Surfing in Vietnam has recently become more and more popular on the windy coasts of the country. With plenty of long stretch beaches featuring breathtaking landscapes, it is ideal to try the activity.
I. Overview about Surfing in Vietnam
Vietnam is a South Eastern country with a long coastline of almost 3000 kilometers. Although the precise origins of surfing remains unknown, it is considered one of the oldest sports on earth. As surfers started traveling around the world and searching for new waves and wonderful spots for the activity, the frontiers of surfing got bigger. It is believed that the story about surfing in Vietnam started in the Vietnam War. Thousands of US soldiers came here for the war. They experienced horrors of the war, but some of them also discovered new waves breaking along the coastline of the country. Whenever they had time, they found their way to try surfing. Many claimed that surfing in Vietnam saved them from stress, homesickness, and drugs.
The war is over, and Vietnam has got their peace. Tourism in the country has significantly developed, which leads to more interesting surfing spots discovered. There are many beaches of different shapes and sizes for various kinds of surfing like kitesurfing and windsurfing. You can easily find surfing items for rent at many spots.
To sum up, there are many reasons why Vietnam is an ideal place to go surfing, but the most noticeable are:
- Warm weather throughout the year with comfortable water temperature
- Breathtaking views
- Strong and reliable wind all year round
- Various choices of accomodation
- Great food
II. Best Time for Surfing in Vietnam – When to Surf?
Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate with warm waters all year round. The best time for surfing in Vietnam lasts from November to March. During this time, the typhoon often occurs, bringing high waves which is ideal for surfing. Also, the temperature hovers between 25 C (dry season) and 30 C (wet season).
III. 6 Best Places to Go Surfing in Vietnam – Where to Surf?
A long coastline offers plenty of surfing places in Vietnam. But, which ones are the best? Let’s check the below list for the most favorite destinations by experienced surfers:
1. Vung Tau
Vung Tau is one among the most popular surfing destinations in Vietnam. Just 90 kms from the busy Ho Chi Minh city, it provides a great weekend getaway for both locals and foreign tourists. The whole long beach is surfable. But, we highly recommend surfing at the back beach instead of the front beach. Many experienced tourists say that the back one is the best spot in the whole country. Stretching over 3 kms, it has numerous unnamed and unsurfed breaks. Most importantly, the waves are powerful and suitable for every surfing level.
The best time for surfing here is mornings of winter when the tide is low and the wind is not so strong. On this beach, you also can try kitesurfing when there is strong wind. If you are looking for professional surfing and kite surfing experience, you can head to Vung Tau Beach Club in the center of the back beach. It is quite easy to spot them to hire surfing items or join some paddle boarding classes.
Where to surf in Vung Tau: Back Beach, Vung Tau Beach Club
2. Nha Trang
For a long time, Nha Trang has become a favorite destination for many beautiful beaches stretching more than 7 kms. Apart from swimming, many tourists enjoy surfing – the sport that goes under the radar in the country. But, there are a lot of good spots for surfing in this central coastal area. From October to April, typhoons in Philippines bring storms for the coast in Nha Trang, causing nice swells which attracts many surf enthusiasts in Vietnam and other countries to the beach.
There are 3 main surfing spots in Nha Trang: Bai Dai (Long Beach), the City Reef, and the Dark Reef. The 5 km sandy shore of Long Beach is perfect for beginner surfers while the City Reef is more suitable for both beginners and more advanced surfers. The Dark Reef is famous for nice rights and lefts, ideal for advanced surfers. Here, you need to paddle about 300 meters from the shore to catch the best waves. However, there are always available boat transfers. And, remember to check the weather forecast before as it is not safe during low tide. In some spots of Nha Trang, you also can find high swells of over 3 meters, which may attract professional surfers.
Where to go surfing in Nha Trang: Bai Dai beach, Khanh Hoa (Dark Reef – a break between Bai Dai and city center), Hon Chong.
Since the beginning of 2019, surfing has become more and more popular in Danang with more than 10 commercial establishments related to surfing. They offer surf lessons, surfboard rentals, nice restaurants and bars. With this, there is a remarkable increase in the number of surfers visiting Danang to have surfing experience. The warm climate and long stretches of beach with beautiful waves make Danang one of the must-go surfing places in Vietnam.
