Fancy a picnic, stroll, or sunset beside beautiful water? Here are some options to try for a nature-filled pick-me-up…
Searching for a dreamy, cool space within what’s known as a windy, sunny province? Head to Song Quao Lake. Thanks to its enchanting, romantic scenery.
Situated about 20km from Phan Thiet, the lake connects Binh Thuan and Lam Dong at the base of the Gia Bac pass. While it supplies precious water to locals, it’s also a tourist attraction for those in search of peaceful waters.
There are many spots you’ll be tempted to rest or picnic at. Skim stones on the mirror-like surface, meander around the shore, or take a quick dip if it’s hot. For moody, misty scenes, get there for sunrise. Alternatively, go for a soothing sunset.
If you’re feeling energetic, walk up the surrounding hills to see how the water is channeled out of the lake to surrounding fields.
Some 60km northeast from Phan Thiet City, Bau Trang Lake is the most well-known in Binh Thuan. Also known as White Lake or Lotus Lake, this freshwater oasis is surrounded by sand dunes that draw adventure-seekers. Sandboarding and 4x4 dune-bashing are popular activities.
Here, two large lakes shimmer amid a large, desert-like landscape. The water is stunningly clear. In summer, pops of pink add to the surreal scenery when the lotus flowers blossom on the water surface. Row among them for a romantic experience like no other. It’s no wonder this is the location for many a wedding or engagement shoot.
This hydroelectric lake, in the mountainous Ham Thuan Bac and Bao Lam districts, is about 100km from Phan Thiet. It’s about 25km in length and has a capacity of 695 million m3. It not only supplies water, generates electricity and prevents flooding downstream, it also cools the climate.
Ham Thuan Lake is not busy, so it’s ideal for those wanting peace and quiet. Hop on a boat to hear the gently lapping waves and stop at one of the lake’s mini islands for some birdwatching.
For a spiritual excursion, visit the nearby Thien Mai Pagoda. Also known as Quan Am Pagoda, it offers beautiful panoramic views of the waters below.
About 20km from Ham Thuan Lake, there’s another lake in Tanh Linh district, surrounded by some 20 mountains covered in forest trees.
Most people come here to see Thac Ba (Ba Waterfall), a top natural attraction on Ong Mountain. As its covered in thousands of hectares of forest, the foliage is alive with valuable plant species, including various types of aloe. Many animal species call this forested haven home, such as the endangered black-shanked douc (Pygathrix nigripes) and the yellow-cheeked gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae). As you walk through the lush bush, you’ll be awed by the magical forest sounds.
The name of this lake refers to salt, but it’s all freshwater. It was apparently so named because it’s so large, people thought it looked like the beach had gotten lost within the forest. It’s surrounded by a natural reserve, so fresh air and lush scenery is guaranteed.
It’s not particularly well known among foreign tourists. But locals enjoy coming here to go fishing or simply bob along in a boat at sunset. Bien Lac is also an ideal address for picnic, travelling and birdwatching.
Source: Facebook - HÔ BIEN LAC
This natural lake is something of a hidden gem, and it’s just 28km from Phan Thiet city. To feel fully immersed in the natural surroundings, consider glamping here. Camps are fully set up with all the creature comforts. Think quality tents and linen, and all the items you may need for a rustic night outdoors.
Get the campfire going. Pour a drink. Then sit back on a camp chair, and watch herds of buffaloes grazing on the grass as the sun sets. In the morning, do a spot of fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, or canoeing.
This is a favoured hiking spot for those wanting an extended hike that involves camping overnight.
There’s a peaceful, family friendly camping site beside a shallow, rocky stream. It includes a homestay, tents and bungalows. SUP or kayak by day, and chill by the fire at night. This all makes for a cherished time-out in nature, making precious memories.
Many visitors to Binh Thuan head to what’s known as the Fairy Stream for a peaceful amble along a creek. The stream is shallow, so you can take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the water – a great feeling. Admire the ochre-coloured, sandy stalactites along the way. Or rest beneath the coconut palms of this ethereal environment.