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Phan Thiet

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

An ancient port from the kingdom of Champa, it has retained its strong tradition of commercial trade. While a large part of the population lives to the rhythm of the fishermen's comings and goings, the tourists lounge on the white sand beach or climb to the top of the dunes that seem to come out of nowhere.

To see

Duc Thanh school, now a museum, where Ho Chi Minh studied from 1910 to 1911
The Hon Mun Sea Reserve.
The boats returning from a day at sea loaded with fish.
The Nuoc Man factory, if your stomach can handle it...
The colourful fishing boats on the Cai River which flows through Phan Thiet. These fishermen go out fishing at night with lamps, which attract squids and cuttlefish.

To do

Visit South-East Asia's tallest and oldest lighthouse, located on a desert island 200m from the coast (approximately 15 mi from Phan Thiet).
Visit Nha Trang's Oceanography Museum.
Take a Vietnamese cooking lesson at Bien Dua Resort, a small hotel by the beach. Learn how to make spring rolls, fried rice and fried bananas, and then enjoy eating them at the end (£6).

pros

  • +  The sand dunes
  • +  The site of My Son
  • +  The beaches

cons

  • -  The constructions along the coast

To think about

Make sure you pack your nuoc man sauce very well if you take some home with you since the smell of fish may never leave your clothes. Also, do not visit the nuoc man factory if you are squeamish.

To avoid

Rent toboggans for children on the sand dunes of Phan Thiet.

To try

Phan Thiet's nuoc man is reputed throughout Vietnam.

To bring back

Coffee, cashew nuts and nuoc mam.
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