Nha Trang travel guide
Nha Trang is the capital city of Khanh Hoa Province on the south central coast of Vietnam. It has developed into the premier tourist destination thanks to its beaches and the best scuba diving place in the country, attracting large numbers of foreigners and locals alike. Nha Trang Bay is chosen as one of 29 most beautiful bays in the world in two succeeding years by Travel + Leisure.
Historically, the city was once known as Kauthara under the Champa. Nowadays, tourists still see the famous Po Nagar Tower perched on a hilltop in the north of the city with breathtaking views over the river and town. Nha Trang is a center for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute. The Hon Mun marine protected area is one of four first marine protected areas in the world. The city is also the place where the famous scientist Alexandre Yersin lived and devoted his life for 50 years.
When to go
Nha Trang has a tropical climate with a long dry season from January to August, and a rainy season from September to December. Best time to visit is in dry season when the weather is warm with moderate temperatures, giving the best conditions for beach lovers enjoy the sun and sea. Try to avoid July and August, the hottest months with high humidity.
How to get there
Getting to Nha Trang is convenient by air, road or sea. The city is served by Cam Ranh International Airport, 30km to the south. There are daily domestic flights to major cities of Vietnam including Da Nang, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as international and charter flights here.
The national route 1A, backbone north-south road of the country runs through the city. The Reunification Railway crosses the city and stops at Nha Trang train station.
Open buses are also available at the city’s Southern Bus Station with different routes to many other cities and provinces throughout the country.
Nha Trang offers six-kilometer stretch of beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches, blue waters, swaying palms as well as 19 untouched islets which are just a short boat ride away.
Po Nagar Cham Towers
A Cham temple tower complex located on Cu Lao Mountain comprise of three levels, the main tower is about 25m high.
Historically, Cham is an ancient civilization that was really influential in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam and Cambodia. The Cham ruled Vietnam for 10 centuries, their unmistakable architecture and art style had spread widely across places in the country. They are said to have their root in the India’s Buddhism. Thus, there are a remarkable similarity between Angkor Wat and the Po Nagar Towers found in Nha Trang.
Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
Housed in a grand French-colonial building at Cau Da Street, 5km from Nha Trang center, it is an interesting aquarium exhibits more than 60,000 pickled marine specimens, stuffed birds and sea mammals in the first floor, and displays of local boats and fishing artefacts are on the second floor.
Apart from the museum aquariums, there are also many of the theme rooms which focus on marine science featuring the history of its research equipment and technology such as: “From Light to Life” (features algae and phytoplankton), “Life in a Drop of Water” (microscopic aquatic organisms), or rooms illustrating coastal natural disasters, sacred legends, traditions and culture of Vietnam fishing.
Hon Chong Promontory
3km north of the city, Hon Chong is a cluster of boulders stacked on top of one another. In Vietnamese, Chong has two different meanings: to stack and husband. Normally, local people refer to Hon Chong in the second meaning. However, the first meaning seems to be more appropriate in explaining the arrangement of these giant stones. Hon Chong is a good spot to come at sunset.
Vinpearl Amusement Park
Vinpearl Amusement Park on Hon Tre Island offers fun-filled activities for travelers, especially kids with unique water slides, a massive aquarium, a wave pool, amphitheater, shopping mall, and a variety of rides. The park is connected to the mainland via a 3,320-metre sea-crossing cable car, which means great views of the bay along the way. Its Underwater World Aquarium, said to be the biggest of its kind in Vietnam, exhibits more than 300 marine species.
Long Son Pagoda
Long Son Pagoda was built in the 19th century with a striking design of mosaic dragons constructed of glass and ceramic tiles while the main sanctuary is a hall adorned with modern interpretations of traditional motifs. At the top of the hill there is a huge white Buddha statue seated on a lotus blossom which is visible from everywhere in the city. From here, tourist will get a panorama of the whole Nha Trang.
Nha Trang Church
Nha Trang Cathedral (also Stone Church, Mountain Church) is located on a small hill 1km away from the beach. Widely known as the largest church in the city, it was built by the French in 1933 in neo-gothic style featuring beautiful stained glass windows and a square clock tower surmounted by a large crucifix. A high bell tower in the middle with three bells inside are still in working order.
