While Hoi An city in Vietnam is known for its amazing culture and ancient structures, it also boasts of amazing white sand beaches that could compete with the best in the world. The most popular Hoi An beach is An Bang Beach. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site city, Hoi An has plenty to boast about and to claim that it is truly an important tourist destination. Besides the city attractions, its beach offers a kind of relaxation that can only be found in Vietnam.
Hoi An is a picturesque seaside town, which was why it used to be called Hai Pho or “a town by the seaside”. It used to be the largest and one of the most important harbors in Southeast Asia. Facing the South China Sea, the Champa people (earliest settlers in Hoi An) easily and strategically traded with the Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Dutch. While in the past this means much wealth, today, the closeness of the city to the sea means rest and recreation by the beach is only a few minutes away.
A traveler may leisurely walk to the nearby beaches or rent a bike for a scenic ride through Hai Ba Trung St., going to the seaside. Biking is a popular way of getting around Hoi An since there is very little traffic. Bike rental is only 10,000 dong or half a dollar. Taxis may refuse passengers going to the beach since it is very near, and that means little money.
An Bang Beach is the most popular beach in Quang Nam Province (where Hoi An is located). It is only about 2.5 km away from the town center. It is very popular to the local people, which is why it is also called “local’s beach”, but expats and international travelers have recently been making their way to this beach also. It is popular for its pristine beach and the row of exciting restaurants and shops. There are about 12 very interesting restaurants that specialize in delicious Vietnamese sea foods, not to mention they are relatively very cheap. Western tourists love the food here.
Three popular restaurants are the Phatties (a sports bar with dart boards and a pool table), Soul Kitchen and La Plage (to the right side of the beach). La Plage rent out surfboards since the waters here provide good surf at certain times of the year. La Plage also offers yoga classes, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The atmosphere in An Bang Beach is very friendly as locals, expats and tourists meet and greet each other, all enjoying and just relaxing by the South China Sea. The other beach in Hoi An is Cua Dai, 5 km away from the town center. Some prefer Cua Dai over An Bang because there is always a party going on at Cua Dai. But a good number of tourists love An Bang for being much quieter and serene. Tourists blissfully share An Bang Beach with a handful of sunbathers and beach bums, away from beach hawkers and local vendors.