Cham culture protector, exotic beaches keeper, and a great grapes farmer
Ninh Thuan - the land of golden sunshine and dry wind, without being affected much by commercial tourism, possesses an inherent wild beauty to this day.
Located about 350 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, Ninh Thuan has full potential for being a hot destination: dreamy blue sea, magical white sand dunes, majestic mountains, vast steppes and diverse ecosystem.
Ninh Thuan beach a hidden gem of southern Vietnam
Ninh Thuan is definitely the ideal destination for you to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy yourself in the most beautiful coastal roads in Vietnam, immerse yourself in the stunning beaches and save amazing photos of sun, sea and sand.
Best time to visit
Influenced by monsoon tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 26-27 Celsius, Ninh Thuan's climate is divided into two distinct seasons: rainy one - starting from September to November, and dry one - lasting from December to September next year. Giving visitors different feelings at each time of the year, Ninh Thuan is suitable for travel at any time of the year, but the most appropriate is at 2 main times, which are:
May to August
This is the time when Ninh Thuan's standard natural picture is displayed clearly with blue sky, turquoise blue sea, white sand and shady green trees. This is not the peak tourist season in Ninh Thuan so you do not need to worry about service prices as well as the crowd, instead, it's time to comfortably enjoy Mother Nature's gift to this sunny and windy land.
Beautiful beach in Ninh Thuan
August to October
If you are a lover of excitement, this is the right time for you with the organization of various cultural festivals of the Cham people, helping you to immerse yourself in the unique cultural space. Do not miss the orchards, especially vineyards, when this is the season of ripe fruit in Ninh Thuan.
Ba Moi vineyard in Ninh Thuan
Po Klong Garai Tower
As a tourist symbol of Phan Rang City, Po Klong Garai Tower is an old relic of the Cham people - who live in the South Central region. This is a complex of relics located on a large hill with dirt paths leading up the tower, green shading trees, and red brick building materials, exuding enchanting nostalgic colors. If visiting during office hours, visitors can rent Cham costumes to save memorable pictures bearing their culture.
Po Klong Garai Tower in Ninh Thuan
About 35 kilometers from Phan Rang City, Rai Cave is considered as a rare "paradise" with impressive majestic natural beauty that makes everyone be overwhelmed at the first time of visit. Beside variously-shaped stones stacked together to create countless beautiful and amazing caves, Rai Cave also offers visitors giant coral reefs lying on the sea challenging the big waves rushing ashore. Standing from above to admire comprehensively the whole both romantic and the magnificent scenery of Rai Cave makes your mood somewhat relaxed and peaceful after hard working days.
Rai cave in Ninh Thuan
Vinh Hy Bay
Vinh Hy Bay has a majestic pristine beauty with the harmony of blue sea, white sand, forest and nature. Located close to Nui Chua National Park and 40 kilometers from the center of Phan Rang City, visitors can conveniently reach there by different means such as car, motorbike, or bicycle. During your trip to Ninh Thuan, Vinh Hy Bay - one of the enchanting bays in Vietnam - is definitely listed on your must-visit tourist destinations.
Ninh Chu Beach
Well-known as one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches on the Ninh Thuan tourist map, Ninh Chu Beach captivates visitors with its turquoise blue sea, charming crescent-shaped coastline, smooth yellow sand, and fresh, peaceful atmosphere. Only 5 kilometers east of Phan Rang City, the beach possesses a great tourism potential and attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists every year.
Binh Tien Beach
With clear blue seawater and stretching white sand strips, forming graceful roads next to Nui Chua National Park, Binh Tien Beach gives visitors a sense of peace and relaxation amid a rushed life. Just 30 kilometers away from Phan Rang City, you can catch Binh Tien Beach - a hidden "gem" of Ninh Thuan surrounded by pine forests and limestone mountains on the sea surface. The beach's inherent pristine beauty will surely captivate visitors at first sight.
Binh Tien beach in Ninh Thuan
Anyone must be amazed by the idyllic, untouched beauty of Dinh Cape - where there is a high lighthouse on the coast, the clear blue water, the rocky mountains with various shapes and beautiful coastal roadways. Since it is located in a remote location about 40 kilometers from Phan Rang City, Dinh Cape still retains its original idyllic and pristine features that make visitors difficult to leave. Your Ninh Thuan trip will no longer be perfect if ignoring the majestic natural scenery, white sand beaches and poetic blue seawater of Dinh Cape.
Lighthouse at Mui Dinh, Ninh Thuan
Nui Chua National Park
Lying along the coastal road and 30 kilometers from Phan Rang City, Nui Chua National Park is not only well-known for its pristine beaches, but also a suitable place for those who are enthusiastic about mountain climbing and interested in exploring beautiful places. In addition, the national park also possesses an extremely diverse and rich flora and fauna ecosystem. So this place is not only an ideal place to take pictures but also a suitable destination to explore, experience and challenge yourself.
