The South Central Coast is the most favorite region of mine in Vietnam. This area possesses the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam, the Cham’s tower temples relics, delicious gastronomy, and hospitable local people. In this article, Asiatica will introduce you to two new destinations that less-known to international tourists: Phu Yen and Binh Dinh. These also are the destinations that our company had chosen for the incentive trip this summer.
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Phu Yen and Binh Dinh are located in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, bordered with Hoi An to the north and Nha Trang to the south, in which Phu Yen is the easternmost province of the country. With the ideal locations, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen possess the most grandiose coastal lines in Vietnam. There are numerous coastal lines with fantastic abrupt karst cliffs, where you can capture fascinating photos, especially for people travel by motorbike. The beaches are also adorable and have not been affected by tourism.
2. Climate and the best time to travel
The South Central area is hot all year round, well-known to be the land of sun, wind, and the harshness of nature. The Damrey storm in November last year made it even more difficult for the living condition of local people here.
The best time to visit this area is from April to the end of August. This is the dry season in the South Central area, with a sunny dry climate and no storm. From September to November is the period that storms usually happen in the Central region. And from December to March, the weather seems cloudy and regularly there is drizzle in Spring.
Asiatica organized the trip from 12 to 15 May, at the beginning of summer so that the destinations are not very touristic. The climate is also not really hot and flights are cheaper than June and July.
You can reach the three destinations from Hanoi or Saigon by train (Thong Nhat train), coach, motorbike (via 1A and D National Route). However, the most convenient way is still by the airway. Nowadays, there are plenty of low-cost flights to Tuy Hoa airport (Phu Yen) and Phu Cat airport (Binh Dinh) operated by VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific. The price ranges from 60 to 70 dollars one way. Vietnam Airlines also has flight routes to these destinations with a price of 80 dollars one way. Each airline only operates 2 or 3 flights for these routes per day.
You should book a flight to Quy Nhon, then transfer by road to Tuy Hoa to catch the return flight if you depart from the North and vice versa if you depart from the South.
I booked 2 economy flights: Hanoi – Tuy Hoa and Quy Nhon – Hanoi from VietJet Air, including 20kg with the price of $110.
There are no international flights to Tuy Hoa and Quy Nhon yet.
To transfer between the attractions, we book a private shuttle bus for all staff. You can also hire a scooter daily from Danang, Hoi An or Nha Trang. Taxi or grab are also good options at a reasonable price.
There are not many options for hotels in Binh Dinh and Phu Yen. For foreign travelers, we suggest you choose Avani Resort 4-star in Quy Nhon and CenDelux Hotel 5-star (Vietnam standard) in Phu Yen.
Phu Yen cuisine
A must-try dish in Phu Yen is Tuna’s eye stewed in traditional medicine and other dishes made from tuna. The number 1 restaurant for these dishes is Ba Tam restaurant in Le Duan street, next to April 1st Square. Besides, the Phu Yen goat hotpot restaurant is also a worthy option because goat meat in Phu Yen is famous for its delicious flavor. The reason is that goats here are raised by grazing method on the meadows full of sun and wind. If you want to enjoy seafood, you can visit the Bach Dang embankment area (below Hung Vuong bridge). The most renowned restaurant in this area is the Chuc Xiu restaurant. En route from Phu Yen to Binh Dinh, you can visit O Loan Swamp to enjoy the signature blood cockles, the specialty in this area.
Binh Dinh cuisine
Along Xuan Dieu coastal road, there is a lot of seafood restaurant with reasonable pricing. Especially, after enjoying seafood, you can visit the Surf Bar right on the beach nearby to enjoy a relaxing night with friends or family.
This is the new rising destination in Vietnam since 2015 after the film “Toi Thay Hoa Vang Tren Co Xanh” (in English: Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass). The name of the film means the yellow flowers are the symbol of beauty, standing out on the green grass, which represents the simple countryside life. During the filming process, director Victor Vu wanted to find a pristine land to describe the poverty in Vietnam in the early years after the war. Then he found this area, from a pristine area without any step of tourists, he makes it be the hottest attraction in the summer in Phu Yen and also Vietnam.
Phu Yen is a wonderful place to capture photos. Indeed, is possesses the Dai Lanh Lighthouse, located inside Dai Lanh Cape (also called Dien Cape) is the first place to welcome the dawn in Vietnam. Visit this place, you can take photos with the abrupt coastal cliffs and precarious rocks headed to the deep ocean. You can also visit Nhan Tower, a Hinduism temple built in the 12th Century, a scarcely relics that still remains from the Champa Kingdom. Another site is Mang Lang Cathedral, with gothic architecture. The cathedral preserves the very first Vietnamese National Language document, which was printed in Rome in 1651 by Western missionaries. The Da Dia reef, with the one of a kind landscapes, which can be seen only in 3 destinations in the world. Bai Xep (Xep Beach), Ganh Ong (an abrupt cliff with a breathtaking view) is the main filming place in the film “Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass”.
Attention: beaches in Phu Yen are quite deep with relatively strong waves and the sand can fall easily so it is not suitable for swimming. Hence, you should only take photos in this area.
This is one of the provinces that posses the most alluring beaches in Vietnam. The central beach in Quy Nhon is very long with flat wide sand and clear water. Besides, the beach inside the Avani resort is also adorable. You can hire a canoe to visit Ky Co island, located 5 kilometers from the mainland. This island has crystal clear water and one of the most beautiful coral reefs in Vietnam. Otherwise, you can visit the Cham tower in the city center. This is a Hinduism tower that influenced by Angkor Wat style.
7. Some useful tips
– You should book flights 2-3 months before your trip to avoid the fully booked situation, especially in June and July, when students take their summer break.
– As the new destinations, services quality here such as restaurants, hotels, and transportation are not very well developed. Nevertheless, local people are very friendly and security is extremely good.
– Phu Yen and Binh Dinh are the destinations for travelers who truly want to discover a pristine Vietnam in a deeper way. You also have to transfer on the shuttle bus, hiking, and walking a lot between the attractions. The climate in summer here is very sunny and hot. You need to be well-prepared for both mental and physical health to explore during this trip.
– Asiatica is one of the rare companies in Vietnam that organize a trip for all staff to explore and experience travel services in these two provinces.
After the trip, we have made this video to record every memorable moment in our journey:
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