Photo: A quiet moment by the sea.


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Sandwiched between two mountain passes and filled with flooded rice fields and wide lagoons, Phu Yen province is usually a blur as most travellers breeze through by train or via Highway 1A. What most passers-by don’t realise is that the province boasts 189 kilometres of undeveloped coast. Phu Yen isn’t on the radar, and perhaps that is enough to attract some curious travellers.

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The provincial capital Tuy Hoa (pronounced “twee hwa”) is usually just a one-night rest stop for those on motorbike or bicycle, and the city’s lack of tourist infrastructure and sights does little to entice anyone to stick around. Compare that to Nha Trang, 100 kilometres to the south hustling for mass tourism, and Qui Nhon, 100 kilometres to the north pulling out all the stops to be the next big thing, this sprawling city feels a bit stuck in the mud.

Tuy Hoa's casuarina-lined beach road. Photo taken in or around Tuy Hoa, Vietnam by Cindy Fan.

Tuy Hoa's casuarina-lined beach road. Photo: Cindy Fan

Tuy Hoa sits on the coast, with the mouth of the Da Rang River forming the southern border of the city centre while Highway 1A flanks the western spine. A conical mountain Chop Chai rises in the middle of unwaveringly flat flood plains. The city has a river as well as an enormous beach, and normally these features are the life of any Vietnamese city, but both are very mellow here. It’s by no means an ugly city, it’s just somewhat forgettable. On the other hand, the people are unaffected by mass tourism and engaging with the locals can result in bashful kindness and fun experiences. Finding yourself the only foreign visitor in a little visited destination can be memorable ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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