It’s no secret that Central Vietnam’s Nha Trang has one of the world’s best beaches – but apart from your typical sun, sand and sea combo and all that, what else are there in this beautiful coastal town? Let’s count the ways…

Rich Marine Life

Home to a national marine park, Nha Trang’s Mun Island is known for crystal-clear water teeming with tropical fish, turtles and even reef sharks, making it the perfect destination for diving enthusiasts. (credit: cungphuot.info)

Home to a national marine park, Nha Trang’s Mun Island is known for crystal-clear water teeming with tropical fish, turtles and even reef sharks, making it the perfect destination for diving enthusiasts. (credit: cungphuot.info)

…Which you can experience first-hand, with opportunities to explore the untouched offshore islands and even diving and snorkelling so readily available around. For those preferring to spend some time away from the sun, a half-day cruise on glass-bottom ships touring all the neighbouring islands, together with a trip to the local Vinpearl Aquarium and the National Oceanography Institute (oh hey giant whale skeleton!) would make a good outing as well.

Water Sports

All that windsurfing, flyboarding, parasailing and adventurous whathaveyous. (credit: Minh Tho)

All that windsurfing, flyboarding, parasailing and adventurous whathaveyous. (credit: Minh Tho)

Surrounded by calming water bodies all around, the town is surely no Mui Ne when it comes to adventurous water sports, but that doesn’t mean it comes up short on this front. With quite a handful of water sports facilities around, expect to find kayaking, jet skiing, kite surfing together with a myriad of other activities along the coast to satiate your inner thrillseeker.

Finger-lickin’ Good Food

No surprise on this one – good seafood is surely a given in a coastal town. (credit: tournhatrang.vn)

Whether you stay in an all-inclusive resort or a no-meals-provided backpacker hostel, let it be known that the best food in Vietnam will always be found out in the open on the streets, or in this case on the coast itself. And really, nothing compares to beach-bumming with a chilled drink on hand and grilled seafood freshly prepared on the spot. Get ready for some serious dilemma of choice (especially with regard to molluscs), and on a cautionary note do look out for tricks like the lobster-crayfish swap or inflated pricing. Aside from fresh seafood, be sure to try the locals’ favourite jellyfish noodles too – because Vietnamese cuisine goes well beyond just phở, spring rolls and Obama’s bún chả, y’know.

Attractions & Resorts

Cable car route to Tam island, where the Vinpearl Land Resort Nha Trang complex is located. (credit: dichoi.com.vn)

Cable car route to Tam island, where the Vinpearl Land Resort Nha Trang complex is located. (credit: dichoi.com.vn)

Now for the family-friendly fares, Vinpearl Resort on Tre island offers plenty of attractions from outdoor themepark rides to aquarium and waterpark besides the usual resort components. Meanwhile those looking for some quality zen time can find comfort in the neighbouring Ninh Van cove – where many of Vietnam’s best high-end resorts are located. Not in it for an upscale vacation? No problem, another underrated neighbouring destination Van Phong bay offers a multitude of natural attractions, from the offshore Diep Son tombolo – a natural sand bridge between two islets that’s only accessible during low tide – to the scenic rapids of Mui Doi, where nature lovers can opt to camp overnight by the sea. Not keen on offshore travelling?For an invigorating R&R experience inland, head over to any of the city’s three mud bath and mineral spas, which also happens to be conveniently situated near another attraction, the Po Nagar Temple or Nha Trang’s mini Angkor.

Hiking Trails

(credit: Landmark 5)

Be rewarded with this breathtaking scenery at the end of your hiking adventure. (credit: Landmark 5)

Nha Trang is obviously known for its beaches, but many don’t realise that the town also possesses some top-notch inland landscape ideal for hiking as well. The neighbouring Ba Ho waterfall region would make a good starting point for your adventure, where there is a mix of both easy and challenging hiking trails to suit everyone’s preference, topped off with a chance to dive off the cascade into natural swimming holes at the end of the trail. For a truly off-the-beaten-track experience, the neighbouring Fairy Mountain would be a good choice, where both biking trail across villages and trekking trail up the peak are largely unexplored and still retain its rustic countryside charms.

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