About Cua Dai Beach
Once Hoi An’s premier beach, Cua Dai Beach has had a tough time in recent years. Hydroelectric dams, sand mining, and local development have accelerated coastal erosion, while a 2014 typhoon saw large stretches of the beach disappear. The previous 200-meter space between the road and ocean shrank to 80 meters, and many resorts to the south of the main beach said goodbye to their sandy spaces upfront.
But all has not been lost. The local authorities have invested millions over the past few years due to Cua Dai Beach erosion, aimed at stemming the advance of the tide. Huge sandbanks have been placed along the beach as well as out to sea, and further work is ongoing. Cua Dai still has plenty to offer and has retained its own identity, with a different vibe to the village-like feel of neighboring An Bang.
The main road leading to the beach is teeming with spas and eateries – seafood being an obvious draw. You’ll also find some of Hoi An’s most luxurious accommodations. If Cua Dai’s main beach feels too busy, quieter specks can be found by walking 10 to 15 minutes north. To visit the quieter end, take a stroll towards Beachside Seafood Cafe.
Cua Dai Hidden Beach
Most of Cua Dai has lost its beachfront. But you’ll find a few sandy coves tucked away between the resorts as you head south, such as ‘Cua Dai Hidden Beach’, between Victoria Resort & Spa Hoi An and Golden Sands Resort. (Not to be confused with the Hidden Beach located between An Bang and Cua Dai beaches.) You can find it via our map below or simply keep your eyes peeled as you head south along the coastal road.
‘Cua Dai Hidden Beach’ nestles behind some trees and is accessible via narrow pathways from the main road like most beaches in Hoi An. You’ll see a Victoria resort flag and a few abandoned coconut boats. Uncrowded and pristine, this beach is a great place to unwind and enjoy some alone time, especially if you arrive in the afternoon when most people are at work or avoiding the ‘big bad sun’. (Don’t forget your sunscreen!) But the truth is you’ll have it mostly to yourself at any time. At the southern end a lean-to stall offers some basics including cold drinks.
There’s another quiet, sandy beach, situated in between Golden Sand Resort (which has now closed) and Sunrise Resort & Spa. It’s slightly smaller and shabbier, but as private as it gets. You’ll find a few umbrellas to collapse under, but for the most part, this little beach feels relatively abandoned and off-the-beaten-path, with a more local Vietnamese vibe than the rest of Cua Dai. The Hoi An Now team loves to walk the dogs here. There’s a convenience store opposite for rudimentary supplies. Seclusion plus!
Both of these ‘neglected’ sheltered coves have much more sand than not just of the rest of the Cua Dai zone but compared to An Bang and Tan Thanh beaches as well.
It’s important to note that the Cua Dai shoreline sees strong winds and waves, particularly during the winter months (October to January). So, be sure to watch out for the current, which could easily take you further down the beach at these unpatroled, slightly out-of-the-way spots.
Getting to Cua Dai Beach
Cua Dai Beach is around 6 km from the Old Town in Hoi An. The quickest route is via Cua Dai Road, which follows on from Tran Hung Dao at the edge of the Old Town. You can also pick up Lac Long Quan Road from An Bang Beach and follow it south until you reach Cua Dai.
The beach is easy to access via scooter or bike, with lots of parking spaces by the main entrance. You can also get a taxi to the beach from the Old Town. At non-peak times of the day, a journey will take around 10 minutes and will cost approximately 65,000 VND (2.80 USD).
There’s plenty of parking available by the main stretch on Cua Dai Beach. Just south of the beach’s main entrance are a range of parking lots. Expect to pay 5,000 vnd to 20,000 vnd to park your bike or motorbike, or simply buy a drink from one of the attendants for around 20,000 VND (0.86 USD) to park for free. You can then use the area between the pavement and beach which houses tables and chairs and is beautifully sheltered by palm trees.
You may even be able to land a free parking space by the quieter end of the beach, close to Beachside Seafood Cafe.
At the secluded beaches to the south of ‘Cua Dai Central’ parking is no trouble at all.
Things to Do
Sunbathing & Swimming
Cruising down Cua Dai’s coastal road, it’s hard to miss the assortment of shops selling colorful inflatables and swim gear. Hoi An offers beach life in abundance.
And although a large section of Cua Dai Beach may have been lost in recent years, work is underway to repair it. From the main section, almost as far as Hidden Beach, you’ll find sandbags to slow the advance of the tide. Sandbanks have also been placed out to sea, and the local crustaceans have made them home. If you’re unable to see them because of high tide, they’re on the periphery of the designated swimming areas, clearly marked so boats can avoid bathers. The sandbags out to sea are looking more natural as time goes by, and swimming is perfectly safe.
As with all the beaches on Hoi An’s coast, you’ll often find the water so clear that you can see fish swimming around you. On Cua Dai’s main section, there’s still plenty of room for lazing in and around the sandbags, and if it’s a lounger and shade you’re after, walk a little further north and you’ll find plenty attached to sea-facing restaurants. These are usually free for the day if you order food and drinks, otherwise, expect to pay 10-40,000 VND (0.40 – 0.70 USD).
And remember, you can still get the full sandy beach experience without the facilities and designated swimming areas, just the other side of the Victoria Resort & Spa and beyond. You may even find a tatty lounger or two probably set up for the guests of nearby resorts. Don’t worry, no one’s looking.
