The surf can pound Mon Beach as the swell from the East Sea is forced between the headlands that bound the large expanse of sand on the coast of Phu Yen Province.
At other times the sea is placid and small waves lap idly against the gently sloping beach. That’s when the fishing boats come ashore and disgorge their hauls for visitors to buy and cook.
Mon Beach was given its rightful due only last month, when it was recognized as a national beauty spot by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
It’s an idyllic expanse of sand in Hoa Tam Commune, Dong Hoa District and is situated seven kilometers from the top of Ca Pass between Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa.
At the western end is a freshwater creek that starts back in the mountains and makes its way down many cliffs and through a primeval forest before crossing the beach and emptying into the sea.
The short walk to the obvious lighthouse on Dai Lanh Cape is well worth the effort, as is the climb up the 150 steps of the spiral staircase that leads to the top of the commanding structure.
The view is terrific, and the lighthouse keepers are only too happy to talk about the history of their building and tell tall tales and true about local characters of good and ill repute.
With the keepers’ permission, casual visitors can stay overnight and spend the evening hunting for crabs in the darkness, dining on rice porridge with crab meat, and swapping jokes and funny stories.
Daybreak should not be missed as this is where the sun’s rays first strike Vietnam every morning. Seeing the sun slowly emerge from the water and send out its light over the sea is awesome.
It’s also a pleasant diversion to watch the fishermen as they cast their nets in the early morning light while in the shrubs behind colorful insects of many species suck nectar from the flowers and frisky birds flit among the greenery.
And at the end of the day, when viewed from high above, Mon Beach looks romantic in the golden light of sunset as small waves lap against the sand as though they were embracing it.