Cam Ranh Bay, Cam Lap Promontory, Vietnam

Cam Ranh Bay: Cam Lap Promontory

First published January 2017 | Words and photos by Vietnam Coracle

This post was last updated 7 years ago. Please check the comments section for possible updates, or read more on my Updates & Accuracy page.


Filled by the calm, glistening waters of the East Sea, Cam Ranh Bay, just south of Nha Trang, is a splendid natural harbour surrounded by hills. From its southern shores, a finger of land points northwards into the bay: This is Cam Lap Promontory, one of those rare places that’s easily accessible yet undeveloped and utterly beautiful. It’s the kind of place you fall in love with, and one that, for the time being, really does deserve the overused epithet of ‘hidden gem’. Beaches don’t get much better than this in Vietnam, and yet, if  you visit on a weekday (avoiding weekends and national holidays), you will probably have the chalky, white-sand, boulder-studded beaches and mirror-flat, jade-blue sea all to yourself. This is my guide to one of my favourite corners of coastal Vietnam.

Cam Ranh Bay, Cam Lap Promontory, Vietnam

Cam Lap Promontory: a beautiful but undeveloped corner of coastal Vietnam

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Often dubbed ‘Vietnam’s Maldives’, Cam Lap Promontory is in the perfect stage of development: fairly easily accessible but far enough from the beaten track to ensure that few travellers make it here; a handful of good accommodation options but large-scale construction has yet to arrive; locals are welcoming and friendly to foreign travellers, not cynical and predatory as they can be in the more popular beach towns. Cam Lap Promontory makes a rewarding day trip from Nha Trang or Phan Rang, or as a destination in itself for those who like their sandy beaches less trodden. Weather in Cam Ranh Bay is pretty good year-round and it receives less rain than Nha Trang, just 70km to the north. My favourite time to visit is the height of the dry season, from January to April.

I’ve divided this guide into 4 sections: click an item below to read more about it:


Cam Ranh Bay, Cam Lap Promontory, Vietnam

Easily accessible yet rarely visited by foreign travellers, Cam Lap Promontory has plenty of local charm


Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay

View in a LARGER MAP

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Almost equidistant from Nha Trang (75km to the north) and Phan Rang (65km to the south), Cam Lap Promontory is a rugged horn of land projecting into Cam Ranh Bay. Accessed via a steep, narrow, paved lane leading north from the spectacular Nui Chua Coast Road, the promontory is made up of giant boulder piles which rise from the calm, blue waters of the bay. Despite all this rock, the entire peninsular is cloaked in foliage: eucalyptus plantations occupy the high-ground, giving way to shady groves of cashew and mango trees on the low-ground. The trees and boulders continue right to the waters’ edge, where the waves have slowly eroded the rocks into fine white sand.

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Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Cam Lap is a rocky promontory covered in fruit plantations that continue up to the white-sand beaches

The eastern side of the promontory boasts a series of gently arcing bays with excellent white-sand beaches separated by giant boulders lying in the sand like unfinished sculptures; there’s even some decent coral just offshore. The western side is more rugged, characterized by a handful of sheltered coves which provide natural harbours for small fishing fleets and remote settlements. Although the sand is not as dazzling on this side of the promontory, the water is exceptionally calm and blue, and there are a couple of wonderfully secluded bays. There are places to stay and eat on both sides of the peninsular.

Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Boulders lie in the sand, eroded by the seawater, looking like unfinished sculptures

There’s only one road on the promontory, which splits into two branches: eastern and western. The former leads through fruit orchards, past white-sand beaches (generally referred to as Binh Lap Beach), and all the way to a small village near the tip of the promontory, known as Mũi Sộp. The western branch leads through a pleasantly sleepy fishing hamlet, called Binh Lap Village, from where the road climbs over to another remote hamlet in a sheltered cove. Exploring the fishing communities, fruit plantations and beaches on two wheels or on foot is a very rewarding way to spend a day or two. This is a peaceful, calm, friendly, warm and welcoming, and extremely pretty place to be. (Note that, although the water quality, beaches and general level of cleanliness and sanitation on Cam Lap Promontory is good, prepare yourself for the build-up of trash in the fishermen’s bays; a common sight all over Vietnam).

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Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Exploring the bays, coves and beaches on foot or on two wheels is very rewarding

Unsurprisingly, the main industry here is fishing, specifically squid and lobster. The squid fishermen go out into the bay in the evenings, returning early to mid-morning, when they can be found in the narrow back-streets of the fishing hamlets, eating snacks and drinking beer and rice wine before going to bed. At some of the accommodation options you may be able to arrange a night out on-board one of the squid fishing vessels. The lobsters are farmed in cages submerged in the seawater; you’ll see (and smell) the barnacled cages drying in the sun on the beaches. Most of the bays on Cam Lap Promontory are still working beaches: they haven’t been cleaned up for tourists, so you’ll see boats coming ashore with their catch, and woven coracles floating just offshore tending to their fishing nets. Needless to say, both the squid (mực) and lobster (tôm hùng) are fantastic here: look for them on the menus in the places to eat.

Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Several fishing hamlets occupy the small natural harbours, particularly on the west side of the promontory

Because Cam Ranh Bay is such a good natural harbour, it has a history of military importance: both the USA and the USSR had naval stations here in the 20th century, and today the Vietnamese navy control it tightly. This is one of the reasons given to me by local people when I ask why such a beautiful place has yet to see significant development (not that I’m complaining about it, of course). Although tourism has reached Cam Lap Promontory, it’s still in its infancy, and this is a big part of its appeal. Accommodation ranges from beach camping to cozy dormitories to plush villas on stilts above the bay. Personally, I find the scenery here intensely pretty, the seafood fresh and delicious, the fishing villages charming and laid-back, and the people warm and welcoming: I was smitten from my very first visit.

