Cua Dai Beach, Hoi An

Cua Dai Beach

Not far from Hoi An is the lovely Cua Dai Beach. Over 30 km in length, the white sand beach stretches nearly to Da Nang and is one of the most popular beaches in Vietnam with foreign tourists. The beach is dotted with classy, western-style hotels and resorts, including the Swiss-Belhotel Golden Sand Resort. In all, the beach is a great place for a romantic holiday or a laid-back family holiday.

White Sands and Gentle Surf

If you're a surfing enthusiast, seek out bigger waves in Australia or Hawaii. Cua Dai Beach is not a beach for thrill-seekers. Instead, with pristine, white sands and moderate, gentle waves, Cua Dai Beach is better for moonlit strolls and floating around in the water. Because of the monsoon cycles in Southeast Asia, swimming is really safest from April through October; swimming at other times is not advised.

Unfortunately for westerners, the beach has gotten so popular with European tourists that most of the prices along the beach are rather inflated. However, by western standards, the prices are still relatively inexpensive. For a small fee, you can hire a deck chair, then relax in the sun and enjoy the sand and the sound of the waves lapping onto the shore.

When you get hungry, there is plenty of fresh seafood to be had from the beach's many kiosks. Run by the locals, these little restaurants offer fantastic food that's extremely fresh, unique, and difficult to find elsewhere. You can cool down with a pineapple drink, which comes highly recommended.

The Cham Islands

Another popular Hoi An area attraction accessible from Cua Dai Beach are the Cham Islands. The eight small islands make a great day trip, and together they form one of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. The Cham Islands Biosphere Reserve, also called Cu Lao Cham Marine Park, preserves corals, certain crustaceans and molluscs, and seaweed species that are unique to the islands. Besides the marine biodiversity, the terrestrial ecosystems include magical mangrove forests, rocky hills, and rich beaches.

The largest island, Hon Lao, is the only inhabited island of the eight. Scuba divers and snorkelers looking for an undiscovered diving spot can still find one off the coast of Hon Lao. For those who prefer to stay dry, the road between Bai Lang and Bai Huong villages is a great place to hike through the Cham Islands extensive, virgin forests.

Cua Dai Beach is one of Vietnam's most popular beaches for good reason: it's gorgeous, close to the well-loved town of Hoi An, filled with quality accommodations, and close to one of Vietnam's most unique wildlife reserves. As well as making a great day trip from Hoi An it can be a lovely place to stay too, making the most of the beach and popping into town when you are feeling energetic.