Explore, Dream, Discover in the Southern Central Coast of Vietnam
High-end travelers always seek new destinations, new hotels and new experiences. Many have moved towards a quieter, understated luxury, and plan their trips with a focus on authenticity and experiential travel to find particularly enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For travel experts, Tuy Hoa, in Phu Yen Province, is an ideal location to create a package that is personal as well as authentic and memorable.
Tuy Hoa – Vietnam’s new tourism frontier
Vietnamese people became aware of Tuy Hoa after the success of the movie “Dear Brother”, based on the famous novel by Nguyen Nhat Anh, “Tôi thấy hoa vàng trên cỏ xanh”. The movie is very evocative with beautiful, peaceful scenery, rice fields, mountains, wild beaches, and islands, and featured childhood games from the 1970s which my generation used to play and brought back good memories.
I was fortunate to be able to experience the new emerging beach destination of Tuy Hoa myself on a 3-night/4-day experience combined with ever popular Nha Trang – the new and the old.
New Experiences in a New Destination
We stayed at the Viet Star Resort (vietstarresort.com), and on the first day we visited Tuy Hoa City, with its multitude of interesting sites including The Cham Towers in Nhan Mountain, O Loan Lagoon, Tam Giang Reservoir, Mang Lang Church (the tombs nearby house the very first dictionary of Alexandre de Rhodes, who developed the Vietnamese language we speak today) and Da Dia Reef. We were delighted by the rivers running through the countryside, sleepy villages, the deep yellow of the rice fields and the backdrop of mountains.
The geography of Phu Yen Province is varied and diverse with the Truong Son mountains overlooking the narrow plain which is tucked between the ocean and the foothills. The province is known as one of the rice baskets of Southern Central Vietnam thanks to the reservoirs built by the French, which are still in use today.
The coastline has a unique feature in Ghenh Da Dia (Rocky Plate Reef), an example of a reef type that is rare in the world, being found only at The Giant’s Causeway in Ireland and on Jeju Island, Korea. The Phu Yen Reef is the largest of the three, and it stretches along the coast, emerging from the immense ocean in a gigantic honeycomb of stones made up of thousands of basalt columns, 50m wide and 200m high.
We visited all of the locations linked with the film, ‘Dear Brother’, including a school and a periodic market (a traditional market where vendors only sell one type of animal on any given day of the month). On the 16th, when we visited, chickens were the order of the day.
On the 2nd day, we ventured to the south of Tuy Hoa where the virtually traffic-free road runs parallel to the empty white sanded beach, reminding me of Tran Phu Boulevard in Nha Trang 20 years ago. We stopped at Long Thuy Beach, a long stretch of sand lapped by clear waters, and very popular with the Vietnamese, and yet to be discovered by international tourists. Our destination, Vung Ro, with views towards the imposing Truong Son mountains, and Cap Mui Dien are the highlights in this area, and the lighthouse is one of the oldest in Vietnam. Nature lovers will enjoy camping on Bai Mon Beach at the foot of Mui Dien where the only sound is the waves caressing the shore.
Authentic Experiences in an Old Destination
Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Adventurers and intrepid travelers, explorers, photographers, families and people who want to discover exotic places where you are among some of the first people to visit, and will enjoy the solitude. It is also an ideal location for team building company trips.
The climate in the region is one of the best and most stable in the country, with a minimum of rain, and a balmy average temperature of 28°C all year round. The weather in Tuy Hoa is similar to Nha Trang due to its close proximity. It is a year-round destination, but the best time to experience it is from June to September when you can expect dry weather and blue skies.
Jetstar Pacific has just opened new routes from Hanoi and Saigon to Tuy Hoa. In addition, travelers from Nha Trang can reach Tuy Hoa in 2 hours by car along a very scenic highway. From Nha Trang there are regular flights to Hanoi or Saigon, or direct train and bus services for travelers who have more time.
by Pham Quang Khai