Cam Lap Promontory, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

I was smitten the first time I visited this area, and I’ve been coming back ever since

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There are only a handful of places to stay on Cam Lap Promontory, but between them there’s enough variety to suit all budgets. (Note: all prices in all categories increase by around 30% on weekends and public holidays.)


Dao Hoa Vang; (50,000-500,000vnd);; 090 991 7881; [MAP] The newest addition to the spattering of accommodation options on Cam Lap Promontory is great news for budget travellers. Dao Hoa Vang has excellent dorms for 120,000vnd per person. The comfortable bunk beds are arranged in a clean room with a decent shared bathroom, just a couple of minutes’ walk for the beach. There are also private bedrooms sleeping 2-5 people (500,000vnd) set in a shady garden. The beach belonging to Dao Hoa Vang has a few wood and canvas beach huts (500,000vnd) for couples. In addition to this, you can camp on the beach: 50,000vnd to pitch your own tent, or 200,000vnd to rent a tent. It’s all pretty good value and there’s an appealing young-Vietnamese-backpacker vibe to this place.

Dao Hoa Vang domitory, Binh Lap, Vietnam

The clean and cosy dormitory at Dao Hoa Vang is great value for budget travellers

Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort (camping); (300,000-700,000vnd);; (+84) 58 2222 892; [MAP] Although the rooms at this spectacularly located resort are upwards of $100, there’s a great deal for budget travellers if you camp here. Accessed via a dirt road from the eastern side of the promontory that leads over to the western side, the resort allows you to pitch your own tent on the beach for 300,000vnd (up to 3 people per tent) or rent a 2-person tent for 500,000vnd (or 700,000vnd if you want to include breakfast). You must also pay a 50,000vnd entrance fee. It may sound a bit dear for camping but, trust me, once you see the ‘campsite’ you’ll immediately change your mind. There’s lots of sandy space under coconut palms leading onto a glorious double beach where you can set up camp. Bathrooms aren’t great, but who cares. What’s more, if you visit on a weekday, you may have it all to yourself. Inquire at the resort reception for camping equipment and payment.

Camping at Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort, Vietnam

Camping in style: a night under the canvas at Ngoc Suong Yen Bay is memorable

Bai Tam Anh Tu; (50,000-150,000vnd) 0163 585 9541; [MAP] Further up the concrete lane, beyond Dao Hoa Vang and Binh Chau, there’s see a sign on the right for Bai Tam Anh Tu. A cashew and mango orchard on raised ground above a boulder-strewn beach bursting with tropical colour, camping here is very atmospheric indeed. In theory, you can pitch your own tent anywhere on the grounds (including under the thatched gazebos), or swing yourself to sleep in one of their hammocks, or lie out on the ground in a sleeping bag under a mosquito net (50,000-150,000vnd for any of the above). However, last time I visited, the friendly family in charge were a little unsure of their prices and policies for foreigners staying here. But, after a polite chat and sitting down for a drink with them, I would expect everything to work out fine.

Bai Tam Anh Tu, Binh Lap, Vietnam

Swing yourself to sleep in one of the hammocks at Bai Tam Anh Tu….if you’re allowed to

Bai Tam Hai Teo; (100,000vnd) 097 830 0884; [MAP] Signposted to the right, 8km after turning off the coast road, a dirt track leads through cashew trees to a gated garden: this is Hai Teo. Let yourself in and close the gate behind you. The family here allow camping on their beautiful, powdery beach for 100,000vnd with your own tent. They can provide food and drink if you ask in advance. (You can also pay 25,000vnd just to access the beach.)

Bai Tam Binh Chau; (100,000-700,000vnd) 090 5166 629; [MAP] Next door to Dao Hoa Vang, Binh Chau is a simple place with lush gardens and a glorious beachfront. There are a few clean rooms with air-con (400,000-700,000vnd) or you can pitch your own tent on the sand for 100,000vnd, or rent a tent for 200,000-300,000vnd for 2-4 people. If you’re camping, the showers are a bit rustic, and on weekends and public holidays the peace is occasionally disturbed by groups playing loud music. But most of the time it’s quiet, pristine and laid-back.

Binh Chau, Binh Lap, Vietnam

Binh Chau offers clean rooms and camping on its lovely patch of white-sand beach

Nha Nghi Kim Xuyen; (300,000vnd) 01663 027 982; [MAPIf you look hard, you’ll find this little, local guesthouse right at the end of the road, in the last fishing village on the promontory. It’s not especially clean or cheap so there’s not really any reason to stay here. There are a couple of other nhà nghỉ (local guesthouses) and nhà trọ (local inns) on the promontory, but again I don’t see why you’d choose to stay in them when you can either rent a tent for 200,000vnd at Binh Chau or a bunk bed for 120,000vnd at Dao Hoa Vang.

Wild Camping; (free) [MAP] Before reaching Binh Lap Village, the road passes over a hill covered in eucalyptus forests and cashew plantations. You’ll see dirt paths leading off the road and into the trees on both sides of the road. Several of these paths reach sandy clearings on high-ground with superb views over Cam Ranh Bay. If you have your own camping equipment, nothing quite compares to setting up camp under a tree and boiling a brew to watch the sunset over the bay. If you do camp, make sure you are as discreet as possible, and set an example for other travellers – both foreign and domestic – by not leaving your trash behind.

