Top Five Golden Beaches for Indochina Tour
Indochina, the region of Southeast Asia made up of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Asia in recent years, and hottest of all are the stunning beaches that combine beautiful, soft, white sand with clear, blue and green waters. Cambodia and Vietnam are well known with modern tourists for having great beaches, where you can play all day, lie on the sand, or explore the underwater world just a few steps from the beachfront hotels.
While it may not have much of a coast, Cambodia still has some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia, and plenty of golden sand to make your vacation feel like you are in paradise. Conversely, Vietnam’s 3,260 kilometers of coastline means there are a proliferation of beaches along its length from north to south. Fast becoming world-renowned as tropical paradises in a previously war-torn country, they are a haven for sun-lovers from around the world. As for the beautiful, but landlocked Laos, well, it is often said in the country that the best beaches in Laos are in Cambodia!
Koh Rong Island Beach, Cambodia
Koh Rong is easily one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most gorgeous islands, with 43 kilometers of beach. On the southwestern side of Koh Rong, the beach stretches for nearly five kilometers -- 5,000 meters of untouched white sand fringed with palm trees and dazzling turquoise waters. At the southernmost end of this beach are rocks where snorkelers can watch schools of colorful rabbitfish, sergeant fish and parrotfish.
Koh Rong Island Beach
The southernmost cove of Koh Rong hosts a beach that the locals call Long Set, after the farmer who lives there growing coconuts, mangoes and cashews. With nearly empty white sand beaches and placid aquamarine waters, Long Set Beach is just a short walk away from the accommodations on the main part of southeast Koh Rong and is an ideal place for sunning, collecting shells and crabbing. On nights where the moon is waning, night swimming can reveal bioluminescent plankton that cause ethereal phosphorescence in the water.
All of the beaches on Koh Rong will have you gaping in awe, but Lazy Beach is particularly beautiful. Shaded by pine trees and benefiting from a daily sweep to keep it spotless, the golden sands of Lazy Beach make for excellent daytime sunning. The waters around the beach have many snorkeling options and other parts of Koh Rong are a favorite of divers and fishing enthusiasts from the mainland. Evenings, you can watch the deep pink sunsets from the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand. From Sihanoukville, catch a boat to Koh Rong with any of the guesthouses on the island. The trip takes between two to three hours.
Koh Thmei Island Beach, Cambodia
Ream National Park is home to some of Cambodia's most exquisite beaches, including those on Koh Thmei, a small island flanked by mangrove forests. Koh Thmei is almost uninhabited, except for one set of bungalows and dozens of different species of birds. Although a few families live on the island, there is not so much as a village and the only current tourist accommodation is the eight wooden bungalows that comprise Koh Thmei Resort.
Koh Thmei Island Beach
Flanked by mangrove forests, the island is a natural paradise that is as far from Sihanoukville as night is from day. Koh Thmei is the habitat of many types of interesting wildlife, particularly birds. Over 150 types of birds make their home in the park and a trip to the island offers ample bird-watching opportunities.
The beaches are sandy - not as glowing yellow as others in Cambodia - with plenty of shells making more of a crunch than a squeak underfoot. The beach next to the boat dock is a sea of thousands of glittering shells. The beach to the east of the dock is lovely pine-shaded yellow sand and if you get there early enough, you can catch a gorgeous sunrise. Snorkelers will be happy with the possibilities around the coral reefs and the beaches are piled with exotic seashells for those who do not want to go underwater. Athletic types can kayak and when the weather is right, even surf.
Mui Ne, Vietnam
With 10 kilometers of beach, Mui Ne is a tropical paradise with the widest and sandiest beach. Besides the sandy and clean beach, Mui Ne also has some beautiful local countryside and many interesting places to visit, such as Phan Thiet town, local fishing villages, the red or white sand hills, or the ancient Cham monuments. With Ho Chi Minh City a mere four hours away, it is an attractive option for travelers looking to jump into a beach holiday from the city.
