Paradise in a bay, Cam Ranh is ready to steal crowns as it skyrockets towards becoming South Vietnam’s top resort destination. With 5-star resorts, fine dining, exceptional beaches, and a relaxing atmosphere – Cam Ranh has it all. The only thing that is noticeably missing is the crowds.
As a recently opened destination, tourism is still blossoming in Cam Ranh. Beaches and resorts are frequently uncrowded, so visitors can enjoy a luxury getaway in private. However, news spreads fast and tourism is likely to soon explode in Cam Ranh. For trailblazing travelers, there is no better time to explore Cam Rah because, in the coming years, uncrowded beaches will be a thing of the past.
Beautiful Bay in Khanh Hoa Province
Located in Khanh Hoa Province, the city of Cam Ranh is structured around a natural bay in South Vietnam’s Central Coast region. Cam Ranh is the second-largest city in the province, and it has worked diligently to revamp its image to become a luxury resort destination. Situated on a peninsula, Cam Ranh Bay is technically an inlet on the South China Sea.
The oceanfront location has helped Cam Ranh establish port trading, fishing, and tourism-based economies, all of which support the local people and their families.
From Ho Chi Minh City, Cam Ranh is 242.3 miles (390 kilometers) to the east. Driving between the two southern cities takes about 7 and ½ hours. In an effort to boost tourism, Cam Ranh City built a new international airport. Flights from HCMC are easy to book and the time spent in the air is less than 1 hour.
Trains are another affordable option for travelers and they can be a little faster than driving. Most train journeys to Cam Ranh from Saigon will take less than 7 hours.
Geographically, Cam Ranh sites on a narrow portion of Vietnam’s continental shelf. This allows deep water to come closer to shore, which in turn gives large ships easy access to the sheltered port. Recognized as Southeast Asia’s “finest deep-water shelter”, Cam Ranh’s geological features have attracted ships, both trading merchants and military, for many years.
Before the resorts, Cam Ranh City had been a significant base for many foreign militaries. French colonizers first used the bay for their navy as they spread throughout Indochina. By the early 1900s, the Russians began to use Cam Ranh Bay for their Imperial fleet.
The Japanese set their sights on the bay in the 1940s during World War II, however, they would ultimately be defeated by the Americans and the bay would be abandoned. The last military operations to use Cam Ranh as a base were from the United States. Starting with the Air Force, the US Army and Navy were eventually stationed in the bay during the Vietnam War.
The bay was a tactical fighter base for the American military. In 1972, after the end of the Vietnam War, all facilities in Cam Ranh Bay were given to the South Vietnam government to control. Today, Cam Ranh acts as an international military base where foreign warships can dock for repairs.
With militaries withdrawing, Cam Ranh City decided to makeover its image to become an international resort destination. Now, the deep-water bay is lined with manicured resorts, glimmering pools, and wide-open sand beaches. A stunning destination, travelers will feel their stress melt away as they enjoy their time in Cam Ranh.
- Cam Ranh has an estimated population of 121,050 people
- Cam Ranh’s airport (Cam Ranh International) is the 4th busiest in Vietnam
- Lobster farming is a lucrative business in Cam Ranh with some local families earning billions of dollars
Aside from the gorgeous setting, Cam Ranh is a one-of-a-kind destination because of its eclectic mix of attractions and activities. The resort atmosphere of Cam Ranh focuses on rest and relaxation, while other venues allow visitors to chase their thrills. With plenty of attractions open both day and night, Cam Ranh ensures that guests are entertained.
On top of the humanmade activities, it is impossible to overlook the peninsula’s beaches. So, whether you’re lounging at a resort, seeking epic thrills, or socializing in a club, Cam Ranh has something to satisfy every traveler.
Every resort is different, yet with so many 5-star options, it’ss safe to assume that every resort aims to provide luxury services to their guests. Grandiose swimming pools, 18-hole golf courses, and premium quality spas are frequently the most used attractions at resorts. For guests of the resort, many of these facilities are included with their stay.
The resort should be clear to communicate to their guests about any additional charges. Guests from off the resort may pay to access the resort’s features too by asking the front desk about a day pass or appointment. Resorts with top-rated spas include the Anam, Fusion Resort Cam Ranh, and the Radisson Blue Resort Cam Ranh.
For golfers, the KN Golf Links is an upscale club that was designed by world golfing legend, Greg Norman. The golf club boasts an 18-hole course with 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the property sitting on the oceanfront. Golfers will need to reserve their golf time prior to their arrival at the club. Reservations can be made online through the club’s website or by phone.`
Sand, Sun, and Surf
Cam Ranh’s extensive coast is lined with some of the best beaches in Southern Vietnam. Adding to the uniqueness of Cam Ranh, beaches in the bay are both manicured and wild. This means that visitors can relax on a resort’s private beach or head down the coast to find, often deserted, public beaches.
