For people traveling around Southeast Asia for several weeks, there may be a point when they feel like they need to take a vacation from traveling. If you have reached that point, head to Nha Trang, and take a couple of days to relax on its white sandy beaches. The scenery is just amazing with mountains all around and little islands dotting the bay. And the place has a lot more to offer than sunbathing.
Things to see and do
Nha Trang is situated right on the coast and its beaches are all free to the public. It has everything needed for a perfect beach vacation: transparent turquoise water, golden sand, palm trees and a nice promenade. Its main beach, Nha Trang Beach is so popular that in the high season, especially on weekends, it gets packed with tourists, so it might be a good idea to take a short drive and discover other nice beaches nearby. Beaches such as Dai Lanh Beach or Doc Let Beach have a more relaxed atmosphere, and also offer good restaurants with delicious seafood.
For fans of watersports, Nha Trang is the number one destination in Vietnam. You can try your hand at windsurfing, parasailing, wakeboarding, water ski, kayaking and several other sports, the list is almost endless. Nha Trang is also a paradise for divers. Whether you only want to do a bit of snorkeling to admire the underwater world, or you are an experienced scuba diver, you are at the right place. There are many great diving centers offering courses, so it’s also a great opportunity to get an open water diving license. Prices vary, so it’s worth looking around for the best offer.
Long Son Pagoda
You can get the best view of Nha Trang from the hill where Long Son Pagoda is situated. The temple was built in the second half of the 19th century and consists of the main temple decorated with fine mosaics, a prayer hall, and a bell temple. Behind the pagoda, you can find a giant white Buddha sitting on a lotus flower. The temple can be reached with an easy 20-minute walk from the beach, but be prepared for quite a few steps to get all the way up to the Buddha.
Without a doubt, Po Nagar is the top historical attraction in the Nha Trang area. The amazing temple tower was founded in the 8th century by the Chams, a people populating parts of Vietnam in the early phase of its history. The temple was dedicated to the goddess Yang Ino Po Nagar, Mother of the Kingdom. Several parts of the complex were destroyed over the centuries and only four towers survived, but the ruins are still impressive, only comparable to Angkor Wat of Cambodia. The temple is situated on a hill and offer another great vantage point over Nha Trang city.
Vinpearl Cable Car and Amusement Park
Take a thrilling, 2-mile long ride over the sea to reach the Vinpearl Amusement Park on Hon Tre Island. The gondola lift uses seven support towers, which look like tiny Eiffel Towers. You can get the best view if you take the ride at night when the towers are illuminated. The Vinpearl Amusement Park, however, is a great place where you can easily spend a full day. It’s an excellent theme park with a variety of water slides, pools, a nice aquarium and also has a pleasant sandy beach. The price of the cable car ride includes roller coaster rides and admission to other attractions as well.
Although Nha Trang is renowned for its watersports, the area is also a great spot for hiking trips. There are several spectacular waterfalls nearby, the most well-known of which are the three waterfalls of Yang Bay (about 26 mi from Nha Trang City).
National Oceanographic Museum
If you’re not that much into diving but still interested in underwater life, visit this great museum with thousands of living sea creatures, including sharks, turtles and scorpion fish as well as preserved specimens and skeletons. The highlight of the museum is an 18-meter long humpback whale skeleton. It’s a great place to spend a rainy day in Nha Trang.
When to visit Nha Trang
The peak season in Nha Trang is July to August. Since during this period the place tends to get overcrowded, especially on weekends, try to come slightly off-season or time your visit for weekdays. From the weather perspective, the period to avoid is October-November, those being the rainy months of the year. If you’re visiting for watersports, October and December are also not ideal, because they are rather windy.