10 Breathtaking Bays in Vietnam You Have to Visit!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Did you know that Vietnam features a long pristine coast that stretches on a whopping 3,500 kilometers? There are many touristic places that slowly get ruined by mass tourism, but still, there are some untouched gems you should definitely visit. When we're talking about the gems on the coast, we definitely refer to countless of stunning bays in Vietnam. 

Probably there is not a single traveler who hasn't heard of UNESCO Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay. This is one of the most popular bay in Vietnam that slowly gets consumed by mass tourism. The beaches are becoming dirty, the water isn't clear as it was a few years back and there is definitely no regulation when it comes to boat traffic in the bay. 

Many curious travelers started to ask about the alternatives to Halong Bay and we're about to give you the list of whopping 10 breathtaking bays in Vietnam that can provide you with relaxed vacation or adventure of your lifetime. 

So, let's not talk so much and let's jump straight into the list! 

#1 Ha Long Bay

Ha Long Bay during sunrise

Even if it's slowly getting packed with tourists and consumed by mass tourism, Ha Long Bay still deserves to be on the top of the list! It's a massive bay, so you can definitely find a place or two where you won't find another soul around. 

When you visit Ha Long Bay, you’ll quickly realize why it’s named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best touristic destinations in Vietnam. Vietnam is a country with a diverse landscape, iconic landmarks, and a fantastic culture to experience. 

Ha Long Bay is located in the northern province of Vietnam. This bay is very scenic with views of countless islands.

The islands found in this region were formed millions of years ago by limestone rock. These rock formations emerged from the water and are now some of the most visited beaches in Vietnam. The islands vary in size. Some of the larger islands are big enough to have tourist resorts on them and more developed beaches. Other smaller islands are for a more remote beach experience.

Did you know about the legend about Ha Long Bay? Well, during the Chinese invasions by sea, there was a dragon who protected Vietnam and its people by throwing huge rocks in the sea that made impossible to Chinese invaders to proceed further. These rocks represent more than 1,000 islands in the bay. 

There are a lot of things to do in Ha Long Bay. This bay is very rich in wildlife. You can see a variety of animals including monkeys, birds, lizards, and even antelopes. The marine life is just as impressive. There are hundreds of fish species that live here.

Kayaking, diving, and snorkeling are popular activities in Ha Long Bay. You can find numerous boat tours and cruises in Ha Long Bay. There are a lot of areas to traverse so it’s an excellent region for sailing.

Also, if you're looking for a real adventure without thousands of tourists around you, then you should definitely check how to climb Bai Tho Mountain!

#2 Nha Trang Bay

Nha Trang Bay has an extensive beach that is full of resorts and tourists.

Nha Trang is a city in central Vietnam. It’s one of the major cities in the region with lots of cultural and political influence. On the city coastline is the Nha Trang Bay. The beauty of this bay is comparable to when you visit Ha Long Bay. Nha Trang Bay is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam.

The Nha Trang Bay has an extensive beach lined with resorts, shops, restaurants, and more. Golden sand and turquoise water characterize the beach. It has a designated swimming area so visitors can fully enjoy the beach scene with minimal distractions.

Read more: Some Things To Experience Around Nha Trang

Further out into the Nha Trang Bay are a series of islands. These islands vary in size. The largest of the islands includes a resort, golf course, and even an amusement park. A unique feature about the Nha Trang Bay is that it’s home to the world’s longest cable car that crosses over a sea. This cable car ride will give you a great view of the entire bay.

#3 Lang Co Bay

This fishing boat is one of the many on the beutiful Lang Co Bay.

Lang Co Bay is a well-known bay located on the central coast of Vietnam. This bay is close to many top attractions in Vietnam, so it's a part of a major tourist area in the country. It’s actually continuing to be developed into more of a tourist zone to sustain the growth of tourism to the bay and other landmarks.

The Lang Co Bay overlooks the Gulf of Lang Co. This gulf is surrounded by mountains, mangroves, and other natural landscapes. It has terrific views seen from its white-sand beaches. Many people come to this bay for photo tours and also to explore nature.

Lang Co Bay has an abundant marine life. There are many small fishing villages found around this bay whose economy is based on fishing and tourism. You will be able to discover anything from turtles, shellfish, different corals, and much more.

The best way to explore this stunning local bay is by driving a motorbike. The reason is that a breathtaking mountainous pass stands between Lang Co and Da Nang/Hoi An that is called Hai Van Pass.

Have you ever seen a Top Gear Vietnam Special episode? In that episode, you can see the beautiful road and views when driving around Hai Van Pass. 

#4 Vinh Hy Bay

Vinh Hy Bay is ideal if you want to avoid tourist crowds and enjoy in the bustling local life and untouched nature.

You can visit Ha Long Bay or Nha Trang Bay if you are looking for more developed bays that many tourists frequent. Vinh Hy Bay will be the complete opposite experience. A majority of this bay is undeveloped for tourists, so you will get to enjoy a natural, untouched landscape.

Vinh Hy Bay is a peaceful bay in Vietnam dominated by the local communities who utilize the bay for their daily livelihoods. There are several small communities developed around the bay whose main economy is based on fishing. You’ll often see fisherman out in the bay. It’s a great place to find fresh seafood in the local markets.

The Vinh Hy Bay is part of the Nui Chau National Park. This helps preserve the natural landscapes and features of the bay. Snorkeling is common around this bay to explore the large coral reefs. The bay is also surrounded by vibrant forests which are great for hiking.

#5 Vung Ro Bay

Many beaches are hidden behind the forested hills on the beutiful Vung Ro Bay.

