Quảng Ngãi is a city in the Central Coast region of Vietnam. Known for the My Lai incident during the Vietnam War. A sleepy town that is up and coming but well off the beaten tracks. This place doesn't receive many visitors who often bypass the town for Da Nang north or Nha Trang to the south. Recent government investments in oil refineries has earned Quảng Ngãi recognition. The town's numerous cultural and historical sights are getting more attention.
Quảng Ngãi is a town that used to be neglected, forgotten, and bypassed by government, tourists, even the residents wanted to get out of this uneventful town. Now with all the oil money coming in, Quẚng Ngãi has been recapitalized, revitalized, and reborn. Now, everybody seems to be rushing back into town. New cafes, resorts, and upscale restaurants are popping up all over town. Business folks from Hanoi and HCMC are coming to this town to snatch up properties, open cafes, bars and dinning places. They know that sooner or later the oil money will make Quảng Ngãi as the place to be. The bandwagon phenomena is bringing to Quảng Ngãi a new energy, a new spirit that is turning this once boring place into a lively town.
Quảng Ngãi is surrounded by the Truong Son Mountains on one side and the East Sea on the other. The topography of the surrounding regions include mountains, plains, seaside and offshore islands.
The rain season lasts from September to December. It is hot between April and August and the weather is cold from January to March. Annual average temperature is 26ºC.
Quảng Ngãi lies halfway between Hanoi (883 km north) and HCM City (838km south). Quảng Ngãi is close to other major tourist cities of Da Nang (130 km, ~3 hrs) and Hoi An (116 km, ~2½ hrs).
The National Highway 1 and TransViet Railway run through the city. The city is also the starting point of the National Road 24A connecting Quảng Ngãi with the highland provinces (Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Dak Nong). The National Road 24B links Quảng Ngãi City with My Khe resort, Sa Ky Port, and Dung Quat Economic Zone. In addition, there are also 8 provincial roads interconnecting the National Highway 1 with district centres and tourist attractions across the province.
There are two large bus stations in Quảng Ngãi, one in the north and the other south of the city. One can go anywhere in Vietnam from these two stations.
- The South Station: 26 Le Thanh Ton St., Quẚng Ngãi City. Telephone: 055.821964
- The North Station: Son Tinh town, Son Tinh district. Telephone: 055.841187
Nguyen Chanh St., Quảng Ngãi City. Telephone: 055.822660. In addition to Quảng Ngãi Railway Station, there are 7 smaller rail stations along the line in the province.
- 1 Quảng Ngãi railway station (Ga Quảng Ngãi), 1, Nguyễn Chánh.
- Dung Quat Port: Located in Dung Quat Economic Zone, about 50 km northeast of Quảng Ngãi city, one of the largest deep-water seaports in Vietnam.
- Sa Ky Port: In Binh Chau commune, Binh Son district, about 25 km away from Quảng Ngãi City on National Road 24 B (through My Khe resort).
- Chu Lai International Airport (VCL IATA) (Vietnamese: Sân bay Quốc tế Chu Lai) is an airport in Chu Lai, Vietnam (40km N of Quảng Ngãi City). It is near Tam Kỳ city, the largest city in Quảng Nam Province. The airport is located in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Núi Thành District.
While Quảng Ngãi is a small city, many of the attractions are in the outskirts of town. The closest beach My Khe is 15 km away so a motor vehicle is needed to get around.
- Quảng Ngãi Travel Agency: 310 Quang Trung St., Quảng Ngãi City. Telephone: 055.829829; Fax: 055.822836. Provides a wide range of services: cars/minibus for rent, airfare booking service, and tour guides.
- Taxi Mai Linh: 134 Hung Vuong St.. Telephone: 055-836666. Fax: 055.839999. A well-known taxi company in Vietnam.
By motorcycle taxi "xe om"
- At most intersections, markets, and hotels. If no xe om are found nearby any hotel can find one for you.
