Kiến Thức Chung

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Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most famous seaside resort-town. It’s more lively and urban in character than other beach destinations like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc. It’s also the scuba diving center of Vietnam.


Understand

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Nha Trang Bay

Traces of human settlement in Nha Trang date back to the Cham Empire, though in times of Vietnamese rule, there wasn’t much more than small fishing villages. The French recognized that this beautiful bay, with its islands and white sand beaches, made for a perfect bathing spot, and began the transformation into a resort town. American soldiers agreed, and Nha Trang became a favorite vacation stop during the war.

The monsoon season is from October to mid December. Sea winds can be heavy, and sometimes the weather can get pretty chilly. Summer, naturally, brings many vacation goers into town and hotel rooms get somewhat more difficult to find.


Get in

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By plane

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From the airport to the city

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Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR) is located ~30km from the city. The newer terminal, opened in 2019, serves international departures. The old terminal is used for domestic destinations. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown locations is a fixed rate of 380,000 VND, though many hotels have their own buses. Do not offer to go by the meter here as it is about 100,000 VND more expensive than the fixed rate. Try to take a Mai Linh taxi as the Airport taxi drivers will quite often try to take advantage of you in some way.

There is a Dat Moi shuttle bus for 60,000 VND (as of December 2019) to Nha Trang. These may be identified by a large yellow minibus that is parked on second lane beyond the small restaurant outside of the airport (domestic terminal). The ticket booth is right by the restaurant, cash only. The operators often offer free water, and their own take on ‘good music’ which may not actually be good. The operator may be able to take you to a destination close to your hotel, however this will likely be on the main road by the Nha Trang Beach which you will then have to cross with your luggage. Therefore, it’s advisable to take care and confirm your destination with both the seller and the bus driver and advise them of any requirements. The bus no. 18 departs from domestic terminal only.

If you are not dropped in a convenient location, most city hotels should be reached by taxi for 40,000 dong (US$2) or less. Taxi company flagfall is 7’000 dong (July, 2019) and the rate per/km varies based on the company but should be less than 15’000 dong. However, you should have 100,000 dong available minimum at all times as the taxi may take a longer route. Taxis may take a better route if they see that you are watching them on a mapping app – and you tell them to go in a specific direction.

Alternatively, for the adventurous traveller, take a short taxi ride to a Phuong Trang bus stop in Cam Ranh, then catch the Phuong Trang bus, 40,000 VND to Nha Trang (about an hour). The bus stops and the buses are orange coloured. However, as the saving is literally US$0.50 this is potentially a bad idea that will leave you, the traveler, in tears.


From the city to the airport

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The return to the airport is far more confusing due to having to locate the bus stops. Therefore, planning and booking with a reputable hotel is advisable. The return trip to the airport should be 50,000 dong, and there are many operators. Furthermore, there are operators that clearly copy legitimate operators, however still charge the same price; it is to the travelers discretion if this is acceptable.

There may be a fixed bus stop at Yersin (opposite of the hospital or at 86 Trần Phú) marked by a big yellow bus sign with the circled 18. However, as the stopping locations are arbitrary, and with operators constantly changing, this may no longer be in operation.

Dat Moi [web]– Bus no. 18, operates every 30 min from 4:30am to 7:55pm, 50000/VND (June 2019) for ticket. Bus depo located at So 10, Yersin, Vạn Thạnh, Thành phố Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, phone: 096 628 23 88


By train

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Nha Trang is a stop on the main railway-line connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC or Saigon). The railway station is close to the cathedral in the northern part of town. If you want a soft-sleeper (the highest class available on Vietnamese trains), book your train ticket directly at the train station as far in advance as you are able. Having a private travel agent book this ticket will quite often result in you paying the agent for a soft-sleeper — the agent will book a hard-sleeper and you will not know until you board the train and it is too late to make changes. This is one of the most common scams in Vietnam! Soft sleeper rooms are 4 berth, hard sleepers are 6 berth. You can sit comfortably on a lower bed in a 4 berth room but in a 6 berth you will have to be very short in order to sit up straight. SNT trains (meaning Saigon to Nha Trang) have similar quality cars but are slower than the SE trains. The TN trains have the oldest and dirtiest cars and are the slowest so therefore are not recommended. Each of the SE, TN and SNT coded trains end with a number. If the number is odd it travels from North to South. If it is even, it travels from South to North.

The journey to Nha Trang from Ho Chi Minh City takes between 6-8 hours on the SE trains (but are often delayed), so a sleeper is not really necessary, a cushioned seat in the AirCon car costs 190,000 dong. Soft seat is 310.000 dong (June 2012) The SNT trains take over 9 hours and travels overnight only.

For 535,000 dong (lower bed T1 or 465,000 dong for upper bed T2), you can book a soft sleeper on the SNT1 or SE1, SE3, SE5 or SE7 trains from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City. These are the prices if you buy directly from Nha Trang train station. You will obviously pay more from an agent. Prices and times correct September 2012. Hotels will typically be able to buy the ticket for you for an additional 30,000 dong. The scenery on this journey is not that great compared to further north, so you are not missing out too much by travelling overnight.

The SE1 train departs Nha Trang at 8.26PM and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 4.10AM.
The SE3 train departs Nha Trang at 9.42PM and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 4.30AM.
The SE5 train departs Nha Trang at 12.39PM and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 8.00PM.
The SE7 train departs Nha Trang at 8.41AM and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 4.48PM.
The SNT1 train departs Nha Trang at 6.40PM and arrives in Ho Chi Minh City at 5.20AM.

The SNT2 departs Ho Chi Min City at 8.00PM and arrives in Nha Trang at 5AM, in March 2013 a ticket purchased same day at the railway station cost 519,000 dong for soft berth sleeper (upper bed)

The train station is about 1 km away from the city centre, so you can easily walk.


By bus

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Most open tour buses arrive from Ho Chi Minh City in the south (10-12 hours) and Hoi An to the north (16 hours). They drop their passengers in the main tourist area around Biet Thu, while the public bus station is at , about a 10 minute walk west of the center. However, you may be dropped off at Ben Xe Phia Nam Nha Trang – if this is the case and you traveled with Phuong Trang (FUTA Bus Lines) you may catch a free shuttle bus which is operated by FUTA to your hotel and if not do not take a taxi conveniently parked beside the bus and if in doubt ask 1) the FUTA ticket sellers inside the main hall or 2) several completely unrelated people.

