A Complete Guide to Hoi An’s Beaches
Hoi An has something for everybody including sandy beaches. So you can enjoy the culture and shops of the Old Town, the calm beauty of the countryside, and relaxing white sand beaches packed with great bars and restaurants.
Vietnam may not be the first place many people think of when looking for white sandy tropical beaches. But it does have a stunning coastline. Hoi An’s beaches are technically one line of coast, split up into some distinct areas. Whether you’re looking for a thrill from parasailing, cocktails and a sun lounger, or to get away from the crowd, there is something for you.
Hidden gives you an insider’s guide with the vibe of each beach. Where to eat, and things to do. All you really need to do now is lie back and enjoy them.
When to visit Hoi An’s beaches
Hoi An is on the east coast of Vietnam, so if you get to the beach early enough, you can catch some stunning sunrises. If you’re not so keen on the early start, then you can always stay in one of the beachside hotels so that the sunrise is only a few steps away.
The sun in Vietnam can be scorching, particularly during the high summer months of June to August. It can be a pleasant escape from the Old Town’s humidity, to head to the beach for a welcoming sea breeze. Stay in the shade during the middle of the day though, or you will quickly look, and feel, like a cooked lobster. If you are working on your tan during the day, then there are plenty of bars and restaurants along the beaches that offer sun loungers and umbrellas you can retreat to.
To avoid the harsh rays of the midday sun, we recommend you follow the local’s lead, visiting the beach earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Mornings will be much less busy but can still heat up very quickly, while later in the afternoon will be much cooler but with a lot more people.
Which Hoi An beach is best?
An Bang Beach
An Bang is the most popular beach in Hoi An, and because of this is, it is also the busiest. Located right at the end of the main road out of Hoi An, Hai Ba Trung, it has a huge range of restaurants and bars all vying for your attention. The beach is frequented by both tourists and locals, and it gets particularly busy in the late afternoon, an experience in itself as it can be hard to move amongst the hordes of people cooling off after a day at school or work.
If you want to relax on the beach, then your best bet is to hire a lounger. As soon as you walk onto the beach, you will see them lined up in front of their respective bar or restaurant. Depending on where you go, prices for a lounger range from 10,000 to 50,000 VND (0.50 to 2 USD) or you can buy a drink or food in which case the lounger is usually complimentary. You can, of course, bring your own chair and towel and sit wherever you like, but the bonus of the loungers is that they also have an umbrella to stop you frying in the sun.
Hidden Hint: If you go to the beach by bike or scooter, people try to insist that you stop in their parking lot. Most restaurants have their own free parking but expect to pay 5,000 to 10,000 VND (.25 to .50 USD) at the official parking.
Water Sports in An Bang
When looking out towards the Cham Islands, you might spot a parasail or two gliding through the air and jet skis splashing through the waves. There are various stands along the beach (just watch where the parasail lands) if you want to join in on the fun you can book on the beach or visit Sea Rainbow Hoi An. On average, jet skiing prices are 500,000 VND (21 USD) for 15 minutes, 700,000 VND (30 USD) for 20 minutes, and 900,000 VND (39 USD) for 30 minutes. Parasailing can be done with one or two people and costs 600,000 VND (25 USD) solo and 800,000 VND (35 USD) for two pax. These prices are open to negotiation, especially if booking as a group.
Another fun beach activity is stand-up paddle boarding which can be booked through SUP Monkey. They have various tours offered on their website, but their most popular is their sunrise paddleboard tour which costs 800,000 VND (35 USD). Make sure to book online beforehand, as it’s a popular activity.
If you’re a surfer, don’t expect any pipeline or mavericks size waves here, but there is a small swell. A great resource for up to date surf reports in the Hoi An and Da Nang area is MagicSeaweed, who lists all the top beaches for surfing and their current conditions. Most surfboard rentals are in Da Nang, but at the main entrance of An Bang, some of the restaurants also have a few surfboards to rent. At An Bang South, SaltPub has a couple of SUP and surfboards for rent but the choice is limited.
