Binh Dinh - Quy Nhon
Binh Dinh is located on the coast of Central Vietnam and is divided in four clear-cut regions: highlands, midlands, plains, and coast. It is bordered by Quang Ngai to the north, Phu Yen to the south, the East Sea to the east, and Gia Lai to the west. Binh Dinh is 1,655 km from Hanoi and is accessible either by car, train, or plane. The main ethnic groups in this area are the Kinh, Ba Na, Lo, and Cham
Area: 6039.6 sq. km.
Population: 1,486 thousand habitants (April 2009)
Capital: Quy Nhon City.
Districts: An Lao, Hoai An, Hoai Nhon, Phu My, Phu Cat, Vinh Thanh, Tay Son, Van Canh, An Nhon, Tuy Phuoc.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Cham, Ba Na, Hre.
Binh Dinh is located on the coast of Central Vietnam. It is surrounded by Quang Ngai in the north, Phu Yen in the south, Gia Lai in the west, and the East Sea in the east with the coastline of 100km and some island offshore. The topography is divided in four regions: highlands, midlands, plains, and coast.
Climate: The annual average temperature varies between 26 and 280C. It is hottest in August and coldest in January. The annual average rainfall is 1,700mm- 1,800mm. The rainy season lasts from August to December.
Tourism and Economy
The long coast with many coves and lochs makes many beautiful spots and beaches such as Phuong Mai Peninsula, Queen, Quy Hoa and Ghenh Rang beaches. Besides these, Ham Ho Valley is a beautiful fresh water spot as a change for visitors who prefer tramping in the bush and a swim in the fresh water stream.
Binh Dinh is famous as the centre of the old Sa Huynh Culture. It used to be established as one of the capital cities of the former Cham Kingdom for a long period. The popular Cham towers are Banh It, Duong Long, Canh Tien, and Doi.Binh Dinh has special products such as silk, swallow nest, shrimp, fish, precious wood, vegetable oil, rice, marble, titanium, and handicraft articles.
Binh Dinh is homeland of national hero, Quang Trung- Nguyen Hue. His name can be related to the great Tay Son Uprising and the glorious victories over the forceful invaders of Chinese and Siam.Binh Dinh is cradle of Tuong opera (hat boi), Tay Son martial music, bai choi musical plays, ba trao festival music of the littoral people, and especially Tay Son wasted sect. The traditional festivals are Tay Son, Ca Ong, An Thai Village and Thi Tu Village.
Road: Binh Dinh is 1,065km from Hanoi and is accessible either by car, train, or plane. Quy Nhon is 174km from Quang Ngai, 186km from Pleiku, 223km from Buon Ma Thuot, 238km from Nha Trang, 304km from Danang and 677km from Ho Chi Minh City. There are National Highways No. 1A and 19.
Bus: There are buses departing to Dalat, Danang, Hanoi, Hue, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, and others.
Air: Phu Cat Airport is 30km north of Quy Nhon. There are flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Quy Nhon everyday and flights between Danang and Quy Nhon twice a week.
Train: The Thong Nhat Express Train runs from the North to the South through the province. It stops at Dieu Tri, 11km from Quy Nhon.
Water: The province has Quy Nhon Port, an important port of South- Central Coast.
Historical & Cultural Vestiges
Banh It Tower
Location: Located at the high hill in Dai Loc Hamlet, Phuoc Hiep Commune, Tuy Phuoc District and 25km from Qui Nhon City.
Characteristics: Banh It Tower site now includes 4 towers: Main Tower, Nam (South) Tower, Cong (Gate) Tower, and Dong (East) Tower.
The Main Tower is 22m in height. The architecture of Banh It Towers bears the Binh Dinh sculptural style of 12th century with small, embossed lines on the walls. Leaf- and flower-shaped motifs are only found on edges of the roofs, and dancing senses are found on false gates.
Carvings of dancing girls and many valuable sculptures such as the stone statue of Siva, statue of Ganesa, statue of goddess Uma, and bronze statue of Bhahma, were discovered here in the French domination period (and brought to France).
The Banh It Tower has got specific architectural characteristics and is one of the great temple-towers of the Champa Dynasty, which draw the attention of researchers.
Canh Tien Tower
Location The tower is located in the place used to be the middle of the Do Ban Citadel in Nhon Hau Commune, An Nhon District, and 27 km north-west of Qui Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province.
