Quy Nhon Beach Escapes: Unwinding on Tranquil Shores

Quy Nhon City of Binh Dinh Province is one of Vietnam’s premier beach towns and a must-visit for those touring the country’s Central Coast. In this short guide, we’ll detail some of the best beaches in Quy Nhon: the most popular beaches and those that could be considered hidden gems. We’ll also examine what makes Quy Nhon a popular tourist destination.

Longtime Quy Nhon expat Peter B. helped us by giving us some insider tips and dispelling some popular misconceptions about the beaches in Quy Nhon.

Exploring Quy Nhon’s Beaches

First, let’s go through a few of the best beaches to visit in Quy Nhon.

Quy Nhon has a few famous beaches that every local will be able to direct you to, including:

Ky Co Beach

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Ocean View. Nhon Ly to Eo Gio, Binh Dinh. Photo by Lily Tran

Ky Co Beach is the most popular beach near Quy Nhon. It is located 25 kilometers from the city center but still attracts tourists and local people in droves because of its amazing location: Nhon Ly Commune. Nhon Ly is a charming village community that offers visitors everything they could want from a beachside escape, and the locals have yet to spoil the crystal clear water or golden sand beaches that serve as their backyard.

Nhon Ly Commune also features Eo Gio, an arc-shaped blue strait surrounded by high rocky mountains often recognized as one of the most beautiful spots to watch the sunset in Vietnam (which is really saying something in a country known for its sunset views).

Bai Xep Beach

Located about 20 minutes South of Quy Nhon’s downtown, Bai Xep is a bit quieter and less crowded than the other most popular beaches in Quy Nhon. Its pristine beauty is partly thanks to that isolation, but it is also due to the many eco-friendly resorts near the beach. The local community makes every effort to preserve the beauty of Bai Xep Beach, and it shows.

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Bai Xep Beach – Photo by Shutterstock
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Bai Xep beach, Binh Dinh. Photo by K O Unsplash.

Bai Xep Beach offers visitors a slightly more authentic cultural experience than other popular beaches. The beach is bordered by a small traditional fishing village, allowing plenty of exploration. It’s also home to several restaurants serving fresh seafood and other traditional Vietnamese cuisine, including the popular local eatery Haven. According to our local expert Peter, Haven is now run by Vietnamese for Vietnamese, and they’ve largely given up on catering to foreigners. So eating there should be quite the adventure for those willing to brave the language barrier.

Quy Hoa Beach

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Quy Hoa beach. Photo by Du Lich Quy Nhon

Just a few minutes South of town, Quy Hoa Beach is a nice compromise between the crowded Ky Co Beach and the totally undeveloped beaches further in the same direction. It is amid “civilization” and has amenities and watersport activities, but it’s also relatively quiet and serene.

Oddly enough, the beach is next to a former leper colony where Han Mac Tu, one of the most famous poets in Vietnamese history, died in 1940. It’s an interesting historical detour, and the beach has a lot of shady trees to relax underneath at the end of a day of exploration.

Hidden Gem Beaches in Quy Nhon

The most popular beaches are only sometimes the best ones! In fact, Peter said that he would rather visit some of these more untouched hidden gems:

Cat Hai Beach

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Cat Tien – Cat Hai beach. Photo by Wikipedia

Cat Hai is the beach at The Thon, a very authentically Vietnamese “tourist village” located about 45 minutes North of Downtown Quy Nhon that is usually buzzing with domestic travelers. The beach is stunning, with fewer people than most Quy Nhon beaches and a few amazing rock outcroppings dotting the sands near the water.

The Thon tourist village is a collection of restaurants that will bring your food directly to the beach and serve you there. The beach does not have loungers or tables, so bring a beach towel to enjoy an oceanside meal. Many of the restaurants also have tables. The food prices are cheap, and the quality is surprisingly high, so it’s worth struggling through the language barrier to enjoy it.

Bai Nom Beach

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Bai Nom (50 minutes away in Phu Yen Province)

Bai Nom is further South of the city than any other beaches mentioned in this article (50 minutes away in Phu Yen Province), but the trip is worth it for those who want to go somewhere untouched by commercial development. The golden sands and crystal blue waters of Bai Nom are straight from a postcard, and you likely won’t have to deal with crowds even at peak hours. It’s not a place to explore the local community, but it’s a great stop for those who want to see a perfect example of a Vietnamese beach.

Visit Nhon Hai Beach on Hon Kho Island

Kho island Quy Nhon. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai - Quy Nhon Beach Escapes: Unwinding on Tranquil Shores
Kho island, Quy Nhon. Photo by VIA Ambassador Le Van Anh Tai

Hon Kho Island is a serene coastal paradise 20 kilometers from Quy Nhon Town. It’s a haven for beach enthusiasts and offers scuba diving and coral exploration. Boats or ferries provide easy access to the island, where you can visit the pristine Nhon Hai Beach and submerse yourself in its crystal-clear waters. Hon Kho Island is a delightful retreat if you appreciate natural beauty and exciting island experiences.

Outdoor Activities in Quy Nhon

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Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh. Photo by Nguyen Davide

If you’re traveling in Quy Nhon, you’ll spend most of your time outside. And while lounging on the Quy Nhon beach is a great experience, you’ll want more exhilarating ways to fill your time. Let’s look at a few of the most popular outdoor activities in Quy Nhon.

