Jun 29, 2014

Vietnam: Qui Nhon: Part I; City of tragedy, worship & poetry

Qui Nhơn 

1 hour flight to Quy Nhon from
Ho Chi Minh City
Qui Nhon is the costal city in Vietnam of the Binh Dinh province. The economy runs on importing/exporting, fish farming (as I learned recently this is called "pisciculture"), agriculture and forestry. Thanks to tourists like me, they have a growing tourism industry as well.

This area is plush with mountains and forests, hills, fields, salt marshes, plains, lagoons, lakes, rivers, shorelines, peninsulas and islands.

The city boasts a population of approximately 1 million. What I immediately notice is how much less traffic there is compared to Saigon .

Peace in Qui Nhon

When driving to my grandfather's grave, we passed many rice paddies, farms, cows, mountains.

We visited my grandfather's grave site, which my relatives visit once per year. This area of land is dedicated to the family. They come and clean the site, removing weeds and dusting. We placed fresh flowers and placed burning incense sticks nearby. My dad says that when our ancestors smell the incense it beckons them to come to our realm.

Another tradition I wasn't aware of was the burning of money by the grave site. This isn't real money, and is made specifically for this tradition. Burning the money allows our loved ones to spend it on the other side.

Quang Trung Museum

Before Vietnam was conquered by the West in 1884, many emperors and loords fought to rule Vietnam. This place celebrates a famous ruler (Nguyễn Huệ), who is better known as Emperor Quang Trung. He lead a rebellion to overthrow Vietnam, and he became the second emperor of the Tây Sơn Dynasty of Vietnam.

He was beloved and celebrated by the people of his hometown, Quy Nhon Vietnam. This museum stands today in his memory.

Outside the emperor's house is a 300-year-old well that provides clean water.

What we see exiting the museum, you are surrounded by mountains.

Ghenh Rang Hill - Hoang Hau Beach

Located on Ghenh Rang Hill, a national landmark is the beautiful Hoang Hau Beach. Legend has it that Hoang Hau Beach was chosen by Queen Nam Phuong, wife of the last feudal king of Vietnam, Bao Dai as the perfect place to take a rest from their royal duties. A national feature of the beach is the smooth round stones, like giant's bird's eggs, giving the name "Stone Egg Beach". - from a sign at the location

My cousin says its called "Queen beach" by the locals.

Grave of the Poet Hàn Mặc Tử, Queen Beach & Leprosy Hospital

Han Mac Tu - This was the grave of the famous Vietnamese poet Han Mac Tu, whose many verses have been put into well known Vietnamese songs.

He was extremely talented poet, writing since the age of 16. He was involved with several woman, many of which were the subject of his poetry. He died tragically at age 23 of leprosy, an infectious skin disease.  There is a hospital dedicated to treating those with the disease. Teaching patients skillsets.

The Leprosy hospital is an unlikely tourist destination. Patients are treated from all over the province. However Queen Beach extends to here and tourists can park near the hospital entrance gates. Patients live here with their families and learn specific skillsets depending on their ability. 

Many of the patients live in smaller homes with their families outside the hospital. This one is a little further out, boarded up and says "keep out".

There are different monuments dedicated to Vietnamese and foreign doctors who have contributed to the treatment of patients here in the past century.The grounds are maintained like a beautiful resort. 

Quy Hoa Beach

Just steps away from the Leper hospital is Quy Hoa Beach. 

These huge "bowls" contain paddles inside and are used to help you swim out to deeper water to reach the fishing boats.

We had fun trying to help the beach life get back to sea. We found many starfish that were alive!

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  1. Wow, those are really interesting traditions (especially the burning the money thing) I love those huge cereal bowl looking boats! Hehe very nice pictures Annie, looks like you're having a good time!


  2. I never got to check this place out when I came, it looks absolutely incredible. Glad it's going so well. (Did the bikini get shown off at the beach?)