Bus operators in Nha Trang may include:

  • North to Qui Nhon 6 hours on Mai Linh Express
  • TM Brothers bus
  • Phuong Trang (FUTA Bus Lines)


Routes

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From Nha trang to Da nang bus route is approximately 557 km in length. On average, there are about 14 bus schedules on this route and bus travel time may take from 1h00 to 5h30 by 3 bus companies: Quang Hanh bus, Hoang Long bus, Thuy Duong bus operators. Duration is about 12 hours.

Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa – Ho Chi Minh bus route is approximately 448 km in length. On average, there are about 48 bus schedules on this route and bus travel time may take from 6h00 to 6h00 by 12 bus companies: Viet Nhat bus, Tra Lan Vien bus, Hanh Cafe bus, TheSinhTourist, Huynh Gia bus, Ha Linh bus, Quang Hanh bus, Lien Hung bus, Phuong Nam bus, Tam Hanh bus, Nam Phuong bus, Xe Nha bus operators. Duration is about 10 hours. In case passengers, especially foreign travelers, visit Nha Trang for the first time, Vexere is a useful web service that lists fares and facilitates online booking for these local bus companies. The system shows schedules, price and seat options (depending on bus operators, some offers seat options, some don’t and you need to call the hotline for further instructions) for passengers to choose.

Nha Trang to Hoi An departs at 7.00 PM.
Nha Trang to Da Lat departs at 8.00 AM.
Nha Trang to Mui Ne departs at 7.45 AM.

If you’re booking the open tour bus tickets via an agent, try to find out the bus company being used and avoid TM brothers bus. They have a bad reputation. The owner of TM Brothers bus quoted me 400,000dong and a 28-hour ride to go to Quy Nhon, 220km from Nha Trang. I told him he was crazy and he shrugged and went back to his beer. Some of the TM Brothers seats are broken and you can find cockroach in the bus. However, their bus is usually a few dollars cheaper than other company.

  • By sleeper buses From Da Nang to Ha Noi, Ha Long, Hue, Dong Hoi, Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Mui Ne, Sai Gon, … Laos

You may book tickets at the Da Nang Intercity Bus Station, travel agencies, and possibly your hotel. Buying tickets at the station is the complicated option (taxi fare from city center to station almost 100.000 vnd (1 way) and you have to come there to buy a ticket in advance to make sure they still have available tickets), so paying a premium at your hotel or come directly to Sleeper Bus Booking Office can save much time, money and worry.


By car

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Private car rental with a driver are usually modern air-con cars and can be rented for ~1,000,000 VND per day. Check price with [VNCARRENTAL] Website specialize in all kinds of transfers in Vietnam.

Car rental prices (as mostly anything in Vietnam) usually increase during holiday seasons especially around Tet (Vietnamese’s New Year). Make sure to avoid high prices by booking it beforehand with the car rental services.

You can also arrange a private taxi transfer to Mui Ne with [HaiTuanTravel] . Book and pay online via PayPal. No hidden fee.


Get around

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Today, most of the tourist infrastructure is in the southern part of town around Biet Thu, whereas most of the locals live around the Cho Dam in the northern quarters. Cho Dam Market is a popular destination for visitors as well, though.

Tran Phu is the backbone of the city, accompanied by a pleasant waterfront promenade, palm trees and the nearly 6km of beach. Careful when you cross the road – one of the most dangerous in Vietnam. Some taxis are homicidal.


Crossing Roads

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Crossing roads is an art in Nha Trang and just like most of Vietnam there is no stop signals that will actually be followed by drivers. The art of crossing the road is fortunately very simple, if not scary:

  1. There are no traffic lights or pedestrian crossings,
  2. If it is night time, and you are wearing dark clothes – forget it… If you’re not visible you will be mowed down
  3. If there is a bus / car / taxi wait until it and it’s motorcycle entourage to passes – they will mow you down, they will not shed a tear, please don’t forget this
  4. Ensure you, your friends/family/loved ones and every piece of your luggage form an almost perfect line parallel with the traffic
  5. There is no ‘ideal’ time to start although you could pick a time with a little less traffic, this may be caused by a bus cutting off the motorcycles upstream
  6. Once commenced walking, do not stop, do not run (unless there is a bus/car/taxi), do not change speed. The motorcycle driver will swerve to avoid you

Once reaching the other side, thank whatever you believe in, and hope not to cross a road again.


By Bus

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Nha Trang has a reliable and easy to navigate public bus system, where the ticket fare does not exceed 9,000 Dong (July 2019) for a ride on a modern, air-conditioned bus with Vietnamese music. There are 6 lines in total and they have 20 minute interval (except line 3 – 40 minutes). They run from 5:30AM – 6:30PM. You will find buses nr. 4 and 6 the most useful, since they pass through the southern quarters. You can try ask local people about the bus route with the map for the sight seeing places. Buses 2 and 6 pass through Big C/Lotte Mart. Bus 4 goes to Vinepearl gondola station. Other popular bus is intercity bus no 3 with final stop in Doc Let for 30,000 Dong (July 2019).

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By Taxi

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Taxi company flagfall is 7’000 dong (December, 2017) and the rate per/km varies based on the company but should be less than 15’000 dong. However, you should have 100,000 dong available minimum at all times as the taxi may take a longer route.


By Cyclo

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An option for seeing the sites is to hire a cyclo-driver for the day. Clarify the price. Many cyclos and motos are shysters who deliberately confuse 15 with 50, 16 with 60 etc. Beware of the ones who are just pimps who insist on taking you to local hookers and try to pickpocket you in the process.


By Bicycle

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Its also easy to get around by bicycle. Nha Trang is flat and bicycles are easily found for hire, typically 20,000 dong for one day for a basic no gears bike. Locals on bicycles are more commonly seen at night when its cooler and there’s no sun to burn their skin. Motorcycles and traffic to tend to mix, and locals can be seen riding though the roads among the motorbikes.