Camping, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam

Wild camping in the eucalyptus & cashew forests with views over Cam Ranh Bay is wonderful



Sao Bien Cam Ranh; (500,000-1,000,0000vnd); 090 366 9363; [MAP] On the western side on the Promontory, take the road beyond Binh Lap Village following the signs for Sao Bien (also known as Starfish). Remote and hidden, this cluster of accommodation options is accessed by a very steep downhill pathway – something to bear in mind if you have small children or trouble walking up and down steep hills. The bay here is gorgeous; a bit like a smaller and more secluded version of the one at Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort. The sandy cove is bisected by large, smooth boulders from which steps have been cut and slides attached. The water is beautiful and calm; the swimming is excellent. Accommodation ranges from fan-cooled, hobbit-sized, wooden A-frame beach huts with shared bathrooms (500,000vnd for 1 or 2 people) to air-conditioned, white-washed brick bungalows and villas (800,000-1,000,000vnd). The beach-side gardens are beautifully landscaped and it’s all very cosy and nicely set up, but prices are just a little bit too high, in my opinion. However, the room rates include use of all the activities on site including, among other things, kayaking which is great fun in the calm bay.

Sao Bien, Binh Lap, Vietnam

Sao Bien has several accommodation options dotted around a beautiful bay



Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort; ($100-$150);; (+84) 58 2222 892; [MAP] This is one of those places that leaves you open-mouthed the first time you see it. The location has to be among the loveliest of any beach resort in Vietnam and, considering this, the prices aren’t so bad (although the rooms could do with some maintenance and TLC). As you take the eastern branch of the road leading along Cam Lap Promontory, there’s a small sign on the left for Ngoc Suong Yen Bay. Pass the guard in the kiosk (paying the 50,000vnd entrance fee) and continue on the dirt road through cashew trees to the western side of the promontory. Here, you’ll lay eyes on a stunning double bay, divided by a chain of boulders sculpted into strange shapes by the sea. Yen Bay Resort is famous among Vietnamese travellers for it’s position and its seafood, but foreign travellers rarely make it here. There are only 8 rooms, most of which are standing on concrete stilts over the glistening, calm waters of Cam Ranh Bay or nestled among the boulders. It’s possible to jump into the sea from your balcony and the swimming is great. Rooms are nicely furnished but showing their age: indeed, much of this resort needs attention (the raised wooden-plank walkway between the villas is extremely rickety and pretty dangerous for children). But these ‘faults’ are part of what keeps prices relatively low, making Ngoc Suong Yen Bay the ‘poor man’s’ Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, or as I prefer to say, ‘it’s got character’.

Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort, Binh Lap, Vietnam

Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort has 8 rooms on stilts over Cam Ranh Bay: it’s a stunning location

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Although Cam Lap Promontory has relatively few places to eat and drink, the quality of the seafood is terrific and the location – think tables and chairs on white-sand beaches with waves lapping just a few feet away – makes up for the lack of variety on the menus. All of the accommodation options listed above either have a restaurant, cafe or bar, or at the very least can arrange food and drinks for their guests. (Remember that you can just have a drink at any of these places and then take a dip in the sea and relax in the deck chairs on their beach.) In addition to this there are several informal local eateries and street food vendors in the fishing hamlets.  

Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort; (starting from 100,000vnd per dish) [MAP] The company which owns this resort, Ngoc Suong, is famous for its seafood restaurants, most of which are in glamorous locations around Vietnam. The menu at Yen Bay Resort is not as extensive as other Ngoc Suong locations, but the seafood is fresh, beautifully presented, and delicious. Prices are pretty reasonable for standard dishes, but most of the fresh seafood is sold by the kilo, changing each day according to the catch. Beer, soft drinks and juices are a couple of dollars each (adding a few cocktails to the menu would be a good idea). Food and drink aside, this has to be one of the most beautifully situated restaurants in Vietnam: even if you’re not staying in the rooms or camping on the beach here, drop by for a drink just to gawp at the gorgeous location.

Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort, Binh Lap, Vietnam

Food & Drink at Ngoc Suong Yen Bay Resort is good & the restaurant’s setting is fabulous

Binh Lap Village; [MAP] Take a stroll around the small and quiet streets of this fishing village and you’ll see a handful of quán ăn (local eateries) and bánh mì (baguette) stalls. In particular, look out for Quán Cây Xoài, Quán 3 Chị Em, and Quán Làng Biển Bình Lập, all of which are located just after the 3-way intersection before entering the village proper. Venture further into the narrow streets, towards the fishing harbour, and you’ll stumble upon a couple of street food vendors selling soups, baguettes and other snacks. I’ve had some lovely little meals in this village over the years. Try to visit during Vietnamese meal-times otherwise everything will be closed: 7-8am, 11am-12.30pm, and 5-6.30pm. The other fishing hamlets on Cam Lap Promontory also have local eateries, so it’s worth doing some exploring.

Street food, Binh Lap Village, Vietnam

Explore Binh Lap village during meal times and you’ll find some great street food snacks

Binh Chau & Dao Hoa Vang; (starting from 100,000vnd per dish) [MAP] Both of these accommodations have attractive, informal restaurants on a good stretch of chalk-white beach. Fresh seafood – including lobster, shellfish, and fish – is available for around $5 upwards. In my experience, the quality at Binh Chau is hit and miss, but Dao Hoa Vang is better, although it’s hard to ignore the musty smell coming from the lobster cages drying on the beach.

