Nha Trang - something for everyone
Often described as little more than a party town, Nha Trang does offer something for everyone.In fact, Nha Trang has an undeniable charm.
It is true that Nha Trang has a vibrant and active nightlife, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful beaches and views of the sunset that you are going to see; it’s no wonder that locals and expats alike call this the “place to play” in Vietnam.
Nha Trang by day - Catch the sunrise
If you’re not sure what to do first on your trip, seeing the sunrise is a must. Get out to the beach—wherever you’re staying won’t matter—and you’ll witness the soft sunlight glisten over the South China Sea before your very eyes. Regardless of whether you are a local or a seasoned tourist, the dawn of a new day is the one thing that everyone pauses for.
Here are some street foods that you must try:
- Banh mi This is the quintessential Vietnamese sandwich that everyone is raving about. Normally this consists of ham, cold cuts, liver paste, cucumber, coriander, green onion, chili, pickled carrots and daikon. All of this is stuffed into a crispy baguette and will absolutely wow you.
- Banh uot and Goi Cuong Essentially the same food with different presentations, Banh Uot and Goi Cuon are both are made from rice floyr, steamed and served with sweet, spicy fish sauce, ham, fresh herbs and blanched bean sprouts. They are also commonly filled with minced pork. This street food is less common than others, but it is definitely worth seeking out.
Visit Waterfalls For those who want get off the beaten path a bit, there are a number of swimming holes and waterfalls in the area that you can access. These include places with wonderful names like the Fairy Spring Waterfalls and the Ba Ho waterfalls.
Some of these are best reached by a combination of motorbike and hiking. It is advised that you hire a guide to help you find the way. Some of these gems are tucked away behind rice fields and between mountains—a daunting journey if you’re not familiar with the area.
Spearfishing For those who love the water and have an affinity for scuba diving and snorkeling, this activity is a must try. Hire a boat for the day and head towards one of the main fishing areas. For a small fee, they’ll set you up with a spear gun and guide you under the water as you spot fish. Afterwards, they’ll stop over at the nearest island to cook what you’ve caught. Without question, this is one of the most unique things to do here.
Go to VinPearl A lot has been written about how luxurious VinPearl is, and all of it is true. However, the real gem here is the cable car ride from the mainland to the island. Said to be the largest in Asia, this 10-minute ride across the bay offers some brilliant views of the coast and the island. Once you arrive, there are plenty of things to do. Depending on your interests—and your budget—Vinpearl offers something for everyone. Travellers consistently rave about the water park, golf course and aquarium.
Visit Long Son Pagoda
Built in 1886 this pagoda is one of the largest in Vietnam and is actually a complex of shrines and smaller pagodas. There are two highlights here. First is the giant white statue of the seated Buddha, which is visible from quite far off. Made of alabaster, the statue was built in 1965 and withstood the ravages of the war. Within the same grounds you will find a statue of the reclining Buddha. Both are well worth the trip.
Nha Trang by Night
Nha Trang boasts a plethora of restaurants, bars, and clubs that are suitable for all tastes. Concentrated mainly around the main strip of the tourist area, finding the right spot can easily be done on foot once you’re on the strip. Here are a few of the highlights.
The Sailing Club is a great spot for drinks and music any time of the night. Music ranges from live rock and pop to electronic music mixed by DJs. The Sailing Club also has a restaurant and beach front property which often hosts events.
Crazy Kim Bar is a Mexican themed bar adorned with swings and a swimming pool. A television with international channels for sports can be the centerpiece of a lively night. Here, you can have a swig of some exotic local cocktails and wind down the evening.
In Nha Trang city Lac Canh has been the place to go for decades. Here you can grill your own dinner right at your table. Seafood, beef and deer are all highly recommended. Wash it all down with freshly blended juice or a local beer.
Quan 127 serves a local noodle dish called mi quang nam that will cure you of your pho overload. Wide noodles in broth with veggies, served with the meat or seafood of your choice, and topped with a crispy rice cracker, makes for a great local meal any time of day.
Street side beer gardens pop up from time to time and are worth a try. They’re easy to spot - people sitting on chairs drinking Saigon beer served from a cooler. This can a cheap and fun night. Expect to pay less than a dollar a bottle. The real bonus is making some new friends.
Overall, Nha Trang offers a little something for everyone. It’s small enough to be free of some of the hassles of more the popular beach town in Asia while still having enough on hand to keep you from getting bored.