The city is linear in shape, spreading along three major roads that run north-west to south-east. Quang Nam state's third city, Tam Ky is often passed over by visitors, amenities, and services, in favour of historic Hoi An or cosmopolitan Da Nang.
- Tam Kỳ Airport (TMK IATA). Vietnam Airlines offers a direct flights to Hanoi and codeshare flights to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).
Tam Ky is a major stop on Vietnam's north-south reunification rail line, and is served by all trains running the HCMC-Hanoi and Hanoi-HCMC routes. The station (Ga Tam Ky) is south-west of the city center.
A local bus makes frequent runs from Da Nang to Tam Ky, possibly via Hoi An. Tam Ky is also an inevitable obstacle for virtually every bus moving along Vietnam's North-South highway 1. There are two major bus stations, one at each entrance/exit to the city, generally serving destinations in their respective directions. Locals often don't know this though, as they generally stand on the side of the road and wave down the bus they need. Since many vehicles passing through for larger destinations (e.g. Da Nang to Quy Nhon) often don't make stops at the stations, you would be well advised to do as the locals do.
Quang Nam state's network of semi-urban buses serves the city and surrounding areas, however routes and times are difficult to discern, and drivers will often refuse to board foreigners who only want to make short trips. Stops are generally well posted, but routes are confusing, often backtracking. Buses may move at a crawl in the city as they look to pick up more passengers. Fare is 6,000 dong for trips less than 10 km.
From the train station to the beach at Tam Thanh (~11 km), a meter taxi should cost 100-150,000 dong, and a xe om (motorbike taxi) about 60,000 dong. There are no official motorbike rental businesses in close proximity to the train station: try further afield or take your chances by trying to convince a random to lend you their bike for cash. Buses 7 and 8 serve this beach roughly hourly.
- There is a large museum on nicely maintained grounds
- Lang Chai Tam Thanh is a fishing village that a Portuguese NGO helped promote by creating attractive murals on many of the village's homes. Free to visit, though consider offering your support by stopping for a snack or paying for secure parking. It's 2 km north of the main intersection at Ha Thanh (Tam Thanh) beach.
- Go to the beach. There are very few Westerners there, and fresh seafood.
This city has an ATM.
- Dai Phu Gia Hotel. Big hotel, but rooms are smelly and a bit dirty (e.g., 4 mm dust layer on the TV screen and rusty shower). No way of keeping mosquitoes out. Wi-Fi patchy in some rooms. 165,000 dong.
- Tam Thanh Natural Beach Resort (700m South of the main intersection at Ha Thanh (Tam Thanh) beach), ☏ . Check-out: 11:00. New business in 19th-century French resort buildings. Offers dorm beds. Usually has a scooter or bicycles to rent/borrow. Mostly clean, steps from beach, friendly, but not glamorous. Not to be confused with "Tam Thanh Resort," which is at the main intersection. 130,000 dong and up.
As of April 2017, there are a half dozen gaming shops (which double as internet cafes) within a few blocks of the train station. Cellular reception is excellent.
- Tam Hai is a pleasant and untouristed island about an hour South-East of the city. Its sights (a hill, an abandoned cemetery, a cement well) are underwhelming but residents are pleasant. Bring exact change to avoid overpaying, or try to keep perspective while the locals get you for a few cents here and there.
- A list of destinations and prices for intercity busses from the north-west bus station is here [formerly dead link]. Not that this does not include the government-operated "yellow" semi-urban public buses (e.g. to Da Nang), some of which also operate from this station, more frequently. Nor does it include the countless busses that drive past the station without stopping, on their way between other cities up and down the coast. See "Get In" and "Getting Around" for a bit more detail.
- If you're in Tam Ky you're probably on your way north to Hoi An or Da Nang or south to Quang Ngai or Quy Nhon