By Xe Om

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Uniquely Vietnamese is the motorcycle taxi or Xe Om, which is a popular transport method for locals. Rates are likely to depend on your nationality as there is no meter on a motorbike, no published price, and they are literally all old dudes with a motorcycle and spare time.


Organised Tours

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Nha Trang City beach (along Tran Phu Street) is the main draw here. The sand is quite littered and the water can also be polluted, so if you are going to Nha Trang specifically for the beach, and have been to other Asian destinations such as Thailand and the Philippines you are likely to be very disappointed. You will see many women vendors walking along the beach selling fruit and hot, steamed seafood.Make sure that you visit in the right season, though. The beach can be disappointing when the weather is grey and the waves choppy. The experience is then one of murky sandy waters, a strip of standard brown sand with a multitude of empty beach chairs and no one to be seen. For beautiful clean deserted beaches and clear blue waters, better to head out of Nha Trang to Bai Dai and Cam Ranh.

The sites below can be toured in one day. Contact the Magical Mystery Tour Nha Trang (http://www.magicalmysterytournhatrang.com)) . The English tour company that do not /do standard tours of Nha Trang.

  • National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, 01 Cau Da (on the left of the commercial port entrance), 058-590-037, [61]. Admission VND15,000. Open 7AM-4PM. This is like an aquarium with popular and rare species of the sea. A perfect place to bring kids as they will get to see sharks, turtles, coral reefs, lionfish, sea horses, and many other creatures.
  • NhaTranglive, Thong Nhat Street & 2 thang 4 Street. (near Cho Dam Market), 090-714-3404, [62]. Free maps of city, drinks and tour travel guide book. Free use of wireless and computers. Largest collection of local painting by artists that lives in the area.
  • Alexandre Yersin Museum, 10 Tran Phu St., 058-822-355. Admission US$2. M-Sa 8-11AM and 2-4:30PM. This is a scientific museum of a Swiss-born, Dr. Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943), who arrived in Vietnam in 1891 to study infected animals. He then later on produced a serum from horses and buffaloes. In this museum, you will be able to view all of his work as well as his equipment. Yersin never went back to Switzerland as he spent the rest of his life in Nha Trang. Don’t try to take pictures. Do respect the rules since they’re quite serious here.
  • Long Son Pagoda, Thai Nguyen St. Free admission. Open 8AM-5PM. At this pagoda, you will see a 79 ft. tall white Buddha. The pagoda was established in 1963 to honour the monks and nuns who died demonstrating against the Diem government. Beware of cheaters claiming they are students studying in the temple demanding that you offer a donation to the school before going up the pagoda. These “students” have no affiliation to the school and entry to the pagoda absolutely is free. Also beware that parking for motorbikes and bicycles are absolutely free (signs posted in Vietnamese indicates free parking.) Do not pay the 5,000 dong parking fee to the scammers near the gate. Instead, drive directly in, past the vegetarian restaurant, and park where the security guards are. Be aware of scammers holding incense sticks, they will hand you three incense sticks as you approach the Buddha and will trail behind you slowly before telling you what to do with them and then charging you as you walk out for using the sticks.
  • Po Nagar Cham Towers, 2 Thang 4 St. Admission 22,000VND + parking (2000VND for bicycles, 5000VND for motorbikes). Open daily 7:30AM-5PM. These four brick towers were built by the Cham civilization between the 7th and 12th century to honor , mother of the kingdom, and the incense aroma emanating from within makes it clear that this remains a religious site for the local Buddhists of Nha Trang today. The longevity of these last vestiges of a once-dominant South East Asian civilisation should impress temple enthusiasts even if the insensitive restoration and surrounding mass of tourists don’t. The small complex sits on a hill which enjoys views across Nha Trang’s fishing village. It is a 20-25 minute walk (or short motorbike ride) from the main beach strip, however be prepared to wander through the ‘real’ Nha Trang, quite a shocking change from the showy built up beach side resort.


Beaches

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Further afield from Nha Trang’s expansive sandy bay are some excellent beaches without the backdrop of hotel towers.


Waterfalls

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  • Sailing – Get a group together and hire a captain for about US$40 for the best sailing experience. Call the Nha Trang Sailing Club, +84 58 826528
  • Surfing – Head out to The Shack for surf lessons. Run by Tippy, this bar/restaurant/surf club is a great palce to spend a day relaxing. The Shack is located in Bai Dai beach about 21.6 km south of Nha Trang. Visit their website for info [63]. Since 2014, there’s also a small hostel right at the beginning of Bai Dai beach, called the Surfer’s Club Hostel. Accomodation is simple (1 dorm with a couple of beds), but very affordable and the Australian owner is great company and you can use his barbecue to grill some delicious self-made burgers and Australian sausages. Single Fin Surf School [64] [email protected] or call +84 971 535910) also runs surf lessons daily in the surf season (from September to May). Students of the school enjoy complimentary transfers from Nha Trang City Centre to the surf spots out on Bai Dai Beach and Cam Ranh and back. They also do surfboard rentals and organise surf trips on request.
  • Relaxing – Thap Ba natural hotsprings: a must-have experience at an amazingly cheap price,(4$/pax) for the mineral pool and from 12.5/pax for the mudbath (incl.the mineral pool). More of you there are, the less it costs. Located on the outskirt of the city, this place provides the most relaxing services you can imagine (“hot” mud bath, mineral water bath and hot water pool and massages also available). “Hot” mud is really only tepid/warm, defeating the advertised health benefits. But still a unique experience.


Diving & snorkelling

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Close off-shore from Nha Trang sit a series of islands that offer decent diving and snorkelling, easily accessible by day trip. The city has about two dozen dive shops, making for fierce competition and great value. For certification training, Nha Trang offers perhaps the best value in the world, with PADI open water courses available with full equipment rental for as little as US$250. A two-dive boat trip with equipment rental and modest lunch can be had for as little as US$45, also a phenomenal value.

