Quy Nhon, aka Qui Nhon, Quy Nhơn, Qui Nom etc. is an important city in the South Central region of Vietnam.
Quy Nhon is a lively and pleasant city virtually half way between the popular cities of Nha Trang and Hoi An. The city is known for its beautiful surroundings, Cham temples, and nearby beaches. Whilst tourism is increasing in Quy Nhon, this tends to be local tourism, and for the majority of travellers it remains relatively off the beaten track. The city is perfect for those who want to break up a journey between Nha Trang and Hoi An, being about 6 hours from each.
The fact that this little corner of Viet Nam has been undiscovered by the majority of travelers means an authentic experience awaits those who come here. We've found that there are very few vendors walking around peddling their wares and they're almost never seen on the beach, at bars, restaurants and cafes. Unlike in the larger cities, the locals aren't jaded and, instead, are genuinely glad to see you and everyone says 'hello'. Many people want to practice their English, are interested in where you are from, and want to make your visit to their city pleasant.
The population is about 300,000 but, compared to other coastal cities (Da Nang 900,000; Nha Trang 300,000; Hoi An 121,000) feels much smaller because of the lack of heavy industry and heavy traffic. The vast majority of traffic on the road is made up of scooters and motorcycles with the occasional car, truck and bus. The city's dependence on fisheries, agriculture and its sea port provides for clean air even on the hottest days.
Quy Nhon is surrounded by green mountains on three sides and the ocean on the fourth. Nestled in a bay, the city is protected from the effects of the worst hurricanes that batter the coast further north. The bay also provides for the livelihood of many as witnessed by fishermen bringing their catch, women cleaning and selling the product of their work, and patrons enjoying some of the freshest and tastiest seafood in restaurants.
Being a coastal city, the sea promenade is the easiest way to orientate yourself. The city itself is quite spread out but most of what interest travelers is concentrated on the waterfront--as spread out as it is. Hotels, restaurants, cafes, the fishermen, the promenade are all on the beach while markets, supermarkets and other shopping as well as many restaurants and cafes are just a few blocks in land from the water.
The bus station is in the south west, just a bit too far to walk to most of the hotels. Highway 1 passes around 10km west of Quy Nhon.
Phu Cat Airport (UIH), built on the grounds of an old American airbase in 1966, is located north of the city and serves only domestic destinations. There are daily early morning flights to Ho Chi Minh City and 3 flights a week to Hanoi on Vietnam airlines.
Flying in is the easiest and fastest way to get here but you can only do so from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, and the resort islands of Phu Quoc and Con Dao. The airport is located about 35 kilometers outside of town.
Vietnam Airlines offers two flights daily from Saigon, and one flight daily from Hanoi except for Wednesday when it has none. Air Mekong offers flights from HCMC and the two resort cities.(Air Mekong appears to have suspended flights to and from Qui Nhon since around March 2013)
The airlines provide a shuttle between the airport and their city offices (located in the same building on Nguyễn Tất Thành Street). It cost the equivalent of $2.50 US (VNĐ 50,000) but hurry out of the airport after you’ve gotten your bags and jump on the large coach/buses or small beige mini buses right away as they tend to leave quickly. You pay on board. Taxis are always waiting at the gate of the city office to take travelers to their final destinations.
A taxi from the airport to the city will take you directly to your hotel but will set you back around $20 US (VN Đ $400,000). Check with your hotel to see whether it provides shuttle service and compare its prices with those of the airline shuttle.
To Da Nang/ Hoi An: Mai Linh has two buses per day. Occasionally minibuses will come and go direct from Hoi An, but most of the time you will need to connect via Xe Om to the main Highway (50,000-65,000 dong). Around 150,000 dong, 6 to 7 hours.
Prices from Nha Trang are 100 to 110,000 dong (July 2012). Journey time 4 to 6 hours. This route can be quite dangerous, so make sure you take a bus during daylight. The scenery along the way is spectacular. Travel agents in Nha Trang will quote you a travel time of 23-28 hours for the Nha Trang-Quy Nhon trip, and charge 300,000-400,000 dong (confirmed in writing at 6 travel agencies and 4 bus companies in Nha Trang, March 2012)-- be warned.
There is one direct bus to Da Lat per day. Thuan Thao buses depart Quy Nhon at 6am and Da Lat at 7am, taking around eight hours and charging 210,000 dong (July 2012). The buses are reasonably comfortable and not overcrowded, but the air-cons may be weak. Alternatively take a bus to Nha Trang and a Phuong Trang bus from there to Da Lat. Coming from Da Lat, you can also take a Phuong Trang bus to Da Nang, which will pass through Quy Nhon.
Buses to Pleiku take around 3 hours and you shod pay around 70,000 dong(March 2014)
The Quy Nhon bus station is located in the south of the town, almost 2 km from the Co-Op super market and right next to the Metro bulk super market. There is a city bus stop in front of the station. You can take a bus to the city center (3000 to 5000 dong) but you might have to wait for half an hour. There are a few small outdoor eateries at the station that serve typical Vietnamese food.
