Phan Thiet is traditionally known for its nuoc mam (fish sauce), producing 16 to 17 million litres of the stinky stuff per annum. The population includes descendants of the Cham, who controlled this area until 1692. During the colonial period the Europeans lived in their own segregated ghetto stretching along the northern bank of the Phan Thiet River, while the Vietnamese, Cham, Southern Chinese, Malays and Indonesians lived along the southern bank.
The river flowing through the centre of town creates a small fishing harbour, which is always chock-a-block with boats, making for interesting photos. To get to Phan Thiet’s beachfront, turn off Ð Tran Hung Dao (Hwy 1A) into Ð Nguyen Tat Thanh – the road opposite the Victory Monument, an arrow-shaped concrete tower with victorious cement people at the base.
Getting there & around
Phan Thiet bus station (Ben Xe Binh Thuan; 821 361; Ð Tu Van Tu; 5.30am-3.30pm) is on the northern outskirts of town. Phan Thiet is on Hwy 1A, 198km east of HCMC, 250km from Nha Trang and 247km from Dalat. The nearest train station to Phan Thiet is 12km west of town in dusty little Muong Man.
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