TO THE SOUTH: QUY NHON
Surprisingly off the tourist trail, Quy Nhon is one of the country’s most idyllic beach towns. White powder sands, azure waters and a quiet, slow-paced atmosphere make this township a truly worthwhile seaside destination about 4 hours’ drive south of Hoi An. The main municipal beach offers backpacker and small hotel accommodation.
Further south you will find the stunning and salubrious private beach of Avani Quy Nhon Resort (Bai Dai). For those on a budget, travel one kilometre further and you will discover the beautiful white-sand beach of Bai Bau.
If you’re traveling from North to South, then Quy Nhon is a must stop-over before reaching the popular and bustling beaches of Nha Trang. Likewise, a visit to the barely known coastal town of Tuy Hoa is highly recommended. Although void of high-end hotel options, the broad golden sand beach makes for an enjoyable day or overnight trip (there are a few humble yet clean hotel options).
Thinking of going to Nha Trang? We would recommend avoiding the big city and heading for Jungle Beach instead. If you have ever imagined yourself playing shipwrecked on a deserted stretch of perfect white beach, then you can’t miss Doc Let Beach (known by its nickname, Jungle Beach). It’s comfortingly difficult to get to, with very few places to stay, but tucked away on a 3-acre beach plot you will find a utopia that will evoke all your Alex Garland fantasies of the perfect beach. Run by Canadian Sylvio Lamarche, Jungle Beach offers a beautifully simple, bamboo retreat of netted cabana’s and hammocks right on the shore. Expect “1000-star accommodation” (referring to a bed under a canopy of countless stars). The jungle clad mountains surrounding Jungle Beach are home to two rare breeds of monkeys, Doug Langurs and Lorises which, if you can tear yourself from the beach to wallow in the waterfall, you might spot on your trek.
If you are visiting in the rainy season (September to January) or if there have been any typhoons recently, find out the state of the beach before heading out. Storms can leave the beach dirty or the accommodations badly damaged. Play safely, especially when you are out of the way.
Fragment updated from ‘Sunkissed: Riding that Summer Wave’, Live Hoi An Magazine, Amy Morison