Travel experiences in Hon Yen - the beautiful island of Phu Yen

Travel experiences in Hon Yen - the beautiful island of Phu Yen

Binh Dinh - Phu Yen - Khanh Hoa 15.08.2021

Traveling to Phu Yen, besides famous places such as Long Thuy beach and Ghenh Da Dia, you can explore Hon Yen island, which is famous for its unspoiled nature and unique scenery that can't be found anywhere else such as the shallow coral reefs or the beautiful seine season seascape.

Translated by nguyendo

Written by tinhnt

The location of Hon Yen

Hon Yen is located in Nhon Hoi village, An Hoa commune, Tuy An district, 20km to the northeast of Tuy Hoa city center, which is a destination that attracts many tourists.

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The peaceful beauty of Hon Yen. Photo: @nghilodo

An introduction to Hon Yen Island

Hon Yen is one of the unique islands of Phu Yen which is shaped like a square pyramid and is made up of basalt blocks, but it still remains intact as it has not been exploited much by humans.

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Hon Yen is made up of basalt blocks. Photo: @pin.gramm

The reason why the island is called “Hon Yen” is because this place used to be the home to many swiftlets (“swiftlet” means “Yen” in Vietnamese), however, due to climate changes, they have gradually left the island, but the locals still call it “Hon Yen” as a kind of way to remind them of the past.

Visiting the enchanting Hon Yen

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The bigger island is called Hon Yen while the smaller one is Hon Sun. Photo: dulich.petrotimes

Standing on the shore of Nhon Hoi village, you will be able to see two islands about 100m away - the bigger one is called “Hon Yen” while the smaller one is “Hon Sun''. According to the village elders, in the past, Hon Yen was very far from the mainland, but due to the process of accretion and tide over millions of years, the distance between it and the mainland today is only about 100m. On the other hand, Hon Yen and Hon Sun were said to belong to a large mountain range reaching out to the sea, but due to the erosion by the water current, the two islands are now located in the middle of the ocean.

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The green cacti embellish the charming beauty of Hon Yen. Photo: wikihow

When coming to Hon Yen island, you can admire the charming natural scenery in the middle of the blue sky and water, the mossy rocks and rows of green cacti. At the same time, you will be able to see layers of craggy rocks at the foot of Hon Yen with strange bends created by the "hands" of nature millions of years ago.

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The fishing scene at Hon Yen island viewed from above. Photo: @phtrung0611

Another special thing not to be missed at Hon Yen is to see corals on land, which is probably an experience that you can only have here. On the first days of the lunar month or the full moon days, the tidal current will recede the most, opening a road connecting Hon Sun and Hon Yen. At this time, you will be able to experience the feeling of walking in the middle of the sea and watch the coral reefs appear right on the water with different shapes and colours.

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Shallow corals are a "specialty" of Phu Yen. Photo: pytopia.vn

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Corals with different colours and shapes in Hon Yen when the tide recedes. Photo: infonet

When coming to Hon Yen, you will have the opportunity to admire the Mausoleum of Ong Nam Hai, which is an ancient temple built on the island many years ago to worship the Ong fish (Whale). The custom of worshiping Ong fish is a folk belief of people in the central and southern coastal regions of Vietnam, as when the fishermen encounter storms at sea, the whales often press their backs on the side of the boat to prevent it from capsizing. Therefore, the fishermen deem this as the protection of the Nam Hai god (Whale) and build temples - whenever they see a whale stranded (for a long time) on the shore, they also perform a burial ceremony for the fish in the sand dunes nearby. After three years, they will carry out a ritual to transfer the fish's remains to Nam Hai Mausoleum to worship. Every year, the locals often hold a fish prayer ceremony at Ong Nam Hai's Mausoleum on the day the Ong fish ran aground or the day of receiving its title from the aristocracy, depending on the regional custom. The festival will have seven basic rituals, some of which are the Procession of Title, the Procession of Thanh Hoang Bon Canh, Cheo Hau Ba Trao (a kind of traditional singing), Thinh Sanh ceremony (make offerings) and Nam Hai God sacrificial ceremony. Especially those who participate in the festival's rituals are dressed in colourful traditional costumes, creating an eye-catching scene.

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The ritual at Ong Nam Hai Mausoleum. Photo: baobinhdinh

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The Procession of Nam Hai God. Photo: baobinhdinh

Hon Yen also has another "specialty" that is hard to find anywhere else, which is the beautiful scenery of the seine season. From May to August, the fishermen in Nhon Hoi village eagerly go to Hon Yen sea to catch fish, which are mainly anchovies - a small, white kind of fish shaped like the tip of a chopstick with sweet fish meat. The locals will drop the seine from the ship to a certain depth, and when finding anchovies, the fishermen will use the net to surround them. When the net is being pulled, its shape will change continuously, such as hearts, circles and lotus leaves. While Hon Yen is a stage to perform the impressive "net flowers", the fishermen are experienced artists. Both tourists and photographers come to Hon Yen in the seine season to admire and capture beautiful moments of trawling.

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Hon Yen in seine season. Photo: vinacoatour

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The "net flowers" on Hon Yen sea. Photo: mangphuyen

What to eat at Hon Yen?

Hon Yen has a variety of seafood, but the specialty here is lobster raised in cages in the sea. At the same time, you can enjoy the following dishes:

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Moon snail is a specialty at Hon Yen. Photo: @mej_siro

- Moon snail: is a typical snail here, which has a round shape and is sparkling like moonlight. The locals often process moon snails in ways of grilling or steaming. When trying this delicious dish, you will be able to enjoy it for its crunchy texture and savoury taste.

- Half-dried squid: is a delicious and nutritious dish as the squid meat still retains its sweetness. When grilled, the squid has a spreading aroma - and drinking with friends on the beach with this dish would be a wonderful experience.

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Grilling half-dried squids at Hon Yen. Photo: @le.donnelly

The appropriate time to travel to Hon Yen

It is advised that you should travel to Hon Yen from March to August as it is sunny with little rain during this time, which is very suitable for sightseeing and exploring. To admire the shallow corals, you should come here on the first day or the middle of the lunar month as the tide recedes to its furthest extent.

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The suitable time to visit Hon Yen is from March to August. Photo: @295.hynn

How to get to Hon Yen

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Photo: @thai_phuong_thanh

There are two routes leading to Hon Yen from Tuy Hoa city and they are quite easy for you to find and travel:

- The first route: from National Highway 1A, follow the Northern direction 15km, turn right at Phu Diem junction and ask for directions to Nhon Hoi village.

- The second route: from Le Duan street in the city center, travel through An Phu, An Chan and An My communes to Yen market, from which you can get to Hon Yen through inter-village coastal roads.

Hon Yen is a wild island with enchanting nature that can captivate visitors - come here once and you will remember the unique scenery forever.