Around Ho Chi Minh City

Cu Chi Tunnels - Tay Ninh - Nui Ba Den - One Pillar Pagoda - Can Gio - Buu Long Mountain -Tri An Falls - Vung Tau - Long Hai - Loc An Beach - Ho Tram Beach - Ho Coc Beach - Binh Chau Hot Springs - Cat Tien National Park - Con Dao Islands


IDD Code: (+84) 64
Keep heading along the coastal road, another 12km or so from Ho Tram, and you'll arrive at the remote and beautiful Ho Coc Beach. Golden sands backed by dunes and clear waters, along with the lack of development, make it a draw - particularly on weekdays, when you'll have the beach largely to yourself. As elsewhere along the coast, weekends bring crowds of Vietnamese tourists. The area around the beach is part of an 11,000-hectare rainforest that was designated a nature reserve in 1975. Most of the larger wildlife was exterminated or else relocated for safety reasons (most of the elephants were sent to Thailand), but plenty of birds and monkeys can be spotted in the forest. Guides for the walking trails can be hired for about 50,000d a day. Inquire at Hang Duong Ho Coc (below).
Sleeping & Eating
There are only a few accommodation choices right at the beach, all of which have decent adjoining restaurants serving good seafood.
Saigon-Ho Coc (Tell: 791036; fax 878175; bungalows s/d 120,000/160.000d) Also called Khu Du Lich Bien Ho Coc, these beachfront A-frame bamboo bungalows with simple private bathrooms (with cold water) are small and rustic, but are not unpleasant places to bunk.
Hang Duong Ho Coc (Tell: 878145; fax 873 878; bungalows 120.000-200,000d; About 50m south down the beach from Saigon-Ho Coc, this equally rustic resort has masses of cosy wooden cottages. The rooms have an attached cold-water bathroom, and some have air-con (others are fan only).
Hotel Ven Ven (r 250,000d; Across the road from the turn-off to the beach bungalows, this attractive newish spot has pleasant, spotless rooms set amid greenery. Although it's not on the beach, Ven Ven is the nicest option in the area, and the sands are just a short stroll away.
Getting There & Away
There's no public transport out here, but some of the budget cafes in HCMC offer appealing day and overnight trips to Ho Coc. Saigon Tourist ( 49 Đ Le Thanh Ton, HCMC) puts together trips to Ho Coc that include a visit to Binh Chau Hot Springs Resort (below). This also makes for a good (but very long) day trip on a motorbike -which you can also hire in Vung Tau. The new road is in decent shape, and it's a particularly magical ride past sand dunes with lovely ocean views on certain stretches of the road between Ho Tram and Ho Coc.