Where the sea recedes to show off its dazzling colors

The low tide season reveals beautiful coral reefs along Ganh Yen beach in Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam.

Ganh Yen in Binh Hai Commune, Binh Son District is one of Quang Ngai’s most famous natural attractions. The rocky cliffs set against the backdrop of the coral reefs amplify the wildness of the landscape. At around 5:30 p.m. the tide recedes, revealing the coral reefs.

The reefs are associated with Binh Son District people’s memories. Nguyen Hung, an overseas Vietnamese who lives in the Netherlands, said as a kid he used to go to the beach to swim and pick seaweed.

"Many years ago I dived into the sea and walked along the coral reefs and took some pictures for friends abroad. They said my hometown was very beautiful and wanted to visit it."

Hung and his family were on vacation in Vietnam when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, and have been unable to return to the Netherlands.

The corals are in many dazzling hues.

According to Assoc Prof Dr Tran Tan Van, director of the Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, Ganh Yen was formed by a volcanic eruption one to five million years ago. There have been two volcanic eruptions here. The first created a very large basalt column, while the second created a smaller one. The columns broke and under the gradual pressure of the sea turned into a cone-shaped mountain.

Quang Ngai authorities have sought UNESCO recognition for the Ly Son - Sa Huynh complex, including Ganh Yen, as a global geopark.

Dr Van said Ganh Yen’s corals are still growing, indicating that the marine environment is flourishing. The government should restrict visitors to avoid the corals being stepped on, he said.

Hon Yen in the south-central province of Phu Yen too boasts similarly beautiful corals and there the government has taken measures to keep out people to protect them.

"Local authorities can appoint people to look after [the area] and have row boats for visitors to see [the corals] from afar," Van added.

Ganh Yen is surrounded by rocky strips on one side and a conical ridge on the other. There are coral reefs on both sides.

A moment when the waves meet coral reefs before quickly receding.

A sea urchin lurks in a cave.

Moss grows in a reef.

People from Binh Hai Commune come to pick seaweed, catch snails or just take their children for a walk in Ganh Yen.

A woman picks seaweed to make juice out of it, a common way to earn some extra money in Binh Hai Commune.