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  • Phu Yen

    Phu Yen province encompasses a diverse landscape of mountains, rivers, lagoons and fertile plains with nearly 200 kilometres of shoreline along Vietnam’s curving south-central coast. Lesser known than the beach resort town of Nha Trang, about 120 kilometres away to the south, Phu Yen is a place where visitors can still enjoy having a wide patch of golden sand to themselves.

    The capital city Tuy Hoa offers a good base for exploring the beaches, bays and offshore islands up and down the coast, with an ancient tower (Nhan Cham) to see and a large seated Buddha on a hilltop just north of the city. The nearby Vung Ro Bay features a deep-sea port and a forest reserve in its surrounding hills home to a number of rare and exotic plants and animals.

    Life here is laid back, with all the attractions of a seaside fishing village to enjoy — fabulous fresh seafood and relaxing on the sands under the tropical sun, plus excursions inland to walk up the gently sloped mountains for gaining a bird’s eye view of this peaceful province.

    Phu Yen province has a number of natural and historic sights but it’s probably best known for its beaches and bays. Long Thuy Beach features white sand and clear blue water perfect for a day of swimming, while Tuy Hoa Beach is a bit more bustling with locals enjoying a day out. Catch a boat in Vung Ro Bay and explore idyllic small islands just offshore. Boat trips may also be taken at the lovely and seafood-rich O Loan Lagoon.

    Enjoy amazing wide views of the valley a sense of the region’s rich history at Chua Da Trang (also called Tu Quang), the White Stone Pagoda, a place of worship since the late 18th century for Lam Te Buddhists, and at Thap Nhan Tower, a four-storey structure topped by a conical stone linga built by the Cham people in the 2nd Century BC.

    A puzzling yet picturesque spot is Ganh Da Dia, the Cliff of Stone Plates, a mystifying arrangement of thousands of large stones that looks a bit like a miniature city of skyscrapers clinging to the seaside cliffs. Some locals believe it was formed in a battle between two mythical giants, while scientists theorize that it was created by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago.

    Mang Lang Church
    If you visit Phú Yên, you should not miss Mằng Lăng, a French-built cathedral dubbed a “precious gem” of the central province. The Roman Catholic church is 35 kilometers north of the capital city Tuy Hòa. It is one of the oldest churches in Vietnam. The church was built in gothic style in 1892 by French missionary Joseph Lacassagne. Despite its age, the church looks like it was not affected at all by time.

    Saigon to Hanoi (17D)

    Saigon to Hanoi (17D)

    Saigon → Da Lat → Nha Trang → Quy Nhon → hoi An Da Nang → Hue → ninh Binh → Cat Ba Island → Hanoi
    As Vietnam opens its doors to welcome the world at large, many people have no idea of the stunning visual beauty and traditional culture that lie beyond the threshold. To many, the name Vietnam brings to mind only haunting images of a devastating war...