Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

By Quynh Mai   May 6, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
With no electricity, Mai Nha Island in Phu Yen Province provides a simple kind of “deserted island” experience where you can escape the crowds, relax and enjoy nature.
Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

A view of Mai Nha (Roof) Island from the An Hai Commune pier in Tuy An District, Phu Yen Province.

According to local tour guide Vo Van Dieu, the island was formerly only visited by locals who came to fish or harvest seafood. Now, more people know about the island, but its natural beauty and tranquility remains preserved.

Photos by Dieu Vo

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

The water on Mai Nha is clean and crystal-clear.

Dieu said that the best time to visit Mai Nha Island is from April to August, when the sea is calm, the water is clear and the weather is sunny and dry. You can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling and coral viewing on the southwest side of the island, where the rocky shores meet the blue ocean. But the seas get rough from September to April next year.

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

Tourists can take a boat to Mai Nha Island.

You can spend a day on the island or camp overnight to watch the sunrise and sunset on either its "front" or "back" beaches. You can bring your own tent or rent one for VND100,000 to VND200,000 ($4.26 to $8.52).

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

A rocky beach at the "back" of the island.

The front beach has some temporary tents set up by locals who can help you buy and cook seafood. They also sell other items you might need. This side of the island is more sheltered from the wind, making it easier to pitch your tent and light a fire.

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

A grassy area on the back of the island.

The "back beach" offers a stunning view of the rocky coast, cliffs, caves and natural pools. This is where you can watch the sunrise and sunset, take photos and fish. The natural pools are formed by seawater trapped in the crevices of the rocks after the tide goes out. They are clear and beautiful, and make for great photos.

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

The stunning sunset from the island.

You can hike to the top of the highest rock on the island, where you can see a panoramic view of the region's scenery. You can also join locals catching snails and fishing.

To get to Mai Nha Island, you can take a canoe or rent a boat from locals at An Hai pier, Phuoc Dong village. The canoe costs VND100,000 to VND200,000 per person and takes 10 minutes. The boat costs VND500,000 ($21.30) for a round trip and can be shared by several people. You might see dolphins along the way.

Mai Nha Island: Phu Yen's deserted paradise

A natural pool on the island.

To stay hydrated, you can purchase a 20-liter bottle of drinking water for only VND50,000 ($2.13). Since the island rarely has a market, make sure to pack your own food. Also, do not forget to bring a backup battery and portable charger because there is no electricity. To protect yourself from the sun and wind, wear appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Finally, check the weather before you go because sometimes boat service stops due to rough seas.

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