Phu Yen Vietnam is an off the beaten track destination with pristine beaches, busy fisherman villages, golden deserts, mouth-watering seafood, and astounding natural landscapes. If you’re planning to visit Phu Yen for a peaceful holiday, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
While attractions in Phu Yen are a bit similar to those in Quy Nhon, Phu Yen is a lesser-known destination that has only become (a bit) more popular thanks to the Vietnamese film “I see yellow flowers on the green grass”. Nonetheless, many people still call this land a sleeping beauty, waiting for a Charming Prince to come and wake her up.
Here is a Phu Yen Vietnam travel guide crafted from local insights and our own experiences of visiting Phu Yen in late August 2016. If you’re looking for an off the beaten track destination in Vietnam, or already thinking of a trip to Phu Yen but not knowing much about the place, I hope this blog post will help!
Where is Phu Yen in Vietnam?
Situated in the middle of Binh Dinh Province (Quy Nhon) and Khanh Hoa Province (Nha Trang), Phu Yen is a coastal province in Central Vietnam. Its capital is Tuy Hoa City.
Phu Yen remained unpopular to tourists for a long time as the province did not invest much in promoting its tourism. After the launch of the movie “I see yellow flowers on the green grass” in 2015, the province’s picturesque landscapes started to capture the attention of Vietnamese tourists. Since then, tourists have flocked here to discover other lesser-known attractions in Phu Yen.
Attractions in Phu Yen
Here are some of the most popular attractions in Phu Yen Vietnam that you should consider visiting.
A small beach with a length of only 500 meters, Xep Beach is a quiet place suitable for those seeking peace and tranquility during their trip. There are black stones lining the beach, adding some sharpness to the softness of the ocean.
You can climb onto a hill nearby for a sweeping view of Xep Beach from above. This hill became popular with tourists as the place where the children from “I see yellow flowers on the green grass” flew kites. In real life, this place is a small meadow where the locals’ cows are herded. I did not see any yellow flowers there though, unfortunately.
How to get to Xep Beach? From Tuy Hoa city, drive around 12km north on Highway 1 until you see the sign of Sao Viet Resort on the right. Turn right there.
Local tips for visiting Xep Beach in Phu Yen Vietnam
It was extremely hot when we visited Xep Beach at 10 am. Nobody was on the beach and we felt burning when standing on the hill overlooking the whole area. We later learned that the locals would only visit Xep Beach in the afternoon to avoid the heat.
O Loan Lagoon
Since O Loan Lagoon is quite large, it’s not easy to identify the most picture-perfect corner to stop at.
We rode along O Loan Lagoon under midday heat and stopped at a local seafood restaurant with a view of part of the lagoon. That view was not so impressive, to be honest. Yet we had the chance to taste Blood Oyster: a must-try local cuisine.
Local tips for visiting O Loan Lagoon in Phu Yen Vietnam
Avoid visiting this lagoon around noon time! The heat’s really unbearable and you won’t see anything nice anyway. The best time to visit O Loan Lagoon is either during dusk or dawn.
Here are photos taken by others who were more fortunate in capturing beautiful moments of O Loan Lagoon.
Ganh Da Dia (or Ghenh Da Dia)
Ghenh Da Dia is the emblem of Phu Yen’s tourism. Nowhere in Vietnam can you find such a beautiful piece of art by nature: hundreds of flat black stones are stacked on top of each other right next to the sea. It’s hard to believe this amazing structure was arranged totally by nature.
Located in Tuy Hoa City, Nhan Tower was built by the Cham people on top of the Nhan Mountain in the 12th century. Here you can have a beautiful view of Tuy Hoa city with the Da Rang River flowing by.
Local tips for visiting Nhan Tower in Phu Yen Vietnam
You can ride a motorbike or drive a car directly to the top of Nhan Mountain. The mountain’s height is only around 60 meters.
Mui Dien Cape – the easternmost point of Vietnam’s territory
Theoretically speaking, Mui Dien Cape is the first location in Vietnam to receive sunlight for a new day. After climbing steps for around 30 minutes (slow pace), you will reach the foot of the Mui Dien Lighthouse. Climbing up to the lighthouse gives a stunning view of the sea below.
From the Lighthouse you can also climb out to Mui Dien. It’s a bit hard to climb out here so mind your step!
Local tips for visiting Mui Dien Cape in Phu Yen Vietnam
Check out my tips to visit the northernmost point of Vietnam’s territory as well.
Bai Mon Beach
Bai Mon Beach can be accessed from the entrance to the Mui Dien area as well. You need to pay an entrance fee and also a parking fee (very cheap!). There are shower rooms near the entrance for you to change before walking 200 meters to the beach.
Now here’s the interesting part. As you walk to the beach from the entrance gate, you will first be able to see the Mui Dien Lighthouse on top of the hill on your right hand.
As you walk further, a gorgeous landscape of yellow sand dunes on the left, a clear channel in the middle, and a green hill on the right will leave you stunned. You can even see fish swimming in this clear channel.
And finally, the beach! Bai Mon Beach is nestled between 2 hills with a length of only 400 meters. Its clear water, smooth sand, and the amazing view will not disappoint you.
Local tips for visiting Bai Mon Beach in Phu Yen Vietnam
The beach is mostly deserted at around 2-3 pm when the sun still shines quite brightly. Come here at this time and make the beach your own!
From Mui Dien and Bai Mon, continue driving forward and you will soon arrive at a lively fisherman village. The smell of fresh fish is unmistakable. This place is called Vung Ro – a small busy bay with lots of fishing activities going on. You can stop by a local boat house to buy fresh seafood and taste them right there (the locals can help you cook).
