Text: Chi Hoa
Photos: Nguyen Dinh Thanh
1. Co To
With a total area of 46 square km, Co To is an archipelago of roughly 50 islands in eastern Quang Ninh Province. Thanks to its natural beauty, Co To is gaining fame as one of the North’s most stunning resort areas. On Greater Co To, visitors are amazed by the Cau My Rapids – piles of strangely shaped rocks by the seaside. Watching dawn break over these colorful rock formations is unforgettable.
2. Hai Hau Beach
Nothing beats running barefoot on the sand as the sun rises. Lying 150km from Hanoi, Hai Hau Beach is a long sandy beach where visitors can swim and play. This area is known for its ruined seaside churches, which were abandoned decades ago when their congregations moved elsewhere. The ruins have a lot of atmosphere and serve as resting places for local fishermen.
3. Quy Nhon
650km from Ho Chi Minh City lies Quy Nhon, a peaceful and pretty seafront city in Binh Dinh Province. The best-known tourist site near Quy Nhon is the Trung Rock Field at Rang Rapids, where big smooth rocks resemble green eggs. In 1927, Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, built a holiday home here. Since the beach with the egg-shaped rocks was reserved for the Empress Nam Phuong, it is still known as the “Queen’s Beach”.
4. Da Dia Rapids
Nature granted Phu Yen an invaluable gift: the Da Dia Rapids, cylindrical rocks neatly piled up as if stacked. The Da Dia Rapids span 50m by 200m by the sea in East An Ninh Commune, Tuy An District. From afar, the hexagonal rocks resemble a giant beehive. According to geologists, these formations formed millions of years ago as volcanic eruptions hurled lava into the sea. Hot lava met cold sea water and solidified, then cracked vertically and horizontally to form columns of rock that piled up. Tourists love to pose for photos here.
5. Cau Island
With white sandy beaches, pebbled beaches and bright blue seas, Cau Island is located in Tuy Phong District, Binh Thuan Province, 110km northeast of Phan Thiet City. Ebbing tides will expose oyster and conch shells and colorful pebbles. The island is also a stopping point for various sea birds, which add liveliness to the scenery. This is a good place to fish, camp and get away from modern life.
6. Co Thach
Also in the Tuy Phong District in Binh Thuan province, Co Thach is known for its strange and beautiful rocks, which were shaped by sea currents. The small shiny rocks found here are called “seven colored rocks”. In March, green moss starts to grow over the seaside rocks, making the scene so mysterious at sunset. Imposing seaside cliffs, big waves and shiny pebbles make this an enthralling setting.