If you want to walk, turn right at the main entrance of the station, walk along Tay Son Road until you reach the intersection at the end of the road (at Royal Resort), turn left and walk along An Duong Vuong / the beach.
Quy Nhon is served by Dieu Tri train station on the main line, around 10km west of Quy Nhon. All reunification express trains stop at Dieu Tri . To get to Quy Nhon from there, walk to the main road (around 5 minutes) and take a bus (5000 dong). Most buses will bring you to the supermarket at the city center. A taxi takes around 15 minutes.
There are also trains departing from Ho Chi Minh City that arrive directly at the Quy Nhon train station. The line name is SQN. A "soft sleeper" overnight train is around $35. This train often has to wait for reunification express trains to pass by and therefore delays of 2 or 3 hours are not unusual, especially on the train from Quy Nhon to Ho Chi Minh City.
There is also a train from Quy Nhon to Vinh at the North-central coast around every other day.
Lots of xe om drivers around. You will probably get accosted at the bus station. Drivers demand outrageous prices (~60,000 dong) for small hops. The true price is 15,000-20,000 dong. Be careful of a woman on the east side of the city with very long hair riding a gray Suzuki who may offer you a ride; scams are to ensue.
A number of white and green taxis can be found around the bus station area. More expensive than Xe Om, but useful if you are in a group.
The size of the taxi may determine the price you pay. SUV taxis are bigger and charge more for the ride than smaller, compact car taxis.
The white and green taxis are MaiLinh's a well-known and trusted company in Viet Nam but there are other taxis as well. As long as they use the meter you shouldn't get ripped-off.
Qui Nhon is fantastic for cycling. The main promenade runs directly next to the beach and has very little traffic. Bicycles are also great for exploring the nearby temples and beaches, which are too far to walk to.
Some hotels will lend or rent bicycles to their guests.
If you're staying long enough, there are a few second hand shops in town that some times have bicycles for sale including one at 84 Ha Huy Tap Duong (street). Expect to bargain hard as their prices are likely to include that special tourist 'tax'.
The beach is great for a stroll, but other places are a bit far apart.
The Beaches of Quy Nhon & Environs: People come to south central Viet Nam for its phenomenal beaches—golden sands, turquoise waters and tropical palms—and you won’t be disappointed by what you find in the area. But you do need to know where to go.
Quy Nhon City beaches, like in any developed area, can be categorized by degree of cleanliness which varies based on rain (street dirt and sewage running off into the ocean) and air and water temperatures.
In Quy Nhon itself, the best swimming beaches are by the Seagull Hotel and the Royal Resort at the southern end of town along the boulevard named An Dương Vương. These two are higher-priced hotels but cheaper accommodations can be had across the boulevard if you’re coming to town specifically for the beaches.
By the way, the rusted jeep left over from the American-Vietnam War that you may have read about in older guide books and on line has been removed—so don’t expect to see it.
The beaches further north in the city are also used by some residents for swimming but the water isn’t as clear and litter and feces are often spotted on the sand (and you don’t see dogs on the beach). The closer you get to fishing boats, the worse the water is for swimming. Dead rats are among the litter.
The boardwalk provides for a long, leisurely walk—especially pleasant in the early mornings and evenings—with fishing boats of all colors and shapes bobbing on the water. It’s a very photogenic area if not great for swimming.
Other notable beaches further afield: just a little further south of the Seagull Hotel is Qui Hoa beach reached through the old Lepers’ Hospital (you’ll need to taxi here).
Of course, resorts have their own beaches as well such as the Life Resort a little further south from town. Building in 2013, the Ban Mai Beach Resort will offer one of the longest uninterrupted beaches with clear, turquoise waters approximately 35 kilometers north of Quy Nhon City.
There is a mall, with a supermarket (Co-op), located at Nguyen Tat Thanh street in the center. It is the Quy Nhon Market.
There are restaurants dotted all over town, with a number of good ones situated on the waterfront near Barbara's Backpackers.
Several hotels near the bus station have simple rooms for usually 100,000 dong. For example Minh Trang Hotel at the intersection to the left of the bus station with rooms for 100,000 or 120,000 with air-con. A unique homestay has also recently opened outside of Quy Nhon - see "Mr Happy Homestay" below.
Get there by Taxi, around 150,000 vnd from the bus station or 500,000vnd from the airport. Local bus T9 also stops right outside the village and costs 8000 vnd to/from Quy Nhon. Motor bike around 75,000vnd from the city but very variable!
Bus from Quy Nhon to Nha Trang on Mai Linh Express Bus including pickup from hotel by Mai Linh cost 110,000 dong (21/4/2012)leaving at 7.15am and 2.30pm with free pickup 1 hour before at hotel. Hotel charged us 60,000 dong to get 2 tickets for us or you can buy them yourself from the bus station.