During March 2015, I flew into Nha Trang from Hanoi, which was about a 1.5 hour flight on Vietnam Airlines. During my entire 4-day stay in Nha Trang, the weather was sunny, humid, and scorching, approaching 40 degrees C (about 100 degrees F).
Nha Trang is located along the coast of the southern part of Vietnam, only a few hours drive from Saigon and Da Lat. Over the past 30 years, Nha Trang has evolved into popular international tourist destination, with most foreign tourists being Russian or French. Most of the restaurant menus are trilingual (Russian, Vietnamese, English) and most of the Vietnamese hospitality staff in town speak all of those languages. Everywhere in town the food is excellent, whether Russian, Vietnamese, French, or some European variant. Overall, the local economy is based on tourism, shipbuilding, commercial fishing, and lobster farming.
As in many beach cities and towns, the main road in town divides the beach from the downtown area. The beach being on one side of the main road and the other side being peppered with coffee shops, hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, and so on. The main street, Tran Phu Street, is very wide and is one of the most beautiful streets in Nha Trang. Beyond the city, the main street becomes a road extending north and south along the Vietnam coastline, and is sometimes referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway of Vietnam.
The local Vietnamese cuisine consists largely of a variety of local seafood and pork rolled in rice paper and prepared in a way only found in Nha Trang. Also, the region’s bird nest soup is regarded as the best in Vietnam. The nests are collected from nearby woodlands, from offshore islands, and from bird farms. The nests are those of a type of small bird of the swift species.
Among the most popular sights and activities in Nha Trang are:
The beach that extends along the main downtown street for several kilometers. The beach is wide with fine, clean sand and crystal clear water. Nha Trang beaches and offshore islands rival any in the Caribbean, and if you didn’t know that you were in Vietnam, you would think that you are in the Caribbean.
The Vinpearl resort is located on the offshore Hon Tre Island (Bamboo Island). The resort is reachable by a cable car that carries you across the water from the mainland, and offers beautiful views of Nha Trang and the surrounding area.
Hon Chong Rocks are an interesting and beautiful formation of large boulders located on the north end of town where the downtown beach ends.
Long Son Pagoda features the huge Guatama Buddha statue which is uncommonly white in color. And the Po Nagar Temple is another beautiful location and sight.
All day island-hopping excursions via small boat to four of the offshore islands, providing opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, diving, hiking, or just relaxing at the island destinations.
My first day in Nha Trang, I took the cable car to Vinpearl resort on Bamboo Island and spent the afternoon hiking around the island. I spent my entire second day on an island-hopping boat excursion. The entire day of island hopping amounted to $10 usd, and included a huge Vietnamese lunch on the boat, and all the beer or other libations you wanted! For the third day, I rented a motobike ($5 usd for the entire day) and drove to Hon Chong Rocks, Po Nagar Temple and Long Son Pagodo.
The gallery below provides a good visual perspective of Nha Trang. Click on any image in the below gallery to trigger a “lightbox” presentation of the gallery — doing so really brings the photos to life.