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…
Food & Drink
Sites & More
|Hòn Ngọc Việt – Vinpearl Land||Take 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-step 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||Make 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 worth 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!