Quy Nhon is a mid-sized city in central Vietnam that is worth adding to your itinerary if you’d like to go somewhere that is not yet hugely on the radar of international tourists.

The city itself is lovely to explore, not spoiled with the typical tourist trappings you’ll see elsewhere. Better yet, you can head down to some small fisherman’s villages south of Quy Nhon where you can enjoy some laidback beach vibes.

I should mention that I wrote a different version of this guide back in 2019, when I mainly stayed in a fishing village called Nhon Hai on the peninsula east of Quy Nhon. Sadly, there is now a huge resort under construction just on the other side of the mountain from Nhon Hai; when completed, MerryLand Quy Nhon will feature a marina, 18-hole golf course, and a European-style Canal District. This means the days of this particular area being chill and authentic are numbered.

I’ll pre-empt the impending changes and say that if you’re a budget or independent traveller, you should now probably stay in the city or head south if you’re looking for that local fishing village aesthetic.

Quy Nhon in a coconutshell

  • You can stay in the city itself, but I recommend staying south at the Life’s A Beach hotel or its sister hostel in the village of Bai Xep.
  • You can book transport to/from Quy Nhon on 12Go.
  • There aren’t hundreds of things to do like in other cities, but you can visit various Champa archeological ruins and go to beaches like Ky Co, the Eo Gio Cape, or the village Nhon Hai. Life’s a Beach hostel also organizes small-scale fishing trips and boat trips and have kayaks for rent.
  • There isn’t a lot of international tourism here! Either enjoy your stay at the beach, or take the chance to walk around a non-touristy Vietnam city.

Where’s Quy Nhon?

Quy Nhon is a small city in the center of Vietnam, located roughly halfway between Hoi An and Nha Trang.

It’s still a bit unknown; most backpackers that I mentioned Quy Nhon to gave me a quizzical look, though I nevertheless met a fair number of travellers once I arrived. The only person I spoke to who was also going there was an in-the-know expat living in Vietnam whom I met at a train station.

The city of Quy Nhon itself is not so noteworthy in terms of typical ‘things to do’, though it does offer the chance to explore some local markets and streets for a taste of Vietnamese city life. More interesting than the city are the nice beaches that are within a 30-minute or so radius of it.

Although it’s slightly off the beaten track, once you get to Quy Nhon (pronounced like Kwee N-yawn), you’ll find plenty of accommodation options and a small number of backpackers and travellers.

The beaches of Quy Nhon

Most beaches in Quy Nhon are not majorly developed, mostly having a relaxed hammock-ey beach hostel vibe.

I went to four different beaches in- or near Quy Nhon. Let me tell you about them in order of personal preference:

Bai Xep beach

Bai Xep is about 20 minutes south of the city, where some enterprising Vietnamese turned it into the go-to spot. The Life’s A Beach Hostel grew from one to a whopping four locations.

Each location of Life’s A Beach Hostel caters to a slightly different crowd, so pay attention to which one you book! I stayed in two of the locations myself.

Life’s A Beach Backpackers is definitely for a younger and drink-happy crowd. It has basic dorms inside bamboo huts and a lively bar.

The hostel is a bit close to the road and the beach is a bit small, but it has a fun and WiFi-free vibe. It’s perfect if you’re in your 20s and open to some mild- to medium-intensity partying. Its somewhat isolated location makes it a great place for backpackers to meet people and be in a ‘traveller bubble’ for a while.

The other Life’s A Beach location (the one without the word ‘Backpackers’) is on a prettier beach just up the road. The age range is a bit broader here; there are some younger but also some grey-haired travelers. I liked the vibe here, very chill and all-ages. The atmosphere is social with often family-style dinners.

It’s next to a small fisherman’s hamlet with a few basic shops and Vietnamese eateries, making it a bit less isolated than Life’s A Beach Backpackers. If you’re looking for that hidden spot on the Vietnamese coast where you’re away from the typical large-scale commercialism, then this will surely be your jam!

Besides Life’s A Beach is another cluster of guesthouses and other B&Bs.

How to get to Bai Xep: you’ll need to take a taxi from Quy Nhon. There are no ATMs in Bai Xep, so bring everything you need. If you need to run an errand then the staff can also give you a lift by motorbike.


