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Located in South Central Vietnam, this coastal paradise is one of Vietnam’s under-the-radar gems. While visiting Nha Trang while on an Asia cruise, you’ll find the town is made for lounging beachside along the crystal clear waters of the Nha Trang Bay. It’s also perfect for treating yourself. Take a one-of-a-kind mud bath at Thap Ba Hot Springs Center, where the local mud and mineral waters are said to have restorative properties and can soothe the body. Thap Ba is less than an hour from Nha Trang City, so you’re never too far from the action.
Of course, a Nha Trang cruise stop could easily be spent doing absolutely nothing but sunbathing at Nha Trang Beach. Then again, you could get in touch with your inner kid at Vinpearl Island, an amusement and water park that’s a short cable car ride from the city. Whatever you decide to see and do, year-round tropical weather awaits. Head off the beaten path to experience a side of Vietnam you’ve never seen before.
Built in the 19th century by French missionaries, this beautiful church is one of Nha Trang’s top sights. Architecturally, the Gothic-style cathedral stands out among the rest of the city. A tour of the cathedral is quick but informative.
If you’re craving time to learn and understand the rich maritime history of Vietnam and Nha Trang in general, the National Oceanographic Museum has a massive collection of preserved marine species, artifacts, boats, and tanks of turtles and sharks. For nature buffs and those who are interested in the protection of Vietnam’s coral reefs, this museum is a great way to spend a half day in Nha Trang.
Nha Trang Bay glimmers in the background as travelers roll out their beach towels and break out their umbrellas. There are several beachfronts where you can swim, snorkel, or scuba in Nha Trang, so you won’t have to fight for your spot on the beach. The resorts in Nha Trang often have thatched huts and umbrellas where visitors can relax and sunbathe, too.
Cool off and ride the ferris wheel at Vinpearl Island, a water and amusement park ideal for all ages. Getting there is an unforgettable cable car ride over a stretch of water, which is the longest cable car in the world that goes over the ocean. Grown ups and kids alike will find plenty of fun waiting on the water slides, roller coasters, and wave pool. Don’t miss the aquarium, which is almost an acre of tunnels and tanks where 300 species of tropical fish swim freely.
Tran Phu Beach is conveniently located near some of the most glamorous resorts in the area, so you’ll have plenty of options for food, drinks, and activities when you spend the day swimming or sunbathing here. You can walk from the center of Nha Trang to the beach, or get there via taxi or car in under 10 minutes.
Nha Trang’s natural hot springs and mud baths are famous in the region for their healing properties, and people come from all over Vietnam to bathe in the springs. You’ll be at the height of luxury as you enjoy everything the Thap Ba Hot Springs Center has to offer, whether that’s the mineral-water pools, the saunas, or the communal mud baths. Plus, the area has restaurants and a smoothie spot so you can stay hydrated and rejuvenated all day.
Head to this Buddhist temple where a white Buddha statue sits peacefully at the summit of stairs. Visitors can climb the steep staircase to get up close and personal with the seated Buddha. The temple dates back to the 19th century, and Long Son Pagoda is known as one of the most important religious sights in the area.
Just 45 minutes outside of Nha Trang is the incredible Ba Ho Waterfall structure, where the area’s trio of waterfalls has delighted hikers and climbers for decades. To get deeper into the complex of waterfalls, you’ll have to climb over slippery rocks. If you don’t want to navigate alone, a guided hike is an option, too. Ba Ho Waterfall is the perfect excursion if you’re craving time in nature and an active afternoon activity.
Head to Lanterns for a romantic but unpretentious dinner in Nha Trang, where the red lanterns hanging above your head provide a special ambiance. Here, you’ll find both European and Vietnamese-style dishes. Try the sizzling pancakes or classic seafood and pasta dishes. Lanterns donates a part of its proceeds to philanthropic causes, including local orphanages.
If you think you’re confined to Vietnamese cuisine while in Nha Trang, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that the city offers plenty of variety. At Kiwami, hand-rolled sushi and sake are the restaurant’s specialities. Sit at the bar to watch your rolls as they’re being made.
Whether you’re hungry for a papaya salad, claypot chicken curry, or traditional Vietnamese beef pho, Yen’s Restaurant consistently makes “best of” lists in Nha Trang. The relaxed atmosphere and rooftop lounge is ideal for drinks looking out at the Nha Trang skyline.
The inside of Lac Canh is approachable and casual, where you order up front and barbeque your own meats at your table. Locals flock here for a tasty lunch of grilled shrimp, squid, or beef. The portions are big, so come hungry.
In the mid 19th century, French colonizers took over Nha Trang. Under French rule and beyond, Nha Trang became known as a beach getaway and resort town where vacationers from Ho Chi Minh City and other towns in Vietnam came to for relaxation, beautiful beaches, and scuba diving. This city of nearly 400,000 residents is slowly gaining popularity as an international tourism destination as more cruisers and backpackers discover the area. Today, fishing and trade from the port are hugely important to the area’s economy.
The port where your Nha Trang cruise will dock is called Cau Da Port. There’s usually a complimentary shuttle ready to take cruise passengers from the port into the city of Nha Trang. You also have the option of hailing a taxi just outside of the port or riding in a trishaw to the center of town.
Taxis are one of the most popular ways to get around and see the sights in Nha Trang. Double check that the meter is running whenever you take a taxi in Vietnam. Bicycle rentals are another popular mode of transport in Nha Trang, and the city is also fairly walkable.
Nha Trang isn’t known for much in the way of shopping, but there are a few hidden gems if you know where to look in this little resort town. Bargaining at Cho Dam Market is a must-experience during your stop in Nha Trang, which is one of the area’s well-known markets for food, fabrics, souvenirs, and locally made goods.
The official currency of Nha Trang is the Vietnamese dong (VND), though you’ll find many establishments accept US dollars in Vietnam. There are ATMs all over Nha Trang, so you won’t struggle to find them. Haggling is common and encouraged at markets and when you’re buying souvenirs. Tipping isn’t customary in Vietnam in general.