Doc Let Beach
If you’re looking for a more secluded surf spot that’s also one of the coolest beaches in Vietnam then the island of Doc Let is a destination you need to program into your surf trip itinerary.
Here you’ll find a white-sand beach with crystalline waters just 30 kilometers north of Nha Trang city. It’s easily accessible via Highway number 1 and is situated in the scenic village of Ninh Hoa in the southern coastal province of Khanh Hoa.
To get down to the Doc Let Beach you have to slide down a sandy slope, and this physical action is the beach’s namesake — the word ‘Doc’ means slope and ‘Let’ means to slide. If you want to endear yourself to the locals and also have an easier time finding the spot you should try to pronounce it ‘Yop Lek’. Doc Let is the first of four beaches you’ll find upon entering Nha Trang and it is easily the best for surfing. Although the waves are definitely more on the mellow side. It’s one of the better beaches in Vietnam if you’re a beginning surfer (although don’t expect there to be any surf schools, rentals, or lifeguards at this spot).
There are a lot of Russian-owned restaurants and bars, and the village tends to fill up during Russian high tourism season which lasts from October to February. During the rest of the year it’s a very chill place, and definitely provides a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the urban areas in Vietnam.
Long Beach (Bai Dai)
Although the locals call it by its proper name which is ‘Bai Dai’, the name ‘Long Beach’ is appropriate as this is the longest of all the beaches in Vietnam. The beach consists of mainly hard packed sand and mangroves. As for the waves themselves, you can always expect really great breakers that can easily generate enough power for longboard riding. You may even want to try and launch some airs if you ride a short board! The waves get even bigger and faster during the winter months (November to April).
This beach is only 15 kilometers from Cam Ranh International Airport. In fact, you can actually observe the waves from your plane upon descent. From your seat in the sky, you’ll be able to tell if there’s a northeastern swell wrapping around the beach!
There’s definitely a strong surf culture in Bai Dai, and its headquarters is a restaurant/bar/surf shop called “The Shack”.
The locals are friendly, and here’s where you can find surf lessons and rentals if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s also a good place to hook up with other traveling surfers and trade tips and contact info regarding the best cheap accommodation all across Vietnam.
Unlike many of the once pristine beaches in Vietnam, Long Beach is still relatively untouched by mega resorts and other developments. However, various projects are in the pre-planning stages, so if you want to go to one of the last beaches in Vietnam with its old school charm still intact now is the time to book your Hanoi surf trip.
Mui Ne Beach
Not all of the beaches in Vietnam are apt for beginning or intermediate surfers and many don’t offer rentals or surf lessons.
This is not the case with Mui Ne Beach. Here you will find Surfpoint Kitesurfing school. It should be noted that as the name would suggest, this school’s specialty is kiteboarding.
This makes sense due to the fact that there are typically a lot of heavy crosswinds at Mui Ne Beach. Winds going north can reach 30 knots while southern winds can top out at 18 knots. This is great for kite surfing but can make for pretty choppy surf.
Not to fret, though; if you really have your heart set on learning how to surf there are surf rentals and lessons available from Surfpoint at Mui Ne Beach too. Besides, kitesurfing and surfing compliment each other; learning the one makes you better at the other.
One of the best things about signing up for lessons with Surfpoint is that they offer all inclusive packages. This not only means that they’ll take care of your food and accommodation, but they’ll also take care of your visa and pick you up from the airport. If you want to take all of the stress out of a water sports holiday in Vietnam then this is definitely an option you should consider.
My Khe Beach
Another awesome surf school in Vietnam is Da Nang Surf School located at My Khe Beach which is easily accessible from downtown Da Nang, the fourth largest city in Vietnam and the main port city in the country’s south.
This is the oldest surf school in Vietnam and it’s staffed by ISA certified instructors (International Surf Association). Rentals are also available from the surf school; they have all board sizes as well as soft boards. The conditions are apt for beginning surfers, and there are long open lines where experienced surfers who are trying to perfect that one hard-to-get carve or cutback can experiment and fool around.
Nha Trang City Beach
As a spot to cruise and people watch this is one one of the best beaches in Vietnam. In fact, many have likened Nha Trang city beach to South East Asia’s answer to Rio De Janeiro and the comparison is warranted.
As for the surfing at Nha Trang city beach, throughout most of the year, the waves just ended up crashing onto the shore. The only time there are ever any waves you can ride here are when the swells get really huge. So you’ll have to keep an eye on the surf forecast. Luckily Bai Dai and ‘The Shack’ are close by, and Rip Curl just opened up their flagship Southeast Asia store in Nha Trang Bay. So there is another place you can go to pick up some gear and find out what is going on surfing wise in all of Vietnam.
Nha Trang is a good place to use as a home base if you are planning on surfing throughout Vietnam. There are lots of affordable accommodations and it is equidistant from all of the top surfing spots in the country.