A Week at the Beach: Nha Trang, Vietnam

Looking for a beach destination in Vietnam? Nha Trang’s got you covered.

I recently spent about a week in Nha Trang, which is a coastal city situated on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. I spent most of my time in Nha Trang either on the beach or eating which is exactly what I needed.

Now I haven’t done much traveling in Vietnam, besides the occasional trip to Can Tho and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), since I moved here in August so this was my first real vacation getaway in Vietnam. From my experiences though, traveling within Vietnam is relatively easy. Buses basically take you everywhere you want to go and are quite affordable. Buses range from fancy sleeper buses to the not-so-nice buses where people bring their chickens on board. This all depends on where you’re going.

Getting to and from Nha Trang

Nha Trang has an airport and train hub but I decided to opt for the bus which was the cheapest option. I met some friends in Can Tho (which is 3 hours southwest-ish from Saigon) before making my way to Nha Trang. We took an overnight bus which took about 16 hours to get to Nha Trang. Our bus left at about 2 p.m. and we got to our destination at about 6 a.m. the next day. The bus had a couple rest stops but it mostly took forever because of construction on the road as well as the many pick-ups and drop-offs the bus took along the way. The bus tickets from Can Tho to Nha Trang were about 300,000 VND ($15 USD).

On the way back to Tra Vinh though, I decided to take the bus to Saigon since there’s no direct bus back to Tra Vinh. The bus was 250,000 VND ($12 USD) and much faster. We left at about 9 p.m. and arrived in Saigon at about 6:30 a.m. And since I was exhausted from my week long stay in Nha Trang, I slept the entire way back to Saigon. After arriving in Saigon, hopping on a motorbike taxi, and getting lost for about an hour, I finally made it onto a bus back to Tra Vinh. Oh the joys of travel.

Places to stay in Nha Trang

There’s a wealth of hostels and hotels in Nha Trang to suit your budget. Places range from super fancy to backpacker grunge. I stayed at a hostel the first night. It was a typical dorm-style hostel targeted at backpackers. We actually thought we were going to get a private room. Instead we ended up staying in a 10 person dorm-style room. We contemplated going somewhere else but decided we would only be sleeping at the hostel for one night anyways so we could tough it out. The hostel cost us 100,000 VND ($5 USD). I’ve done dorm-style hostel living in the past but as I get older, the whole prospect is less and less appealing to me. Most times, I would rather spend a little more money for comfort’s sake. After one night at a hostel, I stayed at the Golden Holiday Hotel for the remainder of my trip which was a 5 minute walk away from the beach. The hotel itself was pretty nice as well and was was about $30/night.

Things to do in Nha Trang

Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t do much in Tra Vinh as far as touristy things go but I do recommend you do the following:

  • Rent a motorbike and go exploring: While there are plenty of places you can walk to in Nha Trang, it’s nice to get out of the main tourist area. Just drive around, get lost, and explore. We were able to find some uncrowded beaches, see a bit of the country side, and get a feel of Nha Trang.
  • Eat 5 meals a day: When traveling, why deprive yourself? Eat to your heart’s content. The seafood in Nha Trang was great. Plus, we found some very inexpensive spots for seafood which were amazing.
  • Find some cool Siberians to hang out and play music with: Okay. This may not be possible for you but one of my favorite things about travel are the people that you encounter. I don’t normally remember all the temples and scenery that I see when I travel but I always remember the people I meet. My first day in Nha Trang while my friends and I were hanging out on the beach, a group of Siberians approached us. They saw one of my friends playing the guitar and they were also carrying a guitar around. Long story short, these group of people are probably some of the coolest people I’ve met while traveling. We ended up spending several hours with them playing music, hanging out, and running around the beach. We also ended up spending almost every evening with them after that first encounter on the beach jamming out. It was absolutely perfect. Sometimes the most random encounters can lead to the most fruitful of memories.
  • Visit another island: We spent one day where we hired a boat and had it take us to another island where we basically had an entire beach to ourselves.
  • Relax on the beach: It’s okay to do nothing. Spend time lounging around the beach and when you need to cool off, jump in the ocean.

Things you could do in Nha Trang

I didn’t do a lot in Nha Trang, but you could potentially fill up your days with activities if you wanted. So here’s a list of things that you could do in Nha Trang:

  • Go to the water park: There’s a water park on nearby Vinpearl island
  • Go scuba diving
  • Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers: The towers were built between the 7th and 12th centuries and are still actively used for worship by Cham, ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists.
  • Thap Ba Hot Springs: You can get mud baths here.
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