The beach town of Tuy Hòa in the heart of Phu Yen province was built long ago by Cham people. Near the town stands Nhan tower atop Nhan mountain, which was built to honor the Cham genies.
Nearby, there is another mountain called Chop Chai, which is great for mountain trekking. The bridge that crosses the Da Rang river at Tuy Hoa is one of the longest bridges along National Highway 1A.
Bui Thanh Dung, a tourist from Hanoi, said, “I find Phu Yen very peaceful. Life here goes along at a much slower pace than in busy, noisy Hanoi. The blue sea is really appealing. I’m in love with Phu Yen’s unspoiled landscapes and hospitality, not yet affected by tourism development.”
The Mang Lang Catholic church is another prime attraction in Tuy Hoa. The superb 120-year-old Gothic church is one of the oldest churches in Vietnam. The first book written in Vietnam’s modern script is kept here.
27 kilometers north of Tuy Hoa is Lao Mai Nha islet. This little-known islet is an under-the-radar destination for somebody seeking to experience life at its most basic, as there is very little freshwater and no tourism services, accommodations, or electricity. It’s best to visit Lao Mai Nha islet between March and August, when the weather is nice and the sea is calm.
Duc Duong, a visitor from Thanh Hoa province, said, “I often take my family to Lao Mai Nha islet, which is considered the Robinson Crusoe island of Vietnam. When I first arrived here, I knew I had made the right decision. I’m drawn to its pristine beauty. There are very few people here. We bring our own food and cookers, but we also buy fresh seafood from the islanders and cook it on the spot.”
40 kilometers north of Tuy Hoa along National Highway 1A is Ganh Da Dia, one of the most stunning rock formations in the world. Ganh Da Dia looks like a giant honeycomb 50 meters wide and 200 meters long, with prismatic blocks of rock lined up together. The blocks either reach out to the sea or point to the sky, layered like a stack of plates, which explains the formation’s name – Reef of Plates.
A trip to Phu Yen is incomplete without visiting the lighthouse on Cape Dai Lanh, the easternmost point on Vietnam’s mainland, where sunlight first strikes Vietnam each morning. A 100-step spiral stair leads to the top of the lighthouse and its mesmerizing view.
Nguyen Phuong Thao, Director of S Vietnam Travel, noted, “Many foreign tourists book our tour to Ganh Da Dia and Cape Dai Lanh. Phu Yen province’s hospitality and beautiful, tranquil landscapes are drawing more and more foreign visitors.”
Phu Yen province’s culinary specialties include tuna eyes. Tuna eyes, after being cleaned and prepared, are brewed with traditional medicinal herbs and vegetables to create a unique richly-flavored concoction.