Mui Ne is an excellent spot for indulging in the sunshine, water sports, and fresh seafood.
No matter your budget, it has accommodations suitable for all. Everything from full-facility five-star resorts to homestays and regular hotels are available on and near the ocean.
Some of the most popular water activities include windsurfing, swimming, kitesurfing, diving, and sunbathing. Snorkeling is a great way to explore the life beneath the surface, as there are colorful coral and many types of fish in these waters.
Con Son, Con Dao Islands – 230 km | 45 min (plane)
The Con Dao Islands (Côn Đảo) are a 16 island archipelago, but the main one that people like to visit is the largest, Con Son. The islands are set off the coast of Vung Tau, and the only two ways to reach them are by boat or plane. But the rides are short, making it seem like this destination is further away than it actually is. The beaches on Con Son are some of the most beautiful that the country has to offer, and the island has a nice spot for snorkeling and diving.
The best time to visit Con Dao is March through July, when the ocean waters are smoothest for travel, but it’s also a popular place to do during the heat of the summer months through August. September through January, the weather is a lot colder, making water activities and laying on the beach less desirable, but not any less stunning.
Finding accommodations on the island is easy enough, as there are homestays and a popular resort to stay at. Since about 80% of the island is covered in rainforests, there is as much wildlife to see on land as there is on the water. Hiking the forests is a fun way to explore the natural area, while taking a dip in the water is excellent for cooling off during hotter months.
Phu Quoc Island – 392 km | 1 hour (by plane)
Not only is Phu Quoc (Phú Quốc) one of the top beach destinations for those traveling from Ho Chi Minh City, but for anyone wanting a tropical experience in Vietnam. This haven by the ocean is filled with unspoiled beaches that showcase pristine white sands, crystal clear waters, and an abundance of fresh seafood at every turn.
Staying on the island for a few nights would be anyone’s recommendation, as a day trip isn’t possible for this destination. There is everything from five-star resorts and beachside abodes to hotels on a budget, but most people make the trek for some fun in the sun and a timeout from the chaos of everyday life.
There are several beaches on Phu Quoc, but Long Beach and Ong Lang Beach are the most popular ones. While these two are the ones that are typically more crowded, there are plenty of quieter spots on the island with lovely spots for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or simply watching the sunset. If spending time in the water isn’t your idea of a good time, there are many restaurants and cafes along the beach to grab a bite or a pina colada.
The best time of year to visit Phu Quoc Island is December through March, when the weather is temperate and manageable. The hottest temperatures are in April, and the rainy season doesn’t begin until May. The weather begins to cool off by August, but the dry season doesn’t really start until about the end of October.
Nha Trang – 433 km | 1 hr (plane) or 8.5 hrs (vehicle)
For a true getaway far from Ho Chi Minh City, book a stay at Nha Trang, a beach destination that can take up to a whole day by road or one hour by air. It has a terrific combination of both city and beach environments, making this spot an ideal destination for a mixed bag of travelers. The most famous beach in the area is Tran Phu Beach, which is within walking distance of almost anywhere in the city.
Not only does Nha Trang have a top selection of accommodation types, such as beachside resorts, but there are plenty of activities to do by the water, too. Yacht rentals, diving, swimming, boating, and fishing are just a few of the options for things to do on the ocean. Fresh seafood is sold and served at many restaurants and shops along the shore.
The best time to visit Nha Trang is February through May, but scuba diving people have a more extended season from January to October.
The southern part of the country offers a range of beach trips, including: quiet (Mui Ne, CoCoBeach, Ho Tram), nearby (Vung Tau), island paradise (Phu Quoc or Con Dao), or prefer to fly-in to a bustling coastal city (Nha Trang). Going to the beach in Vietnam is undoubtedly a must-do for any trip, so keep this list in mind the next time a trip to Ho Chi Minh City is on the books. And consider, booking a stay at one of the top beach resorts in South Vietnam.