Unspoiled, idyllic, and local, La Gi is becoming Southern Vietnam’s up-and-coming backpacker destination. In La Gi, locals frequently outnumber foreigners. Though, the small-town vibe hasn’t put a damper on La Gi’s tourist activity.
Rather, a laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and affordable seafood have encouraged travelers to visit La Gi and trod on paths that are lesser-known. While tourism in La Gi is less developed, there is still a lot to see and do in this beachside community. With sun, sand, and surf, adventure awaits in La Gi.
Hidden Gem of the Bình Thuân Province
Bordered by two districts and the South China Sea, La Gi is located in Vietnam’s South Central Coast region. There are 5 wards and 4 communes in La Gi with all communities being governed as a district-level town in the Bình Thuân Province. The oceanside location of the town allows La Gi to be connected to other communities by a coastal road which runs from Bình Châu to Phuóc Hai, Dât Do.
From Ho Chi Minh City, driving to La Gi takes just over 3 hours as the beach town is about 95 miles (153 kilometers) away. Flights and trains to La Gi are uncommon and oftentimes they do not have a reliable, working schedule. The easiest way to get to La Gi is by bus or private car. Buses are more affordable than a taxi or private driver but may take up to 1 hour longer.
La Gi has always been an important beach town where people make money from fishing, trading, and tourism. Originally founded as a small village, La Gi grew to become the provincial capital of Bình Tuy. For years, the Bình Tuy Province flourished until the mid-1970s, when the area was reconfigured. Bình Tuy was integrated into what would become the Bình Thuân Province.
Locals frequently recount tales from the days of the Vietnam War, though official recordings of conflicts and battles are nearly non-existent. Unlike other coastal communities, La Gi was no colonized before or after the war. The lack of French and American attention aided La Gi by keeping the town’s popularity to a low level.
Since La Gi stayed off the radar for so long, the town’s history as a tourist destination isn’t very extensive. In recent years, La Gi has seen a spike in interest as young international travelers are quickly becoming common visitors, however, most days, La Gi is relatively quiet. With fewer tourists, La Gi is one of South Vietnam’s best destinations for crowd-free travel.
- La Gi has a total area of 70.59 square miles
- The population of La Gi is estimated to be 112,558 people
- La Gi’s coastline stretches for over 17 miles (28 kilometers)
As a coastal destination, La Gi’s 17 miles of white sand has become the town’s main attraction. Beaches in La Gi are secluded, pristine, and uncrowded. With no big resorts or marinas, nature is at the center of attention. There are quite a few activities and visitors can choose from a broad range of options. Whether on or off the sand, La Gi keeps its guests entertained.
Having fun in the sand is a staple activity for any beach vacation. Luckily for tourists, La Gi has a few different beaches that have become popular spots where people can spend the day lounging in the sand, playing in the water, or dining on the shore. Though travelers only need to hop along the coastline to visit the beaches, the area’s two favorite sandy spots are Cam Bình and Coco Beachcamp.
Cam Bình, or the Bathing Beach, is one of the best beaches to visit in La Gi and it is only about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) away from the center of town. Cam Bình is known for its colorful coral reef, which is home to a vast array of marine wildlife, making snorkeling and scuba diving top activities for visitors.
After a fun day at the ocean, visitors can head to any one of the beach’s restaurants to taste the fresh, delicious, and cooked to order seafood. Less touristy than Cam Bình, Coco Beachcamp has become La Gi’s top choice for young backpackers looking to socialize and have fun. The beach is famous for its parties where guests are invited to partake in various games and activities.
While Coco Beachcamp’s parties may not be world-famous, they have attracted an impressive lineup of international and local DJs. Partygoers can stay the night in tents or trailers that are set up on the sand.
Hire a Guide
Lounging on the beach is always an enjoyable way to spend a vacation, but sometimes it feels good to get up and be active too. Visitors who want to snorkel, scuba dive, surf, windsurf, or paraglide are encouraged to hire a local guide for a full or half-day. Not only will local guides lead you to the suitable beach for your activity, but they can also provide important gear too.
Boat tours are also available and depending on the season, fishing tours may also be an option.
Visit the Reclining Buddha and Pagoda
About 13 miles (21 kilometers) outside of La Gi is Ta Cu Mountain, which has become famous for its massive reclining buddha statue and pagoda. Perfect for a half-day trip, visitors can take a cable car from the base of the mountain up to the pagoda station. From there, visitors can hike to the Reclining Buddha.
Surrounded by nature, the trails on Ta Cu Mountain give visitors an excellent view of the surrounding area.
Stargazing in La Gi
With no major city or resort lights to create pollution in the sky, La Gi’s beaches are excellent for stargazing. Whether you choose to stay long after sunset or return to the beach after your evening meal, thousands of stars will light up the night sky. The dry season is the best time to go stargazing in La Gi because the chances of having cloudless nights are higher.
Though, visitors may be able to see the stars between rainstorms, if the clouds make a break in the sky.
One benefit of La Gi’s smaller and more remote location is that accommodation is affordable. There are a few different accommodation options in La Gi with most having 3–5-star ratings. Resorts, boutique hotels, guest houses, and homestays are all common accommodation options for guests in La Gi.
Beach Camping at Coco – For guests who are looking to get closer to nature, the tents and trailers at Coco Beachcamp (affiliate link) are the best options. As a more laid-back resort, Coco Beachcamp is known for its fun beach parties and day activities. Guests have the option of staying overnight in air-conditioned trailers or in beach tents.
Breakfast is included in the price and nightly rates some of the most affordable in the area.