The season for this activity is between September and March when the water temperature is pleasant, just around 27 degrees Celsius. There are several surfing spots in Danang, but the most ideal one is My Khe beach which is also known as China Beach. Stretching 30 kms from the center of Danang, it is a popular destination for expat surfers and is getting its popularity among the locals also. The beach is most suitable for beginners. If you are a thrill seeker, don’t hesitate to head to Non Nuoc Beach and Nam O Point where high-quality waves are waiting for you.
Where to go surfing in Danang: My Khe beach, Non Nuoc beach, and Nam O beach.
4. Mui Ne
Mui Ne is a true paradise for not only surfing but also kite surfing. Long beaches, crystal clear water, fine sand, fresh seafood, abundant tropical fruits, you can find all these in Mui Ne. Kite surfing was introduced into the country 15 years ago and Mui Ne beach is still the most interesting place to try this activity thanks to ideal wind conditions. It will bring you a brand new experience from normal surfing. You will surf with additional colorful kites, utilize the wind to surf on or even fly out of the water, sometimes you can also try aerobatics to enjoy a strong feeling of conquering nature. Sounds amazing, right?
The weather in Mui Ne is unique as it is made up of sand hills. The rainy season may not affect your travel plan for surfing. Its average daily temperature usually fluctuates between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius. The area has a charming scenery and breathtaking landscapes with no skyscrapers, making it a wonderful escape from hustle and bustle cities. In the daytime, the sky is full of colorful kites flowing in the wind. This picture gives tourists a feeling of peace and helps to release stress. If you are a beginner, you can start by joining some kitesurfing schools offered by most resorts in front of Mui Ne beach. The price is only around USD 100 to 300.
Where to surf in Mui Ne: Little Buddha, Ham Tien, Suoi Nuoc and Malibu.
5. Phu Quy Island
Phu Quy island is about 6 hours by ferry off the coast of Phan Thiet – Mui Ne. This stunning island is relatively isolated from the chaos and speed of the mainland. With the surrounding reef and clear blue water, this place is ideal for surfers to venture to with a surfboard.
However, in comparison with other places, this island is not easy to get to. It is necessary to apply for an allowance to visit the island prior to departing from the mainland of Phan Thiet. A ferry ride may take from 3 to 7 hours.
Besides, since wind and waves on this small island always go hand in hand, so this may be the most suitable place for those surfers who like to combine surfing with windsurfing or kiteboarding.
Where to surf in Phu Quy island: Skate Park, East Coast.
6. Phan Rang
Have you ever heard about Phan Rang for surfing? If no, then it is time to catch up. Situated in the South of Vietnam, Phan Rang is becoming one of the hottest kiteboarding sites thanks to its long jagged coastline surrounded by reef. Without a doubt, the place is among the best places for surfing in Vietnam.
Where to go surfing in Phan Rang: Nui Chua National Park, Binh Tien
III. Tips for Surfing in Vietnam
Here are some tips from experienced surfers in Vietnam:
- Vietnam is not only a place for surfing, you can try many other adventure activities also.
- It is essential to check the season for surfing in Vietnam. You may catch nice swells occasionally and they might be too high during peak seasons, so be aware.
- For those who want to explore off-the-beaten-track destinations, it is advisable to rent a van and bring your surfboard. Though it is expensive, it is the most convenient way.
- Ask for advice from locals to find hidden surf spots. Their hands on experience will surely give you some hidden gems.
IV. FAQ for Vietnam Surfing
The south central coastline facing out the East Sea has the most favorable conditions for surfing in Vietnam. Head to far north, waves are blocked by Taiwan and Hainan, while going to far south, there is very little wave activity since it is close to the Gulf of Thailand.
Though waves for surfing are available in Vietnam throughout the year, the time during the southwest summer monsoon from October to April is the best time for surfing.
It is easy to get a Vietnam visa. The easiest way to do is applying for an e-visa (just available for some specific countries) or Vietnam visa on arrival online in advance.
But, be noticed that there are 24 countries of which the citizens do not have to apply for a visa to Vietnam.
Surfing in Vietnam is truly a must-try activity when visiting the country. It is a great chance for you to relax, unwind, and conquer the beauty of Vietnam’s beaches. Apart from surfing, you also can try more creational activities like kite surfing. If you have any fun moments with surfing in Vietnam, don’t forget to share with us.