According to Baglib, Nha Trang is the beach capital of Vietnam, and this definition is enough to understand the very essence of resort life in a nutshell. This is a really noisy, cheerful, full of energy and aplomb town, which attracts thousands of tourists every year for a reason. It is difficult to single out one thing for which it is worth going here. Someone appreciates Nha Trang for amazing “pictures”: azure water, snow-white sandy shore, a necklace of hills shimmering with all shades of green and tropical islands in the middle of the bay – here this is a reality, not advertising tricks from Photoshop. Others cannot imagine a holiday without a vibrant nightlife, and Nha Trang has it. (Forget about the capital’s restaurants or clubs, the best parties in Vietnam today are held here.)
Finally, peace-loving and conservative-minded tourists will enjoy the resort’s other sybaritic pleasures: first-class spa treatments and mud baths, diving and, of course, appropriate decorations for relaxation. We are talking about the ancient Cham towers that rise in the middle of the city center, like many centuries ago, bringing their original touch to the general aroma of unbridled Nha Trang fun.
Districts of Nha Trang
Nha Trang is divided into 28 commune districts, forming 3 sections: central, northern and southern. The most party place is the center: it is here that the European Quarter is located with an overwhelming number of bars, restaurants, discos, bazaars and shops. The main attractions are the Cathedral, the Incense Tower and the bustling Central Market. There are many hotels (including chains) and good beaches in the area.
The southern part of Nha Trang is quieter and more peaceful, but no less picturesque. It is home to Gorky Park, Bao Dai’s villas, and the Museum of Oceanography. The coast in the south is cleaner, there are fewer people, there are plenty of budget hotels.
The Northern Territory is notable for the Hon Chong rock garden and the ancient Po Nagar towers. The sea is calm here, the beaches are well-groomed, but the center is far away, and there are fewer hotels: most often entire houses are rented out.
The nearby islands also deserve special mention: the diving paradise of Hon Mun, the “silk” Hon Tam with an ethnic village, the cheerful Hon Che with a giant water park, and the amazing Hon Lao – a haven for hundreds of monkeys.
Nha Trang Hotels
There are many hotels in Nha Trang: five-star hotels (including the luxurious and expensive Vinpearl Resort, which entirely occupies a small island), four-star and three-star hotels equipped with air conditioning and swimming pools. The rest of the hotels are of low categories.
The best hotels in terms of price and quality are Que Huong and Yasaka. Bao Dai’s Villas is located in the villas of Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. More modest options are at the Nha Trang I-Resort, where American soldiers once rested. The Evason Ana Mandara hotel has its own beach, which is a rarity for Vietnam. However, it is more interesting to live not in Nha Trang itself, but at the Evason Hideaway resort, which is reached by a shuttle boat in 15 minutes. Six Senses Ninh Van Bay is a few dozen villas hidden in a green bay in an ecologically clean bay with its own beach.
Rooms in “treshki” cost from 156,000 VNG, in four-star hotels – from 825,000 VNG per day. Accommodation in a luxury 5 * hotel will cost from 1,940,000 VND per night.
Nha Trang beaches
Nha Trang – the most popular resort in South Vietnam – takes an honorable 29th place in the list of the most beautiful bays in the world.
A chic boulevard of coconut palms stretches along 7 km of white sandy beaches. The beaches are municipal (except for those belonging to the Ana Mandara Beach Resort 5 * and Vinpearl 5 * hotels on the island of Hon-Che), equipped, there is a rental of sunbeds and umbrellas (50,000 VND per day, you can bargain). The sand on the beaches of Nha Trang consists of the smallest fragments of multi-colored shells, so the water there is very clean and transparent. The entrance to the sea is of medium gentleness.
What to try
The first thing that distinguishes almost all Vietnamese dishes is a specific smell. Don’t be afraid: it’s all the fault of the widespread addition of mint, lemongrass and, of course, the locals’ favorite sauce, fish nuoc mam. The main side dish is rice: it is eaten here for half a kilo a day. The most famous soup is “pho” with noodles, which exists in 3 varieties: “pho-bo” with beef, “fo-ka” with fish and “fo-ga” with chicken.
Pork rolls (both raw and grilled) served with green papaya sauce are very popular among tourists. Unforgettable taste of lak-can beef: it is prepared according to a secret recipe with 10 different spices mixed in honey. Sweet and sour bun cha broth is brewed with vermicelli, fish and jellyfish. It is also worth trying steam pies “ban-bao” made from rice flour with various fillings: from pork to shrimp. The most desperate gourmets are unlikely to ignore the famous swallow nest soup and all kinds of dishes from snakes, rats, dogs and other animals – the most controversial and expensive local delicacies.
Cafes and restaurants in Nha Trang
There are many cheap cafes and expensive restaurants in Nha Trang, and the cost of dishes on the menu is far from always an indicator of their quality. Often, in tiny eateries, the food is much tastier than in pretentious establishments. Cafes with national Vietnamese treats are open throughout the tourist center. Portions are large, service is friendly, prices are reasonable. Higher-class restaurants offer not only a pleasant lunch or dinner, but also to join the mysteries of the many-sided Vietnamese cuisine. For example, Lanterns organizes 5-hour traditional cooking classes followed by tasting (the cost of pleasure is 670,000 VND, including all ingredients used).
