Things to know in Quy Nhon, Vietnam
A large, prosperous coastal city, Quy Nhon boasts a terrific beach-blessed shoreline and grand boulecards. Its seasides appearl and tidy, letter-free streets make it a kind of place that afffluent Vietnamese couples choose to retire to, spending their final days acean-gazing and promenade-walking.
Quy Nhon certainly a good spot to sample some fresh seafood, but for most foreign visitors the city’s attractions are less obvious. Hoever, growing numbers are being drawn to Bai Xep cove, 12km south of the centre, where a coll little scene has developed around a crop of new guesthousee.
The long sweep of Quy Nhon’s beachfront extends from the port in the nothest to the hills in the south. It’s a beautiful stretch of sand and has been given a major facelift in recent years, making it almost as nice as Nha Trang, but with a fraction of the visitors
Towards the northern end, the nicest section is near the Sai Gon Qy Nhon Hotel, where a grove of coconut trees lines the road. At dawn and in the evenings this area is packed with local practising tai chi.
South along the shore, the waterfront opens up to the parklike promernade, punctuated by large hotels. Here the beach gets more beautiful and secluded, away from the bustle of town. At night the bright lights of offshore squid boats give the illusion of floating village far out the sea.
Thap Doi Cham Towers (8-11am, 1-6pm)
This pair of Cham towers sits within the city limits in the pretty park. Steep steps lead up to the temples, which are open to the sky.atypycaly for the Cham Architecture, they have curve pyramidal roofs rather than the usual terracing. The large town (20m tall) retains some of its ornate brickwork and remnants of the granite statuary that once graced its summit. The dismembered torsos of garuda (half-human, half-bird) can be seen at the corner of the roofs. Take Tran Hung Dao st. west way from the centre and look out for the towers on the right.
Binh Dinh Museum (7-11am, 2-5pm)
A small museum that concentrates on regional history. The entry hall focuses on local comunism, including a silk print (by Zuy Nhat, 1959) showing a fat French colonist sitting aloft madarins, in turn supported by bereaucrats, and cruel bosses, with the struggling masses supporting the whole ensemble;. The room to the left has a small natural-history section and some Cham statues, while the rear room has the bulk of impressive Cham collection.
The room to the right of the entrance is dovoted to the American War, which local relics such as the “Spittoon of Horic Vietnamese Mother Huynh Thi Bon”.
Quy Hoa Beach and Leper Hospital
Leprosy may not conjure up images of fun in the sun, but this really is the lovely spot. As leper hospitals go, this one is highly unsual, a sort of model village near the seafront. Ther are not so many patients here these days, but the descendants of afftected families continue to live here together in a well-kept comunity.
The hospital grounds are well maitained, complete with numerous busts of distinguished and historical important doctors, both Vietnamese and foreign.
Depneding on their abilities, patients work in the rice fields, in fishing, and in repair-oriented businesses. There’s also a workshop here where prosthetic limbs and ably need permission from the director of the institution to visit it.
Just up from the beach, there,s a dirt path to the hillside tomb of Han Mac Tu, a mystical poet who died in 1940.
If travelling by foot or bicycle, continue the road past Queen’s Beach until it descends to the hospital’s entrance gates, about 1,5km south of Quy Nhon.
Long Khanh Pagoda
It’s hard to miss the 17m-high Buddha (built in 1972) heralding Quy Nhon’s main Pagoda, set back from the road 143 Tran Cao Van st.. The pagoda was founded in 1715 by a Chinese merchant, and the monks who reside here preside over the religiuos affeirs of the city’s active Buddhist comunity.
Inside, in fron of the large copper Thich Ca Buddha (with its multicoloured neon halo) is a drawing of multi-armed and multi-eyed Chuan De ( Goddess of Mercy): the numerous arms and eyes symbolise her ability to touch and see all.
Tthis stony beach at the food of Ganh Rang was oonce a favourite holiday spot of Queen Nam Phuong. There’s a great cafe and great views back over Quy Nhon. To get here, take An Duong Vuong st. to the far south end of Quy Nhon’s beachfront and continue as the road starts to climb. After it crosses a small bridge, pay the entrance free. It’s assessible by bicycle or xe om.
Quynhonkids English Club
This friendlyt bunch of locals loves to meet up foreigners to chat in English. You’re welcome to join them on tours of the countryside bu motobike, hillside hike or for football games andd just contribute to fuel costs.
Eating & Drinking:
Quy Nhon is one of the best places in Vietnam to indulge in a seafood sission. There’s a (kilomet-long) strip of restaurants on the harbourfront road Xuan Dieu st..
A very popular seafood restaurant with gingham tablecloths of views over the bay. Feast on delectable dishes including soft-shell crab, hot sour fish soup and green-mango prawn salad.
Lien Thanh restaurant:
This down-to-earth place scores for very fresh, delicious seafood, including huge plates of prawns and merinated or babicued swuid. It’s a very local place and there’s no English-language menu, so pring your phrasebook.
Cafe Xua & Nay
Beachfront cafe based in a traditional Vietnamese wooden house (built in 1832) that serves authentic coffee, teas, snacks, and juices
Getting there & Away:
Quy Nhon Bus station is on the south side of town, with very frequent buses to Quang Ngai, Nha Trang and Pleiku
The nreaest mainline station is Dieu Tri (10Km) west of the city. Only very slow local trains stop at Quy Nhon train staion which is at the end of the spur off the main north-south track.