The name translates roughly to “Golden Sand Beach,” but locals know it as the secret beach. It earns both names. The road up Son Tra Peninsula starts at the naval yard and winds through the dense jungle mountainside with the Han River and Da Nang cityscape hazy in the background. As riders summit, the road dips around the other side of the Son Tra Peninsula showing unbroken seawater to the horizon. Wooden signs point the way to a steep dirt path that drops into the jungle.
Getting to Secret Beach
The beach can only be accessed via motorbike or a long rough hike. Neither makes for an easy time. Bike tires skid on the loose sand and rocky inclines challenge the shocks. Hikers break a quick sweat on the way down. The path ends at a stone stairwell that disappears further down.
Around the last bend the golden sands stretch the arc of the small cove flanked by cliffs and rock outcroppings with dense jungle behind.
Idyllic little grass-roofed wooden huts line the top of sandbanks attended by a small Vietnamese homestead, the only building in sight. For a small—and likely negotiable—price visitors can make use of the kayaks and banana boats on the shoreline. A zip-line flies down the sloping beach and plummets riders into the cool clear water. The homestead is well stocked with beer to ensure no one goes thirsty.
The cove protects the beach from waves and currents so the waters spread out glass-like and smooth, perfect for a swim or a long paddle around in a kayak. The still water of Bai Cat Vang beach sets a nice scene for snorkeling and it’s rumored the fishing is pretty good. Sea snails and abalone make a home of the rocks and cliffsides on either side of the cove.
Bai Cat Vang is well worth the trek through the jungle and down the far side of Son Tra. An undisturbed slice of beachside serenity waits for anyone willing to take on the rough climb.