Quy Nhon, sightseeing

Champa Towers

Around Quy Nhon you will find several Cham Towers as the Cham people ruhed this area for more than 500 years. They are not difficult to spot when driving through this area as they are usually on top of a hill. The two most famous Cham towers here are Thap Banh It and Thap Doi.

The two twin Cham Towers was built from the 10th to 15th century. But undergoing a long history with many wars in Vietnam, the towers were ruined. The authorities then in the 90’ties decided to restore the Twin Cham Towers as it plays an important part in showing the Cham’s culture and architecture.

Legend has it that Champa towers normally consist of 3 towers and so do the Duong Long Cham Towers that we went to see. These towers dates back to the 12th century and are the tallest of its kind in South Asia (the central tower is 39 meters). The towers were build as tempels for hindu worship of Deties, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The construction is influenced by Khmer architecture and consist of bricks only (no mortar), which makes the question of how the towers still a standing present time a mystery. Do be careful, as many bees live in these towers, so be sure to maintain a safe distance.

We also went to see the oldest pagoda in the area outside of the city, where young munks live (orphans) and we ended the day with a visit to a local restaurant that served Ban Xeo. Ban Xeo – Vietnamese pancake – is a savory and cripsy dish, where you role a trin omelet with either squid, shrimps or beef together with Bean sprouts, cucumber, mango, salat inside a wet rice paper roll. It is one of the our favourite things to eat in Vietnam and the ones they make in Quy Nhon are just so delicious. Ban Xeo is made in other variations as well, but Quy Nhon claims to have the original version.

But culture and food aside, as most people come to Quy Nhon for the serenity of the coastal area in this region. There are also a number of small islands off the coast of Quy Nhon. Some are so small that you can only sail and snorkel around them. The most famous ones are Ky Co Island and Kho Island. We heard that Kho Island is a good place to see coral reefs and that Hon Kho has a turtle conservation center. If we come back some day, it is surely something we would want to go explore.

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