Nha Trang is a beachside town in Vietnam, approximately 10-12 hours by bus from Ho Chi Minh. It is a popular backpacker stop in the banana pancake trail, and is also a great place if you want to get Ho Chi Minh out of your system.
Getting There: You can take a bus from Ho Chi Minh (I booked mine via Sinh Tourist) – it is a deluxe sleeper bus that leaves at around 9pm and between 6-9AM in Nha Trang. Try to get a sleeper that’s not in the back of the bus (it’s very bumpy). Alternatively, you can take a train from HCM.
Accommodation:I stayed at a hostel called the Backpackers House in a dorm room. Depends on your budget, there are high end beachfront hotels or hostels scattered throughout this palce.
Things to Do:
If you’re a backpacker? Uhm, PARTY! Seriously, the party scene in Nha Trang is quite wicked. Every single night that I was there was one big blast with my new friends from the dorm. Started from Red Apple Club (which was beside our hotel), we worked our way to Why Not? went to another bar and ended at the Sailing Club. The Sailing Club is the most expensive place in there but all the others have cheap drinks!
If you’re not a party person, you can take a booze cruise. Ok, it’s a party in itself and it is very fun. They take you to different islands – the first one has an aquarium, the second one is a brief snorkel/swim stop, and the last was a floating bar. Make sure you book the correct cruise! Some companies only have snorkel cruises, and others have booze cruises. Just when you thought you’re getting over your hangover from the night before, you’ll end up drinking the whole day again.
If you really want to relax, try the mud baths. It’s called the Thap Ba Hot Spring Center. Instead of doling out for a taxi, book with a company to provide you a ride from your hostel and entrance to the baths. It’s quite cheap and very relaxing!
Other places to visit around the area:
1) Long Son Pagoda – a Buddhist Temple
2) Ponagar Cham Tower – Historic site built between the 7th to 12th century.
3) Oceanographic Institute
4) Island hopping – you’ll have to contact a travel operator to avail of this tour though – visits Monkey Island, and a few others (different from the booze cruise)
5) Vinpearl Resort – Very, very expensive. It’s in a different island and you’ll have to ride a cable car to get to vinpearl and pay a fee for your day trip. You can go to the amusement park or enjoy the beach and stroll around.
Whether you prefer the boozing option or the sightseeing option, Nha Trang has something for everyone. I enjoyed my stay here, it was the highlight of my South Vietnam trip!