SWMBO writes about one of Hoi An’s beaches:
An Bang Beach is the quieter of the two main beaches in Hoi An. It is 5 kilometres out of Hoi An. A peaceful bike ride through rice paddies to a laid back bohemian beach. Most people flock to Cua Dai Beach, leaving miles of golden sand devoid of people at An Bang.
We were lucky enough to spend a week at An Bang Beachhouse. We rented it from Glenn, an affable Australian ex-pat living in Vietnam. Glenn greeted us when we arrived and we couldn’t have asked for a warmer reception. The beach house is beautiful and steps from the sea. Two large bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious open living/dining/kitchen area and a sleeping loft. Add in a garden, two bicycles and two housekeepers and the stage was set for an amazing week.
Even though the beach house is steps from the beach, we sometimes chose to walk down the beach road to the section of beach with amenities. The sea in front of the house is virgin beach with nothing but a fisherman’s coracle in sight. Further down the beach road are palapas, vendors, other beach bums and the friendly bakery.
An Bang beach is a special place. Although I have never lived by the ocean, I love a good beach and I have to admit that I am fussy when it comes to beaches. For me, a great beach has fine sand; the water is a beautiful colour; it is not crowded; you are not constantly harangued to buy things; you are not menaced by wildlife; and it is pleasant to wade (no jellyfish, sea cucumbers, sharp rocks, etc.). Have I forgotten anything? Of course, there has to be some shade.
An Bang Beach has all of the above. There is no shade BUT there is a cluster of cafés on the beach where for the price of a coffee or a sandwich, you can relax in the beach-y shade all day.
One of the most popular with tourists and ex-pats is Soul Kitchen. No better place to enjoy a Vietnamese coffee or sweetened lemon juice while the kids play on the beach. And like everywhere in Vietnam, free wifi! On the beach!