Coastal and undersea construction has stirred up a lot of sediment in the area, so under-water visibility is sometimes not great. The area is heavily fished, so fish life is also limited. You wouldn’t cross the world just to dive at Nha Trang. But if you always dreamed of getting a scuba certification, Nha Trang is a great place to do it, and any diver passing through would enjoy a couple of dips. The shops generally offer good-quality equipment and experienced, certified dive-masters. Diving goes on year-around, but in the October-December windy season, the boat ride can be a bit rough and diving is limited to a few sites in the lee of the islands.

Organization of the Nha Trang dive industry is sometimes complex. If you sign up for a trip with shop A, you might find yourself joined with a group and dive-master from shop B, which shares a boat with another group and dive-master from shop C, the boat itself being independently owned. Consolidation is especially active in the off-season, when few if any shops can fill a boat on their own. It’s a good illustration of Vietnamese culture, which does not stand on ceremony, and loves a bargain, and is very skilled at making maximum use of resources. The local dive-masters are mostly great, friendly guys with lots of stories to tell.

  • Jeremy Stein’s Rainbow Divers, 058-826-528 is longest running dive operation in Nha Trang, European-owned with partially expat staff. A two-dive boat trip costs US$75 (including water, coffee, tea, a variety of baguettes, cakes and fruits), about double the best deals available in town (but much less than what Rainbow charges in other locations.) The operation is well-organized and very professional, catering to divers who aren’t comfortable with the more low-key local shops.
  • Angel Dive, 1/33 Tran Quang Khai, +84 58 352-2461 is a mid-priced option for diving in Nha Trang. Expat Run, by a long living citizen of Nha Trang. PADI, SSI, SDI and TDI Certified., [65].
  • Octopus Diving, @ Louisiane Brewhouse, 29 Tran Phu., +84 58 352-1629, Dive Vietnam with Octopus Diving. We are Vietnam’s longest running PADI Five Star Dive Centers offering a full range of high quality PADI courses from beginner to professional. Fun Dives, Nitrox, Snorkelling and Discover Scuba Diving trips to Hon Mun Marine Protected Area everyday. International team of Instructors and Divemasters. Very small groups, maximum of 2 students on a course and only 2 divers with a Divemaster, personal service, safe, environmentally friendly, honest, affordable and FUN. http://www.divenhatrang.com [66].
  • Sailing Club Divers, @ Sailing Club Nha Trang, 72-74 Tran Phu., +84 58 352 2788, Dive Vietnam with Sailing Club Divers. We are Vietnam’s longest running PADI Five Star Dive Centers offering a full range of high quality PADI courses from beginner to professional. Fun Dives, Nitrox, Snorkelling and Discover Scuba Diving trips to hon Mun Marine Protected Area everyday. International team of Instructors and Divemasters. Very small groups, maximum of 2 students on a course and only 2 divers with a divemaster, personal service, safe, environmentally friendly, honest, affordable and FUN. www.sailingclubdivers.com [67].
  • Nha Trang Fun Divers. https://ntfundivers.com/, 54A Nguyen Thien Thuat, Nha Trang, Vietnam. email: [email protected] , phone: +84586252023.

SSI diving center, offering Dive courses, Try Scuba Diving, Snorkeling. Provide good quality dive gear and accommodation. Serving hot lunch on the dive boat. Expat managed. International Dive Instructors. Teaching in English, German, Vietnamese and Russian.


Work

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  • Travel to Teach [68] works with a project teaching English and computer use to the kids that sleep on the beach. Crazy Kim’s Bar (see below) is the headquarters for the project.
  • Volunteer in Nha Trang [69] Help NhaTrangLive to promote Nha Trang tourism and help the local community grow. Donate your salary to helping local children that can not afford to go to school get an education. [70]

Growing influx of Chinese tourists: Large numbers of Chinese tourists are going to Nha Trang, and many say this will considerably raise prices in the city and thus make Nha Trang not so cheap.

  • Ella’s Boutique, 99C Nguyen Thien Thuat St. and 3/10 Tran Quang Khai St.. Open 9AM – 10PM. Nha Trang’s fastest growing ladies fashion boutique. Beachwear, bikinis, maxi dress, kimonos and more. Locally designed and tailored in Nha Trang. Ella’s Boutique VN
  • Bamboo, 15 Biet Thu St., 058-910-774. Open 8AM-9:30PM. This is a popular T-shirt shop in the area. Lots of tourists visit this shop to get T-shirts. However not cheap.
  • Groove Shack, 101 Nguyen Thien Thuat St., 058-524-738. Open daily 2PM-10PM. This is the place to update your MP3 player. The prices are acceptable. Service excellent. Has now moved into Booze Cruise bar & Grill.
  • Tashunco, 17A Biet Thu St., 058-827-035. Open 7AM-10PM. This is a mini Western market where tourists can buy products like chips, cheese, soda, etc.
  • Skateboarding and surfing – Anchor skateboard have closed up shop.

Surfing lessons can be had at The Shack on Long Beach (bai dai).

Beware the motos who stand outside A-mart,17A Ð Biet Thu. They are pushy, arrogant and corrupt.

As expected from a large resort town, Nha Trang has no shortage of eating options to suit all budgets, from Vietnamese-style informal pavement cafes on plastic chairs to high end restaurants. Nha Trang is famous throughout Vietnam for its seafood but also offers a broad range of Western cuisine.

There are no shortage of pavement cafes for a cheap, satisfying and authentically Vietnamese experience. Offerings range from simple baguettes to banquets, with most of them seeming to have a seafood theme.

