First published December 2022 | Words and photos by Patrick Scott

Patrick Scott is a contributing writer for Vietnam Coracle. He’s a travel writer & former New York Times editor. Before venturing to Southeast Asia in 2018, he was based for two years each in New York, London & Cairo. His travel stories have appeared in publications including The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, ESPN & Outdoor Swimmer. As well as writing, he is a teacher & a swimmer….read more about Patrick

On a secluded, sweeping bay in south-central Vietnam’s Phú Yên Province, Timothe Beach Apartments is the essence of a tropical paradise – a cloudless sapphire sky crowning a placid aquamarine sea; gentle waves brushing the wide-arcing white sands; warm winds rustling the tops of palm trees, their fronds framing the coastal scene from the terrace outside your door. Even from the inside of the large, sparkling white rooms, the seascape is the main attraction, presented through glass walls. Despite being one of Vietnam’s best beaches, the bay is mostly empty and undeveloped. It’s the ideal spot for relaxing swims in unpeopled waters, leisurely breakfasts under a thatch-roofed pavilion, and hot afternoon naps in a hammock in the sand or on the terrace. Timothe Beach Apartments is a mid-range, affordable, family-run property in a superb, remote location. Equidistant from the transportation hubs of Tuy Hòa and Quy Nhơn, the delightful owners can arrange connections to/from both.

*To check rates, availability & make a reservation for Timothe Beach Apartments please BOOK HERE

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Address: Vịnh Hòa village, Xuân Thịnh commune, Sông Cầu, Phú Yên Province, Vietnam [MAP]

Average Rates: $40-$60/night


The Location

Grounds & Layout

Beach & Activities

Guest Rooms & Décor

Breakfast, Dining & Drinking


Please Support the Site
All our reviews are independent: we never receive freebies or payment. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, we make a small commission. Alternatively, please make a donation or become a patron. Thank you,Tom

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Timothe Beach Apartments, Vịnh Hòa, Phú Yên


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The Location: About an hour’s drive south of the coastal city of Quy Nhơn or north of Tuy Hòa, Timothe Beach Apartments sit on Vịnh Hòa peninsula, one of many capes, bays and bluffs along the relatively undeveloped south-central coast. Opened in 2020, the apartments front the sea, situated on a shelf of sand, just 100 meters from the water when the tide is in. The apartments are among the few accommodations on the cove, including their sister property, Timothe Beach Bungalow, which has six rooms and is where the restaurant for the apartments is located. Bookended by rocky, forested bluffs that jut out like serpent heads, the bay is shaped like a long letter ‘C’ and curves for many kilometers, so you can walk undisturbed for miles along the white sand, imagining you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island.

The fishing village at the northeast end of the bay is a maze of lanes crammed with basic concrete dwellings. The runoff from the village and the trash accumulated on the beach can make venturing to this end of the peninsula an unpleasant experience. But a stroll to the village also makes you appreciate the extent of the fishing industry here, with stacks of pungent lobster boxes crowding the lanes and shoreline, and fleets of round coracles and wooden fishing boats bobbing in the sea. The village is part of a vast lobster farming network on both sides of the peninsula. Also at this northern end of the bay, locals hit the beach at sunset and some stick around to picnic and sing karaoke on big machines dragged onto the sand, wailing late into the night. So, if you prefer your beach time to be quiet and tranquil, it’s best to stick to the more central and southerly parts of the bay.

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Grounds & Layout: Timothe Apartments is a three-story building with six units on the first two floors; the owners occupy the top floor. All the apartments face the sea and open onto a wide and deep terrace. The building is made of concrete, steel and glass, and the inside and outside are painted white. Coconut palms flank the apartment building and decorate the front. Beyond the property wall in the back is the Vịnh Hòa community and its warren of lanes, small market, and profusion of fishing craft and contraptions. To get to the restaurant down the beach at Timothe Bungalows, it’s a pleasant 10-minute walk on the wide sands – especially enchanting at night under a dome of glittering constellations. The restaurant is a bamboo pavilion with a pitched thatched top and a concrete floor with plastic chairs and wooden tables: informal and beautifully located.

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Beach & Activities: Swimming, walking and short motorbike excursions are the main activities on offer. The bay south of the fishing village is perfect for swimming around sunrise, when the sea is calm and clear and essentially deserted. Even at low tide, the water is deep enough for swimming just 10 meters from the water’s edge. Most of the bay is covered in a sandy, crinkled bottom, and is devoid of marine life. However, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to accompany a fisherman rowing a coracle out a few hundreds meters to a grid of submerged lobster pens, perceptible from shore by the PVC pipes poking out of the sea. About 3 meters below the surface are rows of boxes about the size of walk-in closets, filled with fish and clawless lobsters. You can either help the fisherman pour buckets of shrimp peels into the PVC feeding tubes, or dive below and drop in bags of mollusks through the cage tops.

Beyond the confines of the bay are several delightful swimming spots that you can either walk to or hire a motorbike from Timothe Apartments (150,000-200,000vnd/day). A short hike up and over the northern promontory (the path is near a little temple on the hillside behind the fishing village) takes you onto a steep slope that plunges into the open sea. The seabed close to the cliffs is 5 to 10 meters deep and a rocky underwater playground of ridges, boulders, canyons and caves. For other swims, cruise south down the peninsula through sand dunes and casuarina forests. Where Xuân Thịnh village arcs into the bay you can find a lane between the houses on the main road that leads to a cove dotted with boulders and coracles. Push off into water over blue starfish and a graveyard of bleached coral bones and then into a deeper bay with a little rock island in the middle. Even farther south is one of the most stunning bays, Bãi Ôm, which is crystal clear and multiple shades of blue and green. It’s partially fenced off for construction, but at the time of research there was no sign of building and you could still slip through an opening in the metal barrier.

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Guest Rooms & Décor: The ‘apartments’ are essentially large and long 70m2 rooms.

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Breakfast, Dining & Drinking: Although the restaurant offers local breakfast dishes like phở, vegetarian and seafood, I was perfectly satisfied after my morning swim with the baguette, omelet and fruit plate medley washed down with fresh coffee and fruit juice. The food is simple, tasty Vietnamese and Western fare: lunch of fried noodles with squid and fries; dinner served on the terrace of grilled whole grouper and Vietnamese pancakes – all delicious. The local beer and soda water are fine, too, so keep your refrigerator stocked with glass bottles of Qui Nhơn lager and fizzy Phú Sen water. (There are all sorts of seafood, noodle and rice eateries in the villages, but we didn’t come across any Western restaurant on the peninsula, after the two that were run by Europeans flanking the apartments on the beach shut down during the pandemic.)

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Summary: The sublime setting, moderate price, showcase corner rooms, and tasty food all make Timothe Beach Apartments an ideal getaway for a few days. You could come here to simply laze on the beach for a few days, but if you want to explore the cape and locality, you’ll need to rent a motorbike from the apartments. As is the case all along Vietnam’s coastline, you’ll find trash on parts of the beach and loud karaoke at night, but the seclusion that this bay affords, for the time being, shouldn’t be missed.

*To check rates, availability & make a reservation for Timothe Beach Apartments please BOOK HERE

Please Support the Site
All our reviews are independent: we never receive freebies or payment. If you use the links on this page to book your accommodation, we make a small commission. Alternatively, please consider making a donation or becoming a patron. Thank you,Tom

*Disclosure: Vietnam Coracle content is always free & independent. Patrick has written this review because he wants to: he likes this accommodation & he wants readers to know about it. For more details, see the Disclosure & Disclaimer statements & my About Page

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