Tien Thanh Commune, located along the coast, south of Phan Thiet’s city centre, is one of the least populated areas of Phan Thiet with a density of approximately 110 residents per square kilometre. The commune is peppered with holiday resorts, hotels, tourist attractions such as scenic beaches and sightseeing spots.
The beaches of Tien Thanh commune and Ke Ga offer tourists a quiet, peaceful getaway. The communities of Tien Thanh and Ke Ga are small, resulting in minimal traffic on the road and one can ride a motorbike or bicycle along the coastline without having to dodge larger vehicles.
Resorts and hotels began to appear in Tien Thanh in the late 1990s and the commune has a mix of high and lower-end resorts, with the latter having a majority share. Recently, a number of small restaurants and shops have opened in the area from the Sand Hills Beach Resort to the Golden Coast Resort, but there is still a lack of nightlife culture and tourist activities.
Unlike the ten kilometre-long Rang Beach in Ham Tien Ward and Ganh Beach in Mui Ne Ward, Tien Thanh Beach and Ham Thuan Nam Beach to the south are actually made up of a number of smaller beaches and rocky coves. Some of the beaches are quite isolated and photogenic, and are easily accessible from the road.
To get to Tien Thanh from the city centre, go west by Tran Hung Dao and then turn left onto Tran Quy Cap and proceed via highway 719, which will take you south to the beaches and to Tien Thanh Commune.
South of Tien Thanh and beyond the Phan Thiet city limits is the Ke Ga Lighthouse. The century-old structure, made of stone and designed by French architect Chnavat in 1897, stands at about 35-metres tall and is the ward’s main tourist attraction. The blue waters, white sands, rocky outcroppings and the wind collaborate to turn the place into a peaceful and romantic landscape. Its name is derived from the shape of the headland which looks like the head of a chicken. (Ke Ga is Vietnamese for ‘chicken head’.)
Locals refer to the area near the tower as a ‘stone garden’, due to the presence of large round stones around the tower. The people who guard the lighthouse often use coracles (basket boats) to get there.
They run a fish market, selling their catch of the day which is popular with travellers who visit the lighthouse. During the dry season, it is possible to wade across the water to the lighthouse but for the rainy season, one has to use a coracle. The cost of a two-way trip is VND 100,000.
Just south of the Phan Thiet city limits and Tien Thanh Ward is one of the nicest, if not the nicest resort in the Phan Thiet area. Princess d’Annam Resort is on a secluded beach just beyond the Ke Ga Lighthouse. It is one of only three Phan Thiet area resorts that have been awarded a five-star rating.