Known as a political, cultural and gastronomic hub of Southeast Asia, Hanoi has its own hustle-bustle whether it is day or night. However, few know of the attractive coastal towns just a few hours drive away from Hanoi, where you can joyfully ride on the big waves. Read on to find out the top 6 best beaches near Hanoi, how to get there and what to see and do.
1. Beaches in Cat Ba Island
Location: Quang Ninh Province, 160 kilometers from Hanoi
Another beach within the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay. Known as the pearl of the Northern Gulf, Cat Ba Island attracts almost every tourist who comes to Quang Ninh. The beaches of Cat Co One and Cat Co Three are great for daytime trolls, while Cat Co Two is packed with bungalows and chalets for an overnight stay. Tourist places are all around: hotels, restaurants and bars with the marvellous ocean views.
As the biggest one among 1,969 islands in Halong Bay, the natural combination here is truly amazing: forests, caves, hills, waterfalls, valleys, sea, rivers and springs. The local climate is pleasant throughout the year: warm in winter and cool in summer.
For a more exhilarating experience, you might opt for a boat ride to Lan Ha Bay or Trung Trang cave. The seafood found in these more deserted places are relatively cheaper than that on Cat Ba Island.
2. Bai Chay Beach
Location: Quang Ninh Province, 100 kilometers from Hanoi
Halong Bay is one of most developed tourist attractions in Vietnam, featuring a number of beachside activities, sightseeings and recreational activities. The closest beach to this complex is Bai Chay Beach. All sorts of tourist places can be found here: resorts, hotels and seafood restaurants. Diners can choose from a wide range of options: from decent food vendors to high-end dining places. Tourists often combine a visit to Bai Chay Beach with a tour around Ha Long Bay, checking out Hoang Gia Park, Royal Water Park, Vietnam Cultural Theater, Ha Long night market.
The most noticeable thing about the beach is that it’s actually artificial, with 500 meters long and 1000 meters wide. The beach is surrounded by an array of hills where pine trees inhabit.
Situated in such a convenient location, Bai Chay attracts huge waves of both locals and foreign tourists during the summer. Hence, if you want to have a private experience, book a Ha Long Bay cruise tour to see Titop island, where the water is calmer and less polluted. Another option is to go all the way to visit Van Don Beach, a less touristy place in the Ha Long Bay complex.
3. Do Son Beach
Location: Hai Phong Province, 126 kilometers from Hanoi
Do Son Beach is well known for both locals and foreign tourists, as one of the closest beaches to Hanoi. Located in Hai Phong Province, Do Son is both the name of a district and a beach. Featuring sandy beaches, picturesque surroundings and cool breezes, Do Son Beach used to be a resort town for the French during the colonial time. The town is also famous for its annual ritual buffalo fights taking place in late September of October.
As a popular tourist attraction, Do Son houses a number of restaurants, hotels and resorts with amazing beach views. Local delicacies are readily available, with relatively higher prices in comparison with other beaches. The beach is divided into 3 sectors: first one at the entrance of the town, second dedicated to restaurants and hotels, and third one for those who seek utmost peace and relaxation.
However, the place has been exploited by tourism for a long time, resulting in downgrading services and overcrowded coast during peak seasons. You are strongly advised to avoid visiting Do Son Beach during months of the summer, to make the most of your experience.
4. Tuan Chau Beach
Location: Quang Ninh Province, 160 kilometers from Hanoi
Looking for a luxurious experience? Come to Tuan Chau Beach located in Tuan Chau island! Tuan Chau Beach is a featured beach in the Tuan Chau entertainment complex, another beach near one of the 7 natural wonders, Ha Long Bay. The water here is claimed to be very clear and calm. All sorts of high-end services will be found here: fine dining restaurants, lavish villas, entertainment shows and activities. The most outstanding ones are dolphin and seal performances, laser light shows, martial art shows and film screenings. The shows are operated daily with a capacity of more than 3000, in a stage designed in sail-shape.
If you ever get tired of swimming in the sea, consider checking out the artificial springs, waterfalls, swimming pools and even malls. You can also find a botanical garden and marine wildlife center nearby. Jet ski, kayaking, mountain climbing can be your alternatives, if you prefer a more active holiday. Despite being a peninsula, Tuan Chau is equipped with virtually everything you can find in the mainland, of course with a substantially higher price.
5. Dong Chau Beach
Location: Thai Binh Province, 145 kilometers from Hanoi
Not popular to both locals and foreign tourists, Dong Chau Beach possesses an untouched beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The beach is far from the center of the city, where there’s no sight of concrete buildings and gleaming electric lights.
The range of options for beachside activities and tourist places are limited; however, prices are quite cheaper in comparison with other beaches. You will have some peaceful time in privacy, enjoying the rustic life of fishermen and the gentle breeze from the ocean.
Situated not too far from Hanoi, Dong Chau is perfect for a quiet, chilling weekend getaway.
6. Thinh Long Beach
Location: Nam Dinh Province, 138 kilometers from Hanoi
Located in Nam Dinh Province, Thinh Long Beach is an exciting, less touristy waypoint for any beachgoer. The beach is mostly frequented by locals during weekends and holidays. Active holiday activities are available in all forms: surfing, swimming and canoeing.
The calm and peaceful sea vibes often attract couples who seek a romantic getaway. Cool breezes, smooth sands and rustling leaves will give you and your partner the best memories. You can also find local eateries here and there, serving mouthwatering, freshly-caught seafood. There are also some fishing villages nearby, where you can stop by for some authentic experiences of the fisherman’s life.
Tips on going to the beach
- Do not bring a lot of valuable belongings. You will find local services who watch over your stuff, however, it’s always better safe than sorry.
- Get a waterproof case for your phone. Thus, you will be able to take photos while having fun in the water.
- Put on enough sunscreens. The tropical burning sunlight in Vietnam might well damage your skin.
- Ask for the price before you use any services, or else you might be overcharged for being a foreigner.
Hitting the beach has always been one of the most exciting options for a vacation. We hope that you have found useful information to plan your next beach trip in Vietnam. Vietnamese beaches have so much to offer and you won’t regret visiting any of the aforementioned beaches.