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Nha Trang

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Revision as of 17:24, 13 September 2006 by 203.144.143.9 (talk) (See: Da Lat -> Dalat)
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Nha Trang

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Nha Trang is Vietnam’s most famous and traditional seaside-resort-town.

Understand

Traces of human settlement date back to the Cham-Empire, though in times of Vietnamese rule there hasn’t been much more than small fishing villages. The French recognized quickly that this beautiful bay on the south central coast with its islands and white sand beaches makes up for perfect bathing and developed. The famous franco-swiss physician Alexandre Yersin spent most of his life here, too.

Today, Nha Trang is a buzzing modern city with high quality tourist facilities and the place to go if you want to do some scuba diving or snorkelling. Most of the tourist infrastructure is in the southern part of town around Bien Thu, whereas the life of the inhabitant is centered around the Cho Dam in the northern quarters. The corniche of Tran Phu is the backbone of the city, being accompanied by a beautiful promenade and the pristine beach.

The place is, unfortunetly, far more tawdy than other beach towns- it's beautiful, but if getting drunk with backpackers every night isn't your scene, you might want to look elsewhere.

Get in

By plane

The new airport is located some 20 km south of the city and serves only domestic destinations.

By train

Nha Trang is a stop on the main railway-line connecting Hanoi and Saigon. The Railway station is close to the cathedral in the northern part of town.

By bus

Open Tour-buses usually drop you in the main tourist area around Bien Thu, while the public bus station is at 58, 23 Thang 10, about 10min walk west of the center.

Get around

Nha Trang has a reliable and easy to navigate public bus system, where the ticket fare does not exceed VND 2000 for a ride on a modern, air-conditioned bus with Vietnamese music. You will find buses nr. 3 and 2 the most useful, since they pass through the southern quarters. Alternatively you'll find the usual selection of taxis, cyclos and Xe Om. There is no place in Nha Trang that justifies a fare higher than VND 20.000 per Person.

See

  • The Alexandre Yersin Museum, northern end of Tran Phu, on the grounds of the Pasteur institute. Mon-Fri 7-11.15am &2-4.30pm, sat 2-4.30pm, VND 26.000 has a small but very informative display about the adventurous life of the man who discovered the germ that causes the black plague, established Dalat as a hillside-retreat for the French colonists and ventured, besides being a doctor, into every field of science that was accessible to him.

Do

  • Scuba diving and snorkelling are offered by several outfitters. Apparently prices for certified courses and the like are some of the lowest in the world. A morning on the boat, snorkelling over the reef, is about USD 12, while you can do the diving trip for ~ USD 30.

Sure Prices in Vietnam for diving are cheap but please do not look just for the best price, make sure you dive with a dive operator who has all the proper saftey equipment and insurances. You can also pay top dollar for your diving in Nha Trang through some of the more respecable operations,

Work

Buy

  • There is a guitar-workshop selling decent instruments starting from USD 25. Most of the cheaper ones are not manufactured meticulously enough to even make them tuneable.

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

If you are in for some night-life, most clubs are on Bien Thu.

  • Kim's Bar is run by a woman who is an anti-pedophilic activist, providing a future for street children to keep them from being sold to the western sex-tourists.
  • Sailing Club is a slightly posh establishment on the beach front south of the intersection with Bien Thu, sporting a dancefloor and 12 (twelve) speakers to pump up the jam. Lean back in your bamboo-chair on a starry tropical night on the big terrace and sip your favourite poison, if you where lucky enough to catch a seat.

Sleep

Accommodation is abundant in Nah Trang, and they are still building... Most hotels catering for foreigners are in the area around Bien Thu, but be sure to walk into the side lanes if you want to cut down on prices and avoid the noisy traffic. You should be able to find a decent room with fan for ~USD 6, with air-con ~USD 8.

Budget

  • Hoàng Châu Hotel, 6 Tôn Dản, T 058-524066 is a small Vietnamese-run place in a quiet dead-end street off Nguyen Thi Minh Khai. Works on a construction site for yet another big hotel between here and the seafront seem to be suspended in the moment, which is why the balconies of the frontal rooms offer perfect seaview. (USD 8 with air-con, local TV, hot shower)
(Information as of 14 July 2005)
  • Newly-constructed Quang Minh Hotel" is a three-minute walk from the beach and offers rooms from $6/night, including sattelite TV, hot water and refrigerator.

Mid-range

Bao Dai Villa. The Bao Dai Villa was the private villa of Vietnam's last emperor, Bao Dai. The villa is a little way from "downtown" Nha Trang and is somewhat secluded. Regular rooms go for about 30 USD and large suites go for 75 USD. Enjoy one of the best views and best food from the Bao Dai Restaurant which overlooks the ocean.

Splurge

Contact

  • Internet-Access can be found in many hotels and through cheap internet cafes all over town. The farther away from Bien Thu, the cheapest the rates. Expect decent ADSL connections.

Stay safe

Cope

Get out

The Islands

Tour operators offer boat tours to the surrounding islands, that usually include such funny things as a on-board fruit buffet or the "swimming bar", where you float in a circular swimming aid and try your hardest to get drunk. There are more serious approaches to it, so shop around for the flavour you want it to have.

Other Beaches

About 30 km north of Nha Trang, just when you passed through the village of Ninh Hoa, a peninsula juts out into the South Chinese Sea, and on its northern coast rides its tinier brother, Hon Khoi. Several resorts are located on the eastern beach of Hon Khoi, where you find palmtrees, white sand and turquoise waters. To get there follow the highway north past the turnoff to Dac Lac Province/Buon Ma Thuot. Then look out for a sign reading Doc Let-Resort, close to a filling station. A taxi will take 2 persons for about VND 200.000, while a Xe Om should not be more expensive than VND 100.000. Or catch a through-bus plying highway Nr.1 and jump off at the turn off. There will always be some motorbike-drivers waiting to take you. Whatever place you choose to go, be sure to reserve a bungalow in advance.

  • Doc Let Beach Resort, sign-posted, 058-849663,Fx849506, is the best known place and closest to the mainland. Though it started out as a traveller's secret, it quickly became a destination for domestic tourists, who basically flood the place during weekends and holidays. There is some socialist charm to the not so "white palm beach turquoise waters"-like architecture of the place, but it's definitely not the old Robinson-feeling you might be craving.
  • Paradise Resort, Nha Nhi Thien Duong, follow the signs from Doc Let-Resort through Dong Hai-village, is run by an elderly gentleman and his Vietnamese family. Bungalows are USD 16-18 (11-14 for a single person), depending on if they are close to the beach or not. Newer and nicer bungalows for USD18 are being constructed just next to the main compound. Meals are included, and prices for drinks are reasonable. Water, fruits, coffee and tea are free. 0084-58-670480, fx:0084-58-670479, [email protected], http://www.vngold.com/doclet/paradise.
  • Jungle Beach 091-3429144,[email protected] is reportedly slightly more upmarket, with prices being USD 15 per person, even if you sleep on the beach. Run by a Canadian-Vietnamese couple, food's included, and it's the most remote of the resorts here.
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