Best beach in Asia – Cua Dai, Vietnam

Cua Dai beach has been touted as the best beach in Asia and voted as the one of the best beaches in Asia by millions of travellers through polls conducted by travel guides such as tripadvisor. I welcome a beach holiday anytime and I’m always excited to uncover what the hype is all about!

Where is Cua Dai beach?
Cua Dai beach is in Vietnam and along the coastlines between Hanoi and HCM. The beach faces the South China Sea and is about 4km to the north-east of Hoi An Town. Although blessed with a tropical climate, the best time to visit is from January to May (temperature ~ 20-30s and low rainfall), while May to August is the hottest and September to January is the rainy season.
Hoi An Cua Dai Vietnam map

How to get to Cua Dai beach / Hoi An?
The easiest way to Hoi An is to fly into Da Nang Airport. Da Nang is easily connected through HCM or Hanoi and the transit itself can be an adventure as flight delays are pretty common, as well as language being a barrier. It is therefore advisable to book connecting/direct flights with the same carrier such as Vietnamair, Jetstar or Singapore Silkair. It takes 25-30 mins by taxi to get to Hoi An from Da Nang Airport and one way will cost about USD 25-30.

Welcome to Cua Dai beach
Be greeted by the amazingly clean, beautiful and unspoilt beach upon your arrival.
Hoi An sun soak on Cua Dai beach blue skies clear sea and white sands

Cua Dai beach stretches on for 3km and is extremely peaceful and uncrowded.
Hoi An fishing boats circular baskets on Cua Dai beach

Say hello to relaxing and bye bye to touters.
Hoi An Cua Dai Da Nang Vietname fishing boat

Do take care when swimming in the sea as the currents can be strong. Guess that also explains for the eroding beach at the tip and lack of water sports in this area.
Hoi An Cui Dai beach China Sea clear waters waves

Where can you stay?
Hoi An Boutique An Boutique is an amazingly peaceful and lusciously green luxurious beach front resort.
Hoi An Boutique Hoi An Hotel Beach Resort Spa

The best bit? An exclusive private beach decked with chairs that are nicely spaced out.
Hoi An holiday and relaxing in Vienam Cua Dai beach

The bonus? A free shuttle service that brings you back and forth to Hoi An town throughout the day. This equates to about USD5 savings each way (that can easily buy you 5 cans of beer at the local supermarket)!

Hoi An Town
Stroll down the ancient city, which is also a UNESCO heritage site, and enjoy the well preserved buildings with a unique blend of local and foreign influences. Hoi an, in general, is laid back and locals are remarkably warm and hospitable. Take time to tailor some clothes and shop the handicraft; fret not about exorbitant shopping quotations. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs for you to periodically rest those tired feet. Enjoy the most delicious vietnamese spring rolls at Morning Glory.
Hoi An Ancient City UNESCO Heritage Centre Vietnam

All about the money
Prices are usually quoted in VND although your friendly shop owners will be happy to convert to USD for payment. Credit cards are not widely used and mostly accepted only in restaurants.

Getting around
Taxi is the best option to get from one place to another fast. Most taxis are on meters – look out for the bigger taxi chains Mai Linh (white and green taxi) and Faifoo (yellow taxi) which is accompanied by a smartly dressed chauffeur (white shirt and matching taxi colour tie). Alternatively, rent a bicycle to explore the town.

Conclusion
Cua Dai beach is a perfect alternative for those seeking a tranquil retreat and a change from the more commercialised beaches in Indonesia and Thailand. Definitely worthy of its crown as one of the best beaches in Asia (if not the best). A perfect weekend getaway if you are based in Asia, and a lovely stopover for travellers embarking on a longer Asia escapade. Sun-soak all day, get lost in time, enjoy the sounds of the sea waves and pamper yourself at the spa. Super love this place and recommend at least a 3-4 day stay to truly enjoy the beach as well as Hoi An Town. I guess I’m already missing the place as I write.

Book your tickets and accommodation now!
Vietnamair http://www.vietnamairlines.com
SilkAir http://www.silkair.com
Jetstar http://www.jetstar.com

Low rates @ agoda.com
worldwide asia hotels agoda

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Sun Soak @ Tenerife Spain

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Sun Soak @ Tenerife – Canary Islands Spain

Beach escapades are always a treat – the sun, the sea and the pure indulgence of doing nothing! This time, we checked out one of the more popular (if not most popular) beaches at Tenerife, Playa de Las Américas, widely known for their beautiful stretches of golden sand beaches.

