[Wanderlust Tips April 2019] Travel to Binh Dinh in the afternoon, where to go and what to do to have the most enjoyable experiences? Here are eight suggestions from Wanderlust Tips.
EO GIO (WINDY STRAIT) – A MASTERPIECE OF THE SEA
Located in Nhon Ly Commune, about 20 kilometres from Quy Nhon City. Its name Windy Strait originates from its geographical shape. When looking down from the cliffs, you can see a small strait shielded by two mountains that look like two arms embracing the beach. By the cliff, there are fascinating caves attracting salanganes to build their nests, such as Ky Co Cave and Ba Nghe Cave. Nearby, there is Da De Beach full of egg-shaped rocks all in unusual sizes and colours. Above all, Eo Gio has a walkway with striking red and white colours along a mountain ridge and continuing along this way, you can reach Ngoc Hoa Monastery with its majestic Buddha statues.
TOP TIPS: Tickets are VND25.000/person.
MUST SEE: You can visit both the FLC Zoo Safari Park and Nhon Ly – Cat Tien Beach nearby, or take a boat to visit Seo Islet.
TRUNG LUONG CAMPING SITE – THE IDEAL SUMMER CHECK-IN POINT
The Trung Luong Camping Site is about 30 kilometres away from Quy Nhon City. It is located in the east of DT639 Road of Trung Luong Village, Cat Tien Commune, Phu Cat District. One of the most exciting activities here is camping in a small valley surrounded by rocky mountains and overlooking the sea. Even if you do not stay overnight, the campsite during the day has a wide range of things to offer, such as red and blue tents, colourful beach chairs, a lovely bar and pretty stone pavement leading to the amazing blue sea. The beach stretches as far as the eye can see, the sand is incredibly soft, and the rocks are largely shaped in unusual ways. This is an ideal place for hours of diving, for you to lose yourself in the vast ocean and enjoy the peace and quiet.
TOP TIPS: The entrance ticket costs VND35,000/person.
YEN ISLAND – HOME OF SALANGANES
Although called an island, it is actually located right on Phuong Mai Peninsula. In total, there are 30 big and small caves on Yen Island, mainly located in the two communes – Nhon Hai and Nhon Ly. This place has an amazing natural landscape with natural thousand-yearold caves. The cliffy and rugged structure makes these caves the perfect home for salanganes. Besides its beautiful landscape, Yen Island also has historical and cultural relics of the Champa Kingdom, the Tay Son Dynasty, and the Nguyen Dynasty, such as its Buddhist Pagoda, Tam Hoa Mountain and Ho Ky Fortress.
TOP TIPS: Exploring deep inside the caves, you can see the impressive sight of countless salangane nests sitting right next to each other on the cliffs. At the same time, you can see mother birds spreading their wings over their babies to keep them warm while the babies are chirping waiting for food.
GHENH RANG TIEN SA TOURIST SITE – THE HARMONIOUS BEAUTY OF THE SKY AND MOUNTAINS
Located in the heart of Quy Nhon City, Ghenh Rang Tien Sa Tourism Site is like an artwork created by nature, with a cluster of rocky mountains stretching along the sea and piles of stones formed into impressive rocky cliffs. Walking along the path, across Mong Cam Slope and up Thi Nhan Hill, you can find the resting place of the poet Han Mac Tu situated in the middle of a pine forest park. Nearby there are slabs of pinewood with Han Mac Tu’s poems engraved on them by the artist Truong Dzu Kha. As well as this, Hoang Hau Beach (also known as Egg Beach) is another famous must-see destination, full of smooth rounded stones resembling giant bird eggs. Exploring further, you can encounter a beautiful natural masterpiece called Chong Island, after going over its rocky shore, you will find a soft golden sand beach with crystal clear blue water. This is the magnificent Tien Sa beach.
MUST SEE: Quy Hoa Beach, about 3 kilometres from the tourism site.
TWIN TOWERS – THE UNIQUE BEAUTY OF CHAMPA ARCHITECTURE
The Twin Towers are called Hung Thanh towers and are located near the Twin bridge on Tran Hung Dao Street. Constructed at the end of the 12th century, the Twin Towers are an unique architectural work with two towers lined up next to each other along a North-South axis. In which, the North Tower is 20 meters high, and the South Tower is 18 meters high. Despite its resemblance to traditional Champa towers, the Twin Towers have their own unique characteristics, among other things the towers have two main parts which are a square body block and an arched ceiling. The roof of each tower is a four-sided block, divided into 6 floors of horizontal valances in turn divided into 5 cells with the middle cell being an image of a person meditating. All four corners of the roof are also adorned with the five-headed Naga snake.
MUST SEE: Long Khanh Pagoda located on Tran Cao Van Street, about 3 kilometres from the Twin Towers.
BANH IT TOWER – PRESERVING CHAMPA ARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC VALUES
Banh It Tower is a complex of four towers located in Phuoc Hiep Commune, Tuy Phuoc District, on the top of a hill between two branches of the Con River, Tan An and Cau Ganh, next to Highway 1A, about 20 kilometres from Quy Nhon City. The main tower is 22 meters high and looks like a banh it. Around the main tower, there are three smaller auxiliary towers, and in these three towers, there are two towers that look like two sweet banh its and the other one resembles a meat banh it. Each tower has its own distinctive architectural traits, but on top of each is a statue of Shiva.
TOP TIPS: Ticket price: VND7,000/person.
MUST SEE: Near the Banh It Tower is Nguyen Thieu Monastery with a majestic open-air Buddha shrine on the hilltop.
THE IMPERIAL CITADEL – CANH TIEN TOWER – PRESERVING HISTORICAL VALUES OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS
The Imperial Citadel is located in An Nhon Town, 27 kilometres from Quy Nhon City to the Northwest. Built in 1776 by the Tay Son Dynasty at the base of Do Ban of the Champa Kingdom and was named the Imperial Citadel from 1778. From 1776 to 1793, the citadel was headquarters of the Tay Son army then capital of the central government of Emperor Thai Duc – Nguyen Nhac. Architectural works have shown that Thai Crown dynasty was developed on this land and the Imperial Citadel was recognised as a national cultural heritage in 1982. Canh Tien Tower was built in the 12th century as a “sacred mountain” in centre of the old Do Ban Citadel and has impressive architecture and decorative patterns, showing the typical artistic values of Champa style in Binh Dinh.
MUST SEE: Also visit nearby places including Thien Hung Pagoda with its ancient style combined with modern impressionism and Thap Thap Di Da Pagoda which is over 300 years old.
THE TAY SON EARTH-SKY ALTAR – REMEMBERING EMPEROR QUANG TRUNG’S ACHIVEMENTS
The Earth-Sky altar is also known as An Son Spiritual Tourist Area, in Hoa Son Village, Binh Tuong Commune. Construction started in November 2011 on the 220th death anniversary of Emperor Quang Trung (1792 – 2012). The altar is arranged on an area of 46 hectares on An Son mountain peak, including two levels for the altar, Nghi Mon 1 and 2, a windbreak, a temple area, a management boardroom, a semicircle lake, technical zone, parking lot and road from the bottom to the top of the mountain. All surrounded by the charming feng shui landscape of Hoanh Son mountain.
MUST SEE: On the way from Quy Nhon City Center to the Sky-Earth Altar, visitors can stop by Quang Trung Museum and the famous Cham Towers, Duong Long Tower and Thu Thien Tower. From the altar, about 30 kilometres further on Highway 19, you will get to the Tay Son Thuong Dao relics complex.