You will see many tourists when you visit Ha Long Bay, so a great alternative is Vung Ro Bay. This bay is easily accessible but still doesn’t attract as many visitors as the other bays around Vietnam. It’s definitely worth visiting for a more private beach experience.

The Vung Ro Bay is known for its beaches, hidden by the forested hills of the area. Many roads lead into the bay that immediately greet you with scenic views. The most popular beach in the bay is called Bai Mon. Bai Mon beach is the only beach which has accommodations for visitors.

Read more: Journey Through Vietnam

A unique characteristic of the Vung Ro Bay is the historic lighthouse. This lighthouse was actually one of the first lighthouses to be built in Vietnam. The tower has been rebuilt from its initial model. You can hike up to the lighthouse which will give panoramic views of the entire Vung Ro Bay.

Plans have been proposed to increase tourism to the Vung Ro Bay. It will soon be the site of major developments so visitors should take advantage of the natural landscape while they can.

#6 Van Phong Bay

Van Phong Bay

Once you arrive in Nha Trang, which is a huge city with developed tourism and a lot of noise, there are many bays surrounding the city. It's perfect if you're looking for a getaway. Van Phong Bay is about 80 kilometers outside Nha Trang and the best way to reach this stunning bay is by driving your own bike as you'll be greeted with some stunning passes overlooking the open sea. 

Van Phong Bay is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year as the geographical location makes the weather ideal through the majority of the year. 

The sea is pristine and crystal clear and the surface is filled with corals and many sea species living around. This bay is slowly getting discovered by tourists since it's very close to Nha Trang and it features one of the best scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and other water sports. Also, it's popular with hot mineral baths that you can take in the town. Such a good way to relax!

The surrounding area features countless mountains with untouched forest which is perfect for hiking sessions. There are few trails where you can hike and enjoy stunning views over the bay. 

The town is relatively quiet without much going on, so the best way to spend your days there is just relaxing on the beach, exploring the surrounding nature and of course, enjoying delicious local seafood. 

#7 Cam Ranh Bay

Cam Ranh Bay

Khanh Hoa is without the doubt the home of the most breathtaking bays in Vietnam. Along with Van Phong bay, there is a bit more popular Cam Ranh Bay. 

Cam Ranh is a small town located in southern Vietnam that lies on a beautiful bay. It's truly a gem as many tourists described Cam Ranh Bay as their highlight in Vietnam since it features pristine water, untouched surrounding nature, a long and wild peninsula as well as few tiny islands in the bay. 

There are many activities you can enjoy while exploring Cam Ranh Bay, but we definitely advise to go scuba diving or snorkeling since its waters are home to many fish species and coral formations are just unique!

#8 Xuan Dai Bay

Xuan Dai Bay

By now, there is one thing you know for sure - Central Vietnam is home of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam without any questions. Another beautiful spot is located in the heart of Phu Yen province called Xuan Dai Bay. 

The bay is just 50 kilometers north from Tuy Hoa city and it is surrounded by Co Ngua mountain that is very recognized, even from a far distance, as it looks like a unicorn head. The length of the bay is about 50 kilometers and on that stretch, there are many untouched sandy beaches, beautiful and green mountains, few islands and popular peninsulas like Ong Xa and Mu U. 

The tourism isn't developed around the bay, but there are few activities you can do including taking a boat tour around the bay, jumping into the water and explore breathtaking corals and sea life as well as treat your belly with delicious seafood. 

There are so many tiny and hidden places to explore around Xuan Dai Bay, so we talked with few locals to ask them what's the best place to visit. According to locals, Nhat Tu Son is the must-visit island while Binh Sa is the beach you want to spend your time at. 

It's amazing how unique the bay is and how much you can learn about local lifestyle while enjoying the landscape of the bay. 

#9 Nha Phu Bay

Nha Phu Bay

Another peaceful tiny bay is located just 15 kilometers away from the main beach in Nha Trang. This place is a bit more touristic since there are countless tour companies operating from Nha Trang. Anyway, the place is a real paradise when it comes to untouched nature and pristine waters. 

No matter which season you come, the weather is pleasant and the peaceful waters year-round make it a perfect destination for travelers looking to explore the underwater world. There are few small islands surrounding the bay and the most popular one is by far Thi island where you can go by boat, relax on a sandy beach below the palms while enjoying the fresh seafood. 

Except for exploring the beaches and swimming in turquoise waters, there are other exciting things to do on the coast. We advise you to check out Hoa Lan Spring; a cave that is home to hundred different kinds of orchids. 

Also, Lao island, often called Monkey island is just off the coast! There are more than 2,000 monkeys living on the island, so it can be a great getaway from the bustle of Nha Trang. 

#10 Ha Tien Bay

Ha Tien Bay

Last but not least, Ha Tien Bay is an extremely popular bay located in the deep south, just next to the Cambodian border. Many travelers who are heading to Cambodia stop for a few days to enjoy pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters of Ha Tien Bay.

The bay is the home of about 100 islands that vary in sizes as well as a famous Hon Nghe island. There are many tours operating in the area so you can do island hopping with the boat which is a very cool experience. Another recommendation is doing a scuba-diving since the water isn't so deep and there are many corals and different fish species living in the waters. 

Ha Tien Bay has one of the biggest fish-growing places in the whole of Vietnam. You can really explore the local lifestyle of the south which always go along with delicious and diverse seafood. 

Now you have a list of 10 breathtaking bays in Vietnam! Start working on your itinerary now!

These are just a few of the bays in Vietnam. The bays are very scenic and have a tropical climate that can be enjoyed all year round. Whether you want to admire the sights or spend time in the water, Vietnamese bays are some of the best to visit in the world.

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.