Welcome to the fabulous city of Nha Trang! The rainy season, Christmas and the New Year have disappeared, and a dazzling blue sky, bright sunshine, crystal clear water, and that golden strip of sand is calling you. We are now looking forward to the tremendous festive celebrations for Tet. The Lunar New Year or Tet as it is known in Vietnam is without doubt, the king of festivities for the fun loving Vietnamese people. The lead up to the year of the Rooster (falling on January 28th) will be a glittering event. The city will be alive with color and merriment. This is certainly one event not to be missed. Nha Trang’s myriad restaurants and up market hotels lining Tran Phu Street, will be ringing in the New Year with sumptuous banquets, fine dining and a splash or two of champagne. It is party time in the beach capital of Vietnam. Following close on the heels of TET in mid-February is that special day of the year for lovers. Valentine’s Day, is an occasion for you to flaunt your passionate nature for the one you love. A romantic candlelit dinner on the beach, dine in 5 star luxury in one of the grand hotels, or enjoy French, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisine in one of the many restaurants in town. Or simply enjoy a relaxing stroll, the sound of gentle waves lapping the sandy shoreline, soft breezes stirring the palm trees, as you wander the promenade along the beach. Be sure to check out the Events Calendar on page 80, detailing daily promotions, live music venues, happy hours, and other interesting events happening around the city. So much to do for so little. Nha Trang offers it all. Cultural and traditional sights, lazing in the sun, snorkeling amongst the colorful tropical fish in the marine sanctuary of Hon Mun Island, sunset dinner cruises, championship golf courses, mud baths, sailing, and the freshest seafood, are all on your doorstep. So kick back, grab a cold one and see where your holidays take you.
Nha Trang enjoys a sultry climate, and is most fortunate to miss the cyclones that visit other parts of the country each year. The hot dry season runs from February through to October where temperatures range from 220C to 340C, and with the cooler rainy season between December to January we see temperatures ranging from 170C to 300C. During the rainy season the ocean can become quite wild, so it is best to keep an eye on the kids when you are down at the beach, and swim where the lifeguards are. They wear the distinctive red and yellow uniforms, and perch up in the bamboo towers along the beachfront.
Things to do
Nha Trang is ready and waiting to give you a wonderful holiday, with many activities to keep you busy. Relaxing at the beach, scuba diving, or snorkeling at one of the many dive spots, guided tours, cultural sites, spas, cooking classes, snake shows, or golfing at one of the world class 18 hole courses are all available for you to enjoy.
The Vietnamese currency is the Dong, but don’t be concerned if you haven’t any on hand as all the major currencies are easily exchanged at banks, the airport and around town. At the time of printing, USD$1 = VND 22,700.
You will be spoilt for choice, with sports bars to catch up on football, live bands, clubs, International DJ’s and cultural shows available every night of the week. There are also Western style cinemas, a bowling alley and video game arcades for the kids.
Nha Trang delivers every style of accommodation for the international tourist and the backpacker alike. These range from hostel accommodation through to 5 star resorts.
Population and Location
Nha Trang is located in Khanh Hoa Province, 447 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City and 1287 km south of Hanoi. The population is about 500,000.
Bars and Restaurants
Tourist central is the nerve centre for a wide variety of bars and eateries, from street food through to International cuisine. Vietnamese food is internationally recognized as the freshest and the best, and you will certainly be amazed as you wander the streets. Pick up the latest Nha Trang Guide Map from any tourist outlet or see our Restaurants & Bars section, you will find not only the restaurant or bar location of your choice, but also how to make your way back to the hotel.
Unlike some countries, tipping is not expected but appreciated. A rule of thumb is to tip what you feel is appropriate at the time.
Cam Ranh Airport receives direct flights from several International centers and has regular domestic flights to/from many cities within Vietnam. There is a comfortable and efficient train service running between HCMC and Hanoi calling at many towns on the line including Nha Trang. Buses are cheap and easy to arrange and all these options can be booked at your hotel or through one of the many travel agents in town.
Crime is not a problem in Vietnam, but like the world over, in tourist areas there will always be petty theft. Keep your smart phone in your pocket, your passport at the hotel, and wear little jewellery. If you intend to rent a motorbike, be aware that overseas licenses are not valid in Vietnam and your travel insurance won’t cover you. Best to drink bottled water as well, and slap on some insect repellent.
As you walk the streets of Nha Trang, you are going to be approached by vendors selling all manner of goods. Cigarettes, chewing gum, sunglasses, jewellery, bags and wallets are all on offer. They are not nearly as ‘pushy’ as in other cities, so remember, they have families to feed and please be polite in refusal if you are not ‘in the market’.