Bai Dong, a lesser known beach on the Nghi Son Peninsula in Thanh Hoa Province, charms visitors with its beauty and tranquility.
It is in Tinh Gia District, around 70 km from Thanh Hoa Town of the eponymous province and 220 km from Hanoi.
Accommodation here costs VND250,000-850,000 ($8.6- 36.7) per night. It is a good idea to pick a place near the market so that food is easily available or one overlooking the sea or mountains.
Bai Dong has a radius of around 5 km, making traveling around on motorbike a cheap and convenient option at VND100,000 ($4.3) a day. There are also taxis with meters.
On one side of Bai Dong are rocks which make for a great photo setting. On the other is the beach, which is owned by Nghi Son Eco Island, the largest resort in the area. The sand particles here are large and the water is clear.
It costs VND15,000 ($0.7) to visit the beach, which covers entry, parking and showering facilities.
Bai Dong rocks can make for a great photo setting. Photo by Manh Tien Khoi.
The seafood in Bai Dong is fresh and reasonably priced. Some recommended eating spots are Hoang Hai and Ut Thuy, which offer grilled food and hot pots. Dai Duong (Ocean) restaurant on Dong Hoi Beach, some five kilometers from Bai Dong, is a good choice.
The seafood options include dried squid, crab, jellyfish salad, clam, and grouper. A meal here can cost VND200,000-250,000 ($8.6-10.8) per person.
A close-up look at a few local seafood dishes. Photo by Manh Tien Khoi.
A trip to Bai Dong should include a tour to Bung Island, where one can live like a local and fish themselves. The only family living on the island is happy to prepare and cook the catch.
Bung Island tours, which have been operating for around two years, cost VND300,000 ($13), including a round trip ticket (excluding food), coral diving and swimming.
The tour’s scope is limited compared to other more developed destinations in Vietnam.
It takes an hour from the mainland to the island. The boat captain is friendly and personable. It is recommended that the visit should be done in the morning. But visitors should know that there are few amenities or creature comforts available on the island.
Locals travel by boat on Nghi Son Peninsula. Photo by Manh Tien Khoi.