What to do in Quy Nhon, the mini Maldives of Vietnam?
- on Nov 6, 2019       By: BN
Quy Nhon seaside resort is located in the centre of Vietnam, province of Binh Dinh, between the two large seaside resorts of Da Nang and Nha Trang. Compared to them, Quy Nhon is much less developed, more quiet and friendly but unfortunately wrongly ignored by travellers. Indeed, the coastal strip that stretches north and south of Quy Nhon is simply sublime. If you are looking for a typical Vietnamese seaside get-away, then do not overlook Quy Nhon which has all the ingredients for a successful seaside holiday off the beaten track.
What to do and see in Quy Nhon?
Visit Quy Nhon port city and the Cham ruins
Quy Nhon dated from the 10th century when it was part of the Champa kingdom and was the last Cham capital. Moreover, in the city centre, one can see the Cham remains with the two well preserved red brick towers Thap Doi, built in the late tenth century, during the reign of King Yanpuku Vijaya. It is also possible to discover other archaeological remains of the ancient kingdom of Champa in the Quy Nhon region such as the Duong Long Three Towers, the Canh Tien Tower and the Banh It Four Towers built on the top of a hill. These offer a breath-taking view of the rice fields.
Binh Dinh province, of which Quy Nhon is the capital, lists the largest number of Cham remains of Vietnam. Quy Nhon is also known as the starting point for the Tay Son revolt when three brothers took part in the Vietnamese civil war at the end of the 18th century, revolting against the Nguyen, the lords of the South.
The seaside resort of Quy Nhon has a beautiful white sand beach of several kilometres, which is deserted during the day but comes alive when the sun goes down. So the locals come with family or friends to bathe and eat fresh seafood on the beach that street vendors grill immediately on their brazier.
At Quy Nhon, you can combine seaside and cultural activities. Leave the beach for a moment to visit the Long Khanh Pagoda built in 1715 where an imposing 17 metres tall Buddha is erected. Also do not miss the Binh Dinh Provincial Museum.
Another interesting visit is to go a little outside the city to discover the Qui Hoa leprosarium located in an enchanting setting a few kilometres south of the city. A place full of tranquillity and serenity at the edge of a beautiful beach where descendants of families affected by the disease live. You can visit the tomb of Han Mac Tu, a mystic poet who died in 1940 from leprosy at the age of 28, and observe the busts of many distinguished Vietnamese and foreign doctors scattered in the superb hospital park.
Enjoy the fresh seafood
The waters of the Quy Nhon coastline are extremely rich in fish and the coast is also home to many fish farms. Seafood is king in Quy Nhon and everywhere in town. You will find restaurants where you can enjoy fresh seafood at reasonable prices. The lobster is queen and very cheap compared to other seaside resorts in Vietnam. Do not miss out on local specialties such as bun cha ca, fish noodle soup or delicious banh khot, small fried pancakes made from rice flour dough and topped with one or two quail eggs, some pate and small shrimps.
Relax in the mini Maldives of Vietnam
North and south of Quy Nhon City, the coast is home to a myriad of beautiful, almost deserted beaches. To the north is Nhon Hai Beach, about twenty kilometres from Quy Nhon. A very photogenic fishing village with colourful fishing boats swaying gently on the sea and beaches with crystal clear waters. Going up the coast, you will find the beautiful Ky Co beach, one of the heavenly beaches of Quy Nhon. So beautiful that it has been privatised and you will have to pay an entry fee of 100,000 VND to access this gem. You will find beautiful beaches with white sand further north, free and pristine, where swimming is a real delight. Do not miss a stop at Eo Gio, one of the most interesting rock formations on the coast.
South of Quy Nhon, just ten kilometres away, you have Bai Xep or Xep Beach and its typical fishing village. A few hotels can host to enjoy this idyllic crescent beach.
Further south, Bai Nhom Beach has a beautiful shoreline. Be amazed by the cliff of Da Dia, located 40 kilometres south of Quy Nhon, and its basaltic column formations reminiscent of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland. A little further south, some beautiful fishing villages such as An Hai, where you will find simplistic accommodation, Life's A Beach awaits you to live happy hours in a sublime natural setting with its white sand beach on golden rocks. The dazzling sunrise gives the place an impression of the first morning of the world.
Getting to Quy Nhon
Quy Nhon has an airport serviced by several daily flights from Hanoi and Saigon. There is also an airport further south, that is Tuy Hoa from which you can go up the beautiful coast to Quy Nhon.
The train goes to Dieu Tri Station, a 15-minute trip from the city centre.
By road, Quy Nhon is just under 6 hours drive from Hoi An and 4 hours from Nha Trang. From Quy Nhon, you can also explore the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
>> Also read How to get to Quy Nhon from Hanoi and Saigon?
When to go?
The best season runs from February to the end of September. (Note that its peak season lasts from May to August).
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