Bãi Tắm Anh Tư; (starting from 50,000vnd per dish) [MAP] The friendly family at this beachside shack can cook you up simple noodle and rice dishes for a couple of dollars, or splash out on freshly caught lobster, squid and other seafood. It’s all cooked in the family kitchen next to the hammocks swinging under thatched huts by the beach. This is a no-frills seafood bonanza that would cost an arm and a leg in most Western countries.

Lobster, Binh Lap Beach, Vietnam

Fresh lobster is on the menu in most places on Cam Lap Promontory because it’s farmed here

Sao Bien Resort; (starting from 100,000vnd per dish) [MAP] The beachfront restaurant and bar here are very good. From fresh and fancy seafood dishes to good old Vietnamese classics, the quality and variety is excellent. Prices are a little higher than you’d pay in Nha Trang for similar food, but just look at the bay you’re eating next to and you’ll soon come to terms with the extra few dollars. Pop music is sometimes played at an irritating volume from the bar – a common nuisance in Vietnam, especially in places like this, where surely nature is the only soundtrack you need.

Local Shops; [MAP] If you’re camping on the promontory then you can find supplies – such as instant noodles, snacks, bottled water, batteries – in the small local stores in Binh Lap Village.

Sao Bien, Binh Lap Beach, Vietnam

View from the restaurant at Sao Bien which serves a good range of tasty Vietnamese classics

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There is no direct transportation to Cam Lap Promontory, and this is partly what saves it from mass tourism. However, there are plenty of relatively easy ways to get here; you just have to make a little bit of effort (which is a little bit more effort than most people are willing). Cam Lap Promontory is almost equidistant from Nha Trang (75km to the north) and Phan Rang (65km to the south), or 470/370km from Saigon (via the Ocean Road/Highway 1). Like many places that I write about, Cam Lap Promontory is ideally visited as part of a motorbike road trip, but there are other ways to get here too depending on where you’re coming from. I’ve outlined all the options below:

From Nha Trang: 

Cam Lap makes a good day trip from the popular beach town of Nha Trang. You can either take a taxi (expensive but easy) or hire a motorbike and ride there yourself. It’s a 150km round trip, which is a fairly long ride for a day, but it’s a beautiful and exciting road trip. Take the clifftop ocean road (DT6571) south out of Nha Trang towards Cam Ranh Airport. Continue past the airport and turn right (due west) over a bridge until you join Highway 1 (QL1A). Turn left (due south) onto the highway and continue for 25km before turning left (due east) onto the Nui Chua Coast Road (DT702). Just after the road skirts the bay, turn left (due north) on a small, paved lane that leads up and over to Cam Lap Promontory. Journey time is around 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Cam Lap Promontory, Binh Lap Beach, Vietnam

If you like your beaches ‘less trodden’, Cam Lap Promontory makes a great day trip from Nha Trang


From Phan Rang: 

Although few people choose to stay in Phan Rang, it’s a great place with a good beach and lots of seaside accommodation. It’s also the gateway to the Nui Chua Coast Road (DT702), which winds east and north of Phan Rang around a spectacular headland, before dropping down into Vinh Hy Bay and continuing westwards to the turning for Cam Lap Promontory. This is a fabulous 90 minute (65km) ride in either a taxi or a rented motorbike from Phan Rang. Alternatively, you could take Highway 1 (QL1A) which ploughs west of the headland, and meets the Nui Chua Coast Road at its northern tip. From here, turn right onto the Nui Chua Coast Road and then left (due north) just after the road skirts the bay. Although this is the shorter route (45km), you’ll miss all the great coastal scenery.

Cam Lap Promontory, Binh Lap Beach, Vietnam

From Phan Rang follow the spectacular Nui Chua Coast Road all the way to Cam Lap Promontory


From Saigon: 

You can reach Cam Lap Promontory from Saigon by motorbike, bus, or train. By motorbike it’s a long but beautiful road trip on the Ocean Road (470km) or a shorter but horrible ride on Highway 1 (370km). Either way, it’s at least a 2-day ride, depending on your level of motorbiking experience and stamina. Alternatively, you can also take any of the regular buses that ply Highway 1 from Saigon to Nha Trang, and ask to be dropped off at Cam Ranh City. From here you’ll need to get a taxi or xe ôm (motorbike taxi) to take you the last 25km to Cam Lap Promontory. The other option is to take one of the several daily trains from Saigon to Nha Trang and get off at Thap Cham (Phan Rang) station. From here you’ll need to get a taxi, xe ôm, or rent your own motorbike to cover the last 50-60km to Cam Lap Promontory (as outlined in the ‘From Phan Rang’ section above).

Cam Lap Promontory, Binh Lap Beach, Vietnam

Take the bus, train or motorbike from Saigon to Cam Lap Promontory: it’s always a worthwhile trip 


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Leave a Comment

Questions, updates and trip reports are all welcome. However, please keep comments polite and on-topic. See commenting etiquette for details.

  1. kazi says:
    April 17, 2022 at 5:31 PM

    Do you know if the resort is open now?

    1. Tom says:
      April 18, 2022 at 3:19 AM

      Hi Kazi,

      Which particular resort are you referring to? There are now a few resorts on the promontory.



  2. pgbk87 says:
    February 28, 2021 at 5:37 PM


    What are the weather and water conditions in this area around late December? How are they in June?

    1. Tom says:
      March 1, 2021 at 12:11 PM


      On the west side of the promontory it’s usually calm at any time of year, because it is a sheltered and enclosed bay. On the east side of the promontory it is also mostly quite calm, but during the rainy season (June to November) it can sometimes by rough.