Ky Co beach

This is not a beach you can stay the night at, but it’s one you can visit as a nice little day trip. Ky Co gained some infamy among locals for being the ‘most beautiful beach in Vietnam’. I don’t know if it needs quite that much hype, but I certainly enjoyed it and do agree it is very scenic.

The beach is surrounded by some cool cliffs, though the waters can get very choppy and maybe aren’t perfect for swimming. It’s mostly locals who make it to Ky Co, along with a sprinkling of foreigners.

You’ll have to pay a 100,000 dong park entrance fee and for a minivan service to take you from the parking lot area to the beach itself. Once there, you’ll find a smattering of seafood restaurants and a spacious and blissfully clean beach.

How to get to Ky Co: the easiest way is to have your own motorbike. Some hostels in Quy Nhon may also be offering organized trips out to Ky Co.


Quy Nhon City Beach

As far as city beaches go, Quy Nhon has quite a good one. It’s kept spotlessly clean and the city itself is typically Vietnamese, still mostly free of the rampant development seen in other beach resort cities like Nha Trang.

While Quy Nhon might also be a bit quiet for some, it’s still got a couple of bars by the promenade that come alive at night.

A great place to stay in Quy Nhon is the 5 Elements Hostel. It’s got some nice rooms and is located close to everything you might need, making it a great starting point for a stay in Quy Nhon.


Nhon Hai beach

This is easily my favourite beach near Qui Nhon. Nhon Hai beach is in a cute fishing village, where I loved my stay at Nhon Hai Beach Hostel a few years ago — a simple place where you’ll fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of the sea. There isn’t much to do except read a book in a hammock, kayak around the bay, or snorkel at a nearby reef.

Unfortunately, nearby the new MerryLand Quy Nhon resort is being constructed, which is changing the area. If you have your own transportation like a moped, then you may still want to visit the village to see all the colorful fishing boats.

How to get to Nhon Hai beach: it’s about 30 minutes from Quy Nhon city. It’s a bit out of the way, but worth it. If you have a motorbike you can just drive there, or you can take a public bus or taxi. IThere is no ATM in Nhon Hai, so be sure to bring cash if you’re staying there.

Things to do near Quy Nhon

The area around Quy Nhon doesn’t have limitless sightseeing potential, but there are a few things you can check out.

Firstly, there are various Champa towers around the area. The Champa are indigenous people, following mainly the Hindu religion, who settled in large parts of Vietnam from the 11th century. The archaeological sites are very small, though of course of genuine historical significance and some are in quite scenic locations.

The most important site is Vijaya, which served as the Cham capital for over 500 years. The excellent blog Vietnam Coracle has detailed information on all the Cham sites.

You can also go sandboarding near Nhon Ly beach. I didn’t get a chance to do this during my stay, but I’ve heard the experience is similar to the sandboarding in Mui Ne in southern Vietnam, which I did a few years ago. Sliding down the dunes on a sledge is a whole bucket of fun and highly recommended.

Finally, Life’s A Beach hostel organizes afternoon boat trips where you’ll catch some fish and have a BBQ on a secluded beach.

Getting around in Quy Nhon

It’s possible to get around by taxi or moped, most conveniently by using the Grab app to hail them. But I always like having my own transportation, as it gives the most freedom and flexibility to get around.

I rented my moped (scooter) at Rong Homestay in Qui Nhon city [map location]. It’s a guesthouse that also rents out a dozen or so scooters. The rate is about 100,000 dong a day. Expect to leave your ID card or some deposit for the rental.

Getting to Quy Nhon City

There are several ways of getting to Qui Nhon, from where you can take local transportation to the beaches:


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. A bus from Dieu Tri train station to Quy Nhon costs about 5,000 dong. I took a taxi which got me there a bit faster (about 15 minutes).


Some buses go from Da Nang or Nha Trang and these are probably your best bet if you’re travelling Vietnam north-to-south or vice versa.

There is also a direct bus from Ho Chi Minh City, though it takes a whopping 14 hours. If you’re going all this way, the reunification express may be a more comfortable option.

You can look for bus connections on 12go Asia and Baolao.com.


I used a flight to get out of Qui Nhon, as I was backtracking to Hanoi at the end of my Vietnam trip. Vietnam Airlines runs several domestic flights from Qui Nhon to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The nearest airport is Phu Cat Airport (UIH). Keep in mind it’s still 45 minutes to an hour from the centre of Quy Nhon. There is an airport shuttle bus, but you should leave sufficient time to get there.

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