Best Places to See in Phu Yen

By: Lien Nguyen

Last summer, being bored of the traditional Nha Trang, Mũi Né, Vũng Tàu trip, my friends and I were trying to find an original place to visit in Vietnam. We decided to give Phú Yên north of Nha Trang a chance, and honestly, it was one of the best trips in my life.

If you can’t decide between mountains and beaches, the province has them all. It also has everything you can expect from Vietnam: cheap food, natural landscapes, friendly locals and more.

Video source: hao trance

Being famous from the movie Tôi Thấy Hoa Vàng Trên Cỏ Xanh with the famous scene of children playing in the rice field and running on the green grass on the hill, Phú Yên is full of places to see, from Đá Đĩa Reef to Đại Lãnh Cape. It is also home to Ông Cọp, the longest wooden bridge of the country.

How to Get to Phú Yên

Phú Yên is an eight-district coastal province in South Central Vietnam located about halfway between Nha Trang and Qui Nhơn. It’s about a two-and-a-half hour trip by bus from either city. There is a local bus service from Qui Nhơn which runs pretty much hourly seven days a week. Both north- and southbound trains stop about six times a day.

By air, there’s a small plane going north or south once a day so you can arrive in the morning or mid-afternoon. The airport is a short taxi ride from town.

Where to Stay in Phú Yên

Although Tuy Hoa, Phú Yên doesn’t bustle like Qui Nhơn or Nha Trang, the infrastructure of the hotel is pretty good.

Some hotels and resorts you can check include Bai Tram Hideaway Resort, Vietstar Resort & Spa or Cendeluxe hotel.

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What to See in Phú Yên

The best things to see in Phú Yên include the following:

1. Đá Đĩa Reef

Located in An Ninh Đông commune in Tuy An District (Tuy An being the capital of the province), Đá Đĩa Reef has become one of the must-come places in Phú Yên.

It consists of an estimated 35,000 columns of basalt rocks created from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. When the molten basalt flows met cold water, they solidified and shaped these rare round, pentagonal, hexagonal and polygonal formations.

phu yenSunset on the Đá Đĩa Reef.
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The dark-blue colour of the stones combines with the fresh blue water from the sea to provide an unforgettable experience.

A good part of this attraction is that it only costs the VND5,000 parking fee.


2. Đập Tam Giang

Tam Giang Dam on the Tam Giang river is also in Tuy An District.

The dam is highly important for the rice fields in Tuy An District. You can cross it, but be careful not to fall down in the river.

phu yenA woman goes across Tam Giang Dam
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Try the fish and especially the eels that fishermen fish from the river.


3. Đại Lãnh Cape

This is also known as the first place of the country to see the dawn. To get there, you will have to climb up the 110 spiral stairs. Eat something before going up as there is no restaurant in the area. However, some drinks can be purchased at the top.

phu yenSunset on Lighthouse Đại Lãnh
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From the top of the lighthouse, you will see the long beaches in Phú Yên. Wake up early and go there at 4 a.m. to witness the sunrise, it’s really worth it.

The fee to the Đại Lãnh lighthouse is VND10,000, which is used to protect the lighthouse.


4. Bãi Xép Hill

Well-known from a famous Vietnamese movie called Tôi Thấy Hoa Vàng Trên Cỏ Xanh, Bãi Xép became a great spot for nature lovers. The place is wild and peaceful.

Video source: GalaxyFilmThienNgan

However, the images in the movie didn’t capture the real beauty of Bãi Xép. The green colour of the grass and cactuses along the hill makes the scenery stunning.

phu yenCactuses along the hill
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Right under Bãi Xép, you can see a beach and a seashore where thousands of dark stones create a song together with the ocean waves.

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5. Ông Cọp Bridge

Ông Cọp Bridge is the longest wooden bridge in Vietnam at a whopping 400 metres. It connects An Ninh Tây Ward (Tuy An District) with Sông Cầu District.

This bridge experienced a moment of fame in 2017 when it was featured in the reality show Vietnam Amazing Race.

It takes around 10 minutes to walk across the bridge. Don’t forget your camera!

phu yenA man walks on Ông Cọp Bridge
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What to Eat in Phú Yên

Seafood is the main culinary attraction in the province, with grilled blood clam one of the local specialities. Other favourites include ocean tuna, oysters and mai fish from O Loan Lagoon.

1. Seafood

As the homeland of ocean tuna, you can enjoy tuna in all forms in Phú Yên: sashimi, steamed tuna eyeball, grilled tuna and more.

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Ba Tam Restaurant: 47 Nguyễn Huệ, Tuy Hòa, Phú Yên.

2. Chả Dông and Nem Nướng

This is a kind of spring roll served with a special sauce, with mixed grilled pork, vegetable, rice paper and Dông grilled chopped (chả Dông).

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Nem Nướng 92 - Chả Dông: 92 Nguyễn Công Trứ, Tuy Hòa, Phú Yên (available in the evening only)

3. Banh Canh Hẹ (Cake soup with Chinese Chives)

The literal translation is “chive noodles” and the soup certainly looks that way: a sea of green specks swimming in a light, clear broth.

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Bánh Canh Hẹ Năng Nở: Điện Biên Phủ Street, Tuy Hòa, Phú Yên.

4. Bánh Bèo (Water Fern Cake)

This is a variety of small steamed rice cake or rice pancake in Vietnamese cuisine. It is white in colour and typically features a dimple in the centre, filled with savoury ingredients.

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Bánh Bèo Chén: 92 Lê Trung Kiên, Tuy Hòa, Phú Yên.

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