      I hope this helps,


  3. Darren says:
    December 15, 2020 at 3:00 AM

    I just motorbiked from Nha Trang to Cam Lap Promontory yesterday. The beach across from Ngoc Suong Yen Bay was my favorite. Quiet, secluded, and great for swimming. I was the only one there.

    One note: I tried to go to Ngoc Suong Yen Bay for lunch / a drink as you suggested, and the resort is closed. I still spent some time enjoying the hotel grounds and even took an hour nap on a beach chair! The security guard said they may open again during Tet holiday.

    Thanks again for your helpful guides!

    1. Tom says:
      December 15, 2020 at 4:33 AM

      Hi Darren,

      Good to hear from you.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the area. And thank you for the note about Ngoc Suong Yen Bay – I hope it does reopen again sometime soon: it’s such a lovely location.



  4. Charlotte says:
    October 24, 2019 at 6:09 PM

    Hi Tom, I’m planning a family trip (4 adults) to Cam Lap and Da Lat over the new year. Both are served by their own airport but without a direct flight connecting them, and I haven’t found any transfer services on Klook (only Nha Trang to Da Lat) or Baolau or any of the main sites that I know of. Would you be able to suggest who I could contact to organise this please? I would rather not have to do multiple transfers/ go out of the way to Nha Trang.

    1. Tom says:
      October 25, 2019 at 2:19 AM

      Hi Charlotte,

      There probably is a direct public bus service between Cam Ranh City and Dalat, but it would be a local service, so you’d have to go to the bus station in Cam Ranh (Bến Xe Cam Ranh) to find out about that. However, your accommodation in Cam Lap or Dalat can also easily arrange transport between the places for you: either they can give you advice on bus services, or they can arrange a private vehicle for you. It’s a very scenic drive. A private vehicle would probably cost around $70-90.

      I hope this helps,


  5. Eve says:
    September 26, 2019 at 6:06 AM

    Hi Tom,
    First, big thanks for your blog which is great and makes you want to go everywhere…except we have only 2 weeks !

    We’ll be there on the first 2 weeks of November. Do you think Cam Lap is ok at this time of the year?
    Our initial planning was the North east for 9 days then fly to HCMC or Can Tho and visit the Mekong Delta then a couple of days on Con Dao. Now that I read this article, I wonder if we’d rather not swap Con Dao for Cam Lap. How long is it from HCMC if we take the bus + taxi ? And would you have an idea about the cost?
    Many thanks again for your help in preparing this trip.

    1. Tom says:
      September 26, 2019 at 9:10 AM

      Hi Eve,

      November is OK on the Con Dao Islands, but not great – it’s generally the windy season there, so not ideal for the beach or sea.

      Cam Ranh Bay might be OK, but it can be quite wet around there in November. Actually I just got back from Cam Ranh Bay last week (see this page which I just published). It is still a lovely place but the bridge connecting the promontory to the mainland has collapsed and (although transportation to the promontory is still fine) it means that trash has started to build up in the area and it’s starting to lose its shine – very sad. But, providing the sun is out and you expect some litter here and there, it’s still a beautiful place to explore.

      For weather try using – the satellite for cloud and rain is very useful.

      I think the bus takes about 7 hours from HCMC to Cam Ranh, then a taxi to the promontory must be $10-20 – but you can ask your accommodation about that. I took the train between HCMC and Cam Ranh or Phan Rang last time – which was fine.

      I hope this helps,


  6. kiki vuong says:
    January 3, 2019 at 8:34 AM

    Hi Tom,

    Because it was on my way, I wanted to check the cam lap promontory. As it was told by a previous comment that the bridge allowing access to the promontory is broken, I went there this morning. The bridge is totally destroyed including the concrete pillars that were in the river, there is now a 30 meters gap. A small makeshift barge is functioning as a ferry and all the locals and motorcycles are using it. From the mainland side, the way to go to the ferry is really steep but doable if you go slowly. All the locals went down there slowly, going up some bikes were heavily loaded and people had to push while the rider was using the engine to go up. Definitely something to do without a pillion passenger. On the promontory side there is an easy trail to go back on the road. I am sending you by email some pictures …

    This won’t be fixed quickly because there is a lot of foundation work to be done in the river. They were assembling a second barge to help for the ferrying …

    1. Tom says:
      January 3, 2019 at 8:38 AM

      Hi Kiki,

      Thanks for the updates. It’s good to know that Cam Lap is still accessible, despite the loss of the bridge.


    2. Vaidotas says:
      March 15, 2019 at 4:57 AM

      We are at the promontory at the moment. We came by bike – there is a small temporary bridge built to cross the river. I did not see a way for cars to cross.

      1. Tom says:
        March 15, 2019 at 8:52 AM

        Hi Vaidotas,

        Thanks for the update.


  7. Fyfe says:
    December 19, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Hi Tom

    Thanks for this detailed article! We’re at Cam Lap now and loving it. Just wanted to update everyone that the bridge that leads to the promontory is broken and currently crumbling into the sea: our accommodation said it had been broken for around a month. There’s a group of local guys who will take your bike and ride it down a very very steep dirt path onto a makeshift raft, on which you cross to the promontory. They seem to know what they’re doing, but if you’re on your prized antique Ducatti and worried about a stranger offroading it basically off a cliff you may want to reconsider Cam Lap in the immediate term.

    PS. It is VERY nice though.

