One of the best beaches in the Hue region, Thuan An is located at the northern end of a long, slender island that runs all the way south from the mouth of the Perfume River, almost up to the little town of Phu Loc.
The beach is in many ways comparable to the one at Lang Co, some 56 miles (90 km) farther south. Like it, Thuan An features a pleasing strip of white sand flanked by tall, swaying coconut palms. It is washed by the calm blue waters of the Thanh Lam Lagoon to the south west, while the rather stormy waves of the South China Sea lap its northeast shores.
Still relatively undeveloped, the village of Thuan An is sparsely settled by fishermen, whose boats are pulled up along the sandy shores. The manufac ture of nuoc mam or fish sauce is an important industry here. Its pungent – some may say putrid – odor permeates the air in certain areas. The vats used for fermenting the liquid are obvious not only from the smell but also because of their vast size.
Thuan An is a convenient and enjoyable destination for a cycling day trip from Hue. Getting to the beach is half the fun, as it entails a ride through numerous tranquil villages and rural scenery, dotted with several quaint pagodas along the way. The island and beach can be accessed via a small bridge over the Thanh Lam Lagoon. A narrow road runs along the length of the island, providing a picturesque alternative route between Danang and Hue.