Nha Trang, a university town at the mouth of a beautiful bay with a huge sweeping beach, is possibly one of my favourite places in Vietnam - one day I plan to live there!
As a beach destination it takes some beating, with delicious restaurants, great bars, beautiful diving and crystal clear water. There are boat trips out to the islands for divers and non-divers alike, snorkelling and fishing trips and if its a little chilly you can go and bathe in the hot springs.
More recently there has been an explosion in watersports, with catamarans, jet skis and paragliding available for hire on the beach, as well as kayaks, windsurfers and bodyboards.
Yet unlike other beach destinations in Viet Nam it offers a lot more - with a popular university as well as training for Vietnam's Navy the town has a distinct character of its own.
It's a great place to hire a bike and cruise up and down the boulevard that lines the seafront on a bright breezy day - its very popular with the students in the evenings too!
Things to do in Nha Trang
- Have an evening cocktail on the roof of the Sunrise Hotel
- Go for a dive or snorkel and see the array of beautiful fish in the waters
- Spend a lazy day at the Louisiane Brewhouse eating cake, swimming in their pool and drinking fresh beer
- Visit the Thap Ba hot springs, get covered in mud and bathe in a pool sized 38C bath before having a very good value massage
- Hire a motorbike or motorbike taxi (xe om) and ride up the coast past the town to one of the spectacular seafood restaurants at the waters edge for great food and a fantastic view back on Nha Trang
- Head back down the other way and up the hill to Bao Dai's palace for some culture and more great views (Bao Dai was a collaborator king of Vietnam during the French occupation)
- Visit the Cham temples - remnants of an anchient Indian civilization that colonized much of South Vietnam and Cambodia ~500AD
- Take the cable car across to the island for a day at an off the wall theme park
- Eat drink and be merry - as well as hundreds of good restaurants and bars catering to the tourists, there are many local specialities to try. Some of my favourites are fresh fish at a barbeque restaurant and Nem Nuong... mmm nem nuong...
- Have a civilized meal at the Sailing Club in the evening, before returning later on for some decidedly uncivilized dancing