Calm Rock at Nui Chua national park
An Hoa Sheep Field
Unlike the stunning beaches of Ninh Thuan, An Hoa Sheep Field with immense steppes and idyllic nomadic life promises to bring visitors unique travel experiences. Without noisy car horns or crowds, this place seems completely separate from that bustle city with a peaceful life besides innocent and lovely sheep. In the midst of a vast land, gorgeous mountain scenery, poetic lakes in green meadows, An Hoa Sheep Field attracts and fascinates any traveler when visiting as well as helping visitors realize the preciousness of a peaceful rural life.
Bau Truc Pottery Village
Considered as the oldest pottery village in Southeast Asia, Bau Truc Pottery Village is home to beautiful handicrafts with top-notch firing techniques imbued with Cham cultural identity. Besides admiring artistic works with delicate carvings, at the pottery village, visitors also have the opportunity to watch artisans shaping pottery with talented and skillful hands and extremely beautiful technical manipulations. Moreover, you can also make your own ceramic pots, draw patterns and fire like a real artist.
Bau Truc pottery village in Ninh Thuan
What to eat
Ninh Thuan cuisine is considered to be unique with the harmonious combination between Central cuisine and Cham culinary culture. Therefore, besides visiting and exploring gorgeous attractions, you should not miss Ninh Thuan's enchanting culinary paradise.
“Banh canh cha ca” - Rice noodle soup with fried fish
A bowl of hot rice noodle soup with fried fish, herbs, scallion and a little bit of black pepper is sure to please you even if you just smell it. As a specialty of Ninh Thuan, visitors can easily find rice noodle soup at any street of Phan Rang City.
Banh Canh Cha Ca
Some renowned places for you to enjoy "Banh canh cha ca" in Ninh Thuan:
- Banh Canh Nhuong: No.284, Ngo Gia Tu Street, Phan Rang City
- Banh Canh Be: No.424A, No Gia Tu Street, Phan Rang City
- Banh Canh Mai Ly: Nguyen Thi Dinh Street, Phan Rang City
“Banh can” - Small pancakes cooked in small clay pans
As a native dish of Ninh Thuan people, "banh can" has the shape like the South's "banh khot" with the main ingredient as rice flour, and varied filling according to each person's taste. This specialty dish will be richer and more delicious with a cup of roasted peanut sauce mixed with a little tamarind, sugar, fried garlic and onion.
Banh Can- Photo: dia.diem.an.uong
"Banh can" is sold in many street corners of Phan Rang City, however, visitors can go to the corner of Doan Thi Diem Street - 16 Thang 4 Street, opposite the Cultural Center of Ninh Thuan Province to enjoy at a small sidewalk shop whose "banh can" is considered the best one in Phan Rang with the price of about 1,000 - 2,000 VND/pair of pancakes.
“Goi ca mai” - Deep herring salad
This is a specialty that you cannot ignore when coming to Ninh Thuan. The salad dish is made from index finger-sized small deep herring combined with herbs, young banana flowers and a few pieces of pineapple, which is enough to captivate any food lover. The deep herring usually grows a lot at the end of the year, so this is the time for visitors to enjoy the best plate of deep herring salad.
Deep herring salad dishes are sold a lot along the coast of Ninh Chu Beach and Vinh Hy Beach, ideal places for visitors to enjoy this unique dish while watching the peaceful picture of the sea.
During your Ninh Thuan trip, do not miss Phan Rang chicken rice with a very specific flavor made from special ingredients. Chicken is raised in the garden so its meat is firm and delicious, while the rice is cooked in chicken broth, even the way to prepare the dipping sauce is also special when being mixed with lemon, garlic, chili, and grain. With its delicious and attractive flavor, Phan Rang chicken rice will definitely make you unforgettable after the first time of enjoying it.
Rice chicken - Photo: @tienvinhtravel
Some renowned places to enjoy Phan Rang chicken rice:
- Com Ga Phuoc Thanh: No.3, Tran Quang Dieu Street, Phan Rang City
- Com Ga Ngoc: No.10, Tran Binh Trong Street, Phan Rang City
- Com Ga Khanh Ky: No.61, Tran Quang Dieu Street, Phan Rang City
Where to stay
Resorts in Ninh Thuan
If you want a complete vacation in Ninh Thuan to admire the stunning natural beauty, resorts with luxurious, modern rooms and admirable amenities such as swimming pool, spa, gym centers, shuttle service, etc. are considered a perfect experience you should choose. Some well-known resorts in Ninh Thuan for your reference are Hon Co Ca Na Resort, Ninh Chu Resort, Aniise Villa Resort, Ninh Thuan Retreat Resort.
Aniise Villa in Ninh Thuan
Hotels in Ninh Thuan
For a more cost-effective vacation, you can consider the 2-3 star hotels of Ninh Thuan. Despite the cheap price, the hotels still ensure full amenities and prime location, giving you a comfortable and cozy relaxing space. Some hotels for your reference may be mentioned as Dong Nam Hotel, Seaside Hotel, Hong Duc Hotel, Son Huong Hotel, etc.
