The 5 best beaches near Saigon offer the traveller unique opportunities to catch some rays, go for a swim or enjoy some of the world’s best seafood. All are within easy travelling distance of Vietnam’s largest city and vary quiet a bit. In essence they consist of more than 5 beaches but are in fact five beach areas. If you are visiting the South of the country and want to spend a few days chilling on a beach, these are the best beaches near Saigon, in no particular order.
The 5 Best Beaches Near Saigon are:
1: Vung Tau
Vung Tau is a favoured weekend getaway for many expats and locals living in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s close proximity to the southern capital mean that it is ideally placed. There is a hydrofoil service running from the port in District 4 and a single ticket is less than $10.00 mid week, and $12.00 at the weekend. The journey takes just 90 minutes and is an interesting mix of urban and rural river and the open sea.
The beach here is not miles of endless idyllic sands but there are some very nice parts and some excellent hang outs. The town was a former playground for middle class French colonials and indeed was for a while known as Cape Saint - Jacques. The town is busy, especially at the weekends. They are plenty of bars and restaurants and more than a fair share of girlie bar venues. Hence it is popular with single guys.
There are many hidden gems in and around the town. There are 4 beaches in total, two getting their names from the geographical position in relation to the town, Front Beach and Back Beach, and the smaller two being Pineapple Beach and Paradise Beach. The area can get rather windy and as a result these are not the best for sunbathing. They are nonetheless, terrific getaways and qualify as among the best beaches near to Saigon
2: Ho Tram and Ho Coc
The Ho Tram strip is mostly known for the fabulous Grand Ho Tram Strip a superb resort, casino and golf course. The casino was the first “Super Casino” to be built in Vietnam and is five stars all the way. With no less than 11 F&B venues offering Asian, French, Japanese and other Western cuisines, it is a truly splendid setting. The rooms are just about as good as it gets, with even the standard rooms, enjoying more luxury than most hotels in the country. The Bluffs golf course is a major player on the Asian tour and draws the top names from world golf, for their flagship tournament each year.
Ho Tram is about 125 to the Southeast of Ho Chi Minh City and much of it is not really developed. The coast here is pleasant and runs a good few miles from the resort. On some of the quieter stretches there are delightful seafood restaurants selling super fresh dishes. The sand is good and the sea is clean. It’s one of the best beaches near Saigon, being less than two hours drive away.
3: Can Gio
One hour south of Ho Chi Minh City you’ll find the lovely beach area of Can Gio. This is the opposite side of Ganh Rai Bay to Vung Tau. The bay is the main seaport entrance to Saigon and is a busy shipping lane. However Can Gio offers a surprisingly peaceful getaway from the rigours of city life in Vietnam’s largest urban sprawl. Whilst the beaches are not as scenic as some of the others on this list, the close proximity of Monkey Island makes it a big hit, with locals and foreigners alike.
This is an ideal beach area to visit for lovers of nature and wildlife and is worthy of its place as one of the 5 best beaches near Saigon. The mangrove forest here and the monkeys that live in them are the main draw. There are hundreds of them and they are bold enough to taunt the local salt-water crocodiles, so don’t get too confident with them. They have no fear and will attempt to steal anything that you don’t hang on to.
To get to Monkey Island you can catch the ferry to Binh Khanh from Nha Be district, then follow the main road through Can Gio and onto the nature reserve. The area gained UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status in the year 2000.
4: Long Hai
Just 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) miles away from Vung Tau you can find Long Hai Beach. This is well worthy of the journey. The beautiful area has gorgeous white sands and crystal clear waters. It even benefits from its own microclimate, which results in less rainfall than the surrounding area in general. The last Emperor of Vietnam, Bai Dao, was so impressed he built a home here. The house is now the the Alma Oasis Long Hai resort.
Long Hai is certainly one of the 5 best beaches near Saigon during the week, but loses a little of its general appeal over the weekends, as so many, mainly Vietnamese, tourists pour onto the sands.
5: Phan Thiet / Mui Ne
If you enjoy train rides, take a rail trip out to Phan Thiet to enjoy the nearby beaches at Mui Ne. Its a 7 hour journey from Saigon but well worth it. I like trains and found the ride interesting and certainly scenic. Mui Ne is famous for its sand dunes, they really are beautiful and make an unusual break from the norm. The famous Fairy Stream is also a great location and provides a pleasant walk for an hour or two.
The beach at Mui Ne is excellent; the main strip has plenty of bars and restaurants to occupy you. Mui Ne is a terrific place for a weekend getaway and is one of my favourite best beaches near Saigon. The are amazing bars and restaurants. Craft beer has started appearing in recent months; spreading its wings from Saigon. The famous Hoa Vien, Czech beerhouse has a venue here.
If you find yourself in Vietnam’s largest city with a time to kill, these best beaches near Saigon, won’t disappoint. There is always something to see and do at any of these. If you have more than a couple of days on your hands, fly over to Phu Quoc Island. Here you have the choice of 5 star resorts, idyllic sheltered beaches and a huge national park. There is more than enough with which to entertain yourself.