Thap Ba Hot Spring Center
Thap Ba Hot Spring, 6km from the downtown, is a great retreat away from the bustling city. The center offers a variety of healthcare services including mud baths, medicinal herb baths, swimming at pools of hot mineral water and therapeutic massages. Come to relaxing in the natural hot mineral waters originating from 100m underground, soaking in mineral mud said to be good for your health.
Alexandre Yersin Museum
The museum is dedicated to Alexandre Yersin, a Swiss and naturalized French physician who lived and devoted his life in Nha Trang for nearly 50 years. Yersin is remembered and respected in Vietnam to this day as a leading figure in the global fight against the plague, the founder of the Institute Pasteur in Nha Trang, Hanoi and Da Lat, as well as the Faculty of Medicine in Hanoi. He also discovered Da Lat in 1893. The museum houses a large collection of his equipment, letter as well as provides an insight into his life and contributions to bacteriology and science generally. The captions are in French with English and Vietnamese translations provided. Yersin museum is located at Tran Phu Street.
Hon Khoi Salt Fields
This is one of the most unique attractions in Nha Trang. Around 40km north of Nha Trang, the harvest of the salt season lasts from January to July, when the temperatures can go as high as 40°C allow for the salt to be directed from the East Sea to the fields. The special feature in this salt field is that works are carried out not by man but women. Hon Khoi is a popular spot for photography
Diving and snorkeling
Most of diving and snorkeling are taken place in Hon Mun Marine Protected Area with 12,000 hectares of reef-filled waters. The shallow waters here are best suitable for beginners to learn to dive. Best time to take these activities is from April to October with a clear visibility of many fishes and beautiful coral.
Hon Mun Island
The island's location near the hot sea-currents from the equator, giving suitable conditions for the development of corals and various types of tropical sea creatures. The sea bed of Hon Mun is home to a diversity of marine species, make it an interesting spot for researchers, oceanographers and tourists come to see and explore the marine life.
Typical cooking classes in Nha Trang include a local market visit, then under the guide from an experienced chef, you will learn how to make Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls.
Not only famous for beautiful and pristine beaches, Nha Trang is also a good place to enjoy cheap and tasteful dishes. Not only can you enjoy a great abundance of fresh seafood, the city also has its own distinctive delicacies. From food stalls in streets to local eateries to luxurious restaurants.
In Nha Trang, seafood is abundant and top quality and affordable. Supplied by local fishing villages, there are various kinds of seafood to choose, from fresh fish, crab, shrimp, squid, to prawns, urchins, crabs, jellyfish, and shellfish. The restaurants along the sea are popular places for tourist enjoy seafood with the amazing view of the Nha Trang Bay.
Bò né (Beef steak)
Bo ne is the local’s favorite dish for breakfast. It is a beefsteak served with eggs, pate in a hotplate. The dish go well with bread, fresh herb, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Eat like locals by dipping the beef in a sauce made from lime, salt and pepper.
Nem nướng Ninh Hoà
Nem nuong (grilled fermented pork roll) can be found throughout Vietnam, but this dish is originated in Ninh Hoa district in Nha Trang. Nem nuong is served with lettuce leaves, rice paper, fresh herbs, chilies, rice vermicelli and garlic. The key to this dish is the sauce that tastes sweet and spicy. Try to visit the area at Dang Van Quyen Street near Dam market where is regarded as the traditional center of Nem nuong.
Bun ca sua
This noodle soup is a specialty of Nha Trang. The dish has rice vermicelli, jellyfish, and steamed sailfish fillet in a sweet and savory fish broth. You can find many vendors selling bun ca sua at Bach Dang Street and Dam Market.
Banh can is a popular snack in Nha Trang. It includes crispy rice cake topped with either eggs, meat or seafood, cooked in small round pans over a coal brazier. They are sold in pairs and served with special sweet and sour sauce and fresh herbs.
untill you are totally satisfied with the trip plan.