Aerial view of Ninh Van Bay, with a pier jutting out in the middle of the beach surrounded by lush mountains

Ninh Van Bay

With its thatched villas concealed amongst tumbling boulders, sandwiched between the jungle and the glittering sea, our visit to Ninh Van Bay felt like stumbling on a hidden paradise.

Ninh Van Bay is worlds away from Nha Trang’s developed beaches and noisy nightlife. You can thank its geography for that. Though it feels like a desert island, Ninh Van Bay is technically part of the mainland — scooped out of the tip of a peninsula stretching out into the South China Sea, but cut off from the nearest roads by swathes of jungle-covered mountains.

This isolated location means there’s only one way to get here, and it happens to be in style. Zip over by speedboat from Nha Trang and you might feel a bit like you’re on your way to a Bond villain’s lair, but in reality what you’ll find on arrival is a perfect horseshoe of azure water, fringed with a golden sweep of sand and backed by gently sloping mountains covered in thick forests. Hidden amongst the trees and boulders at the water’s edge are luxurious thatch-roofed villas, upmarket beach bars, and open-air spa treatment pavilions with alfresco Jacuzzis. If you can tear yourself away from the poolside cocktails, there are also guided jungle treks, paddle boarding lessons and sunset cruises on the bay to keep you busy. In short, we can’t imagine a better place to hole up and forget the rest of the world for a few days.

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