Travel to Binh Thuan in the afternoon, where to go and what to do to have the most enjoyable experiences? Here are eight suggestions from Wanderlust Tips.
1. PO SAHU INU TOWER – AN INCREDIBLE CHAM’S LEGACY
Located on a hill called Lau Ong Hoang, the group of ancient tower relics known as Sah Po Inu or Phu Hai Tower is in Thanh Hai Ward, 6 kilometres to the Northeast of Phan Thiet City. This is an architectural temple tower of the Cham to worship small fairies who are the daughters of Lady Po Nagar. This tower group consists of three towers and many other spilled towers of which now only the ruins and foundations are left.
♦ Must see: Buu Son Pagoda, Lau Ong Hoang Hill, Co Mountain where the tomb of the poet Nguyen Tien is located, Phan Thiet Beach and Doi Duong Beach about 4 kilometres away.
♦ Top tips: Every year in January of the lunar calendar, Rija Nugga, Poh Mang Sang Festival is held at the foot of the tower. People pray for rain and goodness. Ticket price: VND10,000 per person.
♦ Cuisine: Ngoc Phuong Restaurant (Nguyen Thong Street), Garden Restaurant (202 Nguyen Thong), Phan Thiet fried sweet potato (114 Han Mac Tu) and Café Suri (152 Han Mac Tu).
2. WHITE LAKE – A VAST LAKE IN THE MIDDLE OF WHITE SAND DUNES
White Lake is a large freshwater lake in Hong Lam Village, Hoa Thang Commune, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province, about 65 kilometres to the Northeast from Phan Thiet City. Bau means lake and around the lake there are many white sand dunes, hence the name White Lake. White Lake is divided into Ong Lake and Ba Lake by a sand dam. Ba Lake is also known as Lotus Lake because there are many lotuses blooming in the lake during the summer. Ong Lake is smaller than Ba Lake and located near the sea.
♦ Top tips: Wander on the sand dunes, go camping, or participate in many attractive games. Price VND10,000 per sandboarding turn, VND300,000 per hour of jeep hire to conquer the sand dunes, VND50,000 per person to visit Lotus Lake by boat.
♦ Must see: Binh Nhon Pagoda (located between Ong Lake and Ba Lake), Mui Yen (about 5 kilometres from Ong Lake).
♦ Cuisine: The food service here has not developed so you should bring food when you come here. Or after hours of relaxing, you can return to the city centre and find plenty of options.
3. PINK SAND DUNE – SAND PARADISE FULL OF EXCITEMENT
Located in Mui Ne Ward, Phan Thiet City, Pink Sand Dune is also known as Mui Ne Sand Dune or Bay Sand Dune. The rolling sand dunes sometimes are shaped like waves and sometimes like spirals. Sand dunes change their forms and colour hourly due to tectonic movement. Sand valleys and sandy peaks suddenly appear, and then, as if by some miracle, a pink sand stream looks to be running towards the foot of the dunes.
♦ Top tips: Visitors coming here, besides watching the spectacular sand dunes, can also participate in many extreme games such as sandboarding or riding ATV or UTV terrain vehicles. The board rental starts from VND10,000 to 40,000 per hour, the terrain vehicle rental price ranges from VND300,000 to 400,000 per hour, depending on the type of vehicle that can carry 2-3 people.
♦ Cuisine: Anton Coffee, Windy Hill Restaurant, Ba Tai Restaurant, Xuan Phat Restaurant, Gia Huy Restaurant (all on 706 Street), Cay Lan Restaurant, Thinh Phat Restaurant (all located on Huynh Tan Phat Street).
4. FAIRY STREAM – A BRIGHT RED AND ORANGE STREAM
Fairy Stream is in Ham Tien Ward, located about 18 kilometres to the Northeast of the centre of Phan Thiet City. This is a small stream next to Hon Rom Mountain, hidden behind sand dunes. With a length of over 2 kilometres and a height of 6 metres, the water from the hills and the sand caves creates a gentle winding stream, which nestles around the sandy yellow clay with red, brown, yellow and white coloured sand in very fancy shapes that create a natural picture with many contrasting but extremely vivid colours.
♦ Top tips: Fairy Stream’s water does not flow fast but gently and the water surface is above the ankle, the deepest is not over the knee. So you can stroll barefoot in the stream and enjoy the natural scenery with the beauty of a paradise.
