Nha Trang, Vietnam: What to See, Eat and Drink

by Victoria on April 24, 2014

View of Nha Trang, Vietnam

After spending around 8 days in Ho Chi Minh City and a lovely down tempo few nights in Dalat recovering, I headed up the coast for 3.5 hours by bus to the beach town of Nha Trang. While I wasn’t set one way or another on making sure I hit this spot, I had spoken to enough people (both expats and local Vietnamese) who told me I should stop by for at least awhile. Besides, I knew a dive instructor who I’d been put in touch with via a friend who had gone through town the year before, and also been given names of places and people to meet up with if I did decide to show up for at least a few days.

Well, after a week there in the end, a quick trip back to Saigon to send off some friends in between, and then another 5 days back in Nha Trang, you could say I really enjoyed it and am glad that I decided to go after all. While there are many tourists starting to head into this town (mainly from Russia as there are direct charter flights that come in to the new international airport about 45 minutes from the city center), it is still a relatively quiet and charming place. There’s access to pretty much everything you could need, and the views and multiple islands in the area are stunning. You can still head right down to the main Nha Trang Beach and easily find a secluded area to yourself.

Still, a lot of what makes a great place are the people, and I managed to meet a lot of fun expats and locals during my time there who have now become friends. As a result, I ended up being able to put together this great list of places to go, things to do, and food to eat (both international and Vietnamese cuisines) due to everyone’s amazing hospitality. Unfortunately, there are many more holes in the wall that I don’t have a record of, but I’ve managed to cobble together a list of at least the most memorable ones that I had pictures of…

If you’d like to follow along on my travel adventures, feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram, for more in the moment pics.

Accommodations

Golden Summer Ha Vong Hotel Golden Summer Hotel - Ha Vong Ocean ViewA newer hotel, the Golden Summer has clean and spacious rooms at a reasonable rate. Breakfast is served on the top floor with ocean views. Rooms range from $30-40 / night, including top floor double rooms with ocean views, where I was able to stay for only $30/night. Friendly staff and a great location near to the beach and close to the tourist area, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Food & Drink

Galangal Restaurant A higher end restaurant serving great tasting Vietnamese food, you’ll mostly find this place serving tourists, as the locals will generally find this fare in less expensive eateries. Great atmosphere and clean, well-executed local dishes.
Ganesh Indian Restaurant If you’re looking to find Indian food while in this town, check out Ganesh. Fantastic lamb dishes, with Australian imported cuts,Ganesh Indian Restaurant, Nha Trang and everything is spiced to taste (spicy means spicy here, even for me)!  A higher end restaurant when it comes to Nha Trang price-wise.
Nhà Hang Yên’s Restaurant Yen's Restaurant, Nha TrangThis restaurant has very friendly local staff, and clean tasting food. Usually very busy with tourists, Yen’s has been highly rated on TripAdvisor and thus is generally filled up at peak dinner hours. Try the fresh spring rolls and people watch from your perch on this small side street.
Sushi Sakura Restaurant Although I dined at the newer location just one street over (turn right when leaving this location, then go left at the first set of lights and it’ll be half a block down on the right hand side – I know this because I went to the wrong one when meeting up with a friend), I quite enjoyed the sushi options. Decently fresh fish options, go for the tuna sashimi, chopped scallops, shrimp tempura roll, hot Japanese sake, and get one of the rooms upstairs for privacy if it’s not filled up.
Le Petit Bistro
If you’re having a craving for some French wine and food, head to this two level restaurant. A wide variety of great charcuterie options as well. They also serve breakfast all day and have friendly service.
Lanterns Vietnamese Restaurant Although I didn’t have time to eat here myself, this was recommended by my dive master local Vietnamese friend, and it’s known to have good food and a bustling atmosphere. Super busy, either book ahead or try to go at off peak meal times. Another higher end restaurant in the tourist district, if you don’t feel like venturing out for more local street food options.
Louisiane Brewhouse & Restaurant Although the service here is horrific and slow, this place is located right on the beach, has access to a swimming pool in the Lousiane Brewhouse Loungers, Nha Trang, Vietnammiddle of the restaurant, and also comfy loungers both around the pool and on the beach. Note that the pool loungers do get taken down by around 3:30 PM for the dinner tables to be set. Go for some passion beer or one of the other microbrew options they make onsite.
Sailing Club Nha Trang The Sailing Club is known for it’s Saturday night beach parties, where a DJ booth is set up on the sand, and you’ll find everyone collecting on weekend nights. If you’re looking for a place to dance and want to be outside on the water, this is where you’ll want to head.
Why Not Bar Not exactly my usual scene, this bar is generally the place to head after the Sailing Club closes at 2 am. How do I know that? Don’t ask. Inexpensive drinks, a pool table, and both outdoor and indoor seating with a DJ nightly. Open until around 4 am.
Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa A great view overlooking Nha Trang Bay, you can find decent cocktails and glasses of wine here. The atmosphere on the rooftop bar has a little to be desired, and it’s a little empty on the inside parts, and has become a place with bright lights and more of a nightclub like atmosphere, but sit outside instead and enjoy the views.
Hanoi Golden 2 Hotel Another rooftop bar sits atop this hotel. A decent lounge area for a chill evening of drinks with a good view.
Nem nướng Đặng Văn Quyên Nem NuongA local restaurant that’s always busy with people who come for the specialty Nem Nuong, or roll your own spring rolls, with pork, crispy rice paper, fresh green vegetables and spices, pickled veg, and a spicy sauce. Absolutely delicious, and a lot of fun to eat, and the price will definitely not break the bank. A meal for two here the night I went was only 65,000 VND (a little over $3USD). Keep in mind I was with a local at the time as well…the original bill said a whopping 82,000 VND and for whatever reason she came back and gave us the ‘proper’ bill.
Quán Bánh Canh Bà Thừa Another local spot known for their Banh Canh, which is a local fish based soup from the region. The bowl of soup comes with Banh Canh, Nha Trangrice noodles and pieces of fish, along with a side dish of fish cakes, essentially, in a spicy sauce with shredded white onion. Perfect for a snack, and two bowls of this costs about $2.50USD.
Bánh Căn Hạnh Ban Can found in Nha TrangBánh Căn is a steamed bun that comes with some sort of topping – from egg to a variety of meat options. A dipping sauce is made from fish sauce, spices, scallions, green papaya and a side of meatballs and fried pork belly pieces can be thrown in. This small local restaurant serves up a great version for a very inexpensive price (about $4 USD fed 3 of us that night).
Moka Cafe Looking for a laid back cafe with reasonable prices? Check out Moka Cafe. They serve a variety of food options, have comfy seating with two levels, and free wifi. The only thing to keep in mind is that people are allowed to smoke inside, so you’ll definitely notice a bit of a haze. Lots of locals frequent this particular cafe.
Cà phê Hoa Đồng Nội This is a massive cafe & restaurant located outside of the tourist center. Beautiful gardens and water features, live music, Ca Phe Hoa Dong Noi, Nha Trang, Vietnamincluding a piano player, and a lot of comfortable seating. Romantic in the evenings, and has a large selection of food and drink – not just coffee.
The Shack Vietnam Head out to Long Beach (about a 25 minute drive from central Nha Trang towards the newer international airport) and spend the day in beach chairs, having food (including BBQ and Mexican options), drinks, and going for a swim in the beautiful sandy ocean located here. Perfect for a weekend afternoon.

