Quy Nhon, Maldives of Vietnam
Besides soft white beaches and a clear, turquoise sea, Quy Nhon has much more to offer to visitors.
Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh Province is recognized as one of the three tourism hubs of Vietnam’s south central coastal region along with Da Nang and Nha Trang.
The town is blessed with a 42km long coastline, diverse topography comprising mountains, forests, salt marshes, plains, lagoons, lakes, rivers, peninsulas and islands, abundant seafood and natural resources.
Best time to visit Quy Nhon
The best time to visit Quy Nhon is from January to August, when the weather is relatively warm most of the time. As summer comes, starting in April the weather will get gradually warmer.
September to December is the rainy season. There will be more rain and potentially some storms, which can prevent you from going on boat tours or exploring the town fully.
How to get there
The fastest way to get to Quy Nhon from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is by flight. Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar, and Bamboo Airways all have daily direct flights to Quy Nhon.
From the airport, visitors can either hop on a shuttle bus or grab a cab to the town’s center around 35 km (21 miles) away.
Quy Nhon is around 650 km from HCMC, from where there are also the options of bus and train. Both bus and train stations are in the downtown area.
It takes around 12 hours by bus and the fare starts at around VND220,000 ($9.5). Visitors should choose an overnight bus to arrive in the city by morning.
The journey from HCMC takes approximately 13 hours and fares range from VND252,000 ($11) for a seat to VND442,000 ($19) for a sleeper berth. The price also varies depending on the day of travel, with peak demand days like public holidays costing more.
Where to stay
Quy Nhon does have a few high-end hotels and resorts with room tariffs ranging from VND1.5 – 5 million per night ($65 – 215). There are also cheaper options available.
For a more authentic and budget-friendly experience, visitors can choose a homestay, which costs VND100,000 – 300,000 ($4.3 – 13) per person per night.
Trung Luong Camping Site is another option for those who like to be close to nature. Hidden in a small valley by the beach, the camping site is about 30 km from the town’s center and 10 km from Ky Co Beach, one of the most popular attractions in Quy Nhon. A tent for two people here costs around VND300,000 ($13)
What to see
Eo Gio (Windy Pass): Eo Gio is, along with Ky Co Beach, the most famous attraction in Quy Nhon. It is a part of a strait in Nhon Ly Commune, 20km from the town. Eo Gio is situated between two tall rocky cliffs that drop straight into the clear waters of the sea below, giving it a beautiful crescent shape.
Though it’s not safe to swim here since the waves are strong, visitors can enjoy a nice, romantic walk and catch some cool breeze on the small winding walkway built on the side of the mountain. It is an unforgettable experience as one is surrounded by pristine nature, with the blue sky above your head and blue ocean at your feet.
Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Ky Co beach: Situated on Nhon Ly Island, 25 km away and a 20-minute boat ride from Quy Nhon, Ky Co is fondly dubbed the “Maldives of Vietnam.” On one side of Ky Co is the calm turquoise sea, and the other is magnificent rocky mountains.
Here, visitors can dive in to explore the corals, have a dip in the cool water, relax on the soft golden sand of the beach, or discover other beautiful beaches in Ky Co hidden between the mountains cliffs.
Hon Kho (Dry Island): The island is part of Nhon Hai Commune, 15km from Quy Nhon town. From the port in Nhon Hai, visitors need to take a 10-15 minute boat ride to reach the island. Like other places in Quy Nhon, Hon Kho is blessed with a beautiful soft white sandy beach and clear blue waters.
Popular activities here are snorkeling to see the corals, swimming in the ocean, taking a relaxing walk on the boardwalk and capturing scenic photos or selfies. Exploring the rocky mountain and visiting the sandbar leading to the island are also worth a try.
Additionally, since people’s main occupation here is fishing, visitors can try fresh and reasonably priced seafood.
Photo by Trung Pham
Cu Lao Xanh (Green Islet): This 360 ha island is situated in Nhon Chau Commune, about 24 km away from Quy Nhon. As its name suggests — “xanh” is Vietnamese for both blue and green — the island is covered in green mountains and lush forests and surrounded by the clear blue sea. Visitors can go swimming or diving anywhere on the island with its calm sea, clean water and white sandy beach.
Besides, one can try camping and having a BBQ with the freshest seafoods right on the beach or go for a hike to explore the mountains.
Ham Ho: Situated around 50km to the northwest of Quy Nhon, right below the Truong Son mountain range, this tourist area is famous for its charming and pristine landscapes along the beautiful Kut River. Go for a boat ride or kayak on the river and discover giant granite stones in curious shapes and a majestic waterfall. Ham Ho also has many significant historical sites. Other activities visitors can try here include fishing, cave exploring and camping.
Mui Vi Rong (Dragon Fin Cape): From a distance, the pointed rocky cliffs reaching out to the ocean and shielding a small cave looks like the spiky head of a dragon, hence the name given to this place.
Since Mui Vi Rong has not appeared much on the Binh Dinh tourist map, it remains untouched. This is a perfect place if visitors want to relax on the rocks and listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the rocks below. If you are a bit more daring, try jumping from rock to rock (be careful though), exploring the wild cave and taking some amazing photos of this majestic landscape.
Cham Towers: Binh Dinh is the province with the highest number of Champa-era ruins in Vietnam. The Champa were an indigenous people who settled from south-central Vietnam to Cambodia to the west. Quy Nhon used to be one of their ports between the 11th and 15th centuries, and so it is not a surprise that there is an impressive double tower (Thap Doi) situated in the heart of the town.
If you want to see more, head to Banh It, another Champa tower perched on a hill about 15 minutes away from the town. Once up the hill, visitors can see the tower and get a sweeping view of the coast, rice paddies and hills in the background.
There are many other palces to visit in Quy Nhon including the FLC Zoo Safari Park, Hai Minh fishing village, Phuong Mai sand dunes, Thi Nai Lagoon, Ba Mountain, Hon Nuoc Lighthouse, and some pristine islands.