    1. Tom says:
      December 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM

      Hi Fyfe,

      Thanks for the update. I had heard about the bridge and issued an update on social media a couple of weeks ago. Good to know the makeshift ferry service is still operating. I’m sure it won’t be too long before the bridge is fixed one way or another.

      Great to hear that you’re enjoy the area.


    2. Simon says:
      February 24, 2019 at 1:12 AM

      Just to add you can ride it across y yourself. The locals will charge 30,000 each way for you and your bike to cross with them riding it. I rode across not problems just take it slow!

      1. Tom says:
        February 24, 2019 at 11:28 PM

        Hi Simon,

        Thanks for the update. However, when was this? I was there a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of February, and a new (but temporary) bridge had been constructed for motorbikes and pedestrians, for which there was no charge to cross.


  8. Tuan Anh says:
    April 8, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    What a wonderful blog about my country Vietnam. Thank you very very much for such passion about our homeland, even bad government now destroying its natural beauties one by one. I found your website while searching information about scuba diving in Con Dao island, and later spent almost 1 afternoon reading every other wonderful information you giving here again to check if I missing any of those experiences. Since you have been to many beaches and island, please share your stories and review about some other places like: Hòn Khô, Kỳ Co (in Binh Dinh province), Hòn Nưa (in Phú Yên province); Bình Hưng (near Cam Lập, in Khánh Hòa province) and if you’re adventurous enough, consider going to Phú Quý Island – the last frontier of Vietnam sea. What a pity, since you’re not Vietnamese so you can’t enter the wonderful tiny island of Bình Ba in Cam Ranh, so far the best island of Vietnam in my point of view. These places are unknown for foreign travelers, even our ordinary countryman. Thank you again for this beautiful conner on the Internet.

    1. Tom says:
      April 8, 2018 at 5:45 PM

      Hi Tuan Anh,

      Thanks, it’s great to hear you’ve enjoyed reading my site. Yes, I agree, it’s a shame foreign travellers can’t go to Binh Ba, but it is very popular with Vietnamese travellers now – most of my Vietnamese friends have been there and like it. I’ve been to Binh Hung, but it’s quite busy with tourists now days, that’s why I prefer Cam Lap. I’d love to go to Phu Quy – I tried once but the boat was cancelled because of bad weather. However, there’s a new Superdong boat starting this month so perhaps I will be able to try to go there again. I’ve also been to Hon Nua, but that was a long time ago.

      I hope you continue to enjoy Vietnam’s beaches.



      1. Tuan Anh says:
        April 9, 2018 at 7:43 AM

        Great news! I can’t wait to read your review of Phú Quý island. I hope you keep doing well in Vietnam. Please announce on Facebook or this website when you are in Hanoi. I really want to buy you few glasses of beer for your introduction about Vietnam!

        1. Tom says:
          April 9, 2018 at 8:23 AM

          Thanks, Tuan Anh. That’s very kind of you.


  9. Jérôme - Endless Travel says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:33 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Here’s yet another commentary about our recent visits. We were in Cap Lap promontory a few days ago and totally enjoyed this area.

    Quite frankly, we were a bit worried about what we’d find there; Diep Son wasn’t as great as expected, and a bit further South we absolutely hated Doc Let where we found the scenery ugly (both of these being maybe related to the destructions caused by the recent typhoon).

    Reaching Binh Lap by bicycle wasn’t easy; the slopes leading to the village are extremely steep. But once we were there… we just didn’t want to leave this area ! It felt very secluded, as if we were in an island.

    Dao Hoa Vang homestay was great, with friendly staff, nice rooms (apart from the dysfunctional shower) and a very beautiful beach. Food at the beachside restaurant was tasty; being there for dinner, hearing the waves under a very bright full moon was wonderful.

    The scenery at Ngoc Suong resort was just wonderful; however one small drawback of this place was the large amount of tourists who come there by bus in order to take pictures (I still wonder how these large vehicles can move in these small roads). Large tourists groups have a tendency to disturb the serenity of this beautiful settings !
    While the scenery at Sao Bien was less striking, we loved the decoration there; spending an afternoon on the beach and enjoying a drink at the bar was a real pleasure !

    The restaurants in the village seemed to be closed, probably because it was low season; the exception was the one nearby the harbor. Apart from a small restaurant selling rice porridge and a few banh mi stalls, another opportunity for budget food is the café at the entrance where one can get instant noodles.

    One possible addition to the article would be to warn that there’s no ATM in the area; most travelers usually bring enough cash but it’s always nice to point this out.

    Since we started cycling in Vietnam in late November, Cam Lap promontory was the first time we really saw a beautiful coastal area; it was also the first time that we kind of felt sad to leave a place.

    So, again, many many thanks for this article. We wouldn’t have gone there without you, and we would have missed a wonderful place !

    1. Tom says:
      January 8, 2018 at 4:07 PM

      Hi Jérôme,

      Yes, I know what you mean: it is definitely one of those places that you feel sad to leave. I hope it stays as lovely as it is. I’m sure it was hard work getting there on bicycles, but Cam Lap is a worthy reward for your efforts 🙂

      Good point about the ATMs.


  10. Tim says:
    October 16, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Hi Tom,
    how are you doing?
    I just have a short question. I have the plan to travel to Nha Trang end of this month, and then the next day i want to rent a motorbike to go to Cam Ranh, and from there a bus back to Saigon, so not returning to Nha trang. But could i return the bike in Cam Ranh you think?