By Public Transport
A network of public busses is operated by Me Linh, the noted taxi company. Many busses operate from the main bus station. They are green. Conductors seem to be refreshingly honest. Route 3 provides service to and along QL24B, including Son My museum, but only operates every 90 minutes or so in each direction. Fares are 5k–13k.
Quảng Ngãi's local places of attractions were once so neglected, abandoned, and desolated that there were hardly any visitors. Now the petrol money has turned these locations into must-see places. Overgrown vegetation has given way to manicured pathways, muddy riversides are now patios for trendy cafes, and isolated beaches have turned into weekend getaway destinations. It's tough to separate the old from the new, but Quẚng Ngãi is an ancient town that still possesses many of the historical sights of great significant. Fortunately, many of these sights are located a short ride from town.
- Ba Tơ Garden.
- General museum of Quảng Ngãi Province, 99 Le Trung Dinh, ☏ . Contains cultural artifacts of Sa Huynh & Champa civilizations, and other ethnic minorities of Quẚng Ngãi Province.
- Ly Son Island. Ly Son Island is 26 km (14 nautical miles) from Sa Ky Port. The island is about 10km2 and known as the Garlic Capital of Central Vietnam. There are traces of the ancient Sa Huynh and Champa cultures on the island. The local people live by farming and fishing. There are several beautiful spots on the island such as Cave Pagoda, An Hai Village temple, Hoang Sa Museum, and two volcanic mouths Gieng Tien and Thoi Loi.
- My Khe Beach (15 km NE of Quẚng Ngãi & 2 km from My Lai Memorial). My Khe Beach is one of the best beaches in Quẚng Ngãi. It is about 8km long with fine, white, and smooth powdery sands. Behind the beach is a green poplar forest with age of 15 - 20 years, creating a green space of hundreds hectares running along the internal tourist area. My Khe Tourist Resort is located in this area. There are several food stalls erected along the beach, catering mostly to locals. This beach has yet to experience the rapid developments that plagued other resort areas in Vietnam.
- Mỹ Lai Massacre Memorial Museum (13km NE of Quẚng Ngãi & 2km from My Khe Beach). A memorial to 504 victims killed in 1969 by US forces in the My Lai incident. The site is a solemn place and also the main reason foreign visitors choose to stop by this province. To get to the museum is easy; you just need to take the local bus (line: SAKI) from Quang Ngai downtown, in front of the Hotel Khách Sạn Hùng Vương (address: 45 Hùng Vương, tp. Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Ngãi, Vietnam). This 15-20 minute trip will cost 10,000 dong each way (Dec 2015).
- Quảng Ngãi square, Phạm Văn Đồng street.
- River Trà Khúc.
- Sa Huynh Beach (60 km S of Quẚng Ngãi & along side National Highway 1). Sa Huynh is a beautiful beach with clear water and golden sand. Sa Huynh is also called Sa Hoang, means "gold sand" as the color of the sand is not white like some other places but is a glittered yellow sand. A popular stopover location for travelers to spend a few days on the beach, bordered by coconut groves and rice paddies, before continuing their journey.
- Tam Thượng Harbor.
- The Long Wall of Quẚng Ngãi. A version of the Hadrian's Wall. Discovered in 2005, the Long Wall of Quẚng Ngãi is a majestic architectural construction that still remains in its original state. Built over 500 years mainly with stones and earth, with an average high of 2 m, the wall spans over 113km with several forts, roads, and military depots. The Wall was constructed in the early days by the Viet settlers when this region was Vietnam southern frontier. It later was upgraded and fortified by the Nguyen Emperors. The wall was built to regulate trade and defense with the hostile Champa civilization in the south.
- Thien An Mountain (3km NE of Quẚng Ngãi). Squared in shape likes a seal hence the name Thien An (Heaven's Seal). This small mountain is revered by the locals as a spiritual place. A three-century-old pagoda sits near the top and at the summit is the tomb of the region's famous anti-colonial hero Huynh Thuc Khang.
