Nha Trang Travel Guide.
Nha Trang is located on the south-central coast of Vietnam and the capital of the Khanh Hoa province. It is within an easy travel distance from Ho Chi Minh City (about 400 km). A train journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang takes in the region of 45 minutes to give the opportunity to relax on one of the finest beaches in the country. Beyond the beach, there are plenty of ways to vary the pace on the Vietnam adventure tour by travelling out of the bustling city with its fortress of mountains, scenic roads that run alongside the ocean, and numerous rice paddies.
The pristine white beaches at Nha Trang are set against a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges, and overall there are 19 islands to select from to give greater flexibility in finding the perfect place for having relaxing time. A great sporting activity is diving with plenty of chances to learn the proper techniques at a very affordable price.
Travellers visiting Nha Trang are certain to experience the long dry season that can run from January to September. During this period the weather has high temperature and minimal rainfall. Most of the rain in this part of the country is noticed from October to the start of December (nearly 50% of the rain falls in October and November).
A busy time for tourists on the Vietnam tour packages in Nha Trang is from May to the start of August when the climate is warm and pleasant with little rain. This is the perfect temperature for lounging on the beach, engaging in various water-sports, surfing, hiking or island-hopping. The hottest time of the year is July and August which is best avoided by those that prefer to avoid the high humidity and intense tropical heat.
How to get there
There are several travel routes to reach Nha Trang including air, bus and train.
Nha Trang has several daily flights arriving from major cities like Hanoi (approx 1.5 hours flight time) and Ho Chi Minh City (approx 1 hour flight time). The cost for economy class is in the region of $40 to $75. The closest airport is a Cam Ranh airport, which is just over 30 km from the centre of the city.
A regular bus service runs from the Eastern bus station, which has several stops to pick-up travellers on the way. The trip is likely to last for about 9.5 hours and costs in the region of $6. Alternative routes include Da Nang which has a similar travel time and price to that of Ho Chi Minh City. A bus service from Da Lat takes about 4 hours to complete with ticket prices of about $4.
One of the most convenient travel methods for Vietnam travel to reach Nha Trang is by train. A useful overnight service runs from Ho Chi Minh City with an arrival time early in the morning. A train service also runs from the capital city, Hanoi, but this is a frequent stopping service that makes for the quite lengthy trip (in the region of 12 to 20 hours). Tickets for the train journey can be organized through most travel agencies and hotels which are subject to a small commission.
Where to stay
Most of the popular attractions in Nha Trang are located in the region of Tran Phu Boulevard, Hung Vuong and Nguyen Thien Thuat. By exploring this downtown region, it is possible to locate the large range and concentration of guesthouses and hotels. The accommodation varies significantly from the low-cost hostels at $6 per night to the international chains and local hotels.
Other places to stay include the fully furnished apartments that are great for the family or a group of friends that want the home-type comforts, and can be booked for a couple of days or a couple of months.
A stay at the Evason Ana Mandara is perfect for those travellers that want the beachfront accommodation. This resort is right on the sand and part of the Six Senses Group. It is an elegant and classic resort that is almost flawless with a great design that includes stone foundations, whitewashed bar tables, wood loungers and rattan chairs. Evason Ana Mandara has a quite low-key feel and costs over $100 per night.
Carpe DM is quietly located off the lively Nguyen Thien Thuat Street to provide a low-cost ($10 to $20) place to stay with modern, bright and spacious private rooms. The rooms are kept spotless with a comfortable bed, wardrobe and vanity. Plus, the rooms come with a bathroom and balcony. It is also possible to get a slight discount for the solo traveller.
The Tabalo Hostel is a further practical option for the budget traveller with rooms costing in the region of $10. These rooms are small and simple, yet have everything you need for a comfortable nights sleep.
Eat and drink
The restaurants in Nha Trang have the ability to serve up the delicacies that can delight the tourist worldwide. Its major cuisine is the freshly caught seafood, which can consist of shellfish, jellyfish, crabs, urchins, squid and giant prawns. For the travellers with a seafood craving, the dining options are certain to satisfy the needs.
Beyond the comprehensive choice of seafood, there are plenty of restaurants that serve the authentic international delicacies, such as Indian, Greek, and French. Many of these international restaurants are found along Tran Phu Beach and well worth trying on the Vietnam private holidays.
The ability to find something to eat is really easy in Nha Trang with a choice to dine in a five-star hotel, on the vibrant street markets, the trendy international restaurants or the beachside seafood eateries. Irrespective of the preference or budget level, there is a place to stop and eat in Nha Trang.
A visit to the Lac Canh Restaurant is perfect for the tourists that wish to try an array of unique delicacies, such as delicious Vietnamese grilled beef. It is well located within a short distance of the Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa. Other dishes on the menu include barbecued squid, spicy stir-fried frogs and crab eggs all served with noodles.
Vit Tiem 69 Bach Dang is a great place for eating a popular dish like duck hotpot or something more unique like deep-fried pig tails. Duck hotpot is particularly popular and serviced with chopped lemongrass, rice noodles, vegetables, and a signature fish sauce. This type of meal costs in the region of $1.50.
The al fresco establishment at Lang Viet is a great food court and bar serving authentic Asian and Vietnamese dishes. It is close to the La Suisse Hotel and styled with colourful umbrellas and wooden furnishing, while giving customers a charming view of the Tran Phu Beach and a tropical garden. A great food choice in this restaurant is the seafood buffet which consists of marinated meat skewers, fish, shrimp, live crabs and more.
The shopping outlets in Nha Trang have an authentic local and relaxed atmosphere compared to most of the sleek designer stores and overcrowded malls in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Street markets are popular in Nha Trang with a great choice to buy jewellery, clothing or handicrafts at quite attractive prices. Plus, there are the shops along the beachfront offering quality clothing or beautiful artwork which can make the perfect gift of souvenir for family or friends.
Things to see and do
Diving & snorkelling
One of the most popular things to do on a Vietnam family vacation in Nha Trang is diving and snorkelling. There are plenty of local islands that are set-up to provide a first-class service for both activities. Nha Trang has plenty of qualified divers in the area to help obtain a scuba certificate to make the underwater adventures that much more interesting. But, for those tourists that plan to go diving, it is preferable to avoid October and December (windy season).
A boat trip in Nha Trang can be a magnificent experience with plenty of places to go and explore. It is quite easy to organize a charter boat for a complete tour package which can include food and drinks, visiting a fish farm or aquarium, and snorkelling. Make sure to shop around to get the best prices and services.
Founded approx 781 AD, the temple tower of Po Nagar was dedicated to the goddess of the country; known as Yan Po Nagar. To get to the tower it is necessary to climb up a mountain which can be quite strenuous, but still gives the stunning landscape views of Nha Trang.
For the travellers on the Vietnam holiday packages that want to experience something a little different to Nha Trang beach, it may be worth visiting the nearby Bai Dai beach which has gorgeous white sand and stretches for nearly six miles. There are a few little restaurants and cafes along the shore serving a delicious treat of fresh seafood.
Alexandre Yersin Museum
A day-trip to the Alexandre Yersin Museum is certain to appeal to the science geek or zoologist which highlights the work and findings of a Swiss gentleman, Dr. Yersin who arrived in the country in the 19th century and had a passion for a varied range of scientific fields.