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Wild Vĩnh Hy Bay offers beauty without crowds

Update: June, 22/2018 - 09:00
Private beach: As one of the four most beautiful bays in Vietnam, Vĩnh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuận province is famous for its pristine blue waters.— Photos news.zing.vn
Viet Nam News

By Mộc Miên

Like everyone else, I like to head for the sea on my summer vacation. But I don’t like to see everyone else when I hit the beach. At luxurious resorts and famous beaches, it can be so crowded that you can’t find a space to swim. When you try to take a picture to document your trip, hordes of people fill the frame. So instead, I keep returning to a place that is quiet and pristine, where I can spend time for myself while mingling with nature and the universe.

As one of the four most beautiful bays in Việt Nam, Vĩnh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuận Province is famous for its pristine beauty. It is a special destination for both international and domestic travelers seeking a marine tourism experience.

It is not too difficult to travel alone in Vĩnh Hy Bay, but I had to take many twists and turns to reach this marine paradise. From Hà Nội, I flew to Cam Ranh and took the bus to Phan Rang, which took about 45 minutes. There I rented a motorbike from local people to go to Vĩnh Hy Bay. The road beside the sea is about 40km long and it is extremely fascinating. On one side is the mountain, on the other side the deep blue ocean. With each turn of the road, my heart seemed to stop beating because of the beautiful scenery. Everywhere I looked, I had a view of the sky with a long white sand beach, which attracts the choosiest visitors. In this land, the sunshine and wind are right beside you, as though they have been hiding here from the city and the tourism industry.

If you spend time exploring this road, you will see the famous grapevine and sheep fields of Ninh Thuận province. With such a diversity of terrain and scenery, the trip will take you from one unexpected surprise to another. Ba Mọi vineyard, about 5km from Phan Rang downstream to Vĩnh Hy Bay, and An Hòa sheep field, 16km from Phan Rang, were two places I loved to visit. Eating grapes in the garden and watching the sheep leisurely grazing in the field are unique and relaxed experiences.

Solo show: It must be said that the coral here is not as beautiful and diverse as in Nha Trang, but surely you will not bump into anyone or find someone obstructing your view.

Upon reaching the Vĩnh Hy Bay, I felt immediately immersed in the blue of the sea. The water here is strangely blue and very deserted on weekdays, so I almost had the beach to myself. There are uninterrupted bumpy, rocky slopes, making this area known as the "Hạ Long Bay" of the central region.

You can join a coral cruise at the bay. The coral area is about 3km into the bay. Here, the ship will pause so visitors can admire the splendid beauty of the colorful coral reefs as well as the small fish hovering under the coral. This is the second time I dove to see the coral after my first experience in Nha Trang. It must be said that the coral here is not as beautiful and diverse as in Nha Trang, but surely you will not bump into anyone or find someone obstructing your view. Feeling alone in the ocean is a rather strange and wild experience.

In Vĩnh Hy, tourism services are quite sparse, so I looked around for a homestay in accordance with the spirit of independent travel. I was introduced to a raft house raising seafood at the bay, where I could order fresh seafood dishes at very cheap prices after a day of exploring and swimming. When you come here, you should try the local snail buffet, which is the pride of this place. Entering the boat dock, I was overwhelmed by all kinds of snail specialties such as cellana, true conchs, melongena patula, melo melo, and much more, all at extremely affordable prices.

The usual preparation method in these restaurants is to steam the oysters. For more sophisticated meals, chefs add some chives, oil and peanuts and bake the seafood.

Most restaurants prepare these dishes by steaming the snails. For more sophisticated meals, they add some chives, oil and peanuts and bake. Despite the limited available spices, each dish has different flavors, and enjoying meals amidst the waves and the winds of the salty sea makes them taste so delicious.

As you eat baked harpago chiragra, you will see a light orange snail, much smaller than its shell. When you pull the snail meat out of the shell and then add some pepper lemon salt, the crispy and tough snail, redolent of the sea, joins with the light sour taste from lemon and aromatic herbs grown only in this special place.

The grilled oyster brings another experience. The oysters are not shucked before being baked, but when after they are cooked for a while, the chef takes them out and lightly pounds on one side. Then the shell pops open, revealing beautiful pieces of meat. Then the chef bakes them again, adding some onions and oil grease. Biting into the reddish meat, the aroma of oysters is the perfect companion to the scenery of bay waves and floating rafts, all surrounded by the immensity of the sky and the water.

I spent a lot of time relaxing in Vĩnh Hy Bay. I was not in any hurry to visit Rái cave or Núi Chúa National Park, two popular local destinations, because I wanted to remain in the bay’s atmosphere of wild simplicity. If you have a chance to relax, you should spend a day or two here. Surely it will win your heart on your first meeting. — VNS

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