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Explore the ‘Hạ Long Bay’ of Middle Việt Nam

Update: June, 24/2016 - 09:00
The gorgeous architecture of Hang Rái thanks to the masterful hands of Mother Nature glitters under the sunshine. — Photo hochoichiase.com
Viet Nam News

Tú Lê

Vĩnh Hy Bay, with its crystal clear blue water body, is critically acclaimed as the Hạ Long Bay of the Middle Part of Việt Nam.

Located in Vĩnh Hy Village, Vĩnh Hải Commune, in Ninh Hải District, of Ninh Thuận Province, and sandwiched between the Ninh Thuận and Khánh Hòa provinces, the bay is 40km away, both, to the Northeast of Phan Rang City and to the southeast of Cam Ranh City.

The bay generally glitters in the sunshine all year long except the stormy winter months of October, November, and December.

How to reach there

To reach Vĩnh Hy, starting from Phan Rang City, one passes Tri Thủy Bridge and then follows the Provincial road 702 to the Northeast. The ride is truly scenic because the meandering road curves along the ocean. On one side is the green meadow with flocks of sheep grazing lazily and on the other is the crystal blue ocean. The whole ride takes about an hour.

Here is the guide to help you have a great trip and the best experiences in the bay.

There are a wide range of accommodation options available to meet the diverse needs of any traveller. On the upscale end is Amanoi Resort, located on the luxuriant green mountains of the Núi Chúa National Park, with 36 elegantly designed villas that come with private pools and stunning views of the bay. The three-star Vĩnh Hy Resort wins in the mid-range market with the standard hotel amenities such as a restaurant, coffee shop, fitness centre, etc. There are many other small local hotels that are perfect for travellers on a budget.

Tourist attractions

Visiting the spectacular coral reef reserve is a must-do item on the itinerary of every visitor to Vĩnh Hy Bay. Often called ‘the forest in the ocean’, the coral reef is full of colours and motions, reflecting the liveliness of the marine world. The best way to explore the reef and feast your eyes on the bay is to rent a glass-bottom boat and go snorkelling to observe the reef up close.

After the visit to the coral reef, one can have a quick trek to the rocky hills on Bà Điên Beach or the Đá Tròn rock pool for a glance of the rocks in all shapes and sizes, and a gentle salty breeze. The fare for a glass-bottom boat trip ranges from VNĐ60,000-600,000 (US$3-30) each.

Besides Bà Điên Beach, many other pristine beaches with stunning natural views at Vĩnh Hy Bay wait to be explored by visitors. With names such as Chà Là, Rạng, and Nước Đỏ, the beaches are worth exploring and are perfect spots for travellers to relish the scenic ocean and soak up the glorious tropical sunshine. Don’t forget to visit the Dolphin Cape, whose shape amazingly resembles the clever mammal living in the ocean.

To the South of the bay, Hang Rái is a breath-taking architectural masterpiece of Mother Nature, still mostly unknown to common tourists. A complex mix of an ancient coral reef and a rocky cave under the constant erosion of a tidal wave, Hang Rái, during the sunrise and sunset, is definitely a paradise for any photographer and adventurous traveller.

Want a break from the ocean? A 15-minute walk through a hanging bridge will take you to the Núi Chúa National Park, a scenic mountainous paradise that comes with natural diversity. With the Chúa Anh peak over 1000m above sea level, the landscapes at Núi Chúa National park greatly vary. From the savannas recalling Africa with the flourished reptilian kingdom, to the semi-arid forest to the evergreen forest above the 800m level, one can either enjoy the fresh air of the tropical forest scented by over 100 varieties of orchid or dip yourself in the crystal clear water of the Lồ Ô River, adorned by the beautiful rainbows on sunny days. The pristine Bình Tiên Beach at the Park is one among three beaches at Vĩnh Hy Bay reserved as turtle conservation areas, the homes for hundreds of them to lay eggs every September. Many other marine animals such as dolphins and whales are also often seen in the bay.

Specialty: Seafood

Travellers have a chance to explore the coastal villages and the simple lives of the local fishermen and their families while having a succulent seafood fiesta. Vĩnh Hy is famous for its bountiful seafood, some of which are totally unfamiliar to the taste buds of the Western expatriates, but definitely tasty. Their names are not any less peculiar – hand-shaped snail, fragrant snail, in addition to sea urchin, among others.

Paying a reasonable service fee, one can visit the buoyant net, where a great variety of seafood such as lobsters, snails, and shrimps are raised. One can also experience sailing the round boat to go fishing or simply buy the freshly caught seafood from the fishermen’s boats at prices ranging from VNĐ150,000-400,000 ($7-18) per kilogram, depending on the kind of seafood travellers desire. The seafood buffet will certainly give all the travellers an unforgettable gastronomical experience. VNS

The pure Lồ Ô river flowing from within the mountain range of Nui Chua National Park. — Photo mytour.vn
A glimpse into the crystal blue water of Vĩnh Hy Bay behind the rocky cliffs of the Núi Chúa National Park. — Photo dulichvinhhy.com

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