Where is Tenerife?
Tenerife is one of the seven and largest Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. The Spanish island is blessed with sunshine all year round and famous for its lovely beaches throughout the island. Although there is no best time of the year to visit, the busiest times are usually December to February and May to October.
t map

How to get to Playa de Las Américas
There are two airports in Tenerife – Tenerife South Airport (Reina Sofia) and Tenerife North Airport. Most of the nicer beaches are closer to Tenerife South. It takes about 20 mins and €25 (one way) by taxi from the South airport to Playa de Las Américas.
tenerife airport canary islands spain beach getaway

Welcome to Playa de Las Américas
Playa de Las Américas is on the south coast of Tenerife and has six beaches of which three are man-made golden sand beaches with imported sand from Africa and the other three are natural black volcanic sand beaches. I particularly love the mushroom straw huts, and how neatly they are dotted all over the beach. This is definitely not a common sight outside of Asia. The icing on the cake? Playa de Las Américas is also reputed for being the hotspot to party on the island.
tenerife playa de las americas in canary islands best top beach getaway

The waters at Playa de Las Américas are relatively calm and there are plenty of activities for people of all ages. Jet skiing, wind surfing, banana boating, sailing, diving, parasailing, fishing, dolphin watching and even water themed parks, Siam Park and Aqualand, which are popular with the children.
tenerife golden sand white beaches top vacation calm waters

Explore the beaches to the left and the right of the main beach. The beaches stretch on for several kilometers so it can easily take 1-2 hours to stroll from end to end. It may not seem obvious but the sun rays in Tenerife can be quite potent. Remember to apply sun-block and keep hydrated. You will find that there is no lack of drink kioks on the beaches. Alternatively, pop into one of the many cafes and pubs along the stretch to rest your feet or laze by the bars.
tenerife travel top best beach destination playa de las americas gold white sandy beaches canary islands

The more adventurous may want to hike in Mt Teide – the volcano which is the tallest mountain in Spain. Otherwise, just eye-joy it from almost any part of the island (like us).
tenerife canary island endless golden sand beaches mt teide volcano hike

tenerife natural black volcanic sand beaches vacation atlantic ocean

The beaches are packed up and emptied by 5pm as tourists retreat to their hotels for a short rest before they head out for the night.
tenerife sunset playa de las americas best beach in canary island

The walking street
The walking street is lazy in the day, and comes alive at night. Nightlife resolves around the Veronicas Strip, Starco Commercial Centre and the Patch where there are plenty of bars, restaurants and night clubs to choose from. Clubs open till 3-5am and the range of drinks is comprehensive, if not slightly more creative.
tenerife veronicas strip starco commercial centre patch playa de las americas

What to eat
Seafood is fresh and cooking techniques are mostly simple. Do try the black ink squid and local wrinkly potatos, Papas Arrugadas, that are covered in salt and served ready unpeeled. Also enjoy authentic paellas on this island. Meals are often served with the Canarian sauce dips, Mojo, which usually come in a set of 2 or 3. Each sauce has a different texture and taste (garlic, coriander, paprika?) and these dips are an absolute delight with almost anything.
tenerife food papas arrugadas canarian sauce mojo beach travel vacation

All about the money
The island uses Euros. Credit cards are widely accepted although most require the credit card chip and pin. Food and drinks are not exactly cheap at Tenerife, particularly at Playa de Las Américas since it is relatively commercialised. Expect to pay British pub prices at minimum. It is also common practice to leave a 10% tip.

Conclusion
Tenerife is a hidden gem in the Atlantic sea, mostly undeveloped except for the touristy areas and is probably more well known in the European and British space. While it might not be worth a trip all the way from the rest of the other world, the tropical weather, stunning golden sand beaches and sparkling clear blue sea puts it in the list of beautiful beaches to visit. The beaches at Playa de Las Américas are perfect for those seeking a laid back and fun-filled vacation as the area is nicely built up with cafes, pubs and activities for anyone of all ages to enjoy from day to night. Tenerife will make a rocking weekend getaway and can suit an extended beach vacation for travellers who intend to further explore the island.

For more information, you can visit the Canary Islands Official Tourism Boar http://www.turismodecanarias.com/canary-islands-spain/

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