    1. Tom says:
      October 17, 2017 at 12:00 AM

      Hi Tim,

      As far as I know you can’t rent a bike from Nha Trang and return it in Cam Ranh, but it’s worth asking when you’re there anyway. If it turns out that you can’t, you can always rent a bike from Hoa Dao Vang (see above) once you’re in Cam Ranh instead.

      I hope it works out,


      1. Tim says:
        October 17, 2017 at 2:17 AM

        Hi Tom,
        thanks for your always fast replies. Really wanna make that roadtrip between NT and Cam Ranh as it sounds like a gorgeous one. Booked a bus to NT, so probably either gotta drive back to Nha Trang then or rent a bike there.
        Have a good one Tom!

      2. Tim says:
        October 17, 2017 at 6:08 AM

        Hi Tom,
        one more thing. Actually the beautiful route that you describe is Nui Chua Coast Road. But what about the road from NT to Cam Ranh, is it similar in beauty?

        1. Tim says:
          October 17, 2017 at 6:50 AM

          I want to book Dao Hoa Vang Homestay via your website but I see that there are no links to in this article?

          1. Tom says:
            October 17, 2017 at 9:17 AM

            Hi Tim,

            Thanks, but unfortunately you can’t book Dao Hoa Vang through my site. But when you contact them to book your room you can mention Vietnam Coracle if you like, they know me.


        2. Tom says:
          October 17, 2017 at 9:15 AM

          Hi Tim,

          Yes, Nha Trang to Cam Ranh is also nice: the first 30km south of Nha Trang on the airport road is very scenic. After the airport you have to cross a bridge and join Highway 1 for about 30 minutes which is a bit boring, but then after the turn off for the Nui Chua Coast Road it’s very scenic again.


  11. Nicolas says:
    August 29, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    Hi Tom, we’re planning to spend 3 days around the Phan Rang-Cam Ranh area. How’s the coastal road? Is it more or less flat or very hilly? Would you recommend it for novices on motorbike? Alternatively, how is easy is it to rent a taxi to do a day trip dropping at several beaches to swim along the way? Also, is it better to stay in Phan Rang or at Sao Bien in Cam Lap? Thanks!

    1. Tom says:
      August 30, 2017 at 12:52 AM

      Hi Nicolas,

      The coast road between Phan Rang and Cam Ranh is fantastic – one of the best stretches of coast road in the country. It’s quite hilly but not much traffic and a good road surface, so you should be fine. Read all about it here.

      Staying on Cam Lap Promontory is better than staying in Phan Ranh.

      I hope this helps,


  12. urs says:
    March 12, 2017 at 2:57 PM

    hi tom
    thank you so much for your posts.
    we like ro stay 2-3 nights in ngoc suong yen resort.
    how we can get an offer? nobody reply our mails.
    we are a family with 2 children (9 & 6 years) and we are looking for an accommodation on this beautiful bay.
    what do you recommend us?
    best regards

    1. Tom says:
      March 12, 2017 at 3:07 PM

      Hi urs,

      That’s strange that no one has replied to your emails. Have you tried calling them?


      1. urs says:
        March 13, 2017 at 11:15 AM

        thx tom
        yes, but they speak only vietnamese.

        1. Tom says:
          March 13, 2017 at 1:48 PM

          Oh, I see. Well, as long as you don’t visit on a weekend or a Vietnamese public holiday is is unlikely they will be fully booked, so you can just turn up and get a room.


  13. Anna says:
    February 22, 2017 at 9:09 PM

    Hi Tom,

    thank you so much for the article! You made us change our plans and plan a visit at Cam Lap 🙂
    We will be going there straight from Hoi An/Da Nang and since our schedule is a bit tight, we are looking for the most convenient way to reach it (we would have only two days there). Do you have any advise how to get there from the airport in Da Lat?


    1. Tom says:
      February 23, 2017 at 12:17 AM

      Hi Anna,

      The most convenient way to get to Cam Lap from the airport in Dalat would be a taxi, but of course that would cost a bit of money. Otherwise, you can get a bus from Dalat to Phan Rang, and then take a taxi from Phan Rang to Cam Lap. There are probably also minibuses from Dalat to Cam Ranh, but I’m not sure about that. Or you could even hire an Easy Rider from Dalat to take you to Cam Lap. (Easy Riders are experienced Vietnamese riders who take travellers riding pillion – the unofficial centre for Easy Riders is Dalat).

      I hope this helps,


  14. Olga says:
    February 21, 2017 at 1:18 AM

    Hi Tom!

    Amazing post! We are on motorbikes and we’re thinking of driving Dalat to Cam ranh ? Which way do you recommend? Going to nah trang and then down? I’m not a very experienced driver so not any tricky roads just 🙂

    Thanks for an amazing webpage!

    All the best,


    1. Tom says:
      February 21, 2017 at 3:02 AM

      Hi Olga,

      I would take Road QL20 and QL27 east from Dalat and then turn left at Tan Son for the Burnt Road (QL27B) to Cam Ranh – these roads are quieter than taking the Dalat-Nha Trang road.

      I hope you enjoy it,


  15. martha c says:
    February 20, 2017 at 11:17 PM

    Hi Tom
    Firstly let me say thank you for your blog, its great!

    Myself and my boyfriend are visiting Vietnam for the first time from mid-March to early April for 3 weeks and I’m torn between a few options & wonder whether you might be able to suggest. The main thing I guess is while I’d love to explore we do also want a relaxing holiday too, so don’t want to overdo it and try and cram too much in. Tempting to try and do it all.