Twenty years of development have transformed the once sleepy fishing town into a water sports Mecca, most notably for kite surfing from December to April. However, the perfect time for kite surfing is February and March. Many skilled kite boarders reach here in those months and bring with them thousands of kites that change the blue sky of Mui Ne into a more colorful and lively one. For those love to have real experiences with the life of the local people, the fishing village is a perfect choice. Getting early up in the morning to watch the fish being loaded off the boats, stored, and sold will make a beach holiday in southern Vietnam more memorable.
The ten kilometers of beach that makes up Mui Ne is a beautiful tropical beach of the kind that most holidaymakers dream of – for about seven of those kilometers, that is. The west end of the beach is the widest and sandiest, with the cleanest water. Here the majority of quality resorts are found. The far eastern end is also sandy and tropical looking, with a few more up-market resorts. Nearly three kilometers of the central area, however, has lost all the sand, and many resorts have only concrete walls or steps to the ocean – and are cheaper as a result.
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang is always considered as the most famous seaside resort towns with many top beaches and dive sites. The picturesque mountain, together with the crescent-shaped beach, creates a beautiful view for the town. Nha Trang is certainly an exotic hideaway from the bustling city, with its peaceful scenic gardens, dazzling white sand, and the blue from the clear water and the vast high sky. Besides the attractive sands, Nha Trang also has a shoreline filled with promenades and sculpture gardens with lines of prune trees, which are thought of as an alternative idea for a romantic long walk.
Diving, snorkeling, and scuba diving are three most popular activities attracting millions of foreign travelers every year. Tourists also can enjoy a pleasant and relaxing dip because the water offshore is very clean; however being careful of the ocean currents is important. As being one of the most well known Vietnam beach towns, Nha Trang has many prime beaches, such as “Bãi Dài”, “Bãi Hòn Chồng” or “Bãi Dương”. Moreover, there are many amazing hotels and guesthouses enhancing the role of Nha Trang as a tropical paradise for everyone
Sokha Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Midway between Independence and Serendipity beaches lies Sihanoukville’s prettiest beach, the 1.5km-long Sokha Beach. Its fine, silicon-like sand squeaks loudly underfoot. The tiny, eastern end of Sokha Beach is open to the public and is rarely crowded. The rest is part of the exclusive Sokha Beach Resort.
Privately owned Sokha Beach is the best of Sihanoukville's beaches, with wide white sands stretching for over a kilometer and shallow, placid waters perfect for swimming. A small portion of the beach is still open to the public, but the rest is only available to hotel guests or those who pay for a day pass, which also includes access to the resort's pool. Although the privatization of Sokha Beach is a loss for the locals, tourists can enjoy the immaculate sand and hawker-free relaxation at this relatively quiet and sedate beach.
While not exactly a secret beach, surprisingly few visitors to Sihanoukville take advantage of Sokha Beach. That is a big part of its attraction. Sokha Resort beach begins at the tail of the dragon at the edge of the rocky headland that divides it from Ochheuteal. The first thing you will do when you see that concrete tail is wonder what it is doing there, sticking out of the sand. Its secret lies inside the grounds of the Sokha Resort, where the much larger and better-maintained head of the dragon emerges. The tail of the dragon is at the free end of Sokha beach, and literally marks the tail end of the resort’s property.
Refreshingly devoid of buildings, your basic necessities are all there thanks to the vendors who hang out around the steps down to the beach. Also refreshing is the fact that they do not aggressively peddle their goods. On the negative side, although the wide beach on the free end of Sokha looks enticing from a distance, it does get littered occasionally, especially during the high season. If you can turn a blind eye to the rubbish, though, it has a lot to offer, especially if you like clambering around in tide pools, swimming or sunbathing.
- What is Indochina? How Many Countries are Included?
- When is the Best Time to Have an Indochina Tour?
- How to Plan a Cambodia First-time Trip