If you've got your own transport, or you can convince a guide to take you to this seldom- visited spot, Nhon Hai village offers and unique and worthwhile day-trip.
It's a fishing village that up until two years ago was only accessible by boat. It's a bit like Hinh Mai, the fishing port at the base of the Tran Hung Dao monument, but much, much more isolated.
Nhon Hai is a village without any streets. Having evolved in the complete absence of any hope of mechanised transport, there was never any necessity to create anything resembling a wide boulevard. Since there is only a small plot of flat ground at the base of a rim of mountains encircling the bay, all development is crowded close together. At the same time, the town is hardly poor, thriving on the fishing trade, so there are three and four story buildings among solid concrete houses. These are all joined by narrow alleyways, like an old village on a Mediterranean hillside. When you arrive from the new road, you'll be at the back of the village. Don't try to ride or drive around from there -- park and explore on foot. There's a long beach front where the locals gather in the afternoon for swimming, and the site of a foreigner here is going to elicit a lot of surprised smiles.
To get here, you need some skills, but common sense and a spirit of adventure will do as well. The new bridge is off of Tran Hung Dao St, heading out of town towards Highway 1A, a kilometre or so before the turn off for the Thap Doi Towers. It's a huge bridge to the right -- you can't miss it. Once you cross the bridge, turn right.
From there the road follows along the water and turns to dirt. It takes a lot of twists and turns, but as long as you follow the path most-frequently travelled, you'll get where you're going. It empties onto a pretty rough dirt path rimming rice fields and fish farms. On the other side there is a much better new road that has been cut into the side of the hills, leading east towards the ocean. These instructions may sound vague, but you'll be trapped in a valley and there's only one way out, so you'll find it eventually. Once you crest the last rise you'll see the village on the bay in the valley below. The trip is about 20 km one way. It's possible to bike it, on a good bike, and you'll have to get off and push for some sections of the journey.
Last updated on 23rd July, 2007.