After traveling through Vietnam four times in the past four years, I have identified the best beaches in the country. My criteria have little to do with the quality of the beaches themselves, or their appeal to tourists; instead, my focus has been return on investment.
The best investment opportunities are often shoreline regions that have yet to be noticed by foreign visitors, much less converted into resorts. Therefore, about half of the beaches on my list are places most Westerners have never heard of — but probably will soon.
Here are the first three of Vietnam’s 10 top beaches for investors looking for long-term returns, ranked in order starting with the most attractive opportunity (the rest of the list in future posts):
- Phan Rang. Some guide books don’t acknowledge its existence, which is part of what makes Phan Rang a great opportunity. It’s a middle-sized city with the best weather in Vietnam, miles of high-quality undeveloped beach, development and marketing plans created by some of the world’s most respected consultants, two national parks, a spectacular seacoast highway in the works that rivals California’s Big Sur, ancient Cham art and craft villages, and a national commitment to become a high-tech clean energy center in partnership with Russia and Japan.
- Hauling in the fish net, and sunset, in Phan Rang
- Quy Nhon. A well-managed small city on the South Central Coast, Quy Nhon has a great beach, a wall of mountains protecting it from typhoons, a grand plan, and the road infrastructure already in place to accommodate an 8-square mile new city that will include a modern industrial park, eco-resorts and beach-front residential developments. Already the busy port of choice for exporters from the mountainous regions of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, Quy Nhon’s place in the national economy is growing.
- Phu Quoc. Domestic and foreign developers have eyed the Island of Phu Quoc for years as the next Macau, and finally the infrastructure is starting to fall into place — such as a new airport — to make some of the dreams come true. Situated in the Gulf of Thailand in easy proximity to most of Southeast Asia, Phu Quoc is destined to grow in popularity for international tourists even if a casino never opens there.