    We fly in to Hanoi and, after a couple of nights there, we are def keen on both Hoi An and Phu Quoc forming part of our trip. I’m trying to get the balance between visiting enough and not trying to cram too much in or spending too much of our time traveling. Tim is a quite a beach bunny while I like a bit of beach I like it mixed in with some local life and lovely landscapes & we both like a couple of places to grab a bite or drink. Neither of us are very fond of anything too crazily overrun with tourists or big concrete resorts – though also not expecting to be totally off the beaten track.

    We’ll be travelling by plane or train, or hiring a car with driver where that seems feasible/wise (ie not self-drivers other than possibly hiring a motorbike to go Hoi An to Hue via the Hai Van Pass).

    The main quandry is which to chose of the following for a couple of days. Thinking either somewhere in Ninh Bihn (yet to find the right place but that region), the Com Lap Promontory (prob at the Ngoc Suong Ven Bay Resort) or Ho Tram (prob at the Ho Tram Beach Resort). The latter two suggestions of both location and accommodation taken from your blog. We can’t fit all three in but could possibly do two of the three, or spend a bit more time in just one of them – if we did two I don’t know if I’m starting to work in way too much travel if we don’t have our own wheels? Ideally I’d love combo of sea and mountains but not sure how closely the two co-exist? The dream would be to be on the sea but day-trippable to some lovely mountain locations for part of our trip.

    I hope this isn’t too much of an imposition to ask but thought it might be easier if I just laid out some itinerary options I’m considering to get your thoughts?

    Our itineraries could be as follows:

    2 nights Hanoi
    2 nights (inc drive to) Ninh Binh province (yet to find which bit but somewhere).
    1 Sleeper train (from Ninh Binh ideally) to Danang and taxi to Hoi An.
    5 nights Hoi An (explore beach & mountains as well as town?)
    1 drive Hai Van Pass to Hue & overnight Hue
    1 Drive Hue to Danang, flight to Nah Trang & car to the Com Lap Promontory (Ngoc Suong Ven Bay Resort),
    1 drive Nha Tran & fly to Phu Quoc (or drive from Ha Tram to HCMC & fly from there to Phu Quoc)
    6 nights Phu Quoc
    fly phu quoc to HCMC for midnight flight back to London

    2 nights Hanoi
    1 overnight train to Danang
    5 nights Hoi An (explore nearby beach & mountains?)
    1 drive Hai Van Pass & overnight Hue
    1 Taxi Hue to Danang, fly to Nha Trang & car/driver Nha Trang to Cam Lap Promtory (can this be done in 1 day?)
    3 nights Cam Lap Prom (Ngoc Suong Yen Bay)
    1 Private car/driver to Ho Tram ON Ho Tram (taking our time/stopping en route)
    2 nights Ho Tram Boutique Resort
    1 private car with driver Ho Tram to HCMC & fly HCMC to Phy Quoc (if can be done same day)
    5 nights Phu Quoc

    ITINERARY 3 (least amount of moving around.. NO NINH BIN AND EITHER CON LAP OR HA TRAM)
    2 nights Hanoi
    1 overnight train to Danang
    6 nights Hoi An (explore nearby beach & mountains as well as the town?)
    1 drive Hai Van Pass & overnight Hue
    1 Taxi Hue to Danang, fly to Nha Trang & car/driver Nha Trang to Cam Lap Promtory (can this be done in 1 day?)OR FLY TO HCMC AND DRIVE TO HA TRAM INSTEAD
    4 nights Cam Lap Prom (Ngoc Suong Yen Bay) or Ha Tram Boutique Resort
    Either drive Nha Trang airport & fly to Phu Quoc or drive to HCMC airport from Ha Tram & fly to Phu Quoc (if can be done in one day)
    7 nights Phu Quoc (or 7 nights if have had to break earlier journey for a day in HCMC)

    Any thoughts you have would be amazing!


    1. Tom says:
      February 22, 2017 at 5:08 AM

      Hi Martha,

      I think you should choose Cam Lap Promontory over Ho Tram. And I think that either Itinerary 1 or 3 is best. If you choose Itinerary 3 it will be more relaxing and you will have more time in each of your destinations. However, if you choose Itinerary 1 it will be nice to have some limestone mountain scenery in Ninh Binh. (And yes you can get from Danang to Cam Lap in one day.)

      If you choose Itinerary 1, it’s a good idea to book your transportation and some of your accommodation in advance, because it’s nice to have that all sorted out before you go, otherwise you will be spending time organizing and worrying about it while you’re in Vietnam. With Itinerary 3 it’s not such an issue because you’ll have more time in each place.

      I hope this helps,


  16. carl says:
    January 23, 2017 at 1:28 AM

    great post!

  17. Shannon says:
    January 9, 2017 at 8:22 PM

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your amazing blog. I’ve really enjoyed the effort you clearly put into each post.
    I was wondering how traveling to Cam Lap and particularly staying at Dao Hoa Vang would be for an English (and French) speaking solo traveller. I’ve checked out the related links and everything looks very local which is amazing but seemingly difficult for someone who cannot understand Vietnamese.

    Thanks for the post! Keep it up 🙂

    1. Tom says:
      January 10, 2017 at 2:42 AM

      Hi Shannon,

      Thanks, I’m glad you like my posts 🙂

      I think it would be absolutely fine visiting Cam Lap Promontory without any Vietnamese language: people are very friendly and helpful there and it’s not chaotic like it is at some of the more popular beach destinations in Vietnam so you won’t be pushed into anything. They are very nice at Dao Hoa Vang and there’s usually someone there who can speak a bit of English. Sure you’d have to put a bit of effort into it, but the rewards are worth it 🙂