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 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 plan to pack your own lunch and drinks. There are no services on the sands.

Bach Ma National Park 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.