Phu Yen , Thuy Hoa

Phu Yen – A Short History

Originally founded by the Champa people, Phu Yen developed into a prosperous coastal province. This special status made the region a coveted prize for Vietnamese forces who slowly took over the area in the early 1600s. In the 18th century, Phu Yen had become a strategically important trade center which the Nguyen and Tay Son dynasties regularly clashed over. The natural beauty of the beaches, hills and green plains is slowly attracting more visitors who want to experience the wonders of Vietnam without getting lost in crowds of tourists.

Mang Lang Church : 35km from Tuy Hoa city.

The church was built 136 years ago by French priest Joseph de la Cassagne who started erecting it in a paddy field in 1892. The building has experienced much change since that time, when there were many plants with purple pink blossoms called Mang Lang, from which the church takes its name.

The combination of Eastern and Western architecture makes Mang Lang worth a visit and Catholics may want to peruse the documents about the life of Saint Andrew Phu Yen. His statue stands solemnly on a small hill in the church yard.

In the front of the church, currently, at the right is the statue of St. Andrew Phu Yen on a small lawn hill; besides, there is a traditional house keeping relics of the saint who died young at the age of merely 19. At the house, there are paintings depicting the execution of Andrew Phu Yen, drawn into  Alexandre de Rhodes’ narrative; broken pottery, bricks of the chapel background where Andrew Phu Yen was baptized by Alexandre de Rhodes; a number of books and newspapers about Andrew Phu Yen. In particular, Vietnam’s first national language book, printed in 1651 in Rome, Italy, is solemnly displayed in a glass box. That is the catechism book “Catechisms” by Alexandre de Rhodes (called Clergy Dac Lo by the local people) – who gave birth to the national language.

Alexandre de Rhodes was born in France in 1591. Entering the Jesuits, de Rhodes soon decided to dedicate his life to missionary work. A Jesuit mission had been established in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1615, and de Rhodes arrived there soon after. He spent 10 years in and around the Court at Hanoi, where he wrote the first Vietnamese Catechism. He wrote many books about Vietnam, but de Rhodes’s most significant work was the first Portuguese-Latin-Vietnamese dictionary. The dictionary was later used by scholars to create a new Vietnamese writing system, based on the Roman alphabet, which is still used today. De Rhodes was able to return to Vietnam for six years before being sentenced to death for his missionary work. The sentence was commuted to exile, and de Rhodes spent time in Rome before beginning a new mission in Persia. He died in Persia in 1660.

Da Dia Reef 

(Ganh Da Dia or Ghenh Da Dia in Vietnamese) is structured with a surprising geology, including bountiful rocks in disparate shapes: circular, pentagonal, hexagonal or other polygonal looks. They are stacked together in a heap or fixed in pillars like plates overlapped each other. After surveying and testing sample, the geologists said that these are black and yellow basalt rocks. From a far corner, the whole area looks like a giant beehive. According to scientific explanations, the shape of Ganh Da Dia was formed by the activity of volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The molten lava fluid met the cold ocean. As the lava cooled, contraction and fracturing occurred and starting in a blocky tetragonal pattern and transitioning to multidimensional polygonal rocks todays.

When visiting Phu Yen, you should spend time checking-in with this usual masterpiece that the Nature gifted Vietnam. Then, you can immerse in the white seawater of Bai Bang beach. At Bai Bang beach, you can fulfil your stomach after playing hard with seafood because there is no food store at Da Dia Reef now. That is also the reason why Da Dia Reef still remains its pristine beauty.

O loan Lagoon :

O Loan is a brackish water lagoon at the foot of Quan Cau Pass in Phu Yen Province. The lagoon is surrounded with small hills which stand next to one another.

Seen from Quan Cau Pass, O Loan Lagoon looks like a phoenix spreading its wings. Given its beautiful landscape, O Loan Lagoon is always an inspiration for many poets.

Xep Beach :

The beach, located in An Chan Commune, Tuy An District, lures passers-by by its primitive and pristine charm. Scattered along the beach are some mushroom-shape huts for tourists to relax, sight-see in the surroundings and enjoy sunbathing.

The 500-meter beach is also striking with the clusters of black stones which waves constantly pound, and walking barefoot on the smooth sand can be a great massage.

Tranquility and privacy are other highlights the beach offers to visitors indulging themselves in nature.

Vũng Rô Bay

Vũng Rô Bay has an area of over 16 km2 water surface and is surrounded by Cả Mountain Pass, Đá Bia Mountain and Bà Island. There are several of small beaches in the Bay such as Lách Beach, Mù U Beach, Ngà Beach, Chùa Beach, Chân Trâu Beach, Hồ Beach, Chính Beach, Bàng Beach, Lau Beach… Each beach has its own characteristic but all of the beaches here have blue sea water and the sand stretches along the shore which are suitable for visitors to enjoy sightseeing, swimming and seafood.

During the American War, Vũng Rô was the port for many none-number boats to park. These boats carried weapon supplies for Vietnamese military force in southern Vietnam. Visiting Vũng Rô Bay today, visitors will see the body of a none-number boat that has lied down under the deep sea and a commemorate sign to pay respect for the Vietnamese soldiers who have died during the American War at Vũng Rô Bay.


Nhan Tower :

Nhạn Tower is located on top of Nhạn Mountain which was built in late 11th century and early 12th century. This is one of Champa ancient towers which are scattered around the central regions of Vietnam. Nhạn Tower has quadrilateral shape, four levels 25 meters in height of which the height from the foot of the Tower to its first level is 11 meters. There is a Linga statue on top of the Tower. The higher you go, the space will be narrower. Nhạn Tower does not possess unique decorative patterns like other Champa towers. On the other hand, visitors will have some good impression for the dragon shape decorative patterns on the outer part of the Tower which were delicately carved by using marbles and carried out the ancient cultures of Champa people.

Dai Lanh Head :

Đại Lãnh Head is an important position for Vietnam national security and it has one of the biggest Lighthouse in central Vietnam.

The Lighthouse was built by the French from 1890 and it is 110 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by Môn Beach with the lapping sounds of the waves, the stone cliff reaching out to the sea and the rolling mountains at the back. This place is where you can catch the first dawn in Vietnam.

Recommended hotels in the area :

  •           Sala Thuy Hoa Beach resort
  •           Bai Tram Hideway resort
  •           Vietstar resort
  •           CenDeluxe hotel

Whether travelling south to Doc Let, Whale Island and Nha Trang, or north to Qui Nhon, it’s worth getting off the highway and taking these back roads along the coast for a more memorable drive dotted with empty, windswept beaches. And remember, from Tuy Hoa it’s possible to jump off into the Central Highlands, like to Ayunpa and Buon Ma Thuot.

Thuy Hoa has an airport with flights from Saigon and Hanoi as well for a possible 3 days/2 nights trip.

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