Photo: Binh Tien beach, near Cam Ranh Bay.

Vinh Hy-Binh Tien Pass

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The Vinh Hy-Binh Tien pass easily ranks as one of Vietnam’s best scenic motorbike rides and it is probably the most unsung: Seventeen kilometres of freshly paved and virtually empty road winds its way along magnificent unspoiled coast. It starts from a gorgeous stretch of white sand known as Binh Tien beach and ends in the small fishing village of Vinh Hy in Ninh Thuan province; along the way you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping, breath-taking, unobstructed views, coves of turquoise water, empty beaches, the wild, dry forest of Nui Chua National Park and tiny but magnificent Binh Hung island.



Prepare to be dazzled.

Can you spot the road? Can you spot Binh Hung Island? Prepare to be dazzled.

The Vinh Hy-Binh Tien Pass is entirely in Ninh Thuan province but Cam Ranh is a convenient base for the trip. Binh Tien beach is 24 kilometres from downtown Cam Ranh and it marks the start of the drive. To get to Binh Tien, head out of the city on Hung Vuong, then south of National Route 1. From the main roundabout that has the Cam Ranh bus station and Coop Mart, this will require travelling approximately 14 kilometres. Turn off left at 11.814655, 109.108326. The road is nondescript but at the top there is a cluster of small signs, including one for “Sao Bien” Resort. This is the same turn and road you take to get to Ngoc Suon Yen Bay Resort.

The turn off QL1 for the nondescript road to Binh Tien, as of August 2015.

The turn off QL1 for the nondescript road to Binh Tien, as of August 2015.

After a little more than a kilometre through farm fields, at the T-junction head left and follow this road for 6.5 kilometres. Near the end is a hill and you will see a sign for the split in the road – left for Binh Tien, right for Vinh Hy.

The pass is surprisingly well-marked.

The pass is surprisingly well-marked.

Veer left and follow the road down to the small village and beach.

Where the road splits. This is the start of the Vinh Hy-Binh Tien pass.

Where the road splits. This is the start of the Vinh Hy-Binh Tien pass.

Binh Tien feels vast and empty and it’s unlikely that you will see another soul on this beach.

We’re not kidding.

We’re not kidding.

After enjoying Binh Tien, head back to the main road to tackle the stunning scenic 17-kilometre journey south. On one side, the road is squeezed by the dramatic rocks and dry forest of Nui Chua National Park, which sits at the base of the Annamite mountain range. On the other side are the ocean’s vast turquoise waters that glitter so brightly that sometimes you will need to squint to take it in. On this pass the ocean is almost always in sight. Not only is the road wide and nicely paved, it’s virtually free of any traffic and it’s very unlikely that you will find trucks or buses on this route. On our entire trip, we passed no more than three motorbikes. And don’t worry if you are dying to take photos. Every few kilometres there are designated stops with perfectly situated vantage points where you can easily pull in, park, safely walk and go nuts with your camera.

View points are well marked and give you plenty of room to stop for photos.

View points are well marked with barriers and give you plenty of room to stop for photos.

There is beach after beach – most untouched – and you can stop at any one of them. Some are easier to access than others. Smack dab in the middle of the pass is the wharf to gorgeous Binh Hung Island (the road dips to sea level and you will see signs). Here you will be swarmed by a mob of women trying to push you to go to their floating seafood restaurants just offshore. Here it’s also possible to hire a boat to take your around the island. Whether you want to indulge in fresh seafood or not, you can pay to park, then find a spot on the soft sand away from the fishing boats. Hopefully once the crowd realises that you aren’t interested they will leave you alone. As you can see from the photo, the waters are spectacular.

Pull your jaw off of the floor.

Pull your jaw off the floor.

For a secluded experience, a few kilometres further south there is a little cove. It’s possible to park at the adjacent viewpoint and (carefully) scramble down the boulders to get there.

A petite cove accessible only by boat -- or a scramble down some boulders.

A petite cove accessible only by boat — or a short scramble down some boulders.

The road rises steeply (8% gradient) and then slips down to the small bay and fishing village of Vinh Hy. A quick walk around will reveal that it’s a quiet town that relies on small-scale fishing. Should you find yourself in need of accommodation, Vinh Hy Resort is a local hotel located in the middle of town, close to the water. It has small, tidy and clean rooms with hot water shower, flatscreen TV and a modest swimming pool for 390,000 VND a night. There’s an attached restaurant. Not a stitch of English is spoken. T: (068) 3823 057; (068) 3771 888; anhvutour@yahoo.com.

Vinh Hy Bay

Vinh Hy Bay.

Whether you are going one-way or doing a round-trip journey from Cam Ranh, allow for a whole day to explore. And ensure you have enough petrol because there are no service stations along the pass.

Heavenly highway for beach bums.

Heavenly highway for beach bums.


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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Cam Ranh Bay.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Cam Ranh Bay.
 Read up on how to get to Cam Ranh Bay, or book your transport online with Baolau.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Cam Ranh Bay? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Vietnam with Tourradar.




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