Guests staying at resorts should have access to the property’s private beach. Perks to visiting a resort’s beach include clean sand and permission to use additional amenities like lounges or umbrellas. Visitors in Cam Ranh who are staying at a different resort or those who want to explore more of the area’s private beaches can pay a resort for day access to their property.
Day rates differ between resorts, although most have reasonable prices. Public beaches, which have not been fenced off, are an option for visitors who do not want to pay. Northern Cam Ranh has a few public beaches that are clean and often uncrowded – if not entirely empty.
Another great spot to go beach hopping is on a new road, which branches off from the main road before the Vinh Hy-Binh Tien pass. Stretching for 10.5 miles (17 km) along the coast, many of the beaches are public and are walkable from the road. There should be a worn path to indicate where to go.
Adventure Parks in Cam Ranh
For bigger thrills, cam Ranh has a Rope Park. The park features 45 obstacles of varying difficulty and it is suspended 35 feet into the air. Officially a part of the Mövenpick Resort Cam Ranh, non-resort guests can pay for access to the Rope Park. Participants of the course are encouraged to be fit and healthy because of the height challenges presented in the obstacles.
At the Golden Peak Resort, there is an indoor and outdoor water park. Designed to be safe for all ages, the Golden Peak Resort Water Park is a hotspot for families with young kids. Highlights in the park include the Hawaii Aqua Playground, Boomerang Slide, 9D Cinema, and Food Center.
Tour the Peninsula
Much more than resorts and adventure parks, Cam Ranh is located in a spectacular area of South Vietnam. Visitors are encouraged to go beyond their accommodations and explore the area. Local guides are the most knowledgeable and they can take visitors on a boat, surfing, paragliding, snorkeling, or kayaking tour.
Tours that venture around and outside of Cam Ranh can also be arranged. In Cam Ranh, the Tu Van Pagoda has become a sightseeing hotspot. Constructed out of seashells and coral, the pagoda is quite the sight to behold. Visitors can explore the grounds of the pagoda, including its caves, and interact with the local monks.
Out in the bay, Binh Hung and Binh Ba Island are beautiful day trip destinations. Accessible by boat and only a short distance away from Cam Ranh, the islands are famous for their beauty. Most travelers will visit both islands in one day, though you could easily spend a full day on each. For beaches, Binh Ba is the better choice, but Binh Hung offers plenty too.
Seafood is abundant on both islands with same-day catches highlighted on the menu.
Further outside of Cam Ranh, visitors may choose to take day trips north to Nha Trang or south to Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm. Both locations are cities along the coast with their own bays. Nha Trang is an extremely popular resort area that frequently draws in large groups of tourists. Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm has become a major tourist destination because of its historical pagodas and Cham culture.
Resorts have become the powerhouses of Cam Ranh with their all-inclusive packages, luxury features, and beachfront locations. With dozens of options, there are only a handful of resorts that consistently rate amongst the top tiers. Be that as it may, not all travelers are attracted to the resort lifestyle. For those who want to avoid the resorts, Cam Ranh has plenty of hotels too.
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The Anam – Consistently described as superb, the Anam Resort in Cam Ranh provides its guests with world-class services and amenities. The beachfront location is enhanced by the resort’s lush gardens, outdoor swimming pools, and private beach. Additional hotel features include a luxurious spa, watersport facilities, fitness center, and tennis court.
Offering limited and all-inclusive packages, The Anam is one of Cam Ranh’s best resorts.
Radisson Blue Resort Cam Ranh – Radisson is an internationally acclaimed resort chain and their location in Cam Ranh certainly meets the company’s stellar reputation. Consistently a top pick in Cam Ranh, the Radisson Blu has a long list of amenities to impress its guests.
Offered on-site are a fantastic restaurant, garden bar, spa, outdoor swimming pool, private beach, fitness center, children’s playground, tennis court, and free bicycle rental. A breakfast buffet is included for all guests and there is an option to add all-inclusive packages to your stay.
Mövenpick Resort Cam Ranh – Another resort with beachfront access is the Mövenpick Resort Cam Ranh. Featuring two hotel high rises and rows of private villas, the Mövenpick Resort excels at providing its guests with upscale hospitality.
Facilities include the Water Park, private beach, outdoor pool, fitness center, spa, bar, 5 restaurants, and children’s playground. Breakfast is also provided during your stay.