  • Hoa Hung bakery, 39 Phan Boi Chau St., 058-382-3141, 058-221-1992. Near the market to the north of the tourist area. Sponge cake < US$1, pate-chaud, chocolate cupcake, sesame toffee. Open daily 7AM-10PM. Founded from 1936 and recommended by the travel guide Le Routard, Hoa Hung is one of the best bakery in the country. Oct 2015: Cake was stale and not very tasty. Maybe just unlucky.
  • Vinh Thanh Bakery – have 5 bakeries spread around the city. 96 Than Quy Cap, 18 Le Thanh Ton, 50 Ly Thanh Ton, 322 Thong Nhat, 108 Duong 2/4. You get a tray a tongs and pick from a huge selection of cheap bakery goods. From 4,000 up. Average price around 7,000 dong a piece.
  • White House, 30B Nguyen Thien Thuat St., 058-524-438. Main courses US$6-8. Open daily 9AM-11PM. This place has a very innocent atmosphere and it is very relaxing while you enjoy your Western food.
  • Truc Linh, 21 Biet Thu St., 058-821-259. Main courses US$1-10. Open daily 7AM-11PM. Both Asian and Western food can be found here.
  • Lac Viet Quan Chay, Vegetarian, Huynh Thuc Khang St. just Southeast of market, 1 1/2 blocks Northwest from To Hienh Thanh St. Plate of mixed vegetable and tofu/veg meat dishes with rice or a bowl of noodle soup, less than US$1. Just a little humble place, but a nice option for vegetarians and it is right next to the market that might be worth having a look.
  • Phuoc Thien Com Chay, Vegetarian, 26 Hai Ba Trung. Close to Dam Market. Plate of mixed vegetable and tofu/veg meat dishes with rice less than US$1. Just point at what you want. Spring rolls were very tasty!
  • Banh Mi Chay, Vegetarian baguettes, street stall on Hung Vuong, close to the Tran Quang Khai end. The famous Vietnam baguettes, finally vegan! (10000 D), cheese available.
  • Sailing Club, 72 Tran Phu St., [71]. Tel: 058-826-528. Main courses US$3-10. Open 7AM-11PM. This restaurant consists of Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, and Italian food, giving you many varieties to satisfy your hunger needs. With many types of food offered, this place bound to be crowded and popular especially at night when it turns into bar. Stay sober and hold onto your smart phone or tablet. Better still don’t bring it.
  • Good Morning Vietnam, 19B Biet Thu St., [72]. Tel: 058-815-071. Main courses US$4.5-9. Open daily 10AM-11PM. If you want to take a break from the Vietnamese cuisine, and change your appetite to Italian food, this is the place to go. On the menu are pasta dishes as well as other well-known Italian food.
  • Nha Trang Seafood, 46 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., 058-822-664. Main courses US$2-14. Open daily 9:30AM-10PM. Who ever would think seafood could be so cheap? Well, this restaurant serves fresh and scrumptious seafood any way you would like it. With an inexpensive price, everyone is here to enjoy their time. The service is also great just like their food.
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Nha Trang at night offers plenty of bars, clubs, music, and merry people. Though its wise to leave your valuables in your room, just take enough cash for the night, especially if walking home alone. See “Stay Safe” section below.

  • Crazy Kim Bar,now in Hung Vuong, part of Rainbow Divers premises 058-816-072. Closed at 1AM. If you are young and wild, this is the place to be.
  • Guava, 17 Biet Thu St., Closed at 1 a.m. Music is great here and the scene seems more for the younger crowd. Expat bar with comfortable lounge seating and movies in the daytime. Featuring resident DJs and the only vinyl decks in Nha Trang. The food is also great.
  • Sailing Club, Nha Trang, 72-74 Tran Phu St. Open till late, and even later on Saturdays. Popular night club with a good mixture of foreigners and locals. The cover charge is reasonable on weekends and includes one drink. Every Saturday, except in low season, they have massive beach parties.
  • SinhTo20, 20 Hoang Hoa Tham St., 058-3525-870. This place has a very good yogurt and many kinds of cocktails. Prices are very reasonable.
  • Why Not Bar, 24 Tran Quang Khai St., 058-811-652.


Cafés

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There are a number of cafés in Nha Trang. These are generally alcohol-free zones. If you are not into the bar atmosphere, head here for some relaxation and a cup of coffee.

  • Letimo Bakery Restaurant, 25 Nguyen Thiet Thuat, 058-22-22-178 This family-owned restaurant also offers a moderate selection of bakery goods such as cheesecake and other cakes. (Apparently) HAPPY HOUR: After 6PM (or 8 PM for some items): 30% off. From 60,000 up.
  • Mocka Cafe, 74 Hung Vuong St, 0583-526-589 They serve espresso, cappuccino and cafe latte. Happy hour everyday (30% off) from 3PM to 6PM.
  • Nha Trang Bakery and Tearoom, 99B Nguyen Thien Thuat, 058-85-562. Extremely poor range of “bakery” goods.
  • Café Louisiane, This is a microbrewery bar and restaurant with a bakery selection. Tran Phu St., 058-812-948. Decent range of bakery goods from 60,000 up.
  • Banana Split, 58 Quang Trung St., 058-829-115.
  • Rainbow Bar, 90A Hung Vuong St., 058-524-351.
  • HQ Cafe, 55/8 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street.

Staying in Nha Trang can range from luxury suites in five-star hotels and spa resorts to motels. There are quiet numerous options offered for everyone depending on the size of their pockets.


Budget

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There are plenty of budget hotels in Nha Trang costing less than $20 per night and nearly all are en-suite and have the usual air-con, cable TV, fridge, bedside table, wardrobe and night light. Most also have Wi-Fi, if not in rooms, at least in the reception area. “Mini-hotel alley” at 64 Tran Phu is a good place to head for as it has a dozen or so budget hotels located in a relatively quiet alley near the beach and the main tourist area. Don’t be surprised if you are followed by a motorbike rider, sometimes they can be helpful showing you where your hotel is but often they are just annoying but either way if you arrive at a hotel with one they will demand commission from the hotel, even if you have a booking!

