Quy Nhon was named among the top 10 winter sun destinations for 2018 by U.K. newspaper the Guardian. But also to many, it is just the heaven for summer.
So as the vacation season is calling, here's the plan for your four-day trip to catch the best of the amazing beach town.
Hanoi/HCMC – Quy Nhon – Thap Doi (Twin Tower) – Ghenh Rang-Tien Sa Tourism Area
Eo Gio Beach – Ky Co Beach
Trung Luong Camping Site – Quy Nhon Town
Shopping, end trip.
Day 1: Quy Nhon – Thap Doi (Twin Tower) – Ghenh Rang-Tien Sa
For a trip-around-town, make your way to the Twin Tower, a relic of the Cham people in central Vietnam that lies on Tran Hung Dao Street around 3km from the town center. Entrance costs VND8,000 ($0.35) per person. When you've taken in some ancient culture, travel 9km to Ghenh Rang-Tien Sa Tourism Area, and don't forget to take a dip at Hoang Hau Beach where you can get a foot massage by walking on the thousands of round, smooth rocks.
At night, chill out at Bar Surf on Xuan Dieu Beach. Pull up one of the wooden loungers on the sand and enjoy your drinks as the cool breeze blows in from the sea.
Day 2: Eo Gio - Ky Co
Eo Gio and Ky Co are currently the top beach destinations in Quy Nhon. From the downtown, drive 22km in the direction of Thi Nai Bridge and you will arrive at Eo Gio Beach, where it costs VND25,000 ($1) to enjoy the smooth sands. The long seaside road has been compared to South Korea's Jeju Island. Get lost and free your minds in the cool fresh air and the ranges of mountains and cliffs. A bit of advice: do not bathe here because the waves are strong; save your swimsuits for Ky Co Beach.
Ky Co promises to enchant you with its crystal-clear blue water, calm sea, smooth yellow sand and pristine condition. Don’t expect any tourism services here aside from one restaurant where you can take a shower and get changed. From Eo Gio, you can buy a package tour for VND350,000 ($15) per person to Ky Co. The tour includes a 30-minute motorboat ride, snorkeling on the coral reef, and fresh seafood provided and cooked by locals. Tickets for Ky Co Beach cost VND30,000 ($1.32).
Day 3: Trung Luong Camping Site – Quy Nhon Town
Hidden in a small valley by the beach, Trung Luong Camping Site is just 10 kilometers from Ky Co, so after a day at the beach, you should move here for the evening and stay the night to save time and effort. Don’t fall asleep straight away because there's plenty of time to sit around the campfire. A tent here costs VN300,000 and can accommodate two people. For the next day, get sweaty and wet with water sports on the beach and treat your tastebuds to more fresh seafood at a local restaurant, before packing up and heading back to Quy Nhon in the afternoon.
Once you return to the town, you can head back to the beach or take a rest at your hotel, but do not miss the seafood market and food streets. Snails on Ngoc Han Cong Chua Street, banh xeo (fried pancake) and its close sister banh khot, and crab noodles on Ngo Van So Street, stalls on Phan Boi Chau Street and the night market on Nguyen Tu Street should be on your must-try list for Quy Nhon.
Day 4: Shopping
Markets in Quy Nhon sell all the local specialties. Among them are sweet and spicy squid, fermented pork rolls, rice paper cakes, banh it (sweet sticky cake wrapped in leaves) and Bau Da wine.
If you want to taste more of Quy Nhon's culinary world, do not miss chicken rice on Le Hong Phong Street, banh hoi (rice vermicelli woven into intricate bundles) served with pig's innards on Nguyen Chanh and Tran Phu streets, seafood on Xuan Dieu Street, fish noodles on Nguyen Hue Street and jelly-fish noodles on Phan Chau Trinh Street, plus there's the breakfast paradise on Nguyen Van Tru Street.
From Hanoi and Saigon, the best way to reach Quy Nhon, which was named among the top 10 winter sun destinations for 2018 by U.K. newspaper the Guardian, is flying.
Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air have two-three direct flights to Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh Province, every day. Return tickets usually cost VND1 million ($44) from HCMC and VND2 million from Hanoi. From HCMC, you can also fly with Jetstar.
Phu Cat Airport in Quy Nhon stands around 35 kilometers (21 miles) from the downtown. You can take a shuttle bus from the airport or call a cab to get into the town center.
Those who start their trips from HCMC can also opt for a sleeper coach or train. It takes 12 hours by coach and costs more than VND200,000 for a ticket, and 14 hours by train at a cost of between VND200,000 and VND600,000. The coach and train stations are in the town center, so you can just take a cab or xe om to your hotel.
Once in town, you can hire motorbikes for VND120,000-150,000 ($5.30-6.60) per day or book a car for around VND750,000 ($33) per day if you're traveling in a group of five to seven. You can ask your hotel or homestay to help you with this service.
For accommodation, the town has a five-star resort, four four-star hotels and resorts with prices ranging from VND1.5 million to VND5 million ($66-220) per night for two people. For cheaper choices, take a look at the hotels on Nguyen Hue and An Duong Vuong streets.
Homestays are another option. You can choose among Lan Anh Homestay on Xuan Dieu Street, Quy Nhon on Phung Khac Khoan Street, Larose on Huynh Tan Pha, or Life’s a Beach and Haven along Xep Beach in Ghenh Rang Ward. Prices range from VND100,000-300,000 per person per night.
Now you are all settled, it's time to explore this beach town that was listed as one of the top nine authentic escapes in Southeast Asia and a destination off the beaten track by U.K. travel publisher Rough Guides in 2015.
The best time to tour Quy Nhon is between February and August.
Beware of the heat and scorching sun.
Quy Nhon is home to many more places that are well worth visiting, such as Kho Island, Cu Lao Xanh, also known as Van Phi Island, the safari park, Hai Minh fishing village and the sand dunes at Phuong Mai. If you have more time or want to change your plans, why not check them out?
Photos by Ho Huu Tan, Thanh Tuyet, Phong Vinh