Peony Hotel – Away from the beach and in town, the Peony Hotel is the perfect hotel for budget travelers. Air-conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, private parking, and friendly staff are amongst the hotel’s premiere offerings. Rooms have private bathrooms and include a flat-screen TV with a desk.
The in-town location also gives guests the chance to explore more of Cam Ranh’s culture and cuisine.
Thai Binh Cam Ranh Hotel – Located 1.1 miles (1.9 kilometers) away from the center of town, the Thai Binh Cam Ranh Hotel is small in size and big in character. Landscaped with a sun terrace, balconies, garden, and swimming pool, the hotel has a reputation as being a beloved landmark of the city.
Once travelers have stayed here, they frequently choose to return because of the friendly service and excellent location.
As Cam Ranh’s popularity grows, the city is becoming a beacon for local and international cuisine. Resorts often have at least one if not multiple restaurants on-site for their guests, so travelers won’t have to go far to find a high-quality meal. Resort guests are less likely to travel off-site for food, but for those who do, the city is host to a myriad of restaurants too.
Blu Lobster – A part of the Radisson Blu Resort Cam Ranh, the Blu Lobster restaurant is the resort’s signature restaurant. Nestled on the beach, the restaurant is famous for its locally sourced seafood and rotating menu. While the restaurant caters to resort guests, anyone is welcome to walk in or make a reservation for lunch or dinner.
Also included on the menu are premium cuts of meat, traditional noodles, and Asian-inspired beverages.
Hai San Kim Van – Affordable dishes exploding with flavor, the Hai San Kim Van is an excellent choice for budget travelers. Similar to many of the restaurants in Cam Ranh, seafood is the staple ingredient of many dishes. The staff is friendly and the restaurant is a favorite amongst locals.
The Floating Lounge Cam Ranh – Situated high in the sky, the Floating Lounge Cam Ranh is a top-rated restaurant and bar with incredible views of the bay and city. Serving Vietnamese dishes featuring fresh seafood, the restaurant has become the talk of the town.
Visitors from far and wide eagerly place their reservations, day and night, to ensure that they don’t miss out on this Cam Ranh experience.
Perhaps some of the only times that Cam Ranh truly feels busy is during festivals. While most of the year the peninsula is a quiet haven, festivals are a time when the streets come to life in celebration. Cam Ranh is host to many festivals with local and national events.
Celebrate Têt Trung Thu – In Vietnam, Têt Trung Thu or the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is held during the 8th month of the lunar calendar, which typically is during mid-September. A celebration of the full harvest, the Tet Trung Thu is a time for friends and families to come together to share meals and partake in festivities. The ever-popular mooncakes are a staple for the festival.
Ocean Power – One event that happens every two years is the Sea Festival. Also called the Whale Festival, the celebration stretches along the coast starting in Nha Trang. Cam Ranh partakes in this festival with special markets, exhibitions, and tournaments. The festival is normally held during the month of June.
Since this is not an annual festival, it is considered to be a great honor for outside visitors to join in on the celebration.
Spread out along the bay, perhaps the only downside to Cam Ranh is the distance between attractions. While tourists can easily walk to areas like the beach or in town, it is recommended to arrange your transportation if you plan on traveling between the resorts, town, and sightseeing hotspots.
Taxis are common in Cam Ranh, but most guests prefer to arrange transportation with the help of their accommodation.
Resorts may provide free transportation to their guests, while smaller hotels will be happy to arrange for a taxi. Bicycle rentals are also common. Guests should inquire at the front desk of their accommodation, as hotels and resorts may provide affordable or free access to bicycles for their guests.
Unlike most of the country, Cam Ranh and the surrounding province have a long-lasting dry season and relatively less rain. From February to September, the months are dry and hot. Rain begins in October and lasts until January, though most storms are nothing more than an afternoon downpour.
The biggest downside to the rainy season is that the typically clear ocean will turn murky. The busiest times of the year for tourists are during the summer months and winter holidays.
With the potential to become South Vietnam’s number one tourist destination, Cam Ranh is on the cusp of a major breakthrough. International recognition is growing, and Cam Ranh is fully in the spotlight. Spoiling its guests with silken beaches, wondrous activities, and outstanding accommodations, this tropical destination needs to be at the top of your bucket list.
Tranquil and mostly vacant now, booking a stay won’t be so easy in the future as Cam Ranh’s waitlist begins to grow.
Activities near Cam Ranh
- Ho Chi Minh City (391km)
- Nha Trang (44km)
- Da Lat (125km)
- Mui Ne (176km)
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