Sites & More

Hòn Ngọc Việt – Vinpearl Land Cable Cars to Vin Pearl Land, Nha Trang, VietnamTake the cable car over from Nha Trang city to Vinpearl Land for 500,000 VND per person, and you get all day access to this amusement park, arcade, Mountain Coaster ride, beach and water park. Spend the day and relax in the sunshine on the fine sandy white beach, chill in the moat with a drink on an inner tube, play in the arcade (you’ll see some interesting games that involve riding a horse slowly – just go see what I mean). A fun and different day and great views over the area on the way to and from the Park.
Diamond Bay Golf Course While I only made it to the driving range, this course is located right by the ocean, and has great views. Buy a bucket of balls and enjoy a leisurely pace on the range to the right (as you’ll be able to do this in the shade), and see how far into the water your shots will go.
Thap Ba Hot Spring Looking for a day of water-filled relaxation? Check out the Thap Ba original hot springs. 160,000 VND per person, this is a multi-Thap Ba Hot Spring, Nha Trang, Vietnamstep process, including showering off before jumping into a mineral mud bath, rinsing off with jets and heading into a mineral hot tub, and then going to a series of swimming pools and jacuzzis. Relax with a drink once you’re done with the baths, and just enjoy the sunshine and the heated pools.
Ba Ho Waterfalls Ba Ho Waterfalls, Nha Trang, VietnamMake sure to take the scenic new highway route along the ocean when heading out to the waterfalls. It may be hard to find the turnoff, but there’s a sign there that says “Tourist,” which will hopefully help you. Pay 20,000 VND for the entrance fee and then hike up to the 3 different levels of the falls. Don’t stop at the first one, unless you want to swim and sunbathe with several others. Keep going to the second one at the very least, and enjoy the pools and getting a massage under the falls. Bring a picnic and a book, and enjoy the cool fresh water after working up a sweat getting there.
Han Solo Scuba Diving Make sure to get over to Moon Island for some scuba diving. Although there are many other great places to dive worldwide, it’s Diving with Han Solo, Nha Trang, Vietnamworth checking out while in the area, especially if you get to go with Han. He’ll not only ensure you have a great time in the clear blue waters checking out the underwater life, but he’s a great guy who will make sure you have a good time while back on land as well! Call him at +84 98 3822 129 and tell him I sent you, or else find him on his Han Solo Facebook page and tell him I sent you. You won’t regret it!
Bãi Dài Nha Trang Also known as Long Beach, this is a beautiful stretch of ocean with quiet sandy beaches and a few restaurants and cafes. A great way to spend a relaxing afternoon in the sunshine.

Overall, Nha Trang was a great place where I had a lot of fun and could see myself definitely going back again. It felt like home for awhile, and I have many fond memories and miss it a lot (most of all of my 3 stops in Vietnam) since I left about two weeks ago now.

Alas, it was time to move on as I always do, and head over to the Middle East. My next stop, and where you’ll find me now for 3.5 weeks in total, is Dubai!

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