Our next stop in Vietnam inadvertently took us to the most beautiful and relaxing place we’ve been to in a long time.
After a brief stopover in Nha Trang, we were faced with a 12 hour bus or train ride to Da Nang. Looking at the distance on the map, we figured that surely there was somewhere we could stop en route? Quy Nhon fits the bill as is almost exactly halfway between the two cities.
We fully intended to stay in the city itself until we noticed somewhere while looking for accommodation online – a guesthouse called Haven a short ride away in a small village. The location made us unsure as it was quite remote, but it had the best Tripadvisor reviews we’ve ever seen, so after a few emails to confirm they had room for us, we booked a ‘bus’ to Quy Nhon for our stay at Haven.
The trip was a nightmare, we left 2 hours late and instead of a bus it was just a private minibus, picking passengers up until personal space became a distant memory. Not only people were picked up, we also had to share the bus with sacks of vegetables and boxes of fish. Wonderful.
So despite the Haven staff advising we got there during daylight hours, we arrived in Quy Nhon about 9pm. The bus station was closed and there were no taxis around so we were forced to take motorbike taxis for the last 10km to Bai Xep. We arrived and cruised through the tiny village until we reached the seafront and the front door of Haven. Instantly the awful journey was forgotten as we were welcomed into the small but beautiful guesthouse. Despite the time and all the other guests being in bed, they had saved some food for us which was much appreciated!
The next morning we were able to appreciate quite how beautiful the place was. Haven is a very small complex, with just 4 rooms, and a 6 bed dorm. We had the sea view balcony room, which was immaculately clean and nicely decorated. It felt too nice for us anyway! We could hear the sea from our bed and had this view from the balcony.
Next to the rooms there is an outside space with some sun loungers and hammocks overlooking the beach, and a nice eating/bar/relaxation area under cover.
A fence separates the property from the beach but walk through a gate and walk for 10 seconds and you’re on the white sand beach with some of the clearest water we’d ever seen.
Being so remote there isn’t much choice for breakfast or dinner apart from the in house option, which at some places could be a nightmare but here it was perfect. One large table with everyone eating at the same time, so instantly it was easy to meet the other guests. Breakfast was a simple yet tasty affair, but the dinners were out of this world. Tons of really, really tasty home cooked Vietnamese food, in a really informal, fun atmosphere. All the staff sit down to dinner at the same time too which is really nice.
Lunch is a bit different, the owners encourage you not to eat at the guesthouse but to sample the local food in the village. So each lunchtime we would walk in and grab a seat at the tiny market near the well, point to things and fill ourselves up. The food we got here was unique, I didn’t see it anywhere else in Vietnam.
Stupidly we forgot to ask the Vietnamese names of any of them, but our favourite was a greasy pancake heated up then filled with chilli jam, some leaves, some crispy fried fritter broken up, and pork roll. They were incredible. We ate 5 or 6 of them between us each lunchtime, among other snacks, and the bill never came to more than 60,000 dong (less than £2!). We also took a trip to the village ‘bar’ which was a small area in front of someone’s house, with tiny plastic seats and cans of beer.
Oh and Haven also had 2 lovely dogs, as well as this tiny kitten which the staff rescued from the beach. Cute doesn’t come close.
So for 2 days we did virtually nothing except relax. We were gutted we couldn’t stay for longer. If you’re passing through the same part of the world we would highly recommend you stop by this amazing place – it’s well worth it.