Phu Yen is a coastal city in Central Vietnam. It is a beautiful land with nice beaches, along with special culture of the South-Central region. Phu Yen has a lot of tourist attractions; most notably are Ganh Da Dia – which is a rocky beach where all the rocks have plate shape, Vung Ro bay and O Loan swamp, etc. The city also has many famous specialties.
Below are some Phu Yen travel experiences which I had from my trips, my friends’ trips and collected from several Vietnam travel forums.
How to get to Phu Yen
The center of Phu Yen is Tuy Hoa city. There are many ways to get to Tuy Hoa: Train, bus and plane of Vietnam Airlines.
1. By bus
* From Ho Chi Minh city
The distance between HCM City and Tuy Hoa is more than 500km (310 miles). Averagely, it takes over 10 hours to get to Tuy Hoa from HCM City and the fare is about $15. Some popular bus agencies:
– Hoang Long bus at Mien Dong bus station (Bến xe Miền Đông on Dinh Bo Linh street – HCM city). Tel: +848.2243.8989
– Thuan Thao bus starts from Mien Dong bus station at different time during the day. There are 2 types of ticket: seat and bed, you should choose bed ticket as you are likely to get tired because of the long distance. Tel: +8457.382.1111 or +8457.382.0303
– Cuc Tu bus is of fine quality. Contact the ticket office at Mien Dong bus station by calling +8489.019.090, or at Tuy Hoa city by calling +84573.382.4227
– Binh Phuong bus: Contact the ticket office at Mien Dong bus station by calling +8491.347.7751, or at Tuy Hoa city by calling +8457.382.6632 or +8457.383.6767
* From Hanoi capital
The distance between Hanoi and Tuy Hoa is 1200km (750 miles). Averagely, it takes over 30 hours to arrive in Tuy Hoa from Hanoi. The fare is about $35 to $40. Suggested bus agency:
– Hoang Long bus (this is best agency I know) leaves at 3 Nguyen Khoai street – Hai Ba Trung district – Hanoi. Tel: +8443.987.7225
* From Hanoi capital
There are many trains during a day. You can buy the train ticket at:
– TSC agency (add: 114 Pho Duc Chinh street – Ba Ðinh district – Hanoi): +844-37162868
– Mua Xuan (Spring) agency (add: 41 Ma May Street – Hoan Kiem district – Hanoi): +844-39263138 or +844-22109775
– Hanoi railway station on Le Duan street
* From Sai Gon city
– Sai Gon railway station: No. 01 Nguyen Thong street, Ward 9, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. Tel (Answer phone): +848 39 310 666
– For more information, call +848 3931 8952 or +848 3846 6091
– To buy ticket, contact the ticket office at +848 38 436 524 or +848 38 468 701
Sai Gon station will deliver the ticket to your hotel if requests at +848 8436 528. The delivery service is available only within the city from 7:00 to 21:00 everyday.
3. By plane
You can learn about the traveling time, routes and book ticket on the website of Vietnam Airlines: www.VietnamAirlines.com. And remember to book soon early to get promotions for good fare.
Vehicle leasing service in Phu Yen
You can rent vehicles at your hotel if they have this service. If not, you may contact:
– Mr. Sang, the owner of a cafe at 2 Le Thanh Ton – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +849.3407.4522
– Phu Viet travel company. Tel: +849.0528.0452
– Hong Vinh at 46 Tran Hung Dao – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +849.0582.5005 or +849.1349.5432
– Thanh Binh hotel at 126 Le Thanh Ton – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +8457.3823.942
Where to visit in Phu Yen
1. Nhan mountain (núi Nhạn) – Da river (sông Đà) are in center of Tuy Hoa. On Nhan mountain, there is Cham ethnic’s tower which is 800 years old. You may climb the mountain, get an overall view of Tuy Hoa and take photos at Cham ethnic’s tower. The mountain is more beautiful at night.
2. Buu Lam pagoda is located at the foot of Chop Dai mountain, 5km (over 3 miles) away from the city. The pagoda is famous for its massive and sacred Buddha statues. After visiting the pagoda, you may also climb to the Chop Dai summit to observe the entire city and surrounding area.
3. Ganh Da Dia. This is a must-see place, it’s very special. I could not believe that they are totally natural because all of the rocks have plain plate shape.
Ganh Da Dia is 30km (19miles) away from the city, you can take route 1A from Hanoi. When arriving at Chi Thanh junction, going straight ahead for about 1,2km (0.75miles), you will see Lo Go bridge. Go through the bridge and keep going for about 7km (4.4miles), and you will get to Ganh Da Dia. You should also visit Ganh Den (which has a lighthouse). This is only a few hundreds of meters from there.
4. Vung Ro bay (vịnh Vũng Rô) – Da Bia mountain (núi Đá Bia) are 2 places near each other. Vung Ro bay is surrounded by many stone mountains and has 12 small beaches. You can rent a boat to explore the bay. You can also climb Da Bia mountain, which is near the bay.
