Explore the Hidden Lagoon at Đầm Trầu Beach

Côn Đảo, Vietnam



0.6 miles

Elevation Gain

32.8 ft

Route Type



Added by Michael Wigle

The best beach in Vietnam is an hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City on a tropical island you have probably never heard of. Not only can you enjoy this beach in seclusion, you can also swim in it's private freshwater lagoon.

There are only a handful of beaches in Vietnam worth visiting as most are found on the edges of river deltas and steeped in mud. Out of the two tropical islands that offer sandy beaches, Côn Sơn Island is undeveloped and mostly a national park. If timed just right you can spend a few hours or an entire day in remote exclusion while being close to civilization on your own private beach.

Protected from the gale force winds that batter the island for most of the year is Đầm Trầu Beach located at the end of the runway to the Côn Sơn airport. After arriving on your flight, it's a short 5 minute taxi for under $2 to the beach. If staying longer, it's a 20 minute ride up from Côn Đảo where the town is at. There is a gravel area where taxis and scooters park under canopy next to 4-5 beach restaurants and bars. Walk past them out to the main beach that covers a couple kilometers of white sand and clear water.

Head towards the southern end of the beach to a large rock outcropping with signs warning about the hazards of rock climbing. Follow the ledge out into the surf for about 20 feet during low tide. There is a "step" about 3 feet up from the sand that you can climb up onto. From here you can shuffle back towards the beach up the ledge to better footing and walk over to the tide pools on the other side. There is a 3-4 hour window that straddles low tide that you can comfortably hike over from the main beach. Otherwise, you can plan out a full day on the other side. Be warned, getting back to the main beach is more difficult when the tide has come in for a few hours as the rocks create strong currents once they're submerged.

If you follow the large rocks along the cliffs you can find an easy path off the outcrop and onto this secluded section of Đầm Trầu Beach. Hidden back up into the jungle is a freshwater lagoon free of poisonous snakes or crocodiles. Occasionally there are macaques here who are mostly afraid of tourists. This lagoon is deep and cool. You can swim into the mangroves almost 200 meters back in near silence away from the waves. This is an excellent spot to throw up a hammock and nap, as long as your belongings are secured.

The water here is much shallower than the main beach because of the lagoon. You can wade out into the bay and enjoy the mountain backdrop. Trace back your route to get back and remember that when the tide starts coming in, not to forget your short window.

Once back on the other side, grab a cold beer from one of the beach bars and enjoy a sunset across the East Vietnam Sea. 

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Swimming Hole

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