Sun-kissed relaxation is an everyday thing in the bustling coastal town of Nha Trang. After all, this is a place with more days of sunshine per year than anywhere else in Vietnam. The town’s main beach, Tran Phu, a seven-kilometre stretch of pristine sand and clear water, bordered by rustling palms, colourful beachside bars and seafood restaurants. Here are seven excellent reasons to put Nha Trang on your list.
Nha Trang's greatest lure is a sandy beach facing a stunning bay dotted with 19 islands and islets. Tran Phu Beach is packed daily with holidaymakers, soaking up the rays from countless sun loungers. All along the beach, watersports are key part of the fun, from para-sailing to kite surfing, paddle boarding to jet skiing. For an escape from the action, hop on a motorbike to Long Beach just out of town. Here you’ll find shallow turquoise waters and local restaurants serving just-caught seafood. For a day trip, drive 60km north of the city to Doc Let, one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in all of Vietnam.
Nha Trang is called the seafood capital of Vietnam for a reason. Teeming with marine life, the waters off the Khanh Hoa coast supply the fresh fish and shellfish that are the highlight of many a meal in Nha Trang. Between streetside eateries, restaurants, and upmarket hotels, there’s no chance of going hungry in Nha Trang. For more in-depth explorations of the city’s dining options, eat with the locals or splurge on five-star buffets at the hotels along the strip.
Mineral-rich Mud Baths
You can’t really come to Nha Trang and not spend a day at the mud baths. Nha Trang’s mineral-rich clay used is said to have therapeutic and skin healing benefits, including increased circulation and moisturisation. After being submerged in oozing, sticky mud, spring for a shower in cool waterfalls. Then, finish off with a refreshing dip in the hot mineral pools. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, book a coffee massage or a chocolate body wrap. Of the three in the city, the most popular mud bath is at I-Resort, where you can extend your visit a huge water park with slides, pools and thrilling watersports. All in all, a fun-filled day for everyone.
Be sure to save a day during your trip to get out into the bay and see the islands just off the coast. Hon Mun Island is Vietnam’s only protected marine reserve -- ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. Vinpearl Water Park is a self-contained island playground with a sprawling amusement park, as well as a top-notch golf course. Best of all, it’s accessed via a stunning cable car ride – the longest in Southeast Asia. The aptly named Monkey Island houses more than a thousand resident primates; while Yen Sao Island is home to thousands of Salangane Swiftlets.
TIP: If you have time to explore, Yen Sao Island is a destination in itself, with sheer cliffs, inland forest and an inviting twin beach.
You won’t find anywhere else in Vietnam with the wealth of enticing accommodation offered in Nha Trang. From ultra-luxe resorts, to serene getaways, to downtown hotels, here you can rest your head in perfect comfort. The rugged coastline between Cam Ranh Airport and Nha Trang is under development, and 10 new resorts are already in the works.
TIP: Families travelling with children can book luxury villas with easy access to Vinpearl Land's amusement and water park, at Vinpearl Resort and Spa Nha Trang Bay.
Fascinating Cultural Sites
Nha Trang keeps culture lovers busy with several noteworthy attractions. Built in the 8th century by the Cham people, the Po Nagar Cham Towers is a must-see. Its impressive architecture blends many different religious influences, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. In town, Nha Trang Cathedral is a display of ornate French-style stained glass windows and imposing columns. At the Long Song Pagoda, a towering Buddha statue that watches over the city from a hilltop. And a little out of town, but well worth the trip is the serene Buddhist Meditation Institute. Enveloped by multi-layered gardens covered in flowers and plants, the institute overlooks a beautiful vista of paddies and mountains.
If there’s anything Nha Trang knows how to do, it’s throw a party. The town’s vibrant entertainment scene is anchored by Sailing Club Nha Trang -- a flagship venue for more than twenty years. Sailing Club’s weekend beach parties are famous across Vietnam, and you can expect to party with a mix of locals, expats and tourists. Up on the 43rd floor of Havana Hotel, Skylight Nha Trang delivers incredible views of the city from a 360-degree Skydeck. After sunset, international DJs and live acts take centrestage.