Surfing in Vietnam
Vietnam is located in the southeast of Asia and it’s known for the delicious food, paradisiac beaches, beautiful rivers, Buddhist pagodas and exciting cities. If you’ve seen the famous movie from Francis Ford Copolla, Apocalypse Now, you know that there are good waves in the country and it's a fact that US soldiers have been surfing since the 60s, during the war. Although surfing in Vietnam is quite underrated and relatively new, the country offers everything that can make it a great surf destination. There are uncrowded line ups, hot weather all year round, breathtaking landscapes, super friendly locals and exotic food. Even though the 3,000 km vietnamese coast misses out on the Pacific groundswells, you can still find waves to surf almost all year round. The most popular area to surf in the country is along the South Central Coast. Vietnam’s waves are mainly influenced by the monsoons that create storms and winds that generate the swells. The best time to surf is between November and March during the winter monsoon season. The best swells are produced by typhoons that happen during this period of the year. Surfing in Vietnam offers the adventurous traveler the opportunity to interact with nature and have an off the beaten path surfing experience without the annoying crowds and beaches. Sounds like a dream, right?
Climate in Vietnam
The climate in Vietnam varies along the country. It’s subtropical in the north and tropical in the center and south. The weather is heavily influenced by the monsoons. From May to October the country experiences a south-west monsoon that brings heavy rain mostly to the north and south parts of the country. The central part of Vietnam is protected by the mountains and has less rain leaving more space for sun shining days. From October to April the northeast monsoon occurs. This period of the year is generally drier, but it also brings heavy rains in the early months of October to December. The best time to surf is during the winter monsoon from November to March. The water is warm year round.
Best surf spots in Vietnam
The best surf spots in Vietnam are located along the South Central Coast. Here are the most popular surf spots in the country: Da Nang, Vung Tau, Bai Dai, Binh An, China Beach, Cue Dai Beach, Mui Ne, Golden Bay, Hotels, Lang Co, My Khe, Nam O Point, Nha Trang, Non Nuonc, Pham Rang and Ong Dia.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $2 USD. Mid-range meals start at $8 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $30-50 USD
There are a couple places where you can rent gear. Boards start at $5 USD and hour.
Prepaid SIM cards
Viettel is a good choice. SIM cards should be purchased from official stores.
Prepaid packages start at $5 USD.
Local transport in Vietnam is diverse. The most common way to get around is by motorbike taxis known as xe om. When haggling your fare, ensure you know which currency you are dealing in.
Taxis are common on the streets of all major cities. The vast majority are metered (with prices in dong) and fares are not expensive.
Most travellers use buses to get around Vietnam for long distances. Buses are mostly made up of privately operated services, usually referred to as “open-tour” buses.
Renting a car is not yet an option for tourists. However, it’s easy to hire a driver at around $50 USD a day.
Motorbike rental is possible in most towns and cities regularly frequented by tourists, $7 USD a day.
$0.54 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Rip currents, inconsistent. Typhoons.
How to prepare
Citizens from 24 countries, including the UK, Italy and Spain, can enter Vietnam without a visa for 13-90 days (depending on which country). Citizens from many other countries, including the US and Australia must apply for an eVisa online before travel, the visa allows for a 30 day stay.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Vietnamese is the official language. You’ll find English speakers in the tourist areas.
The currency is the Dong (d).
Best time to go
The best time to surf is between November and March during the winter monsoon season.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf pictures of Vietnam at #surfvietnam.