Its sandy beaches and turquoise waters make less crowded Quy Nhon a top travel choice this summer.
Perched between the tourist hotspots of Nha Trang and Hoi An, Quy Nhon town in Binh Dinh Province is less crowded but has quickly become one of the most searched beach holiday destinations in recent years.
It is blessed with a 42 km coastline, and has been dubbed the “Maldives of Vietnam.” One of the most beautiful beaches here, one that has got rave reviews from travelers and bloggers, is Hoang Hau (Queen), just two km from downtown Quy Nhon.
Hoang Hau got its name because Queen Nam Phuong, consort of King Bao Dai, chose the place for a private holiday with her husband in 1927. Bao Dai was the last king of Vietnam, reigning from 1926-1945.
What makes the beach unique and distinct are the round stones like giant birds’ eggs that cover hundreds of square meters. This is why it used to be called Da Trung (stone egg) Beach.
Bai Xep (Xep Beach), 13 km south of Quy Nhon, is a remote fishing village with a small but pretty beach, crystal clear water and natural rocks emerging in the middle of the beach when the tide ebbs.
This remote fishing village gives tourists the opportunity to experience an authentic Vietnamese beach that is yet to be overrun by tourists. In 2016 U.S. publication Business Insider listed Bai Xep among one of 16 ‘secret beaches’ in Asia.
The seven km-long Thi Nai Bridge, which opened to traffic in 2006, connects Quy Nhon with Phuong Mai Peninsula. The construction of the bridge has made it easier for tourists to access popular destinations in the beach town such as Eo Gio, Ky Co, Trung Luong camping site, and the Phuong Mai sand dunes.
The 2019 VnExpress Marathon, to be held in Quy Nhon this Sunday, will take the runners through the Thi Nai Bridge.
Nhon Hai Island, 20 km away from Quy Nhon, is a beach destination with scuba diving and coral gazing as some of the activities on offer.
Tourism is well developed here, with numerous hotels, hostels and restaurants. An increasing number of foreigners are choosing this place for longer stays to enjoy the warm weather and sea breeze.
Around 20 km from Quy Nhon is the Linh Phong Pagoda, one of the oldest spiritual destinations in Binh Dinh Province. It has a 69-meter Buddha statue looking out to sea.
A man rows his boat on Nui Mot Lake in An Nhon District, around 40 km from Quy Nhon. It takes around 45 minutes to travel along the lake on small boats through flooded forests that are similar to the Can Gio Mangrove Forest on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
The lake remains relatively unknown and has been spared the tourism boom.
Green Island is 24 km (15 miles) from Quy Nhon and has around 3,000 residents who chiefly depend on fishing. The island remains off the beaten tourist path and has been spared by urbanization, leaving it with the pristine beauty nature. So do not expect fancy tourist services here.
Between February and June is the best time to enjoy a trip to Green Island but avoid the period from the end of July to early August when sudden storms can ruin your trip.
Huynh Phuong, Nguyen Quy – VnExpress.net
Photos by Nguyen tien Trinh