♦ Must see: Hon Rom Beach; Mui Ne Fishing Village.
♦ Cuisine: Along the stream, there are snack and drink stalls.
5. GHENH ISLAND – WORLD OF WILDERNESS
Ghenh Island is also known as Lao Island or Lau Island. It is located off-shore, less than 1 kilometre from Mui Ne and 30 metres above the sea level. This place is a wild oasis with beautiful coral reefs in the sea and on land there are wild plants, rock cliffs, many birds and no houses.
♦ Top tips: To get to Ghenh Island, you can book a tour service or rent fishing canoes from local fishermen. From Mui Ne, canoes will take about 10-20 minutes to arrive on the island. On Ghenh Island, tourists can go camping, experience white water rafting and go sightseeing or fishing. Afternoon is the time when Ghenh Island is the most beautiful, it is when the red sunset glows on the sea. If you like fishing, you should go in the morning, prepare some fishing rods and bait.
♦ Must see: Ong Nam Hai Shrine on the island.
♦ Cuisine: You can bring food and fresh water to the island or return to the mainland and eat at restaurants in Mui Ne.
6. FORGOTTEN LAND PARK – VIETNAM’S FIRST SAND SCULPTURE PARK
In Forgotten Land Sand Sculpture Park covering about two hectares, there are many impressive sand sculptures created by professional sculptors from many countries around the world. The sand sculptures show a variety of themes: from characters in Vietnamese and world fairy tales, to simulating impressive architecture or portraiture of celebrities.
♦ Top tips: Forgotten Land Park is located at Ho Chi Minh National Sport Training Centre 2 – Nguyen Thong Street, Phu Hai Ward, Phan Thiet City. Open from 7:30am to 6pm daily, the fare is VND100,000 per adult and VND70,000 per child.
♦ Must see: From the park, along Nguyen Thong Street about 1.5 kilometres, visitors can have fun at Sea Links Golf Resort, visit RD Wine Castle or watch the sunset and experience sea fishing at Ong Dia Rock Beach.
♦ Cuisine: Cyclo Seafood Restaurant, Cay Bang Restaurant, Hoa Vien Brauhaus, Soc Nau Restaurant (all in District 1, Phan Thiet Ward). Or visit Ong Dia Rock Beach with its many snack stalls.
7. KITE FLYING ON BEACHES IN HAM TIEN WARD – KITES FLYING IN THE SKY
The beaches in Ham Tien Ward are the most vibrant places to fly kites in the afternoon. On the gentle sloping beach, there are many people controlling colourful kites flying in the clear blue sky.
♦ Top tips: In the public beach area or in resorts, there are services selling or renting kites with different shapes and offering types for adults and children. The ideal time to fly kites is in the afternoon, when the strong winds help kites fly high. In addition to kite flying activities, there are many interesting water sports in the area for visitors to try; the most popular one is kitesurfing.
♦ Cuisine: Along the beach there are countless restaurants: Ngoc Phuong Restaurant, Forest Restaurant, Thinh’s Restaurant and Bar, Hong Vinh Restaurant and Mooney’s Irish Bar.
8. DUC THANH SCHOOL – ASSOCIATED WITH THE IDENTITY AND CAREER OF PRESIDENT HO CHI MINH
Duc Thanh School is in Thanh Duc Village, now at no.39, Trung Nhi Street, Phan Thiet City. This is the place where President Ho Chi Minh lived and taught in 1910 before he went to Saigon to go abroad to find the revolutionary way. Today Duc Thanh School still retains almost intact relics and keepsakes such as the dormitory – where teachers and students lived, the school board meeting room – where meetings were held, guests welcomed and poetry and literature discussed and the starfruit tree in the garden that Mr. Thanh (Nguyen Tat Thanh – former name of President Ho Chi Minh) watered in the afternoons.
♦ Must see: Ho Chi Minh Museum, Binh Thuan Armed Forces Museum, Phan Thiet History Museum, Phan Thiet Market, Victory Monument (Tran Hung Dao Street) and Van Thuy Tu Temple, home to the largest whale skeleton in Vietnam (54 Ngu Ong).
♦ Cuisine: May Hue Fish Hot Pot (20 Phan Dinh Phung), Dong Khanh soft thin vermicelli noodles (40 Tran Phu) or Phan Thiet Market with its many food stalls.
Wanderlust Tips | Cinet