Isle escape

TN News

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If you are like me and have had enough of vacations spent lazing in luxury resorts and fancy restaurants, head to the virtually uninhabited Mai Nha (Roof) Isle in the central province of Phu Yen for a refreshing, adventurous holiday.

Just 30 kilometers north of Tuy Hoa Town, Mai Nha Isle is a great spot for a day trip or overnight camping.

Barely four kilometers from the famous O Loan Lagoon, the isle has everything a wary urbaner can ask for and more. Apart from the sun, sand and sea, this tropical island has forests and caves for the adventurous explorers.

The 1.2 square kilometers of Mai Nha is home to only two families, who breed buffaloes and shrimp, and sell fish on the mainland to earn a living.

It's a place of simple pleasures tranquil and removed from the bustle of urban life. The birds from surrounding forests chirp all day and waves undulate on the beach timelessly.

The powdery white sand and shallow, clear waters of the front beach are ideal for lazing, swimming and snorkeling. Get farther away from the shore to view stunning coral reefs and the abundant underwater life.

The back beach is rocky and has plenty of tidal pools a great place to try your luck at fishing.

Adventurers can hike through the virgin tropical forests on dirt tracks made by locals. Caves comb the hills on the island, but beware, there are no tracks, safety rails, or lights inside.

There is no electricity on the island, and no tourist services for stranded travelers. Make sure you bring enough food, water, an army knife, and tents if you plan to camp overnight.

The best time to visit is in the dry season between March and August. To get to Mai Nha, take a boat from the fishing port in An Hai Commune or from Tien Chau fishing boat in An Ninh Tay Commune, both in Tuy Hoa Town's Tuy An District. Tuy Hoa is around 125 kilometers from the resort beach town of Nha Trang.

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