5. O Loan swamp is a big swamp. It is very beautiful at sunset and sunrise. O Loan is 25km away from Tuy Hoa, and close to Route 1A. After visiting the swamp, don’t forget to enjoy delicious seafood dishes and specialties of the region at several restaurants.
6. Vuc Hom water fall. The road to Vuc Hom is quite rough but the waterfall is very nice. Around the fall are some other attractions such as Ganh Da Dia. Take Route 1A from Hanoi. Once getting to Hoa Da junction, turn left and keep going for about 20km (12,5 miles). Then take the earthen road for about 10km. During the journey, you should ask the local people about the way to Vuc Hom waterfall (thác Vực Hòm). You will have to go through 1km (0,6 miles) of earth road of poor conditions before arriving at the fall.
7. Long Thuy beach and Chua islet. These attractions are 9km (5.6miles) from the city. To get there, take Route 1A towards Ganh Da Dia. On the road, you will see a sign: “Thanh Luong pagoda (chùa Thanh Lương) 1500m”. Take that way and keep going to the end of road, you will see an immense sea. From here, you can see Chua islet which is very close. You will have to rent a boat to reach the islet. There are a lot of fish boats around the dock.
Hotels and motels in Phu Yen
In Tuy Hoa, there are many hotels with the average price from $8 to $15 on Hung Vuong street.
1. Anh Tuan 1 & 2 hotels. Both of them are on Hung Vuong street. Tel (Anh Tuan 2): +8457.381.1711, and (Anh Tuan 1): +8457.3841.999
2. Nhiet Doi hotel is at 216 Nguyen Hue – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +8457.382.2424 or +8498.571.5334 or +8491.347.2633. It’s a new hotel with good rooms. The price is less than $10. You can also rent motorbikes here.
3. Cong Doan hotel (Union hotel) is close to the beach. Add: 53 Doc Lap street – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +8457.382.3187. The price is 15$ for a double room. It includes a breakfast for 2. Rooms at the hotel have nice view overlooking the sea.
4. Cendeluxe 5-star hotel is at 2 Hai Duong street – Tuy Hoa. Tel: +84573.818.818
5. Dai Lanh resort is nice, spacious and quiet. Contact Mrs. Phung at +8490.868.7679
Specialties and restaurants in Phu Yen
Phu Yen has rich culture and tradition, so Phu Yen cuisine is also very diverse. For example, some traditional dishes of Phu Yen include Pork rice paper (bánh tráng), pancake (bánh xèo), noodle soup (bánh canh), etc. Besides, the city also has several specialties such as tuna, spider crab of Song Cau or oysters of O Loan, etc.
The following are some restaurants to enjoy Phu Yen specialties:
1. Le Duan pancake is a sidewalk restaurant, near Dien Bien Phu – Le Duan intersection. The restaurant opens only in the afternoon, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. Pancake in Phu Yen is very different from that in the Central or the South of Vietnam.
2. There is another pancake restaurant at 20 Le Thanh Ton. The price is from $0.2 to $0.25 for each piece which is accompanied by tasty sauce.
3. Thinh Nam restaurant at 6 Bach Dang street, Tuy Hoa serves seafood dishes. The famous dishes are tuna and tuna’s eye. It might sound a bit terrible but very tasty indeed. You should eat tuna first, then try tuna’s eye dish.
4. Tuyet Nhung chicken rice restaurant on Le Thanh Ton street serves very tasty and cheap chicken rice of only $1.
Rice restaurant is at 57 Duy Tan street. The food is cheap and tasty too. The price is $1/plate.
Another tasty restaurant is on Thanh Thai street, opposite a supermarket.
5. Grilled corn with sauce is sold at Hung Vuong – Nguyen Hue intersection.
6. Fried roll lizard is a specialty of the South-Central region. This is sold at Tran Quy Cap – Nguyen Con Tru intersection.
7. Sauce noodle is on Nguyen Hue street, near a park.
8. Egg rice paper is sold at 100th tree on Le Trung Kien street.
9. Bánh bèo (mini topped pancake) is sold at the foot of Nhan mountain. Its price is $0.8/plate. The food stall also serves noodle soup ($0.5/bowl) and pancake.
10. Nhu Y rice at 8 Nguyen Cong Tru serves extremely tasty and cheap dishes.
Some famous seafood restaurants
11. Seafood restaurant at Luong Van Chanh – Nguyen Hue intersection
12. Tran Phu restaurant on Tran Phu street, 200m (660ft) from Phu Yen museum towards the beach
13. Tay Du Ky at the beginning of Ba Trieu street, near Lac Long Quan street.
14. Phi Hoa Sua at the junction, on the middle slope of Le Thanh Phuong street.
15. Tuna restaurant at Le Duan – Dien Bien Phu intersection