Attraction An Bang beach, group 3 An Tan, Cam An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam Published on: 04-11-2016
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Why An Bang Beach is special ?
An Bang is one of the few remaining stretches of beach that remains mostly unspoilt by development, offering clean blue sea, castaway restaurants and bohemian beach bars. It flaunts not only the most fabulous island and mountain views that you don’t even need to climb off your lounger to enjoy but also some of the best seafood in Hoi An. And unlike many beach destinations there is something to do whatever the season, whether you prefer some self-indulgent R&R or an action packed surfing safari, An Bang never shuts shop.
This little slice of paradise is finally giving the more well known Cua Dai Beach a run for its money and what’s so great is that it’s popular all year round with both locals and tourists alike. During the popular summer months, the local Vietnamese crowd comes here mostly for sunrise swims and sunset family beach barbecues, meaning that during the day it stays quiet.
What to explore at An Bang Beach?
The dry season falls between March and September, offering the best beach weather with temperatures soaring into the 30s and beyond. If tanning and beach lounging are your things, for the price of a bottle of water you can hire a sun lounger for the day. Beach activities on offer other than lolling around in the sea are a little thin on the ground, but if a game of pool or petanque floats your boat then Banyan Bar is a good bet — they also hire out both body and paddle boards. If you are looking for company for your kids, Soul Kitchen is where the local expat children hang out after school and at weekends, providing fun playmates to give frazzled parents a breather from sandcastle-building duties and cries of “I’m bored”.
A large plate will cost you the advertised (tourist) price of 30,000 VND. Further up the street at number 16 is the imaginatively named Com Ga, which is always packed. The two sisters that run this stall serve a slightly different version again, adding coconut milk to the rice to lend a slightly more exotic flavour. Prices here vary (for tourists) but expect to pay around 20-30,000 VND depending on their mood.
As the wet season hits (October to February), An Bang’s micro-climate is full of little surprises, offering the odd sunny day and one of the most incredible places to sit and watch the storms come in over the mountain borders of Da Nang. This is also the time for some pretty spectacular surfing conditions when six-foot waves roll into An Bang’s beach break. If you need to hire a board, fancy some lessons or want to meet up with the expat surf community, your best bet is to contact Bondi surfer Dale who runs a surf school for all levels from An Bang’s sandy shores.
Gastronomic offerings come from French-run Banyan Bar, La Plage and Soul Kitchen, where kitchen aficionado Mien serves up incredible local seafood and French dishes. If you prefer Italian there’s Luna with its clay oven pizzas and authentic pasta dishes. White Sail serves up some pretty mean barbecues and some meaner still cocktails, but if you want to stay local there are some astonishingly good Vietnamese restaurants serving up just-plucked-from-the-sea delicacies at exceedingly good prices. Two of the best ones are Chien, located on the corner by the parking lot, and Lien Ka’s, next door to Soul Kitchen, which grills the most delicious scallops and squid along with other Vietnamese seafood favourites.
Like all good beach bars and restaurants should, they stay open as long as there are customers, but if you are looking for a party then weekends are partied time at Soul Kitchen, who put on some very cool events with great food and DJs. Midweek groups should head towards La Plage where bar manager Matty is happy for you to take over the playlist and serve up drinks till sunrise.
How to get to An Bang Beach?
Basically just follow Hai Ba Trung street to the coastal road and when you get to the intersection, go straight. There is a parking lot nearby the beach entrance.
An Bang beach, group 3 An Tan, Cam An Ward, Hoi An, Quang Nam
Easy access from Hoi An (recommend bike or motorbike). Worth the extra hike up from the beaches immediately East of Hoi An. Food and drink are very reasonably priced, even by Vietnam standards. Can either be ordered at the beach, or from nearby restaurants. Chairs and umbrellas are available if desired, also very reasonably priced. Locals here are relaxed and very friendly. Beautiful sand and views. Waves were a little strong during the times I visited - perfect for fun in the water, though maybe not everyone's ideal.