Hi everyone!!! On the last Lunar New Year, after many times being failed to keep any of my appointments with Vinh Hy, I finally got to check-in this beautiful wild bay. Its beauty has fascinated me so much that I could overcome the persistent laziness to write this article.
„Hey? Where is Vinh Hy Bay? Sound strange.“
Vinh Hy Bay is a small bay in Vinh Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Located 42km from Phan Rang city, next to the famous Nui Chua National Park and Rai Cave.
„Shall we visit Vinh Hy Bay at what time of year?“
Vinh Hy Bay, no exaggeration, is a very favored place. It possesses not only the majestic natural scenery and unique terrain of “waterfalls on the sea”, but the weather here is also very mild and comfortable yearly.
The best time to visit is after the Lunar New Year/Tet (March – April).
Next is from May to September. Do not forget to bring a hat and use sunscreen during this travel period if you don’t want to get burned literally by Central Vietnam’s sunshine hehe.
From the end of September to February, although the trip to Vinh Hy is still interesting, you will feel a bit bothered by the super-strong rains and winds. Anyone whose body is small will feel like they can be blown away (me in some pictures wearing tightly, not because I’m afraid of sunshine, but of the cold hix).
„How to get to Vinh Hy?“
There are 3 typical means of transportation.
If you choose this means, first of all, you must ensure that you have good health and are used to driving far because it takes 7 hours from HCM (Saigon) to Vinh Hy (still not include rest time along the way). But in return, you can be proactive in terms of time, save a little money and stop taking photos at any time, especially when coming to the beautiful coastal road.
2. Train (combined with bus or taxi)
Departure from Saigon Railway Station (01 Nguyen Thong) about 6 hours to Thap Cham Station. There are many time frames to choose from, but the two best time frames in my opinion are SE8 (06:00 – 11:48) and SNT6 (22:20 – 06:00).
- With the SE8 time frame, you can observe the side scenery. When you arrive, you can check-in the guesthouse/hotel immediately.
- With the SNT6 time frame, you will feel less time-consuming, because you are busy sleeping hehe.
When you get off Thap Cham Station, you go out to take a motorbike taxi to the bus station (remember to tell the motorbike-taxi that you want to go to Vinh Hy Bay), about 30.000 – 40.000 VNĐ/ way, depends on each driver.
Bus to Vinh Hy is bus number 02, every 2 hours from 06:00 AM.
The bus price to Vinh Hy is 22.000 VNĐ/ person/ way. Get off at the last station, around 1 hour. The local bus should be small and old, slightly smelly, and stops along the road a lot to pick up/return the goods. But rest assured! The beautiful scenery along the way will take your attention instead of the other problems.
If you want to go faster and more comfortably, you can take a taxi right at Thap Cham Train Station. The price ranges from 300.000 – 400.000 VNĐ/ way.
3. Sleeper bus
There are many Bus Companies but I recommend Thien Tri Bus Company because the bus will go directly from HCM (Saigon) to Vinh Hy. Besides, the bus is very clean, the driver runs slowly and safely. My partner is a heavy car-sick person but slept so well on the way from Vinh Hy to HCM (Saigon). The ticket price is only 170.000 VNĐ/ person/ way.
Thien Tri Bus Company has 2 turns per day: 05h00 (or 06h00) and 19h00 (or 20h00). You should always have your phone in hand to receive bus’s notifications.
„How about accommodation?“
Vinh Hy is still wild, there are not many tourists, so the accommodation choice is still a bit limited, but quite diverse:
- 6-star-Resort Amanoi surrounded by mountains and forests: the lowest price is 14 Mio. VNĐ/ night and highest price is 100 Mio. VNĐ/ night.
- Vinh Hy Resort with price from 350.000 VNĐ/ night/ double room
- Guesthouse/Homestay with price from 250.000 VNĐ/ night/ double room
- You can also prepare your own or rent sleeping bags and tents for camping right on the beach. It will be a great experience!!!
