A good day stop along Route 1A between Hue and Danang/Hoi An, Lang Co Beach is a sweeping expanse of sand good for dipping your toes and taking a rest. The absence of group tours and touts is the main draw, and options for overnight stays are growing.
The beach lies at the northern end of Hai Van Pass, and the sands of Lang Co begin just where the mountain switchbacks end. Behind the long stretch of beach is a large lagoon, and the lightly populated town area is just a narrow strip of land between sea and lagoon, with most Lang Co villagers in homes along Hwy. 1. The beach is most popular for fishing and for boat repairs, used more as a garbage dump or as a local latrine than for sun-loving tourists, but the southern section of beach near the resorts gets cleaned up on occasion, and this windswept stretch at the base of Hai Van Pass is quite stunning.
Starting with the Lang Co Beach Resort, there’s a small clutch of cozy budget warrens of 205 bungalows, and more development is slated.
A tunnel will soon connect Lang Co directly with Hue, but tourists will still likely make the pilgrimage up to Hai Van Pass. The town has no good dining to speak of, just a few little backpacker places that are popular among passing truck drivers; and where there are passing truck drivers, there are brothels which seem to be the town’s only real industry. The beach is pretty hassle-free, but plans to pack your own lunch and drinks. There are no services on the sands.
Bach Ma National Park (see above) is just a short motorbike taxi ride from Lang Co, and the beach makes a good overnight before a day of hiking and onward travel to Hue, or Lang Co could be your overnight rest after the park and before crossing the pass to Danang and Hoi An.
Where to Stay
Lang Co Beach Resort takes credit cards (and will cash traveler’s checks for a hefty percentage), but note that you should come to Lang Co prepared to be self-sufficient. There are no services outside of the basic lodgings listed below.
Lang Co Beach Resort
This place always seems to be rather empty, so bring a friend. Lang Co Beach Resort is run by Huong Giang Tourist Company, a large government firm. They do a great job with large package junkets looking to step off the more obvious stops on Vietnam’s north-south route, and Lang Co certainly fits this bill. Rooms are all quite large, with wide glass windows and doors facing the sea. The resort stands over a stunning area of windswept beach, and all rooms have large glass sliders that open onto porch areas, some right on the water. Terra-cotta tile floors and dark-wood furnishings make a stay here cozy but not particularly luxurious. The pool is in disuse. They have a good restaurant and aim to please.
On the north end of Lang Co Beach, Phu Loc District. 054/387-3555. www.langcobeachresort.com.vn. 87 units. MC, V. Amenities: 2 restaurants; bar; bikes; outdoor pool; room service. In room: A/C, TV, fridge, Internet, minibar.
Thanh Tam Hotel
This little seaside stop is constantly growing, with new amenities 2 and bungalows every year, but the place is still pretty rustic. Best are the free-standing bungalows. The small hotel block at the back isn’t really worth it. They’re building like mad here though, erecting hokey cement statuaries of Vietnamese legends as quickly as they are the new bungalows. There’s a cozy little grove of seaside pines for lounging, too. Dining is in a small open-air area. Service is limited, and nobody speaks much English, but you can mime a motorbike-revving wrist twist and get some wheels, and there’s a useful list of tour options in English.
Central Lang Co Beach, Phu Loc District. 054/387-4456. Fax 054/387-3762. 42 units. Amenities: Restaurant. In room: A/C, fridge, hair dryer.