Hidden Hint: Nomad Yoga offers morning beach yoga sessions from March to October. Check their weekly schedule for details.
Bars and Restaurants
Due to the erosion of Cua Dai beach further south, An Bang’s restaurant and nightlife scene has exploded, and there are places to eat, drink, and party all along the beach. Buying food or beverages at any of these places also lets you use their sun loungers and umbrellas. Here are our top picks but don’t hesitate to explore further because there is a huge range of worthy options.
This was one of the first places in An Bang to set up a lounge, restaurant, and bar right on the beach, and it has long been a hangout spot for expats and locals alike. It has a super laid-back feel and offers live music Wednesdays to Sundays in summer and Thursday to Sunday in winter. They provide music performances for every taste and host many international performers and DJs as well. With a stage on the beach and a lively crowd, it offers an awesome evening of entertainment. Their menu has a wide range of food options, Western and Vietnamese, and fresh grilled seafood. For their upcoming events, visit their Facebook page.
Soul Beach is the sister venue of Soul Kitchen residing further south on An Bang beach. It conveys an even more laid-back atmosphere, with even fewer crowds. Soul Beach is our pick for one of the best spots to lounge and soak up some rays during the day. They have a nice, large grassy area that extends onto the beach, with plush chaise chairs of your choosing or beanbags and hammocks. They are family-friendly too and have buckets of sand toys and beachside showers to rinse off after your swim. Soul Beach also features live music every other Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Click here to see their events. The menu selection is very similar to Soul Kitchen.
The Fisherman Vegan Restaurant & Cafe & Bar
If you’re after vegan food or just a refreshing fresh juice, then head to The Fisherman. They serve delicious vegan food with a menu from around the world as well as delicious smoothies, juices, and sweet treats. While there is a more relaxed vibe here, they do still have events and the occasional party.
An Bang South
A five-minute walk South of the main entrance to An Bang beach is another, slightly quieter section of beach we call An Bang South. Separated from the main area by what is currently a building site and with a slightly narrower beach, An Bang South is more relaxed simply because fewer people make an effort to walk there. This makes it an easy escape from the crowds in An Bang, and there are still plenty of restaurants and bars and lots of sun loungers to use.
To get to An Bang South simply take a stroll down the beach to the right of the main entrance to An Bang. Once you have passed a section of empty beachfront, you are in An Bang South.
Kahuna’s Hoi An Beach Club
Maybe you’re not much of an ocean person, and prefer the cool water of a pool instead. Well, look no further because Kahuna’s offers a pool, free to the public, that opens up to the beach. This place has the perfect social vibe, whether you are relaxing or swimming a few laps. They’ve got a great menu with many western items, and offer cold drinks all day long. If you visit earlier in the day, there’s more of a family-friendly vibe, and they have a small outdoor play area out back with giant Connect Four and checkers games for the kids.
Attached to the Beachside Boutique Resort, Salt Pub is one of the best thought out venues along the beach. Sun Loungers are free for those who buy drinks and the garden with its two decking areas are perfect places to relax and sample their excellent menu. There is a play area for the kids, SUP and surfboard rental and live music most Thursday and Sunday evenings. On Friday evenings Swing Cool Kidz have their swing dance social and beginners lesson.
Hidden Beach is Hoi An’s worst kept secret. Located in between the crowded tourist hotspot of An Bang and the quieter but still busy Cua Dai. Hidden beach is a calmer, more relaxed place with fewer people. However, it is becoming more and more popular as an escape from the crowded main beaches. So can still get a little busy depending on the time of day. If you want a tranquil environment with as few people as possible, then come in the morning. You might even have the beach to yourself, bar the occasional fisherman in his traditional boat.
