I love South East Asia – for its incredible culture, food and of course beautiful beaches. Vietnam has always been very high on my bucketlist and I am so glad we finally got to finally visit this spring.
Vietnam has so much to offer from bustling cities like Hanoi and Saigon , to incredible natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and Ninh Binh, to quaint historic towns like Hue and Hoi An, to beach destinations like Nha Trang and Da Nang, to pristine islands like Phu Quoc and Con Dao. If you want to visit it all you would need 2-3 weeks to cover it from North to South! Since we didn’t have so much time on our hands, this time we chose to cover 3 beautiful beach destinations in Vietnam and hence this guide will only cover these destinations – Hoi An, Ninh Van Bay and Phu Quoc.
We flew into Saigon via Vietnam airlines. You will most likely fly into Saigon or Hanoi, and from here you will have to take domestic flights to get to other destinations.
Most travelers have to apply for a Vietnam evisa in advance. It takes 3-5 days for the visa to come in. Also make sure to put the correct “port of entry”. Your port of entry is always your first airport in Vietnam that you would land in ( even if you have a domestic connection after).
For the 3 destinations we covered I would suggest 9-10 days in total.
Vietnam is a great year-round destination, but spring (March to April) is typically the best time to visit the entire country, when the temperature is pleasant and rainfall is light.
I will split this guide into 3 parts covering the 3 destinations we went to in our trip – Hoi An, Ninh Van Bay and Phu Quoc.
Hoi An is a city in Vietnam’s central coast well known for its well preserved ancient town cut through with canals. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and a melting pot of historic cultures reflected in its architecture. It is such a charming little town and a great destination to add to your itinerary as it has the best of both worlds – ancient historic towns and pristine beaches.
You would have to fly into Da Nang international airport. From here Hoi An is a 30 min drive.
Here is a quick guide for all the must do things in town :
1) Visit the town during the day and stroll the charming streets and alleys.
2) Visit it again in the evening to experience the magic of the floating lantern festival that happens every evening. Stroll along the Thu bon river, go on a sampan boat ride and float lanterns on the river all while taking the sights and sounds of the magical old town.
3) Hội An has a bustling coffee culture – don’t miss out on some delicious Vietnamese coffee! Faifo coffee was our fave – try the egg coffee and Coconut coffee!
4) the town also has tons of authentic incredible Vietnamese restaurants and some of the best Banh Mi in the world – check out Banh mi Phuong. Mì Quảng Ông Hai (Mr. Hai Noodles) is also a local favorite place to grab a bite to eat. It has six tables and serves only two dishes – Cao lầu and Quang-style noodles.
5) Hội An is also known for its custom tailoring shops ! There are almost 500 different tailor shops in town . This is the place to get a custom suit/dress! The resort recommended Yaly Couture which is the only tailor in Hoi An that uses 3D body scanners to take your measurements, allowing you to place additional orders for all sorts of items once you’ve returned home. They have a great range of fabrics, including cashmere and leather. You can even have shoes made to match your clothes! Commission a garment, and they’ll deliver it to your resort within 24 hours.
6) Some historic sights of interest to not miss – the beautiful Japanese covered bridge, Fujian assembly hall, Tan ky family house.
7) Go handicraft shopping in town – so many cute stores and boutiques !
8) don’t miss out on the markets – both the Cho Hội An ( central market ) during the day as well the vibrant Hội An night market. Loved getting a traditional lantern from the night market here.
9) Try a Vietnamese cooking class in town or in your resort.
Nha Trang is a coastal resort city in southern Vietnam known for its beaches, diving sites and offshore islands. While Nha Trang has plenty to do we only spent our time at the stunning Ninh Van Bay where the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is located.
You would have to fly to Cam Ranh airport and then the resort will arrange your transfers from here. It takes about a 1 hour car ride and a 20 minute boat ride to get to the resort from the airport.
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay resort in Vietnam sits on a dramatic bay looking out to the East Vietnam Sea . It isn’t an island but is located at the edge of a beautiful peninsula in Nha Trang and can only be approached by water. Impressive rock formations, a gorgeous white sand beach, and a backdrop of towering mountains and the jungle makes this destination absolutely surreal! You have the best of everything from the ocean to the mountains and the jungle.
This resort is a destination by itself and offers tons of things to do so you can stay here the entire time and still make the most of your trip. Whether you want to simply relax or try different activities, Six Senses Ninh Van Bay has something for everyone! They also have planned daily itineraries to choose from which include a mix of several experiences.
Some of the popular activities to do here include :
If you are looking for an unspoiled tropical gem in Vietnam, Ninh Van Bay is your best bet! Read more about our stay in my blog post here.
For our last stop in our Vietnam adventure we wanted to visit an island and Phu Quoc was always on our radar. PhU Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island located off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s known for gorgeous white-sand beaches and lush mountains. More than half of the island is part of Phu Quoc National Park, which features mountains, dense tropical jungle, hiking trails and wildlife.
You would have to fly into Phu Quoc airport.
Another reason we wanted to add Phu Quoc to our itinerary was to stay and visit the stunning new Regent Phu Quoc, the newest and arguably the best luxury resort on the island, located on one of the best beaches of Phu Quoc – Long Beach. Infact Travel and Leisure also included it as one of the best new hotels in the world in their It List 2023. Read more about our stay in this blog post here.
There are tons of things to do on the island of Phu Quoc :
Other beach destinations in Vietnam to consider to add to your trip – Da Nang, Nha Trang and Con Dao island. Con Dao was originally on our itinerary but didn’t work out this time around. Its a lot less developed than Phu Quoc and seemed more like our vibe! When we go back we definitely want to visit Con Dao!
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo