It’s not the easiest task to write a travel guide for things to do in Quy Nhon, the up and coming tourist city on Vietnam’s east coast. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not that there’s nothing to do here, rather that Quy Nhon is a place for doing nothing. It’s a seaside oasis of calm with a small city attached. A bonus? That city is sparkling clean and chock full of some of Vietnam’s most delicious street food. But when you’re not stuffing your face with street eats, Quy Nhon is a place where your best activities will involve exploring the stunning surrounding area, in search of further places to lay back and not do much at all.
To that end, here are our top nothings to do in the wonderful Quy Nhon, interspersed with some somethings to eat, drink and see.
Bai Xep Beach
Head south of the city along the coast for a few kilometers to find Bai Xep Beach. You’ll have to negotiate your way through the winding alleys of Bai Xep Fishing Village to find it, but the friendly locals will know exactly where to direct you.
Emerging onto the sand, you’ll find Big Tree Backpackers and Bistro, and Life’s a Beach Hostel have taken up residence here, and they make fantastic places to pull in for a cool drink or bite to eat between dips in the ocean.
Check out the Phuong Mai Peninsula, Ky Co Beach, Eo Gio Cape and the Giant Buddha
Heading out of town across Vietnam’s longest sea-crossing, the Thi Nai Bridge, will bring you to the amazing Phuong Mai Peninsula and its hidden delights. Ky Co beach and the rocky Eo Gio are some of the most beautiful spots in Vietnam, though we’d advise against taking a dip in the water at Eo Gio as the waves can get pretty dangerous.
Save your swimming, and even your snorkelling, for Ky Co Beach, where the azure waters are just too good to resist. While you’re out of the city, take a hike up to the Linh Phong Pagoda, where a 69 meter tall statue of the Buddha sits proudly atop the hill, serving up great views of the coast and countryside.
Quy Hoa Leper Village and Queen Beach
This tiny commune between Bai Xep and Quy Nhon city is just almost charming, and nowhere near as morbid as it sounds. Given that it once homed a colony of lepers, some of whom are still living, development didn’t come knocking, and so Quy Hoa remains a kind of time capsule. The tiny village is full of quaint and colourful old houses and friendly people, while just through the trees is yet another pristine beach.
The leper village is quite well known is Vietnam because of one of its inhabitants - poet Han Mac Tu, who passed away here in 1940.
Vietnam’s best banh xeo?
The name of the dish translate to ‘Sizzling Pancake,’ for the sound the batter makes when it hits the hot oil. Banh Xeo is a savoury rice flour pancake filled with tasty treats, usually pork and shrimp. You rip off a chunk, wrap it in a selection of aromatic herbs and dunk it in the national condiment, nuoc cham.
Banh Xeo differs from region to region, and in my experience, Binh Dinh Province where Quy Nhon is, makes the best. They’re smaller in size than their cousins, but big on flavour and mindful preparation.
For perhaps the best Banh Xeo in Vietnam, head over Banh Xeo Tom Nhay Anh Vu, a fuss free mom & pop establishment on the outskirts of the town centre.
Sunsets at Surf Bar
There are two surf bars in fact, just a few hundred meters from one another on the main beach in Quy Nhon. They’re nothing fancy, just chilled beach bars serving up beer, simple cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks too.
We always recommend heading down here in the late afternoon, taking a dip in the water to cool off after a hot day and relaxing at the bar with a drink in hand and good company.
Quy Nhon Food Street
Every single dish we’ve ever tried in Quy Nhon has been a winner. Maybe it’s just something about the people here, they seem to take real pride in their city (note how clean the main streets are), and this pride extends to the food. To stroll around and choose from a range of street food dishes you might not try anywhere else, head over to Ngo Van So Street, which is a chockablock of delicious, simple meals. If you fancy something more simple and recognisable, check out Com Ga Bay Quan a few blocks away. Here the fare is simple, but mouthwatering chicken and rice. Sit outside on the street corner come evening time and watch life unfold around the city.