This pleasant seaside town features an active fishing fleet and a port extending along both banks of the Ca Ty river. For visitors staying at nearby Mui Ne Beach, the town is convenient for both shopping and exploration.
Phan Thiet was once at the heart of Panduranga, the last semi-independent Cham principality, which was finally absorbed by the Nguyen Emperor Minh Mang in 1832. The town’s Cham name is Malithit, and there is still an appreciable Cham element among the local population. Locally, it is chiefly celebrated for its nuoc mam (fish sauce), and aficionados dispute whether the best sauce in the country comes from here or Phu Quoc Island.
Just 4 miles (7 km) from the center of Phan Thiet, on a hill overlooking the town, stands Thap Poshanu, the southern- most collection of Cham religious buildings within the former Kingdom of Champa. The group consists of three kalan, or sanctuary towers, with supplementary structures dating back as far as the 8th century AD, making them some of the oldest Cham archaeological remnants in the country.