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Beach North of Nha Trang

BEACHES NORTH OF NHA TRANG

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There are four noteworthy beach spots north of Nha Trang. Dai Lanh Beach and Doc Let Beach are two popular places, though both are largely geared towards Vietnamese holiday makers. If you’re not into crowds, try to avoid visiting on weekends.

Of considerably more interes than these, however, are definitely worht fiding your way to, are Jungle Beach and Whale Island two of Vietnam’s most secduled and peaceful beach venues.

Dai Lanh Beach

Semicircular, casaurina shaded Dai Lanh Beach is a beautiful spot 83km north of Nha Trang and 150km south of Qui Nhon, right on National Hwy 1.

About 1km south of Dai Lanh Beach is a vast sand dune causeway worth exploring; it connects the mainland to Hon Gom, a moutainous peninsula almost 30km is length. The main village in Hon Gom is Dam Mon (known to the French as Port Dayot), which is on a sheltered bay facing the island of Hon Lon.

At the northern end of Dai Lanh Beach is Dai Lanh Promontory (Mui Dai Lanh), which was named Cap Varella by the French.

Keep a close eye on your gear if you’re overnighting at Dai Lanh Beach; we’ve heard a few reports of theft.

Places to Stay & Eat Mid-way down the beach, Thuy Ta Restaurant (tel 842117; tents 15,000d, fan rooms 70,000d-120,000d) has tents for rents, as well some ultra simple straw roof beach bungalows with brick floors and fans. Toilets are shared, and for non guests there’s a charge of 3000d for the use of clod showers,

Getting There & Away Dai Lanh Beach runs along National Hwy1, so any vehicle travelling along the coast between Nha Trang and Tuy Hoa (or Qui Nhon) will get you there. The coastal scenery is ctunning, in particular north of Dai Lanh Beach.

Local train stop directly across from the beach.

Doc Let Beach

Doc let Beach is long and wide, with chalk white sand and shallow water. Domestic tourists have gradually calimed this one away from foreign backpackers, who once had free range of this lovely stretch of beachfront. Still, Doc Let is easily accessible from Nha Trang, and worth considering as a day trip or overnight stop.

The 3000 beach entry fee is waived for resort guests.

Places to Stay Access to the beach is via Doc Let Beach Resort (tel 849663, fax 849506, docletresort@dng.vnn.vn; double/triple/quad bungalows with fan & cold water 150,000/170,000/190,000d; double/triple/qud/bungalows with air-con & hot water 280,000/300,000/320,000) which has 20 concrete beach bungalows, each with private toilet and fridge, and close to the beach. Other facilities include tennis courts (30,000d per hour), two restaurant, a bar and, of cousre, karaoke and massage facilities. Internet access costs 500d per minute.

Getting There & Away Doc Let Beach is on a peninsula to the north of Nha Trang. There is no public transport to this spot. Some people take day tours from Nha Trang (US$6) inquire at Mr Vu’s tour Adventures – while others hire a vehicle or drive themselves. Doc let is 30km north of Nha Trang on National Hwy 1; just north of the Huyndai Shipyards take the right fork (east) and continue for 10km past phtogenic salt fields until you reach the beach. A sign in English marks the turn off.

Whale Island

Whale Island Resort (tel/fax 840501; decouvrivn@dng.vnn.vn, www.whaleislandresort.com; US$35 per person per day) is a lovely and secluded French run beach retreat on Whale Island (Port Dayot). Electricity is supplied by generator, thankfully out of ear shot of the simple wooden beachfront bungalows. Rates include accommodation, all meals and boat transfer.

Scuba - diving season on the island end in mid - October, starting up again in mid February. The best season for diving is from April to September. Despite the damaging affects of dynamite fishing, environmental protection efforts (including the planting of sea coral) around the resort bay have brought about a marked increase in the number of marine species from 40 to over 170.

To reach Whale Island, follow National Hwy 1 to Van Ninh, 60km north of Nha Trang and 64km south of Tuy Hoa. From there, it’s a two hour boat trip (in Hanoi 08-8458096, fax 8440205) to the island.

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach Resort (tel 811350/0913429144, www.lotusvietnam.com; bungalows US$10-25) sits on an enchanting three hectare tract of land where jungle clad mountains converge with 550m of pristine beach front.

The brainchild of an eco-friendly French-Canadian-Vietnamese couple, this peaceful retreat features bungalows that are invisible to each other, spread out amid an astounding array of fruit trees, herb, flower and vegetable gardens – all part of a working organic farm. Solar and wind power supply much of the energy, and all of the tasty food is MSG – free.

In addition to the bungalows, basic dome tent camping, as well as deluxe sleep outs (four pasters under mosquito nets!), are also possible here.

Behind the resort is superd for trekking, while out front there are top notch seakayaking opportunities, as well as the chance for rock climbing (boat access only). Surf’s up around Jungle Beach from December until late March.

Jungle Beach is about half way between Doc let Beach and Nha Trang, 59km by road from Nha TRang via National Hwy 1, but just 15km as the crow flies (or by boat). Motorbike drivers from Dalat know the place, or if you’re taking an open tour bus, ask the driver to drop you at the turn off to Jungle Beach on National Hwy 1.

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