Dong Nam hotel
Homestay in Ninh Thuan
If you love creativity as well as want to learn more about the local's culture, homestays in Ninh Thuan are the right choice for you. With a fairly affordable rental price, the homestays will definitely give you a memorable travel experience. You can refer to some homestay such as Bigdog Homestay, Peace Home Homestay, Sea Urchin Homestay, Eco-Chi Homestay, Liti Homestay, etc.
How to get there
Although having none of its own, Ninh Thuan is located close to two major airports: Cam Ranh Airport (Khanh Hoa) and Lien Khuong Airport (Da Lat), providing convenience for travelers who want to have a safe and time-saving vacation.
If you fly to Nha Trang (Cam Ranh airport), the distance is around 60 kilometers to Ninh Thuan. If you have plenty of travel time, it will be more complete to plan a tour of Nha Trang - Ninh Thuan for 4-5 days.
Cam Ranh airport
If you land at Lien Khuong Airport, it takes about 2 hours to travel to Ninh Thuan by taxi. Similarly, you can also get this opportunity to visit the dreamy city of Da Lat before admiring the beautiful beaches in Ninh Thuan if your travel is not constrained in time.
All 3 airlines including Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Jetstar Pacific fly daily to these two airports. However, fares will increase higher on weekends and holidays, so travelers should plan and book tickets in advance if you're traveling during this time, or schedule to travel on weekdays to avoid the crowd.
Motorbikes are favored by young people as well as the one who travel alone when visitors can be active in travel times, schedules and stop at any time to admire the beautiful scenes during the journey. However, this vehicle easily makes you tired and sleepy while driving, so it is suitable for short distances from the neighborhoods of Binh Thuan such as Da Lat or Nha Trang.
Trains save your budget but not your time. Normally, traveling by train from Da Nang takes about 13-14 hours while from Ho Chi Minh City takes 6-8 hours. Visitors can buy train tickets at any station and after arriving at Thap Cham Station, you continue to reach your accommodation by taxi or "xe om".
Train and railway at Ca Na area town in Ninh Thuan
If you get Binh Thuan from Ho Chi Minh City or from any area with an average distance, you can travel by coach to save travel costs with about 150,000 VND/person if departing from the East Station.
Although it takes a lot of time, you have the opportunity to admire the natural beauty as well as the life of Vietnamese people along the way, providing wonderful and unforgettable travel experiences. However, visitors need to contact the coach owner in advance to arrange the schedule accordingly.
Frequently asked questions
What food should you try in Ninh Thuan?
Some dishes mostly prefered by tourists when visiting Ninh Thuan are:
• Com ga Phan Rang (Chicken rice) (Cơm ga Khanh Ky – 61 Tran Quang Dieu)
• Bun ca dam Ninh Chu (Fish noodle soup) (Street vendors on Ngo Gia Tu street) • Banh can, banh xeo Ninh Thuan (Rice pancake) (Quan Hai on Yen Ninh street, near Ninh Chu beach), Quan Que Huong at 133 Tran Quang Dieu)
• Banh canh cha ca Ninh Chu (Banh canh Ba Bon – 75 Ngo Gia Tu)
• Banh trang nuong mam ruoc (Street vendors)
• Goi ca mai Ninh Chu (Mai fish salad) (Street vendors along Ninh Chu beach and Vinh Hy bay)
What are top attractions in Ninh Thuan?
Traveling to Ninh Thuan, you will be impressed by the pristine and majestic bay and a bunch of amazing architectural works of the ancient Cham people. You can refer to some famous attractions including:
• Mui Dinh
• Ninh Chu beach
• Vinh Hy Bay
• Rai Cave
• Nam Cuong Sand Dune
• Ba Moi Grape Farm
• Po Klong Garai Cham Tower
• Nui Chua National Park
• Bau Truc Pottery Village
How long should you visit Ninh Thuan?
If you travel from some nearby provinces, you can visit Ninh Thuan for 2 days 1 night and spend your weekend there. However, if you travel from Hanoi, it takes quite long time and a few transits to reach Ninh Thuan, thus you should stay at least 3 days and 2 nights.
When should you travel to Ninh Thuan?
The rainy season in Ninh Thuan is just from September to November, thus you can choose any month from December to August to visit Ninh Thuan. If you want to come at the time of harvesting grapes and the biggest festival of Cham people – Kate Festival, you can travel from August to October yearly.
Where is Ninh Thuan? How long is the flight from Hanoi?
Located in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam, Ninh Thuan is quite new to tourists since it was actually splited away from Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa province. It is around 1,380km from Hanoi to Ninh Thuan.
There is not a direct flight from Hanoi to Ninh Thuan. Therefore, you need to get a flight from Hanoi to Nha Trang (around 2 hours) and then take a bus/taxi from Cam Ranh Airport (Nha Trang) to Phan Thiet (around 62km) in more than 1 hour.