Although there are a few very isolated and beautiful beaches in the north of Vietnam, it is the central coast that plays host to beach lovers. Because of Vietnam’s complex weather patterns, the best time to visit varies geographically.

Because of its benign climate, the best choice for all year round dry weather is Mui Ne, near Phan Thiet, famous internationally as a windsurfing hotspot. Distractions from the beach include the Sea Links Golf Course, but there is little else nearby in the form of historical or cultural sightseeing, and the resort is best suited to those who prefer quietude.

Often referred to as the Vietnamese Riviera, Nha Trang is home to a 6km beach and is a much busier prospect for those who enjoy beachside bustle and lively nightlife. With boat trips offshore to its islands offering interesting excursions and good diving and snorkelling. With a theme park and the historic Cham towers, there is plenty to see and do. The best time to visit is between January and September. There are several other beaches nearby which are good escapes from the crowd, including the lovely Cam Ranh.

Graceful Hoi An is a great choice for cultured travellers, offering all the myriad benefits this delightful virtually traffic-free historic town has to offer combined with all the nearby beachfront facilities you could wish for at Cua Dai Beach.

Further along the coast, the 20 mile long stretch of China Beach near Da Nang is regarded as one of Vietnam’s finest and was historically the landing and recreational site of American troops in less enlightened and benign times. An international surfing mecca, the best time to visit is between February and August, with the driest months between February and May.

The beaches on the island of Phu Quoc are a great getaway from mainland Vietnam, offering a quieter scene with good walks and diving. Best visited between November and June, with the driest time between November and March.