In the Water

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Sup paddling at Ghenh Rang Tien Sa, Quy Nhon. Photo by ATIN

The crystal clear waters of the East Sea off of Quy Nhon are a beautiful arena for watersports and aquatic exploration activities such as:

  • Swimming.
  • Snorkeling.
  • Scuba diving and freediving allow you to explore the nearby reef.
  • Jetskiing.
  • Boat tours often stop at secluded island beaches.
  • Kayaking.
  • Paddleboarding.
  • Parasailing.
  • Fishing, both from the shore and deep-sea fishing.

Most popular beaches in Quy Nhon are directly adjacent to strips of tourist agencies that will help you book a tour for these water activities.

On the Land

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Banh It Tower, Quy Nhon. Photo by Quynhon.com

There’s more to Quy Nhon than just the beach; the area also has rolling dunes and rocky seaside crags to explore via activities like:

  • Hiking/trekking.
  • Cycling.
  • Motorbike tours.
  • Cultural and historical tours take you to local sites of interest like The Ivory Towers or Banh It Towers, a place of the ancient Cham capital.

Again, booking any of these tour types is easy even after arriving in Quy Nhon.

“Between roughly 1000-1500, the territory of Champa lay along the coast of present-day southern Vietnam. The Cham people were an indigenous people who ruled this region and Vijaya (just north of present-day Quy Nhon) served as the Cham capital until its defeat in 1471. At their peak, the Cham people were skilled seafarers and controlled maritime trade routes between China, India, and Indonesia trading silk and spices.”

VIA Ambassador – Benjamin Tortorelli

Quy Nhon Restaurants: Fresh Seafood on the Beach

Quy Nhon has arguably the richest seafood culture of any city in Vietnam. Nha Trang and Da Nang have lots of delicious fresh seafood options, too, but both of those cities are more touristy than Quy Nhon, so they stray a bit further from the authentic, no-frills preparation style you see in many beachside seafood restaurants in Quy Nhon.

For the freshest, most authentic seafood experience possible, head to the open-air seafood eateries located directly on the sand. You can generally feel the down-home family dining atmosphere at such places, which you won’t find in large urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, or even Da Nang. Among the best choices for this type of seafood restaurant are Bai Xep Restaurant and Bien Hai San Restaurant.

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Banh Xeo Tom Nhay is a must-try Binh Dinh specialty.

For a slightly more upscale option that still offers great seafood in the barebones Quy Nhon style, try out Lagoo Drink and Chill on Dong Da Street. It’s not on the beach, but it has a deck overlooking the ocean where you can enjoy the fresh seafood along with a couple of beers and other snacks. It’s also right next to Dong Da Park, a nice place to sit after eating.

Check out more of the best restaurants in Quy Nhon.

Getting to Quy Nhon

Quy Nhon is well-connected to the rest of Vietnam by air, highway, and rail.

Getting to Quy Nhon By Air

Phu Cat Airport is about 45 minutes northwest of Quy Nhon city center. Flights go between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Phu Cat Airport over a dozen times a day with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, and other carriers, so you won’t have trouble getting there from either of the cities. If you’re coming from another city in Vietnam, there’s sure to be an easy connection that transfers to one of the two large cities.

Getting to Quy Nhon By Road

Route 1A, the major North-South highway known as the Vietnam Reunification Highway, runs directly through Quy Nhon. Because of the road, it’s easy to access Quy Nhon by car, motorbike, or bus. Keep in mind that Vietnam is a very tall country, though, so you’ll probably want to fly unless you’re coming from a nearby city like Nha Trang or Da Lat — and even then, it’s going to take 5-7 hours.

Getting to Quy Nhon By Train

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Train is highly recommended if you want to see Quy Nhon slowly reveal its beauty. Photo by Vietage

Quy Nhon is a stop on Vietnam’s Reunification Railway, accessible directly from most major cities by rail. The Vietnam rail system is not much faster than driving or taking a bus, and it’s not cheaper than flying, but it is less stressful than any of those options. It’s also a great way to see the countryside of Vietnam rather than staring at boring highways like you would from a bus or car.

However you plan to get there, help yourself out by browsing our guide on getting around in Vietnam.

Other Travel Tips

Here are a few other pro tips to keep in mind:

  • January – April is the best time to visit Quy Nhon City for good beach weather! After April, the area usually gets extremely hot. Read more about the weather in Central Vietnam here — both in Binh Dinh Province and the surrounding regions.
  • For those who want to sip craft beers from the tap while taking in a slightly more metropolitan view of Quy Nhon, try out Bia Duc Thay Tu Eibauer Com. It’s not overlooking a spectacular beach like much of the city is, but it has the best selection of local brews in Quy Nhon.
  • If you want to get out of the heat after visiting the beach, An Phu Tinh Plaza is a good shopping mall near the main Quy Nhon beach, with merchants selling local and imported goods for reasonable prices.
  • After Quy Nhon, make your way to some of the other must-visit destinations in Central Vietnam.

Quy Nhon is Waiting

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Somewhere in Binh Dinh. Photo by VIA Ambassador Benjamin Tortorelli

The beaches around Quy Nhon are incredibly diverse, from bustling cultural hubs to isolated sandy sanctuaries. The coastal city also does a great job of taking advantage of its incredible location by placing many fun activities near the seaside.

We hope this guide makes your sand-and-sea Vietnam trip more awesome. Please let us know if you have any Quy Nhon beach experiences you think should be added to this brief overview, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Visit Quy Nhon’s Travel Guide on Vietnam Is Awesome for more on this incredible area.

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Written by Dustin Kemp
Content Writer - Vietnam Is Awesome
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Dustin moved to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014 and quickly fell in love with the culture and people of Vietnam. He brings his passion to his writing and planning as the Content Manager at Vietnam Is Awesome.