If sun-lounging and sea-dipping is not quite your jam, you might want to get that adrenaline rushing with a spot of sport instead. Cua Dai’s activities are available via the fancy resorts dotting the shorefront, the main one being Palm Garden Resort. Here, you can rent a jet ski for 15 minutes for 700,000 VND (30 USD). For a more “local” option, hop into a basket boat for an hour for 230,000 VND (10 USD). You can also try your hand at surfing, wakeboarding, ocean kayaking, water skiing, and laser-sailing nearby.
The Victoria Resort & Spa Hoi An rents out sailing boats for 880,000 VND (38 USD) an hour. If you don’t trust yourself behind the wheel just yet, sign up for some sailing lessons at 1,000,000 VND (43 USD) per hour. Hoi An Beach Resort also offers kayak rental (not inclusive of lifeguard assistance) or a fishing kayak trip on the De Vong River, where you’re instructed by the resort’s expert. The latter costs 350.000 VND (15 USD) for a single kayak and 435.000 VND (19 USD) for a double per hour.
Alternatively, take a 15-minute walk north to the edge of Hidden Beach and you’ll find a range of watersport activities available, including jetskis and parasailing.
Yoga & Wellness Activities
Take an early morning swim at Cua Dai and chances are you’ll see a few people practicing yoga or pilates, but at present, there’s no specified class available. It’s not far from An Bang or Tan Thanh Beach, though, which have regular classes, depending on the season. Head to those specific sections within the guide or check out Nomad Yoga’s schedule for the latest information.
If you’re hoping to get your pulse racing, Sunrise Premium Resort Hoi An has tennis courts available for hire. The extensive Cua Dai strip is also a potential place to jog or venture on a long walk, particularly early in the day when it’s peaceful and steeped in the glow of morning sun.
Restaurants & Nightlife
All that swimming and beach fun is likely to work up an appetite. So take time out to enjoy a meal at one of Cua Dai’s restaurants. There’s no shortage of eateries in the area, from local Vietnamese to fish and seafood to more sophisticated dining options.
Cua Dai Beach Restaurants
There are plenty of restaurants along the Cua Dai road, as well as the coastal road of Lac Long Quan. Several smaller roads off the main drag are also worth exploring for a drink or munch. We recommend checking out A Roi, one of our favourite restaurants in the area.
If street food is what you’re after, you’ll find a smorgasbord of options, including Beachside Seafood Cafe which sits on the northern end of Cua Dai Beach. It’s run by a Vietnamese family that hosts a barbecue every evening on the beach, selling mostly fried shrimp, scallops and other local seafood.
Not far away is Hon Restaurant which is also known for its fresh, live seafood — crab, oyster, sweet snail, and lobster — with prices ranging between 150,000 to 800,000 VND (6.50 to 35 USD). And the good news, vegans/vegetarians don’t have to miss out, as Hon has a fair number of non-meat options ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 VND (2.20 to 4.40 USD).
Broccoli is a small, unpretentious Vietnamese restaurant with a variety of dishes on offer, including local Hoi An specialties, Western cuisine, seafood, meat, and veggie-friendly options. It’ll set you back somewhere between 55,000 to 225,000 VND (2.40 to 9.80 USD), with beer costing around 15,000 to 25,000 vnd (0.60 to 1 USD).
If you’re craving a bit of a splurge, head to the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort and Spa for a slightly more high-end dining experience. Their menu is packed with Vietnamese, Western-style, and vegetarian options. And on Sundays, you can take advantage of their pool-side brunch buffet (12 pm to 4 pm), enjoying an abundant assortment of food and freeflow sparkling wine for 790,000 VND (34 USD) or free-flow beer and soft drink for 590,000 VND (26 USD).
Cua Dai Beach Nightlife
If it’s live music that you’re after, nearby An Bang is the biggest draw, but many of the eateries close to Cua Dai Beach open well into the evening. Or simply take advantage of the tables, chairs, and sandbags on offer on the beach, get yourself a beverage and watch the sun set over Cham Island in the distance.
Puku Cafe and Sports Bar hosts major sporting events from around the world – football, rugby and boxing lead the way. See their Facebook for the current schedule.
Where to Stay
Nowhere is far away when you’re staying in Hoi An! You’ll find hotels, homestays, and hostels just right for your budget, from the Old Town to the coast and beyond. Cua Dai is home to numerous opulent resorts that are popular with honeymooners and families, such as Palm Garden Resort & Spa, Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort, and Sunrise Premium Resort — the latter being one that we personally recommend. Looking for 5 stars? – Vinpearl Resort & Spa Hoi An is your best bet.
If you want to stay as close to Cua Dai Beach as you can without loosening the purse strings too much, Plants Garden Villa offers affordable beachfront accommodation towards the northern end and Hoi An Beach Resort is solidly mid-range and very central. Both are within walking distance of most restaurants, bars, and shops. They also both provide free bikes and a shuttle service to the airport.
Vietnam Backpacker Hostels – Hoi An has garnered a name for itself for being one of Southeast Asia’s premier hostels. Guests can take their pick from various sized dorms and enjoy a number of incredible tours and activities on offer. Vietnam Backpaker Hostels – Hoi An is conveniently situated roughly half way between Cua Dai Beach and Hoi An Old Town on Cua Dai Road. Another budget option closer to the beach is Paddys Hostel and Ally Beach Boutique Hotel Hoi An, in the heart of Cua Dai is a non-hostel opportunity that is nicely priced.