Characteristics: The 20m-high tower has got a square base and several stories built of bricks. In the distance, it looks like two wings of a fairy flying up to the sky.
This is one of the towers of typical Binh Dinh architectural style (dating back to the 12th century). Its structure is composed of the front hall and shrine (now, the front hall has collapsed). The outer walls are decorated with pilasters and vertical, protruding frames. Different from other Cham Towers, the pilasters and edges of the roofs of Canh Tien Tower are built of sandstone. At the four corners of each tower’s storey are stone motifs of phoenix tail. In the distance, Canh Tien Tower looks like a great, flashing fire.
Doi Tower (Hung Thanh Tower)
Location: Located at Dong Da Ward, Qui Nhon City, and 3km from the city center.
Characteristics: Doi Tower site was built in the late 12th century and early 13th. Here, there are 2 towers of 18m and 20m in height respectively.
Both of them have got a special structure different from traditional, multi-storey towers. They are composed of two main parts: the square-shaped body and the similarly curved roof.
Besides the aforesaid towers, in Binh Dinh Province there are also Phu Loc Tower located at Nhon Thanh Commune, An Nhon District (35 km northwest of Qui Nhon City), Thu Thien Tower in Binh Nghi Commune, Tay Son (35 km from Qui Nhon City), and Binh Lam Tower in Phuoc Hoa Commune, Tuy Phuoc District (22 km from Qui Nhon City) which was built between 11th and 15th century in the time of the Champa Kingdom.
Duong Long Cham Tower
Location: Duong Long Cham Tower is located at Go Dang, Binh Hoa Commune, Tay Son District, Binh Dinh Province.
Characteristics: This towner is a group of 3 biggest towers. It was built in the 12nd century with very beautiful architecture.
Duong Long Cham Tower, also called Thap Nga meaning "ivory tower," is located 40km from Quy Nhon and 270km from Danang City. It is a group of 3 towers; the highest tower, 35m high, is in the middle, and the two others are 22m.
The tower's body is built of bricks. The corners have got motifs with stone carvings of sacred animals such as Garuda birds, elephants, and eagles. Its gate faces the east and is rather high (about 1.5m) and the gate's frame is made of big stones. Its upper part is built of big stones, which are skilfully superimposed on each other. Many big, body leaf-shaped bas embossments describing monks, dancers and singers are found on the walls. These figures with rather big heads wear corner hats. Especially, the top of the tower looks like a great lotus with its rising petals.
All the decorative motifs of the tower are very big and carved on sandstone. They are well-preserved. This tower complex is one of the most beautiful in Central Vietnam. This tower complex is one of the most beautiful in Central Vietnam.
Hoang De Citadel (Do Ban Citadel)
Location Located at 27km north-west of Qui Nhon City in Nhon Hau Commune, An Nhon District, Binh Dinh Province.
Characteristics: The citadel was built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Emperor Yangpuku Vijaaya.
This was the last capital of the Champa Kingdom where the Cham Kings lived between the 11th and the 15th centuries. Several pieces of stone walls, moats, and granite-tiled roads remain from the Citadel.
Inside the Citadel, there are ancient Cham remains, such as square wells and statues of small lions and elephants. Next to the back door is Thap Thap Hill (Ten Tower Hill), on which there are ten Cham Towers. Of note is the 20m-high Canh Tien Tower with white-stone statues of a snake, two elephants, and monsters on the corners. There are many remains and objects related to Cham culture and the Tay Son movement in Thap Thap Di Da Pagoda and Nhan Thap Pagoda, two ancient pagodas situated to the north and south of the citadel.
In 1778, Nguyen Nhac proclaimed himself the Central Emperor. He established the capital, which he named Hoang De Citadel, expanded the citadel to the east, and built many grand monuments. In 1799, the citadel was occupied by the Nguyen Dynasty, and rebaptized Binh Dinh Citadel. In 1814, the Nguyen Dynasty destroyed the old citadel and built a new one about 5km south of the old citadel.
Ghenh Rang Beauty Spot
Location: Ghenh Rang is situated in the south of the poetic Quy Nhon City, 3km from the downtown.
Characteristic: Ghenh Rang is marvelous for its vermilion twilight and moonlit nights amid the vast water and sky.
Ghenh Rang is a wild land with green mountains and blue sea. A part of the Vung Chua Mountain protrudes to the sea, creating fantastic scenery. The path to Ghenh Rang is treacherous, with wild flowers growing low clinging to tourists. Ghenh Rang Beach is a picture of rocks, sea waves. The beach is lined with scattering rocks; it turns out to be a golden sand beach at low tide. In the early 19th century, Queen Nam Phuong would bath and relax there.