Many establishments in the city specialize in cuisines from around the world. Most often there are cafes with Italian, French, Thai, Chinese and Russian menus. Miss your homeland – feel free to order borscht for 50,000 VND or dumplings for 75,000 VND in the corresponding restaurant. The average cost of a lunch in a cafe is 120,000 VND per person. A snack in the food court will cost 80,000 VND. Local street food – from 10,000 VND per serving. For dinner in a restaurant, you will need to pay from 670,000 VND for two.
Entertainment and attractions
The main attractions of Nha Trang are Po Nagar towers, built during the Cham civilization, between the 7th and 12th centuries, as well as the Long Son (“flying dragon”) pagoda, erected in 1886. Behind it, on a hilltop, there is a huge stone statue of Buddha sitting on lotus flower.
Another architectural pride of the city is the Gothic Cathedral, towering on a hill. On the embankment in the center there is the Incense Tower, the facade of which is shaped like an aquilaria tree, which is widely used in local medicine. Inside there is an exhibition of achievements of Khanh Hoa province in various fields. And the majestic citadel of Dien Khan in the western environs is one of the oldest in all of South Vietnam.
The most interesting open-air museum is the villas of Bao Dai, a former Vietnamese ruler. 5 elegant French-style buildings with well-preserved interior decoration are surrounded by picturesque gardens with old trees. The Museum of Alexander Yersin, a French bacteriologist who lived in Vietnam for many years, and the Khanh Hoa Provincial Museum with Cham artifacts are worth visiting.
The natural “must-sees” of Nha Trang are the waterfalls of Yang Bei, Ba Ho and the “Magic Spring”. No less impressive is the Hon Chong stone garden in the northern part of the city.
For the best views in Hon Chong, go at sunset.
Almost all the sights of Nha Trang can be seen during a sightseeing tour. And the final chord will be a visit to the Thap Ba mud baths, which cordially invites you to relax, recuperate and put in order the body exhausted by walks.
9 things to do in Nha Trang
- Walk through the gardens of Bao Dai, where east meets west.
- Admire the ancient grandeur of the Po Nagar towers.
- Enjoy a relaxing holiday with health benefits at the Thap Ba Mud Bath.
- Get used to the role of a brave pirate on the Chi-Nguyen ship, on the decks of which an oceanarium is hidden.
- Ride the scenic cable car up to the giant amusement park Vinpearl.
- Feed the monkeys on Hon Lao Island and the deer on Hon Thi Island.
- Buy a crocodile handbag at a very competitive price. An alternative for conservationists is an excellent flower tea.
- Try to unravel the recipe for lak-kan beef in honey and fragrant spices.
- To dare, if not for fried dog meat, then at least for soup from swallow nests: the same amount of exotic, less extreme.
Nha Trang for children
Nha Trang is a whole kaleidoscope of entertainment for the whole family. A trip to Vinperl Park on Hon Che Island will bring vivid impressions. On the territory of 200,000 m² there is everything you need for an exciting pastime: a white-coated beach, extreme and family attractions, a huge freshwater water park, many restaurants, an amphitheater and a shopping area.
On the island of Hon Meau is Chi Nguyen Oceanarium, built in the form of a giant ship. This is a full-fledged museum of underwater life with sharks, rays, turtles, statue fish and other outlandish inhabitants. If you wish, you can feed the fish you like by buying food at a local shop.
Hoa Lan Island is famous not only for blooming orchids, deserted beaches and postcard waterfalls, but also a small zoo with elephants, bears, ostriches, fallow deer, parrots and pythons. All animals can be touched, fed and photographed.
The National Oceanographic Museum has 23 aquariums with tens of thousands of marine life, as well as stuffed fish and birds that no longer exist in nature.
In the vicinity of Nha Trang, there is an eco-park “Yang Bay” (a website with a Russian version) with a waterfall of the same name, a crocodile farm and a very gambling entertainment – pig races.
Hon Lao Island is inhabited by 1500 nimble monkeys. They fearlessly scurry through the jungle and willingly make contact with humans. Nearby there is a well-groomed beach, a small amusement park and a circus, the main stars of which are the same monkeys in the company of elephants, bears, dogs and other trained animals. To complete the experience, you should also look at the island of Hon Thi, where spotted deer and ostriches are bred and exotic fruits are grown.
The climate of Nha Trang is comfortable throughout the year: it is almost always warm and sunny here. The coolest months are January and February, while the hottest months are May to August. From mid-October to mid-December, the rainy season lasts: they are powerful here, but short-lived, the sun replaces the clouds in a few hours. A strong wind brings waves, and therefore surfers from all over the world. Typhoons and hurricanes occasionally occur. For those who are not afraid of the vagaries of the weather, a pleasant bonus awaits: reduced prices for all travel services. Between January and August, the city is filled with travelers from all over the world. There is almost no rain at this time, but at the beginning of the year the sea can be stormy.