The spot was originally popularised by Hidden Beach Restaurant, which now also has a clothing shop and a day spa. They offer free parking and free sun loungers when you buy a drink or some food. They also have a toilet and a changing room which are free to use. There are one other beachside restaurant and bar and a couple of other restaurants further along the road. Meaning the food options are limited, but Hidden Beach Restaurant has a good range of Vietnamese and Western food. Read our full article on Hidden Beach here.
How to get to Hidden Beach
To get to Hidden Beach, you can walk along the water’s edge. Either south from An Bang or north from Cua Dai, until you spot Hidden Beach Restaurant. If you want to head directly to Hidden beach, you can find the road here. The road can be quite hard to spot, and the Hidden Beach sign is incredibly faded, but it is there. If you have to ride over a small concrete lip at the entrance to the road, then you know you are in the right place.
Hidden Hint: There are signs all the way down advertising free parking. But go to the end and you park at Hidden Beach restaurant which is closest to the water.
Cua Dai Beach
Cua Dai Beach used to to the most popular beach in Hoi An. But coastal erosion has slowly made the beach narrower and narrower. The solution was to put sandbags along the water’s edge to stop further erosion. They are the same colour as the sand, so the beach now looks like it has a line of humps along it. Because of this a lot of business has shifted away from here and up to An Bang. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth going to. There is still plenty of space on the sand and more than a few restaurants and bars. If you want to escape the crowds of An Bang but still want the social vibe and choice of restaurants, then Cua Dai is the place.
The best patch of sand we found in Cua Dai is near the Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort and Spa. They maintain the area and the fine, golden sand is lined with palm trees, perfect for a hammock set up. Along this part of the beach, there are still plenty of beachside restaurants. Many of which offer local cuisine at very affordable prices. There are even a couple of great French restaurants and bakeries. Cua Dai has a much more local vibe to it and fewer travellers.
Looking for a luxury beach resort experience at a lower price? Consider staying at one of the resorts on Cua Dai beach. They still offer all the amenities: pools, spas, falling asleep to the sound of the waves. Just with some extra sandbags on the beach. Of course, you can always take a short walk up the coast to remedy that.
The Victoria holds a weekly Sunday brunch open to non-residents. Not only are you treated to an enormous array of culinary delights but you get to use the divine swimming pool area. Lush out in luxury for the whole afternoon! There are two options for brunch: freeflow sparkling wine for 890,000 VND (38 USD). Or free flow soft drinks and beer for 690,000 VND (30 USD). It’s a great Sunday treat, and you wouldn’t catch anything of this standard at home for the price. It’s family friendly, free for under 5’s, and there’s a kid’s club as well.
Hidden Hint: The brunch is held weekly from 11:30 am – 3 pm. It pays to pre-book via phone or email as it can be very popular. Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort and Spa – Phone: +84 235 3927 040 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Other Side of the River
Hoi An’s most popular beaches are all on the north side of the Thu Bon river. They are close to town, have plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. Not to mention loungers and umbrellas for what feels like miles. However, if you want to truly escape the crowds, then you can also go to the beach across the river.
Hidden did some exploring and found this spot here where there was a perfect little ramshackle shelter. No one else on the beach as far as the eye could see. The sand does have a bit more rubbish on it than the other beaches. But this is more than made up for by the beautiful clear water and the complete isolation. Because the beach is off the tourist trail, there are no loungers on the beach or bars to get drinks from. So you will need to go prepared with some food and water if you plan to spend some time here. There are local restaurants in the village, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find an English menu.
The beaches in Hoi An are alive with activity—whatever your energy level, there is literally something for everyone. An Bang is great for swimming, eating, and partying while Hidden beach is a great escape from the crowds. Cua Dai offers a happy medium between the two. Fewer people but still with plenty of options for food, drink, and activities. For a more detailed review of each beach area, you can read our Guide to An Bang Beach or our Guide to Cua Dai Beach.
Hoi An’s beaches are not the city’s main drawcard. But we think they’ll be quite different to what you’d experience on your standard beach holiday. So be sure to head out to the coast while you’re in town.