Vietnam is a stunning tropical paradise that everyone should visit. It is a diverse and stunning country with a very rich culture and history (and great food!). Vietnam is renowned for its world-class beaches, but if you only have a limited time, which should you choose? Two of Vietnam's famous beach destinations are Phu Quoc and Da Nang. Here we will discuss what to expect in these two destinations.

Island Paradise Of Phu Quoc

Pho Quoc is a decently sized island lying off Vietnam's southern coast and is an excellent destination for those looking for a quiet retreat. One nice thing about this island is that it has an international airport that handles international flights from as far away as Italy (it is treated separately for visa purposes). Everyone flying to his island gets one month visa-free but they are not permitted to leave the island. With the rest of Vietnam, you need to get an eVisa - although this is fairly straightforward and easy.

  • Advantage: Visa Free
  • Atmosphere: Chill And Relax On The Beach
  • Draw Back: Limited Night Life Here
  • Status: Major Destination For Domestic And International Tourists Alike

There is not a lot to do on this island, it used to be a sleepy fishing island, but now it is being built up as the beach holiday resort of Vietnam. There is a whole range of beaches to choose from here. Including Starfish Beach - this beach is stunning and sheltered. Once there one realizes why it is called Starfish Beach.

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As with much of South East Asia, the best way to get around on this island is by hiring a moped. They are generally available for hire at all the hotels for around $10 per day. There are some war museums, temples and monasteries, and night markets to visit on the island.

Another thing is that culturally Vietnam is split between the north, the south, and the center. Phu Quoc is culturally south.

Coastal City And Destination of Da Nang

On Phu Quoc, there is little more than visiting the night market by night and drinking cocktails one beach by day. But Da Nang is one of the major cities of Vietnam and is right in the middle of the country. Here you can see completely different and stunning beaches. Da Nang stands in stark contrast to Phu Quoc, while Phu Quoc is a sleepy little island with only a few ten thousand people, Da Nang is centered on a city of more than a million.

There are many more things to see and do in Da Nang.

  • Atmosphere: Chill But Many Things To See And Do As Well As Relax On The Beach
  • Visa: Need An eVisa Before Arrival

Furthermore, Da Nang is located close to several UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites. These include the old Imperial City Of Hue. This iconic city offers some of the best of Asian architecture and is a citadel surrounded by a wall.

  • Imperial City Of Hue Opening Hours: 8.00 am - 5.30 pm (Thursday 8.00 am - 10 pm)
  • Admission Fee: $6.50 Per Adult

Other UNESCO-listed sites include the old and traditional trading port of Hoi An and the  My Son ruins. The My Son (spelled Mỹ Sơn) ruins are a cluster of ancient Hindu temples built between the 4th and 14th centuries. These ruins are truly impressive and are located only 69 kilometers or 43 miles south of Da Nang. This cluster of 70 temples is often compared to the utterly stunning and mystical "lost city" of Angkor Wat.

Vietnam War Fact: Da Nang Was A Popular R&R Destination For American Soldiers During the Vietnamese War.

Another local destination in Da Nang includes the Mable Mountains (with its five mountains named after the five elements (in this case being; water, wood, fire, metal, and earth - or in Vietnamese; Thuy, Moc, Hoa, Kim, and Tho). These mountains are full of caves and Buddhist sanctuaries.

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If the tropical weather of the beach is too much for you and you would like a change of climate, then there is an option for that too. Bà Nà Hills is a mountain resort a short distance away and is at an elevation of 1,500 meters or 4,920 feet above sea level. The weather is around 10-15 degrees cooler here.

Fun Fact: Bà Nà Hills Resort Is Serviced By The World's Longest Non-Stop Cable Car

Being a larger city, there are of course numerous shows and museums to visit as well as nightlife.

The Da Nang Beaches

The largest beach in Da Nang is My Khe Beach and offers a 20 kilometer or over 12 mile stretch of beach. It is around 6 km or 4 miles from Da Nang. It is regarded as one of Vietnam's most stunning beaches and is home to many stunning resorts.

Other beaches near Da Nang include:

Non Nuoc Beach - Utterly Stunning Beach About 20 Minutes From Da Nang

Bac My An Beach - Famous Beach Also Hosting Five Star Resorts

Thanh Binh Beach - Closest Beach To The City

In summary, these two destinations offer very different beach holidays. Phu Quoc is more simply relaxing and unwinding on a southeast Asian beach while Da Nang has the potential to be a much more adventurous vacation.

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