Viet Nam

Nha Trang

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is known as Vietnam's beach tourist city. Following a significant upgrade in 1995-1996 and the opening of two luxury hotels later in 1996, Nha Trang ascended to the ranks alongside renowned beach destinations like Phuket, Thailand, and Cancun, Mexico. Today, it's a favored destination for both international and domestic tourists. In addition to sunbathing, popular activities for tourists include boat trips to nearby islands and tours of Nha Trang's historic sites. If you enjoy typical beach resort towns, then Nha Trang is the place for you.

Nha Trang is situated on Vietnam's central coast, about 450 km north of Saigon and 1,200 km south of Hanoi. The primary thoroughfare in Nha Trang is Tran Phu Street, which runs along the seaside in a north-south direction for approximately 4 kilometers. It's a broad boulevard, divided by a grassy median adorned with street lamps. Numerous restaurants and bars line the beachside of Tran Phu, while hotels and additional eateries line the opposite side. A pedestrian path and a broad swath of trees separate the beach from the roadway.

Unsurprisingly, life in Nha Trang revolves around the beach. During early mornings and late afternoons, particularly on weekends, you'll find the beach bustling with locals. Besides swimming, football is a popular recreational activity, and you'll see several games in progress. In the heat of the day, locals relinquish the beach to predominantly foreign sunbathers. By evening, the beach is virtually deserted.

When you've had your fill of the beach, consider visiting the nearby islands. Day trips are offered by nearly every hotel and café. A typical itinerary includes visits to 2 or 3 islands, snorkeling, and lunch. For avid snorkelers and divers seeking more time underwater, two local dive centers offer day trips from January to October.

Back on the mainland, there are several worthwhile attractions within or near town. The towering white Buddha visible from many parts of Nha Trang is part of the Long Son Pagoda and can be reached by climbing a steep and lengthy set of stairs. North of town, across the Nha Trang River, lies the Po Nagar Cham site. The ancient Cham towers perch atop a hill; the vistas overlooking the river and town are breathtaking. Just beyond Po Nagar is Hon Chong, a picturesque beach reputed to offer the finest seafood in the area. South of town, explore Emperor Bao Dai's former vacation retreat, now a hotel.

All roads lead to Nha Trang; well, actually, there's only one road, National Highway 1, but you can also fly or take the train from almost anywhere in Vietnam. Some promoters boast that Nha Trang experiences only one month of inclement weather, which is true if you don't mind rain and wind. Otherwise, plan to visit between January and August.

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