  • Pho Bien Hotel, 64/1 Tran Phu, 058.3.524.858, [73]. Newly renovated (2014) hotel, all 19 private rooms have air-con, en suite, cable TV, fridge and Wi-Fi. Its very clean and in great location near to the beach. Room 503 (double) has a big balcony with fabulous sea views. The hotel has an elevator and 2 Internet computers to use. They also have a brand new US$5 dorm room with 2 separate bathrooms and adjacent rooftop terrace with sea views. Buffet breakfast available for 50,000 dong. Price range from US$5-25.
  • Blue Star Hotel, Terrific hotel close to the beach with very helpful friendly staff. Six floors with an elevator and internet computers in the foyer. Wi-Fi for the rooms, some of which have ocean views. Excellent value means book ahead. Rooms $10-15.
  • Aloha Motel, 26A Tran Quang Khai St., 058-224-0979. A quaint hotel near the beach with nice rooms. Plenty of restaurants and bars within minutes of the hotel and a 5 minute walk from the beach. Air conditioning, a small flat screen, and a refrigerator in each room. A small hotel, but nice, clean rooms and a nice staff. Prices from $10-15.
  • Nha Trang Hotel, 127 Thong Nhat St., (058)3.820.476. Fairly regular hotel with rooms from US$10.
  • Ha Thu Hotel, 64/2 Tran Phu Str., 058.3522800; Email: [email protected]; Website: www.hathuhotel.com. A budget hotel well worth the money, rooms ranging from US$10 to US$12 per night. Rooms are clean, and staff is friendly. There is a nice, new computer with internet in the lobby, free for use, as well as wireless internet in the lobby and in the rooms. The top floor room is huge, with a big, private, covered balcony with an incredible view of the sea as the sun rises. All of the rooms have air conditioning, except for the top floor room, but the windows open and a cool breeze from the sea makes me more than bearable.
  • Thanh Ngoc 2, 14 Tue Tinh (tel : 058-517759). Excellent value for money. Low-season prices starts from US$8 and all room all equipped with TV, hot-water, air-con and spacious beds. New building (2007) and clean rooms.
  • Perfume Grass Inn, 4A Biet Thu St., 058-826-345, [74]. Family-run and flexible to travelers’ needs. Within walking distance from all the bars and restaurants, too. Price range from US$15-25.
  • Dream Hotel, 96A/7 Tran Phu (tel: 058-524 247). Located directly across from the water park, away from the central shops, bars, and restaurants. This 2 star hotel is clean, safe, and comfortable. The staff are not particularly helpful with only basic English skills. My stay in January 2009 experienced major problems with the hot water for showers, elevator, and Internet connection. Although they advertise a roof top bar, this has closed. At USD$18-25, it is at the higher end of the budget hotels. The front room on each floor has an excellent balcony view of the water park and ocean, however this is a very noise street. A good choice if you are here to visit the water park, but not a good value for the money. All rooms include A/C, TV, and mini-fridge. WiFi does not actually work in all the rooms. Hourly Internet connections and computers are available in the lobby.
  • Hông Hà, 28-30 Thai Nguyen St. Right across the street from Nha Trang Railway Station. Six floors with elevator. On check-out they tried to charge us for damages to the room that were already there when we checked in. After looking pissed off we got our passports and checked out. Free and good Wi-Fi for the rooms. Staff sleeping in the lobby for 24/7 access. Rooms $10-15.
  • Vien Dong Hotel, 1 Tran Hung Dao St., 058-821-606. Price ranges from US$35-45. Well-known and affordable, with all the basic amenities needed plus some live entertainment at night.
  • Que Huong Hotel, 60 Tran Phu Blvd., 058-825-047. Another hotel within the walking distance to the beach. There is a nice restaurant accompanied with a pool hall and some disco. Great amenities offered as well as the services. Price ranges from US$55-105.
  • Nha Trang Lodge Hotel, 40 Tran Phu St., 058-810-500, [75]. For those who love the view of the ocean, this is the hotel to stay at. Most rooms overlook the beach giving you an extraordinary sea views. Rooms are equipped with phones, satellite TV, a minibar, etc. Service is great. Price ranges from US$60-170 per night.
  • HQ Cafe and Apartments, 55/8 Nguyen Thien Thuat street., 058 6252524 . Double rooms, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in the centre of the nightlife and restaurant area of Nha Trang. Rooms have free use of an inroom computer with internet, fridge with minibar, satellite TV, LCD TV. There is a coffee shop that serves coffee and juices in the foyer. Prices range from $22 to $49 US per apartment a night.
  • Cozy Condos and Apartments, 6C Hem Tue Tinh, 058 3521001, [76]. For those who prefer a cozy home to a hotel room, this is the place to stay at. Close to city center and beach, quiet and safe location (near Military Hospital). Single rooms in new building, completed in February 2012 with large double beds, living room, kitchen and balcony. Fully equipped, including large refrigerator, oven, micro wave oven, kitchenware, safety box, washing machine with separate drying area etc. Wi-fi, domestic phone calls and intl. TV channels free of charge. 24-hour security, guarded parking lot, elevator, café bar on top of building. The owner and staff of Cozy Condos are very accommodating and will make every effort to make your stay comfortable. They will book tours, rent motorcycles, deliver you food to your room or even go get you groceries free of delivery fee. Amazing views of the ocean and city on the top floors. Prices range from US$17.5 to US$25 US per apartment a night.


Mid Range

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Splurge

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  • Nha Trang Hilton Bed & Breakfast, (+84) 58-3820-476. It’s is the only type of its kind, a bed & breakfast in Vietnam. Most lodging are in forms of resort and hotels, but this unique living arrangement; the Hilton Bed & Breakfast (not related to the Hilton Hotel) allows guest to interactive with the local Vietnamese and share in with their daily life & activities. This included the traditional morning walk to the beach (only 4 minutes away) for a morning dive into the warm bay. Then it is to the coffee table (street vendors) for a morning chat and taking in a new day. Back home for a big Vietnamese breakfast before helping one kid get ready for school. Then onto the road to drop off the little Ms. Nhi before exploring Nha Trang in your own personal car or motorbike. Other stay back to learn traditional Vietnamese cooking and prepare lunch for all guests. Yes, free cooking school. This include a trip to the local market for fresh produce, meat & fish. Lunch is a family thing and dinner is usually dinned at one of the many local restaurants or on a boat cruising the bay.
  • Six Senses Hideaway, 058-3728-222. [77] The only way to get to this resort is by speed boat to Ninh Van Bay. Price ranges from $405 to 1,255 per night. This is more of a private resort, suitable for whoever wants to get away from everything to spend time relaxing with love ones. This resort lurks itself between the rocks and mountains and oversees the white sand beach. Dining is fabulous in the open air where the breezes slightly stroke through your hair. While taking your time to have a lovely dinner, the sun will slowly set, giving you a miraculous view of Nha Trang at night. Of course, there are many other amenities that are endless to meet your needs. You would think secluded enough? To make this resort even more secluded, they have added their own private beach located two bays over. So, if you would want more privacy, this is the beach to rent. The downside is you can only rent this for a day, but it will be worth it.
  • Evason Ana Mandara & Six Senses Spa, Tran Phu Blvd., 058-3522222. [78] if you don’t mind the price, this is the spot to go all out and get the once in a lifetime royal treatment. It has been known to be the finest resorts in the region. Finest in all aspects from the setting of the place to the hospitality to the food and to the people. Available fine-dining restaurants where the food can alter to your own tastes. Of course, there are many other amenities that are endless to meet your needs. Price ranges from US$210-450 per night. The resort also offer great tours. Make sure you take advantage of that to learn more about the area and the culture.
  • Yasaka Saigon-NhaTrang Hotel, 18 Tran Phu St., 058-820-090, [79]. This hotel is a Japanese and Vietnamese joint style. Service here is very friendly, and it has all the amenities you would need. What is good about this hotel is that it is just walking distance to the beach. Price ranges from US$100-355 per night.
  • Sunrise Beach Resort Nha Trang, 12 Tran Phu St, 058-920-999, [80]. This resort is all polished marble and white columns with 10 floors. It has a great view of ocean-side as well as the sky from its glass rooftop. Price ranges from US$140-500 per night.
  • Diamond Bay Resort & Spa Nha Trang Diamond Bay, Song Lo 058-711711 [81] This extremely spaciously laid out resort hosted the 2008 Miss Universe pageant. Hotel rooms, suites and villas. Enormous pool (non chlorinated) spa, fitness, several restaurants & bars, tennis, expatriate exec. chef and expatriate GM. Two private beaches. Prices range from $125-600 per night. Book with wotif.com.au for USD57 per night with breakfast for 2 garden view room.
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Stay safe

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Nha Trang generally has a low crime-rate, though there is a risk of petty crime especially late night around the night clubs because of mostly inebriated patrons. The most common crime is pickpocketing after midnight near the Sailing Club.

During the day, it is relatively safe – though bag snatchings on the beach can happen sometimes, so don’t take any valuables to the beach. Using common sense at all times is best. Do not wear too much jewellery, and keep an eye on your belongings. It would be smart to travel in groups when you are out roaming the streets at night. Also, people coming home from the clubs should take a taxi and not a motorbike taxi.

Single males walking back to their hotels in the early hours from clubs and bars such as the Sailing Club and Why Not Bar, especially if a little drunk, beware of “ladies of the night” approaching, typically in twos sometimes threes but often with a couple of guys on motorbikes watching closely from a distance ready to be get away drivers or to get involved if things get nasty. They come over all friendly and being all touchy feely, first checking to see what valuables you have and where, then relieve them from you. Often the guy doesn’t even know he’s been robbed until he gets back to his room or after he wakes up. This happens quite often. This mostly happens in darkened areas and no police are ever seen and bar security ever gets involved either.

Do not keep money in your passport. If you want your hotel to look after your money for you, they will usually be happy to do so in their hotel safe and have procedures on how that is done. Passports are kept separate to other valuables as they need access to these for reporting each day your stay to the government. Therefore never store money in your passport. Keep some money in a different pocket to your wallet/money belt. No point displaying them when paying for small purchases.

Motorcycle mounted snatch and grab crimes happen in all of Vietnam if careless. If hiring a motorbike, check to see what coverage your insurance company give, often none, for riding motorbikes in Asia.

Do not argue with locals who try to hustle money from you. This includes tourist touts, moto taxis, etc. They can become violent and aggressive if threatened. Although they can be a bit harder to get rid of than in other places, it is best to avoid these people altogether. Firmly say no and walk away.

In general, avoid motos [motorbike taxis]. Many are involved in pimping; almost all are corrupt and prone to thieving, robbery and scamming, eg pretending that 7,000 dong was 70,000 dong. If you cannot afford automobile taxis, either get used to walking or do not come to Nha Trang.

Avoid Bien Man: the street market-style seafood restaurant near the junction between Thi Minh Khai and Hung Vuong, with live fish out the front. No prices are given – on exit you will be charged four times the correct price.

Also be wary of eastern European landladies, especially in Hon Chong area. There are complaints of Russian/Ukraine landladies scamming customers – in particular a hotel called Margo’s has come under scrutiny.

All Vietnamese establishments close at 22:00 (including the police) and after that is when the bad seeds head to the late night bars where there is a good chance of finding a very drunk person to scam or pickpocket. by travel guides. Men should be wary of the common tactic of beautiful women rubbing up against you relieving you of your possessions. According to many reports, intoxicated tourists are an easy and frequent target as police never shows up after 22:00. Heavy drinkers are warned, Vietnam is not a good place to get wasted.


Fruit Vendors on Motorbikes

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Many of the fruit vendors on motorbikes seem to offer great prices on Durians (50k per kilo), mangosteen, etc. However, when they weigh the Durian on their scale, it can be double or more the actual weight of the actual fruit. Hence, you will pay more than 100k per kilo for durian. Still not a bad price, but you got scammed. If you mention that the scale seems a bit off, they will show you with a 500ml water-bottle that it’s working okay. In general try to know the approximate weight of a fruit before you buy it, so you know if their scale is off. (For example, a normal, regular sized durian is around 2-3.5kg). If you want more fair service, go to some of the actual fruit shops / smoothie (some sell Durian for 80k per kilo) or go to VinMart, you choose the fruit there and they cut and bag it for you. (June 2019)


Vaccinations

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Nha Trang is a good place to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B [82]. This is a common and serious disease in South East Asia and as a result getting vaccinated for it in Vietnam is becoming very popular. You can get Hep B shots here for just $6 each at the Vien Pasteur clinic located on the main beach road, 10 Tran Phu, next to Sunrise Hotel. They can also take blood samples to test for immunity. They do speak some English here but it might be preferable to go accompanied with a Vietnamese speaking friend. They have Engerix B (GlaxoSmithKline) vaccines for 160,000 dong per shot which is probably the most common one available. They also have Heberbiovac HB from Cuba which is cheaper at 110,000 dong per shot. Probably best getting the former if needing additional shots when in another country.

