Here is a confidential, typically Vietnamese seaside destination that will delight travellers who want to get off the beaten track. They will be largely rewarded by the numerous sumptuous beaches and all the cultural curiosities that this charming seaside town offers.
The origins of the foundation of Quy Nhon go back to the 11th century, when the Kingdom of Champa radiated on the coast of central Vietnam. Quy Nhon is intimately linked to the history of Vietnam as it is the birthplace of the Vietnamese Emperor in the 18th century Nguyễn Huệ. A century before, the small port of Quy Nhon saw the arrival of Portuguese Jesuits who named it Pulo Cambi. More recently, during the Vietnam War, Quy Nhon was home to a large U.S. Army base. Today Quy Nhon, capital of Binh Dinh province, is a quiet seaside resort frequented mainly by Vietnamese families. The city, long asleep for a long time, has been experiencing a new dynamism in recent years. It has the tourist potential to compete with other seaside resorts such as Danang or Nha Trang.
The superb beaches of the Quy Nhon region
Both in the north and south of Quy Nhon, the coastline reveals sumptuous beaches. To discover them is the occasion of superb day trips.
- There is of course the large expanse of blond sand several kilometers long from the city center. Deserted during the day, it comes alive at the end of the day when the Vietnamese come to relax after a hard working day.
- The beach of Bai Rang in the north, located next to the charming fishing village of Hai Minh.
- To the northeast is Quy Nhon's most spectacular beach: Ky Co. A sparkling white sand beach framed by two beautiful mountains and incredibly crystal clear water.
- Also to the northeast, below Ky Co, is the small fishing village of Nhon Hai. A real seaside delight!
- The Queen's beach, located in the south, just outside the city, was the former private beach of Nam Phuong, the wife of Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam.
- 10 km south of Quy Nhon, the fishing village of Bai Xep unveils divine beaches, fringed with coconut trees.
- Make 10 more kilometers and you arrive in a small corner of paradise by stranding on the beach of Bai Bau.
- Even further south, you arrive in the province of Phu Yen, which has superb beaches. Take the opportunity to admire the stone masterpiece offered by nature in Da Dia, where there is a coastal area of uniformly interlocking basalt rock columns.
Qui Hoa Leprosarium
Struck by the large number of lepers in the various countries of French Indochina, the colonial authorities decided to found a leprosarium where the greatest number of these unfortunate people would be isolated and cared for. The bay of Qui Hoa, located 10 km from Quy Nhon, was chosen to establish this leprosarium. The leprosarium can be visited and highlights the work of insertion carried out in favour of the sick. It is a true oasis of peace and serenity by the East Sea.
The remains of the ancient Kingdom of Champa
The last Cham capital, Quy Nhon is home to two Cham towers in the heart of its city center: That Doi and Thap Nga. These two red brick towers were built between the end of the 12th and 13th century and were mainly dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu.
About thirty kilometers northwest of Quy Nhon, you can admire the citadel of Cha Ban. Founded by Indravarman II, Cha Ban was an important Cham capital, also called Vijaya, from the 11th to the 15th century.
25 kilometers northwest of Quy Nhon is the tower complex of Banh It. This complex, located on a hill with a superb panoramic view of the region, is the most beautiful testimony of the golden age of Cham in the region. A superb statue of Shiva in pink sandstone was located in one of the towers and is now on display at the Guimet Museum in Paris.
The remains of Thap Duong Long, located about forty kilometers northwest of Quy Nhon, allow us to discover three Cham towers erected in the 12th century, whose architecture was strongly influenced by the Khmer style.
Quanq Trung Museum
This museum is dedicated to Nguyễn Huệ who crowned himself emperor and took the name of Quang Trung (1753-1792). Leader of the Tay Son uprising at the end of the 18th century, he and his two other brothers revolted against the Nguyen, lords of the South, and were supported by the Trinh, lords of the North and rivals of the Nguyen. He later defeated a Chinese invading army and reunited the country that had been divided for two centuries. The Quang Trung Museum was built in his native village of Kien My, 45 kilometres west of Quy Nhon. It is the occasion for a very nice walk in the Vietnamese countryside.
Best season: It is best to stay in Quy Nhon from March to October.