Beachfront Resorts – A short distance away from La Gi in the Bình Tan community is the Hòn Bá Lagi Beach Resort (affiliate link). An oceanfront hotel, Hòn Bà offers its guests a private beach area, restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, garden, and air-conditioned rooms. The resort is very secure with a 24-hour front desk and onsite security.
To add to the already affordable prices, a continental breakfast is included for all hotel guests.
In-Town Homestays – Guests who would prefer to stay in La Gi should consider the Aurora Garden Homestay. Centered around a peaceful garden and beautiful lobby, the Aurora Garden Homestay is one of the highest-rated hotels in La Gi. With clean and spacious rooms, the hotel is close to the town’s top sightseeing and dining venues.
Free Wi-Fi is included in the stay and a 24-hour desk is available to cater to guests’ needs.
Family Hotels – Traveling as a family can be stressful if you have young children, but the Hoàng An Hotel does its very best to provide a clean and quiet space for all of its guests. With excellent ratings, this in-town hotel is known for its great rooms and location. Guest amenities include free Wi-Fi, free parking, air conditioning, and breakfast.
Situated on a quieter street, families won’t have to listen to the noise from La Gi’s popular karaoke bars.
Pet-Friendly Hotels – Boasting 25 rooms at an affordable rate, the Thanh Binh Hotel (affiliate link) is in the heart of town and is pet-friendly. With quality services and amenities, guests can utilize free parking, free Wi-Fi, bicycle rentals, and a hot tub. The hotel staff is very friendly and accommodating. Transportation to and from the airport can be arranged, as well as rides to the beach.
Not all the hotels in La Gi have their own restaurant, but with an abundance of options in town, guests won’t have to ever go hungry. Seafood is the main ingredient in many dishes in La Gi and it is very affordable. Vendors sell fresh seafood every day on the beaches or visitors can go to any one of the town’s top-rated restaurants.
Grilled gudgeon is La Gi’s featured dish, which is served with fresh vegetables. Additional cuisine options include international gastronomy like Italian or American.
Beachfront Dining – Located outside of the main town on the beach, the Quán An La Gi Restaurant has fresh seafood for an affordable price. With views of the ocean, this restaurant is in a prime location and service is highly rated. For those staying in nearby hotels or homestays, the Quán An La Gi has a takeaway service available too.
Market Meals – Travelers who have booked accommodations with a kitchen can find the freshest ingredients at the local market. Located in town, the market in La Gi sells everything from vegetables and fruits to the catch of the day. Vendors have affordable prices and at a few stalls, they served cooked food.
Aside from the food, exploring the La Gi market is a great way to support the local community and taste new culinary dishes.
Tasty Noodles – Pho Tuong is the top-rated restaurant in La Gi for the traditional Vietnamese dish called pho. Pronounced like “fuh”, pho is a noodle dish served with meat, vegetables, and a healthy amount of broth. For travelers on a budget, this restaurant has good-sized portions for an affordable price.
As a smaller community, La Gi is not well-known for being a place to go for special events. While local events may happen throughout the year, it is uncommon for tourists to travel to La Gi for a small celebration. The biggest celebrations in La Gi will follow Vietnam’s Lunar Calendar.
While the entire country celebrates, pagodas and temples around La Gi will also hold their own festivities for these annual events.
The Moon Festival – Originally a part of the Chinese lunar calendar, Vietnam began to celebrate the Moon Festival during the 8thcentury. Also called the Mid-Autumn or Tet Trung Thu Festival, the holiday celebrates the legend of Thang Cuoi. According to the story, Thang Cuoi was accidentally sent to the moon when his banyan tree was uprooted by his wife.
The use of lighting lanterns during the festival is a way to show Thang Cuoi the way back home. La Gi holds a large celebration for the Moon Festival, which is held annually on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar. Most years, this means that the festival is held around mid-September.
The Magician’s Temple – One local celebration that La Gi is famous for is Magician’s Temple, which holds an annual festival during the 9th month of the Vietnamese lunar calendar. The temple was built to honor a magician and his wife who, with magic, cured illnesses of the local people. Now, an annual festival is held at the Tan Hai Commune near La Gi.
During the festival, the temple is ornately decorated, and attendees can partake in various activities with prayers, oracles, tattoos, and horoscopes.
La Gi is small, but it isn’t small enough that walking is always an option. While guests can easily walk around town, transportation to and from the beach is often preferred to cut down travel times. Taxis are common around La Gi, but visitors should always agree on a price before they get into the car. Visitors can also inquire about getting a ride through their accommodation.
Many hotels are happy to arrange transportation for their guests at an affordable price. A few hotels and restaurants around town also have bicycle rentals for guests to use to get around town and to the beach. Affordable, bicycle rentals are another great option for travelers who don’t want to rely on taxis. However, for safety reasons, it is not recommended to bike after dark.
La Gi has a wet and dry season. The dry season is the most popular time for visitors to travel to La Gi because there is less rain and heat. The dry season in La Gi starts in November, but some tourists travel to the area as early as September because the rains will have started to slow. The rainy season begins at the end of May, with the wettest months being June, July, and August.
April and May are the hottest months of the year with less rain, which makes them the most popular time to swim in the ocean.
Off the beaten path, beautiful and quiet, La Gi’s popularity is on the cusp of booming. Though the town is still relatively unknown to foreigners, the reputation of places in La Gi like Coco Beachcamp is beginning to create a buzz. For backpackers who want to enjoy a beach vacation for the fraction of the price, La Gi takes the top spot.
With a healthy nightlife and fun day activities, visitors are guaranteed to fall in love with La Gi.
Activities near La Gi: