Wild beach near Hoi An pulls in tourists

The coastline has an individual character with its surroundings still wild and natural and the restaurants along the water’s edge give it a relaxed atmosphere. Do Truong report

Visitors to the central city of Hoi An often visit well known tourist sites, such as the ancient houses, Cua Dai beach or the biosphere reserve on Cham Island. But the natural and largely unknown beach of An Bang has started popping up on travel itineraries.

Only 10 minutes from Hoi An’s ancient town and 30 minutes from the neighbouring city of Da Nang, this beautiful stretch of beach is the perfect distance for a visit.

Local guide Le Ngoc Thuan said that only about three years ago almost no one knew about An Bang, but now there were up to 1,000 visitors going to the beach everyday.

“With a length of about 4km, An Bang is an attractive tourist site you shouldn’t ignore when you visit Hoi An,” Thuan said.

A tourist from England, whose first name is James, said it was the first time he had visited An Bang beach and felt that it was as charming and beautiful as Viet Nam’s better known beaches at Nha Trang and Cua Dai.

“The beach has a special attraction as its surrounding environment is still very wild and natural and the restaurants along the beach bring a rural feel to the area,” James said.

“The sea here is very green and pure and it’s fantastic that you can swim in this water or sit on the sand and see the Cham Island far out to sea as the sun sets,” James said.

Thuan said most travellers get to the beach by bicycle because it’s such a short distance from Hoi An. Many relax on sun lounges reading books.

Kathrin, a tourist from Germany, said a friend introduced her to the beach and now when she has free time, she rides from downtown Hoi An to An Bang to sunbathe and read.

“The surrounding area is very quiet and deserted with really pure air. I like to indulge in a book by the sea,” she said.

Kien Luong Giang, an overseas Vietnamese from America, said it was the second time she had gone to the beach.

“An Bang beach is an ideal place for those who want to find a private space to escape noisy urban living, it’s very quiet and wild – the last time I went to An Bang I felt like I’d found my own private beach,” she said.

Giang said when tourists visit the beach, they can watch and take part in the everyday fishing activities of local fishermen.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to sit on the boat and throw a net to catch some fish just like they do – I will bring my parents to the beach when I return to Viet Nam next time,” she said.

Glenn McVeigh, the Australian manager of Al Fresco’s restaurant at An Bang beach, said restaurants here buy seafood directly from local fishermen which insures good quality and lower prices.

“My restaurant often welcomes about 100-150 foreigners everyday,” he said.

A local official, Vo Ne said in recent years the authorities had made efforts to promote the tourism potential of An Bang, building roads to the beach, planning restaurants and calling for enterprises to invest in the area.

“The local government plans to build An Bang to become a more public place while preserving an environmentally-friendly beach so visitors from both home and abroad can enjoy its wild and natural beauty,” Ne said.

“The beach has only recently opened up to tourism, but I believe in the near future it will become a well-known spot for visitors to the central region and provide new tourism products to help attract more visitors to Hoi An,” he added. — VNS

Far from the madding crowd: Visitors at An Bang beach sunbathe and enjoy the clean blue sea.

Idyllic: An Bang is an ideal place for those who want to find a private and wild space to escape noisy urban living. VNS Photos Do Truong

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