Located roughly 12 kilometers North of Hue, the Thuan An Beach is a good beach to go to when you’re in Hue and looking to spend some time in the sand and under the sun. Situated in Thuan An, right where the Huong river meets the Tam Giang lagoon and the sea, it offers a scenic view of the surroundings as well as a place to enjoy the waters of Vietnam.
It is one of the oldest beaches in the city and one that is extremely popular among locals. It draws crowds, most especially on weekends and holidays, providing a getaway beach away from the daily grind of life for the city dwellers of its neighboring cities. In fact, the sceneries you’ll see en route to the beach are enough to make you feel calm and at peace with nature.
Along the road heading to the beach, you’ll find lots of small villages, traditional houses, temples, pagodas, rice paddy fields and lush gardens. If you have more time to spare, you could also visit an old house of “Uncle Ho” (Ho Chi Minh) in the Phu Duong. In addition, you could visit the nearby temple of Thai Duong. The temple is dedicated to Thai Duong Goddess, a sacred whale animal revered by the local people. Once you get near, you’ll also be able to enjoy watching small privately owned boats floating on the river that all make for a good photo.
When you reach the beach, you’ll find lots of deck chairs lining the shore. Food stands selling seafood are plenty and varied, and there are many water activities that you can try doing. Most tourists visit Thuan An from April to September to enjoy the water sports available in the beach.
The downside to this beach is that because it is popular and highly accessible and reachable, it can get really busy with foreign and local tourists around. There is, however, a part of the beach that is virtually deserted and that you can head on to if the mob of tourists is starting to get to you. Just turn off the left before the road that leads to the Thuan An Beach. Here, you’re unlikely to see locals swarming the area. In fact, this area of the beach is avoided by the locals.
In 1999, the sea surged over the beach and flowed over all the beach surfaces including a small hotel fronting the shore. It was due to a storm but the locals since then have believed that the beach was unlucky and all the businesses have moved to another site a few kilometers to the South of what was once the original Thuan An Beach.
Today, the old main beach, looks pretty much abandoned by all but a couple of restaurants still operating their business. And if you want a truly relaxing atmosphere, it’s the best part of the beach to go to. There are pine trees along the shore offering shade and the blue waters of the sea beckon to you for a lazy swim. So, if you’re ever in town and the heat gets unbearable for your European and American cold-acclimatized skin, visit the Thuan An Beach and cool down a little.