4 Best Beaches to Go Surfing in Vietnam

 If you’ve seen Apocalypse Now (1979), you’ll know that you can surf in Vietnam- and how! The country has 3,000km (1,800mi) of beautiful coastline, and terrific waves, the best of which are found as you head down the South Central Coast. Ready to board? Grab your gears and here are the best places to go surfing in Vietnam.

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Cua Dai, Hoi An

Hoi An town is enchanting: a place full of mindful moments in temples covered with pink and blue tiles and crowned with sinuous dragon-serpents. Wandering the narrow streets, you’ll spy terracotta-topped cottages painted in ochres and warm yellows. The slow river, lit with lanterns, makes for dreamy gondola rides past covered bridges and quayside restaurants. It’s one of the best places in Southeast Asia for souvenir shopping — with markets packed with leather and ceramics, and dozens of shops selling made-to-measure suits and shoes. And, it’s by the beach.

To surf, head for Cua Dai, an exposed beach break with left- and right-handers, barely 10 minutes from the town centre. Shacks sell snacks and the sand is palm-shaded, but on warm, calm days it can get crowded. The best surf is in the low season between December and March (which can be wet). Just be sure to avoid the busy Tet (Lunar New Year) long weekend.

Binh An, Hue

Built around the Forbidden Purple City of the ancient Nguyen dynasty, and set on the banks of the Perfume River, Hue is a Vietnam must-see. The surrounding countryside is dotted with ancient temples and tombs, many of them set in scented, bird-filled gardens. Golden beaches run south from here, many of them known to few tourists. The fishing village of Binh An stands on a long, curving bay of sand between a forest-covered cape and the mouth of the vast Dam Cau Hai lagoon.

With gentle waves suitable for surfers still struggling to stand, it’s a beginner’s beach to practise on before heading over the mountains, to the bigger breaks around Danang, some 40 minutes away. The water is warm enough to enter without a wetsuit outside the peak domestic tourism season (late July to late August), and the beach is usually empty. Do note that it sometimes rains heavily between September and December.

Vung Tau

Vung Tau is a serious surf destination 90km (55mi) southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, hence its popularity as a weekend getaway spot. The sandy stretch is surfable for its entire 3km (2mi) length, with numerous unnamed and unsurfed breaks, but skip the mediocre swells at the front beach and head to the one at the back: you will find it beyond the Jesus statue, to the right of Pagode Island. This is one of the best surf spots in the country, with powerful beach-break waves best tackled during the winter months.

Mornings are perfect, thanks to the low tide and the wind. (When the gusts are high, try kitesurfing instead.) Vung Tau Beach Club is dedicated to surfing- and great parties- and is the only modern watersports school in the city, offering professional surfing, kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding classes. It’s right in the midst of the back beach, so you can’t miss it.

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is one of the best places to kitesurf in Southeast Asia. The waves are generally wind swell, unless there is a monster storm somewhere close by, which there could well be. Hon Rom Beach is the most popular in the city, with the best waves between October and May. The strip is large so you will easily find a surf spot of your own.

The best spot is Suoi Nuoc Beach, on the way to the white-sand dunes, where waves reach their finest from July to October, aided by fantastic winds. Annual surfing and stand-up paddleboarding competitions have been held here by Jobes Beach Club (also a restaurant and bar). The club can sort lessons and rentals for surfers and novices; the pros will have you catching your own waves in no time.

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