Planning a trip to Vietnam and looking for cities to add to your travel itinerary? You can consider Nha Trang. This recreational and entertainment center of Vietnam is famous for its stunning beaches and islands, impressive landscapes, delicious seafood, friendly people and unique culture. Before you head to Da Nang or Hoi An, consider Nha Trang as an addition to your trip. This 3-day suggested itinerary will lead you to the city’s famous tourist attractions and will help you make the most of your trip. Depending on your traveling priorities, you can certainly fine tune this itinerary to suit your needs.
Things to know before traveling to Nha Trang, Vietnam:
Language – Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. In Nha Trang, many Vietnamese can speak English, especially the young people. English is taught in schools and is widely used in the cities, so do not worry about not knowing local phrases or words. You may be surprised but Russian is extremely popular in Nha Trang due to the many Russians that spend their winters in Nha Trang and the region. It is, however, recommended to learn some Vietnamese if you are heading towards rural areas where you can expect that a lot of people cannot speak any English.
Currency exchange – The official currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). ATMs can be found in Airport, most tourist centers and shopping malls across the country. Exchanging money in Nha Trang is easy and follows the same standard to elsewhere in Southeast Asia. International credit cards are widely accepted in upscale establishments but keep in mind that most small businesses, especially stores and restaurants may not accept them.Safety – Nha Trang is a safe city to travel in. Scam is the most common problem in tourists’ areas and remains the number one source of complaints from foreign visitors. If you ever find yourself in Nha Trang and other major Vietnamese cities, you have to remember that not every Vietnamese person you meet is out to scam you. Do your research, keep all your wits about you and always ask for personal recommendations from other travelers.
Where to stay – Nha Trang has a wide range of accommodation options, with something for every level of comfort and budget. Along the beautiful beach in Tran Phu Street, there are plenty of beach hotels, beach bungalows and villas, backpacker hostels and guesthouses. If you want an actual get-away-from-it-all, totally unplugged holiday, then you can stay at one of the bungalows in Nguyen Tat Thanh located outside the city center.
Hotels to consider in Nha Trang:
Getting there – Nha Trang is located in the Khánh Hòa Province of Central Vietnam. By air, you can book a flight to Cam Ranh International Airport, located 30 kilometers from the heart of Nha Trang city center. The airport serves both domestic and international flights from major cities in Asia like Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore. By train, you can book your tickets Nha Trang train station from major Vietnamese cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hanoi, Hue and Da Nang. By bus, there are also numerous departures for all domestic routes.
Getting around – Getting around in Nha Trang is fairly easy as most roads, railway tracks and bridges are well maintained. Public transportation is easy to get used to and is budget friendly. Xe Om (motorcycle taxi) is one of the most famous ways to get around the city. Make sure to negotiate the fare before hopping on the motorcycle. Also, always carry a map (paper maps or digital maps in your smartphone), the name of your destination written down in Vietnamese and small bills for payment. If you prefer this mode of transport, make sure to ask your hotel receptionist for estimates. Other transportation options include local taxis (reputable taxi companies like Mai Linh and Vinasun), local buses and rental motorbikes.
Detailed itinerary: Discover Nha Trang, Vietnam in 3 days
Start off your day with breakfast at one of the breakfast and brunch spots in Tran Phu Street. Try some Bún chả, a dish made from delicious Kebab rice noodles, grilled pork, vermicelli and nước chấm (Vietnamese fermented special fish sauce). After breakfast, it’s time to hit the sun and bask in the laid-back beach culture of the city’s star attraction, Nha Trang Bay. Known for its brilliant turquoise waters and the 6-kilometer golden sand beach, Nha Trang’s main beach provides great swimming, snorkeling and beach experience. The town has all the necessary facilities like comfort room, tourist huts, restaurants, eating and dining facilities which will surely give you a fantastic beach holiday.
You may also allow yourself some downtime on this day and enjoy a dinner with a fantastic view of Nha Trang Bay. Afterwards, soak in the chill vibe of the city by having a night cap at Skylight Nha Trang or Cheers Bar Nha Trang, where you can get a stunning panoramic view of the harbour and beyond.
On day 2, embark on one of the most interesting day trips out of the city by joining a day tour of the Po Nagar Cham Towers. This is a great opportunity to enhance your cultural experience in Vietnam and to learn about the historical and religious relevance of the temples. Erected during the ancient civilization of Cham, the towers’ architectural style is closely similar to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat because it is said that it was influenced by India’s Buddhism.
If you’d rather get adventurous, try scuba diving at Hon Mun Marine Protected Area. Although there are no coveted sea animals like whale sharks and sea turtles, this area is one of the best places in Vietnam for intro/fun diving and PADI certification.
If scuba diving is not your “cup of tea” why not visiting the “Monkey Island” and the Ba Ho Waterfalls? It takes about 4 hours to visit both places and most hotels can book a guide and a driver to drive you around for less than 150 USD for a group of up to 3 people.
Celebrate your second night in the city with a delicious seafood dinner at one of the seafood restaurants along Nha Trang’s main beach. The concept is really simple. You can directly handpick the seafood and it can be cooked according to your preference.
On your 3rd and final day in Kaohsiung, check out from your hotel/hostel in Tran Phu Street. Leave your stuff at your hotel to hold on before you go for last-minute shopping and seeing those attractions that you haven’t yet had time for. Do not leave without getting some souvenir from Nha Trang Market or XQ Hand Embroidery. You will surely find amazing silk apparel, widest variety of crafted goods and other must-have souvenirs. Fit in one last amazing lunch or dinner in the city before you depart from the city.
Have you been to Nha Trang or anywhere else in Vietnam? Do you have any tips or suggestions to share? If so, you can leave your comments below.
Featured image: View of the river Kai and Nha Trang (Romas_Photo / Shutterstock.com)