- Thien But Mountain (south of the city). Travelers to Quẚng Ngãi often inquired about Thien But Mountain along with its higher cousin Thien An Mountain. However, Thien But Mountain is more renowned in poetry rather than in reality. A small hill that rises 60m high above the coastal plains. On a clouds covered day, Thien But Mountain looks like a calligraphy brush with its tip dipped into the clouds hence the name Thien But (Heaven's Brush). If visiting on a cloudy day, one can take a look to see whether Thien But Mountain is as poetically described. If so, then it is truly a spectacular treat.
- Bike ride Co Luy Commune, Co Luy Commune (riverside paths around My Khe Beach). Visitors often ask where Co Luy Commune is. This area was once renowned in poetry and claimed to be second only to Hue for its bucolic, rustic rural charms. The area is slowly giving way to development. However, one can still find its coconut groves, its swaying pine trees, and meandering streams. Folks come here just to see whether it is as described in the poetry they once heard in schools. Some riverside cafes have popped up along the rivers to take advantage of the place's new-found attraction. Free.
- Coop Mart Quẚng Ngãi, Nguyen Nghiem (Intersection Nguyen Nghiem & Nguyen Ba Loan). A department store with typical household items, clothing, grocery, and gifts. Air-conditioned so a good way to escape the heat and shop.
- Quẚng Ngãi Market, Nguyen Ba Loan (Intersection Nguyen Nghiem & Nguyen Ba Loan). The main market of Quẚng Ngãi. Has everything from household goods to grocery. A typical market as can be found in many towns. There are also eating stalls in the market.
At night you can find a good Banh Mi in the street Phan Chu Trinh near the number 8, in front of the “square” Hoa viên Trung tâm, Hùng Vương. The sandwiches without egg cost 10,000 dong and with egg 15,000 dong (Dec 2015).
In the morning you can find an amazing soup (Pho) near the hotel Khách Sạn Hùng Vương , in front of Taxi Quảng Ngãi
All day you can find good coffee and Banh Mi around the roundabout near the train station ( address: Trần Quốc Toản, Trần Phú, tp. Quảng Ngãi, Quảng Ngãi, Vietnam)
Most hotels are located on the two main streets of town, Quang Trung St and Hung Vuong St. Many sleeping options are available around the bus station on Le Thanh Ton. Mid-range hotels should have decent amenities and upscale hotels have all of the Western comforts. Best options are riverside hotels by the river on either sides of the Tra Khuc bridge. These hotels often cater to business people in the oil industry so they have all the high end amenities and access to travel arrangements.
- Ngoc Anh Hotel, 28 Hung Vuong, ☏ . Centrally located in downtown (near restaurants, and shops), hot shower, TV, WiFi, A/C, motorbike available for rent USD9 (200,000 dong).
- Cong Doan Hotel, 137 Truong Quang Trong. disappeared
- Dong Hung Hotel, 497 Quang Trung, ☏ . short walk from the bus station, wifi on every floor, A/C, hot shower, TV, fridge (of course everything disconnects when you unplug the key), many stairs to climb USD10 (200,000 dong).
- Cam Thanh Hotel, 118 Le Trung Dinh, ☏ . USD10-20.
- Hung Vuong, 45 Hung Vuong, ☏ . USD25-45.
- Ninh Tho Hotel, 360 Pham Van Dong, ☏ . USD6-12.
- Central Hotel, 784 Quang Trung, ☏ . USD35-149.
- My Tra Hotel, Son Tinh Village (riverside, other end of Tra Khuc bridge), ☏ . USD12-60.
- Petro-Song Tra Hotel, 02 Quang Trung, ☏ . USD25-55.
Most upscale venues - resorts, hotels and coffee shops - would certainly have Internet connections. Even mid-range hotels offer Wi-Fi connections these days. There are also Internet shops which provide computers and Internet connections for the locals.
Quẚng Ngãi is often a stopover destination for those heading north to Hoi An, Da Nang, and Hue or south to Qui Nhon and Nha Trang. Toward the central highlands, Kontum is the next destination from Quẚng Ngãi. Visitors can also take direct flights back to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
For those who wish to linger a bit more, Ly Son Island is a worthwhile visit.