From the Queen Beach to the garden of rock ï¿½animalsï¿½ and strange rock eggs are many modest garden houses nestling amid the plants and trees. The path to Ghenh Rang passes by the modest grave of poet Han Mac Tu. Looking at the dazzlingly yellow chrysanthemums, visitors may feel full of pity for the miserable life of this talented poet. The grave all the year round is drenched in sunlight, clouds, winds, moonlight and the murmurs of the sea.
Ham Ho Tourist Spot
Location: Located in Phu My Hamlet, Tay Phu Commune, Tay Son District, Binh Dinh Province, about 55km north-west of Quy Nhon City.
Characteristic: This is the 2km-long complex of spring, falls, lake, river, canal along Kut River's lower section.
Legend has it that thousands of years ago, Kon River and Kut River's lower section was in terrible drought. Witnessing that disaster, Rain God created river and spring to save people here. The two river's lower section was believed to be created at that time and links the imposing Central Highlands with the East Sea. Thence this region is called Ham Ho (Ho means call) because of cult of genii (wind call) to pray for rain.
From Quy Nhon City, capital of Binh Dinh Province, taking National Highway 19 for 40km to Phu Phong Town and then going south for over 5km, tourists will reach Ham Ho. Going by boat about over half a kilometer on the way leading to inner lake area, tourists' tiredness will seem to disappear. They can experience mountain views, abundant birdlife, fragrant wild flowers, unusual trees and plants. The more tourists get deep into, the more interesting scenery is. With the depth of 30m, the river's bed is full of gleaming and bright granite stones like million of diamonds in the green and clear water. The stones seem alive and meaning full because of legends such as Jar of Wine (Hon Vo Ruou), Footprint of Giants (Hon Dau Chan Ong Khong Lo), Fairy Chess Board (Ban Co Tien)... Along the riverside tourist will see Thanh Mountain which looks like a wall covered with green moss and ancient roots.
Ham Ho is also famous for variety of fishes, especially during flood seasons when fishes from Kon River gather here to cross the waterfall and swim upstream to Da Hang, the source of the river for breeding. It is told that every year the Water King holds a waterfall crossing examination for the fishes in Ham Ho. The fishes that pass the examination will turn into dragon. Because of this classic reference, the Ham Ho Waterfall is also called Vu Mon (Flying Fish) Waterfall.
In the rainy season (April-October), the forests at Ham Ho turn into a green carpet dotted with splendid flowers and in the dry season (November-March), the river water is pure and the air is cold. One of the most interesting times to visit is when the Loc Vung ornamental trees (lecythidales) come into flower. The nature here creates a lively and fanciful drawing and is an ideal place for tourist to relax. Tourists can go boating and fishing, walk in the forest, swim or just relax in one of the stilt houses on the banks of the river. Adventurers can kayak on the river, or take a ride in a small canoe with two local guides dressed in ancient soldier's costumes.
To sample the regional culinary specialties tourists should visit Hoa Loc Vung Restaurant to taste the fried fish served with Loc Vung leaves, chim mia - a kind of bird, forest vegetables and a type of snail that lives in the rocks.
Ham Ho is also the place remarking the history of the Tay Son movement, the Mai Xuan Thuong insurgent troops, and the nation's fight for independence.
Hoang Hau Beach
Location: Located in Ghenh Rang Beauty Spot, about 3km southeast of Quy Nhon City centre
Characteristic: Hoang Hau Beach is assessed as the most beautiful beach in Binh Dinh Province
Legend has it that when going on an inspection tour in the Central with King Bao Dai, Queen Nam Phuong selected beach here as hers own. And Queen (Hoang Hau) Beach has been named since that time.
Hoang Hau Beach is glamorous as its name. Coming here, tourists will be impressed by a lot of huge egg-shaped stones in the beach. In front of the beach, the natural rocky walls hold back waves to create calm waters. Many comfortable guesthouses are available here. Queen (Hoang Hau) Restaurant built spaciously makes scenery here dreamlike.
Hoang Hau Beach, tourists can swim, fish, climb up mountain and discover Ghenh Rang Beauty Spot or enjoy seafoods such as: snail, crab, cuttle, shrimp
Hoang Hau Beach is a gift from the nature
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