My choice was Thap Thap Homestay, hosted by Ms. Giang, a native of Hanoi (I really love her sweet voice). Thap Thap has 2 double rooms, 1 room for 4 people, and 1 dorm room. Rooms are spacious clean and fragrant (an essential oil heater was prepared for guests), priced at 250.000 VNĐ/ night. The host stays right opposite. If you have anything urgent, you can knock on her door, otherwise just mess/zalo, she’ll respond quickly.
„Which activities are available in Vinh Hy Bay?“
You can rent scooters/motorbikes at your homestay/guesthouses/hotels, with a price from 100.000 VNĐ/ day.
Otherwise, you can rent an electric car from Vinh Hy Resort. But it is a bit difficult on the weekend because Resort guests are crowded and of course they will be given priority to rent cars compared to visitors.
1. Boat ride around the bay – Snorkeling
The sea from March to September is super clear!!! It is a huge omission if you do not take a boat to visit the bay and snorkel to see the beautiful coral reefs.
If you can only go to Vinh Hy in the remaining months, you can still rent a canoe to Coc/ Sao Beach to swim. The water is a bit cold but healthy haha
2. Enjoy the sunrise/sunset moments in Rai Cave
Rai Cave is about 7km south of Vinh Hy. You will be amazed at the majestic natural beauty of this place. It is called “Rai Cave” because there used to be many species of otter living in this cave, also, because there are many Rai trees here, which extract oil for waterproof painted boats.
The entrance fee is 20.000 VNĐ/ adult, 10.000 VNĐ/ child from 6 to 16 years old, and free for children under 6 years old.
3. Lo O Stream
Go through the Gay (Broken) bridge (the typical hanging bridge of the ethnic minority in Central Vietnam), say hello to the cows on the stretching grass and you will reach the Lo O stream. Here you can admire the beauty of the waterfall on the sea that I mentioned above. But you must go with a local guide because the way to the waterfall has not been opened yet, it is easy to get lost.
Then you can walk through a small ethnic minority village and admire the traditional houses built of clay mixed with straw.
4. Thai An Vineyard
Thai An Village, located right next to Rai Cave, is a key economic village of Ninh Thuan Province in terms of agricultural products, especially grapes, onions, and garlic.
Besides chatting with gardeners for more theoretical knowledge on how to grow and use grapes, you can also taste or cut the bunches of grapes you want to buy by yourself.
In addition to the original green round grapes, Thai An Village is in process of studying and creating new varieties: Keo (Candy) Grapes và Hong Ngon Tay Grapes.
There is small interesting information about Ninh Thuan grapes in general and Thai An grapes in particular that I have learned through this trip: grapes here are always slightly sour and have seeds. Don’t ask me why, because I won’t tell you the reason. Find out by asking directly the vineyard’s owner haha.
„Let’s go to the dining part!!!“
Like the accommodation, there are still not so many restaurant options yet, but the quality is on top!!!
We definitely eat seafood when we go to the sea!!! The boats go out every day, so you can completely be assured of being served only FRESH seafood and having a various selection of lobsters, shrimp, crabs, fish, squid, snails, clams,…
You can choose and ask the restaurant to prepare the dishes. There is still no tourismization here, so worrying about being ripped off seems to be a bit of a surplus. I bought a cuttlefish of more than 1kg for only 100.000 VNĐ.
2. Grilled fish noodle
Superexcellent, MUST TRY!!! A serving with so much fried and steamed fish only costs 20.000 VNĐ.
3. “Căn cake”
“Căn cake” is a southern specialty (especially in Da Lat) consisting of small pancakes made with quail eggs, cooked in small clay pans. It can also be found in Vinh Hy and ONLY HERE you’re able to enjoy the wonderful combination of the dipping sauce and the fish juice hehe.
And some other photos…
Vinh An Pagoda Lo O Stream from above
Thank you so much when you took your time to read this line. I really hope that this information can help somewhat in your discovery of Vinh Hy Bay. If you have anything different but interesting, share it with me!!! Because I will definitely come back to this beautiful place again.
From Anh Trần with Love ♥️