Internet access can be found in many hotels and through cheap internet cafes all over town. There are not that many internet cafes around now as most hotels typically have about 3 internet computers available for free use for their guests. Most hotels and many restaurants and bars also provide free Wi-Fi.

When using the telephone at a hotel be sure to check what service provider they use. A Skype phone will cost a few dollars US for a lengthy phone call whereas a land line charges US$1 per minute, be wary. Mobile SIM cards are readily available, mobifone seems the best option for tourists. Their sim cards cost 50,000 dong or a little more depending where you buy it and come with about 100,000 dong credit for use in the first month. They also provide 3G internet data packages, e.g. 1.5Gb for one month costs 120,000 dong. Cellular Data info: APN: m-wap Username: mms Password: mms

You can pick up a Mobifone Fastconnect Card (SuperSim) at most phone shops / sim stalls, this gives you 1GB 3G for 70,000 VND plus 50,000 VND credit, you can then top up and apply more internet packages easily by texting various codes to a number (use Google Translate as the English version isnt working) details are on the Mobifone3g website: [83]. Great deal for people who are travelling long term in Vietnam!

Contact the NhaTrangLive [84], tourist information center at (84) 90.714.3404. It is a privately own business that provide free information to tourist and travels. They give away free city maps and allow people to use their wireless internet connect. There are many travel agents dotted around the main tourists area, more and more appearing all the time in an already saturated market. A good option is Jungle Travel [85] who can also book tours and hotels prior to your arrival via email. They also write an informative monthly newsletter about what’s new and happening in both Nha Trang and Saigon [86]. Most hotels offer some level of booking services for onward travel and local tours.


Cope

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The best post office is at 48 Nguyen Thien Thuat. Avoid the one at the other end of town, near the Michelia. The staff there invent fantasy taxes for you to pay. In the process, they are extremely rude – especially the female clerk who stands at the front desk. Expect abuse rather than actual service.


Medical services

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ATM

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Very likely the setup with most of Vietnam, ATMs can be found either individually or in groups. You should ensure that your card is an international one, and call your bank to notify them that you are going to Vietnam.

Both UK MasterCard works, and AU Citibank Visa works. The ATM will charge fees for withdrawal in addition to any that your bank levees for this transaction type. The fee varies between banks, Agribank charges 22’000 dong with others charging 55’000 dong, 66’000 dong or 3% with a minimum fee of 50’000 dong.


Get out

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  • Dalat – popular temperate mountain side ‘European’ escape. There are many companies providing a bus service. Buses leave from the Nha Trang bus station. Journey takes 4 h. costing 130,000d.
  • Dalat -there are another buses of nguyensinhtourist – (VIP limousine luxury bus)at 17 NguyenChanh St – daily depart to Dalat (8h-13h-18h), to Banmethuot (8h-11h-14-17h-19h)contact : call 0982891098(mr Nguyen)or email : [email protected]
  • Saigon – sleeper bus ticket can be bought through your hotel for 200,000 ($10), expect to pay more at a travel agent. Bus takes 8-10 hours.
  • Quy Nhon – 228km north: By bus, 6 hrs, 110k and 160k on the north bus station which is 110k by taxi from the city center. Try to book with your hotel to get pick up instead or go by train. You can also go to dieu tri train station and take a taxi again to QN.

There are several other beaches in the vicinity of Nha Trang. About 30 km north of Nha Trang, just when past the village of Ninh Hoa, a peninsula juts out into the South Chinese Sea, and on its northern coast rides its tinier brother, Hon Khoi. Several resorts are located on the eastern beach of Hon Khoi, where you find palm-trees, white sand and turquoise waters. To get there, follow the highway north past the turnoff to Dac Lac Province/Buon Ma Thuot. Then look out for a sign reading “Doc Let-Resort”, close to a filling station. A taxi will take 2 persons for about 200,000 dong, while a Xe Om should not be more expensive than 100,000 dong. Or catch a through-bus plying highway Nr.1 and jump off at the turn off. There will always be some motorbike-drivers waiting to take you. Whatever place you choose to go, be sure to reserve a bungalow in advance.

  • Bai Dai (Long Beach) At 20km south of Nha Trang, this is best keep secret in town. Fantastic blue water and a nicer (less steep and better sand) beach than in town. Come there to find fresh seafood serve at many shacks with deckchairs right on the beach. Best to go by motorcycle or ask your hotel to organise a taxi for you(and don’t forget the pickup back). Walk a kilometer or so and you will find yourself alone on that fantastic beach. Do it now, they have begun to build access roads for the soon to come resorts.
  • Ba Ho (3 lakes) About 20km north of Nha Trang are a collection of 3 small lakes and scenic waterfalls. The entry cost is 10,000D and you may want to bring some sturdy shoes to climb across the rocks and swimming gear for a dip when you get there. Hire a taxi or take a motorcycle to get there. It will take about 45 minutes from the entrance of the tourist area to the lakes. There is an orphanage very close to the lakes (take a right turn when you get to a T-junction in the rice fields) that would really benefit from any gifts of vegetarian food (take milk, tofu, yoghurt etc). Call Dieu An, the nun on 0905 823807 – she speaks Vietnamese however.


Resorts (north of Nha Trang)

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About 60km north of Nha Trang is a stretch of coastline about 20km long that contains some of the best beaches in Vietnam. Soft powder like white sand beaches with clear blue sea and gentle gradients, these beaches are more beautiful and easier for swimming than in Nha Trang. This is an ideal area to explore by motorbike, perhaps taking a night or two side trip from Nha Trang city. The turn off for Jungle Beach gets you off the busy highway for a more relaxing 20km stretch of road to Jungle Beach resort. Just after this turn off for Jungle Beach is the turn off for Doc Let Beach, which is another 13km away and a similarly more relaxing and scenic road. There is an interconnecting road between Jungle and Doc Let so no need to go all the way back to the highway to get from one to the other.

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