Nha Trang is one of the less commonly visited cities in Vietnam, but those visitors who do make it here, usually come in search of the beaches and the lifestyle that goes with them. Nha Trang’s beaches stretch out for five miles along the coast, giving visitors plenty of room to spread their wings. Aside from the beaches, Nha Trang has a vibrant and interesting urban core, and some fascinating sites in the surrounding area.
Buses from Ho Chi Minh usually take around 12 hours to arrive in Nha Trang, whereas those coming from Hoi An can take up to 16 hours. Express buses from the major cities tend to drop people off in the tourist areas around Biet Thu, rather than at the central bus station. Nha Trang is popular with Vietnamese beach-goers and scuba divers, and therefore most of the activity happens around the beaches and the areas that are geared up fro tourism. If you want to see more of the city, the pubic bus system is convenient and reliable. If you don’t feel confident getting on a bus, there are also the usual options of hiring a taxi, cyclo or motorbike.
The beach itself is not the most pristine or serene in Vietnam – if you want a paradise-like scene in which you can relax under a palm tree listening to the waves lap the shore, you might want to head on to Qoy Nhon. However, if what you’re looking for is beach activities, water sports, diving and the rest, you are in the right place. As with other coastal cities, Nha Trang has a good selection of local seafood restaurants, plus a good number of bars for you to relax in after a long day in the water. If you are looking for authentic, locally-caught seafood, you might want to head up to Doc Let beach, where fishermen will prepare their catch for you in the local style.
If you want to take a boat out on the water, you can hire a captain and a vessel from the Nha Trang Sailing Club. If you prefer to indulge in a spot of surfing, look out for The Shack on Bai Dai Beach, where you can hire equipment and even book lessons. This is also a great place to spend the evening, with an authentic barbecue steak grill and plenty to drink. There are also diving shops all over Nha Trang and you can hire equipment and take diving courses for a snip of what it would cost you in some other countries.
Away from the beaches, there are plenty of other outdoor activities you can take part in around Nha Trang, such as off road cycling, climbing, trekking, hot springs and mud baths. One of the most popular places is the Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Bath, on the north side of the city. This place is geared up rather like a resort, with various pools, a restaurant, cocktail bar and massage service.
If you don’t feel like taking part in too many outdoor activities, you can always head over to the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, where you can see various endangered and rare aquatic species. Alternatively take a look around the central core of this pleasant and vibrant city, perhaps stopping in the French-built cathedral for a rest and to enjoy the cooler air.
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