How to get to Phu Yen – Travel to Phu Yen
Flights to Phu Yen
There are daily flights to Phu Yen from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietjet Air. Flights to Phu Yen from these 2 cities take roughly an hour each.
Tuy Hoa airport is situated quite close to the sea. That’s why when our plane started to land, for a moment I did think that we’d be landing on water. Our airplane was the only one landing at the scarily deserted Tuy Hoa Airport at that time. I could even see cows peacefully chewing grass only several meters from the landing area. Welcome to the countryside!
Since the airport is not so close to the city center where most hotels are, you need to take a taxi. The taxi ride from Tuy Hoa Airport to Sai Gon Phu Yen Hotel where we stayed cost VND 80,000. Not so expensive!
Trains and buses to Phu Yen
Alternatively, you can also travel to Phu Yen by train (around 12 hours) or bus (13 hours) from Hanoi and HCM. The night train with berths to Phu Yen is also available. It’s simply like traveling from Hanoi to Sapa. There are buses and trains connecting Phu Yen with other provinces, too.
It takes 11 – 13 hours to go by bus from HCM to Phu Yen. My favorite website for booking bus/coach tickets from HCM / Hanoi to Phu Yen is vexere.com. Here you can choose from a list of buses based on the departing time and duration. Then just pay online with your credit card.
It should not be difficult to travel to Phu Yen at all 🙂
How to get around Phu Yen
In Tuy Hoa, we rented a motorbike and basically rode from our hotel to all the attractions in Phu Yen. The price of renting a motorbike in Tuy Hoa is around VND 100,000 per bike per day. For scooters, it costs up to VND 160,000 per day. You will have to give your passport or driving license to the bike’s owner as a guarantee. Just ask your hotel reception for the bike renting arrangement.
Unlike in Quy Nhon, attractions in Phu Yen are more sparsely distributed. Most famous attractions are located from half an hour to one-hour drive to the north and south of the city center. Such rides for the whole day with the motorbike can be exhausting.
Another option is to rent a car in Phu Yen and drive by yourself. This option will prevent you from getting fatigued under the searing heat in this central province. Car renting is suitable for groups of 3 travelers and more. Contact 0933514155 / 0919196192 for renting a car in Phu Yen. A 5-seat car costs around VND 700,000 per day (not yet including a driver). If they don’t speak English, simply ask your hotel reception to help.
Where to stay in Phu Yen – Hotels & resorts in Phu Yen
Luxury villas in Phu Yen
If you’re looking to splurge on your stay in Phu Yen, here are the best luxury options.
- Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho (Entire 1-bedroom villa from US$1200/night)
- Sao Mai Beach Resort (Entire 2-bedroom villa from US$720/night)
- Que Toi Village (Entire 1-bedroom villa from US$240/night)
5-star beachfront hotels in Phu Yen
Tips for booking a hotel in Phu Yen
Do NOT stay at Sai Gon Phu Yen Hotel. Despite its 4-star ranking, this hotel is old, untidy, and lacking staff. The service was okay though.
Before booking a hotel, the most important thing is to check its location: whether it’s close to the beach, convenient to travel to most attractions in Phu Yen, close to restaurants, and so on.
Check out a full list of hotels and resorts in Phu Yen here!
Cuisines in Phu Yen – What to eat in Phu Yen
Here are some addresses for delicious local cuisines in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen.
Seafood: 74B Hung Vuong St.
Vietnamese Pancake with Seafood topping: 20 Le Thanh Ton St.
Grilled pork rolls: 159 Le Thanh Ton St. (Recommended!)
Goat Hotpot: 238 Le Lot St.
Smoothie and sweet porridge: In front of the address 199 Tran Hung Dao St.
Coconut smoothie: Totally a must-try! You can order this tasty smoothie in almost all coffee shops in Tuy Hoa.
And did I mention that prices for eating out in Phu Yen are mostly up to 50% cheaper than in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City?
4 days Phu Yen Vietnam Itinerary
As previously mentioned, some attractions in Phu Yen are located in the north and others in the south of Tuy Hoa’s Center, where your hotel is most likely situated. Therefore, it is advisable to spend one whole day visiting all attractions in the north and the other day for those in the south (or vice versa).
Here is our Phu Yen Itinerary for 4 days:
Day 1: Arrive in Phu Yen by airplane from Hanoi and HCMC (both in the afternoon). Walk around Tuy Hoa city center. Enjoy seafood and other local cuisines.
Day 2: Head north to Xep Beach, O Loan Lagoon, and Ghenh Da Dia / Ganh Da Dia
Day 3: Head south to Mui Dien Cape, Bai Mon Beach, and Vung Ro
Day 4: Visit Nhan Tower in Tuy Hoa city. Fly back to Hanoi / HCM (both in the afternoon)
Phu Yen Vietnam Travel Guide
I hope this Phu Yen Vietnam Travel Guide will prove helpful for all of you when planning to visit Phu Yen.
If you have any other questions about travel to Phu Yen, attractions in Phu Yen, hotels in Phu Yen, and so on, don’t hesitate to contact me or comment below!
Have you been to Phu Yen already? Feel free to share your experiences here as well!
Next destination from Phu Yen Vietnam
Check out other beautiful destinations in Central Vietnam!
- Quy Nhon – The most underrated destination in Vietnam
- Buon Ma Thuot – The center of Vietnam’s Highland with rich culture and mesmerizing natural landscape
- Hoi An – One of the world’s best cities as voted by Travel&Leisure