TOP 10 ACTIVITIES TO DO IN NHA TRANG (VIET NAM)
Nha Trang has made a name for itself as one of the prettiest seaside places in all of Vietnam and if you like sea and sand then this is certainly a great pick. This part of Vietnam is now firmly on the tourist trail and sees a large number of domestic visitors as well as international travelers. For this reason, Nha Trang also has a great nightlife scene, which sets it apart from some of the sleepier resort towns in the country.
If you like diving, then this is also a good choice as you can take in a plethora of underwater delights and the visibility off the coast is said to be excellent. All in all, if you want to check out a beach setting in Vietnam then Nha Trang is truly one of the best spots to do so.
Here are the top 10 activities to do in Nha Trang:
1. Trek to the waterfalls
Nha Trang is known for its waterfalls and some of the most famous is Ba Ho and Fairy Spring Waterfalls. These offer you the perfect opportunity to get out and about and see some of the great outdoors in Vietnam. Ba Ho is made up of a series of three cataracts and is located around an hour outside of Nha Trang, although it is well worth making the journey. Fairy Spring Waterfalls also makes a great trip and you will find a large spring here which fills a swimming pool at the base of the falls.
Image: © 2017 Keith Hadley
2. Go diving
By far the most popular thing to do in Nha Trang is go diving or snorkeling and there are a variety of options on offer if you want to do this. You can either opt to swim offshore, or you can take a boat to some of the idyllic islands that encircle Nha Trang which have crystal clear waters and a vast array of sea life. If you want to get PADI certified then there are around 10 dive shops in Nha Trang where you can take classes, although you may want to skip the period from October to December as the weather can make diving difficult and the visibility is poor.
3. Explore Po Nagar Cham Towers
Po Nagar Cham Towers were built from the 7th to the 12th centuries and there are four separate buildings that are used as a place of worship by Cham, Chinese, Vietnam, and Buddhist worshippers. There would originally have been around eight towers here in the days of old but now only four are still standing. One of these is called the North Tower (or Thap Chinh in Vietnamese) which stands at a height of 28 meters and was built in 817 AD. The tower is remarkable as it has a pyramidal roof which is also terraced and the interior is made up of a vaulted ceiling and a grand foyer. All of the towers are located on the banks of the scenic Cai River and if you like history and architecture then this is one spot not to miss in Nha Trang.
Image: Peter Unger / Getty Images
4. Go paintballing
If you are looking for an adventure in Nha Trang then consider trying out Nha Trang Paintball. There are two different excursions per day that you can choose from and you will get a paintball gun as well as some protective safety equipment. After that, an instructor will assign two different teams and you can then start the match. This will require you to try and shoot your opponents with paintballs and this is a top spot if you are looking for some fast-paced fin in Nha Trang.
5. Go shopping
Another great reason to come to Nha Trang is for the shopping. The choices here are very varied and you can shop at the high-end mall or choose something a little more authentic. If you want to shop like a local, then head for Dam Market where you will find a range of handicrafts as well as specialties like dried seafood and local produce. You can also buy Vietnamese textiles and clothes here and they also sell street food from the stalls set up in the market.
6. Soak at Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths
Just to the north of Nha Trang are the Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths which is the perfect spot if you are looking to relax for the afternoon. The baths here are made up of a series of both hot and cold pools, or you can try something a little different and opt for a mud bath. The mud is said to have healing properties thanks to its high mineral content and people usually slather their skin with the mud and then lie down in the bath and let it work its magic.
7. Visit a fishing village
If you travel around 10 kilometers to the south of Nha Trang then you will find a number of traditional floating villages. As you would expect, these form the backbone of the fishing community in Vietnam and you can now visit the villages and see a more traditional way of life in Nha Trang. When you visit the village you can take a tour on a small boat, or there are a number of boats that will take you straight to the villages from Nha Trang.
8. Visit Monkey Island
20 kilometers off the coast of Nha Trang lies the charmingly named Monkey Island.
As you would expect, the island is so named as it is the home of hundreds of primates and this is the main reason why people come here. To get to the island you need to take a ferry ride across the water and the island has a number of attractions in its own right such as a go-kart circuit and several entertainment shows.
9. Try the street food
Anyone who likes street food will love spending time in Nha Trang where you can sample a wide array of delicious street food snacks. As Nha Trang is by the coast, seafood is widely featured, or you can try other dishes such as Thit bo nuong la lot which is a snack made from beef which has been wrapped in lo lot leaves and then grilled. Other tasty choices include Banh can which is a rice flour pancake which is topped with meat or seafood and then cooked over a grill.
Image: Copyright 2018
10. Travel to Hon Chong Promontory
Hon Chong is made up of a granite promontory that looks out over the pretty mountain-lined coastline for which Nha Trang is famous. There is also a beach here as well as a model of a traditional Ruong home and some cafes and eateries. As such, if you are looking for an alternative to Nha Trang Beach then this is a good pick and you can also watch local children diving into the water off the side of the promontory.