02 Jan

NHA TRANG CITY- Top things to do in NHA TRAN

Nha Trang CITY
Nha Trang, also known as the Riviera of the South China Sea, offers a six-kilometre stretch of beautiful coastline with white sandy beaches, clear waters with an abundance of marine life and thriving reefs, verdant mountain ranges at each end, as well as 19 untouched islets that are just a short boat ride away. Offering a myriad of sightseeing and recreational activities, the coastal town itself is steeped with breath-taking structures that date back to the Champa Kingdom, Buddhist temples, and gothic-style Catholic churches, as well as natural hot springs, salt fields, and unique waterfalls. Catering to any budget level and preference, Nha Trang restaurants serve up fresh seafood and Vietnamese cuisine while lively bars and pubs along the pristine beach are favourite hangouts for tourists to watch the sun sets over the East Sea. To help you get started on your travel plans, we have compiled all the essential information you need to know about Nha Trang, from the best time to visit to where to stay in this popular coastal town.
Sports & Activities in Nha Trang 
  1. Bicycle Tour
Joining a bicycle tour is a fun, inexpensive, and healthy way of exploring Nha Trang’s tranquil countryside. The six-kilometre-long coastal town has plenty of historical sites that are all grouped close together, so cycling is a popular way to get around town for both the locals and tourists. Group bicycle tours (with a minimum of two cyclists and maximum of 10) cost approximately USD65, though prices may vary from one tour operator to another. Each tour is inclusive of English-speaking guide, entrance fee, hotel transfers, meals, cycling equipment, and drinking water.
Full-day cycling tour of the countryside offers a scenic route along the coastline, visiting Po Nagar Cham Towers and The White Buddha, Chong Rocks, Ngoc Son Pagoda, before making a stop at Ninh Ich Village. You can also chat with friendly villagers and learn about their daily routine of cultivating rice and making local handicrafts such as sleeping mats, conical hats, and incense. The final stop is at Ba Ho Waterfalls, where you can enjoy recreational activities such as hiking and swimming before heading back to Nha Trang City. If you’re pressed for time, go for the half-day tour of Nha Trang City which stops at must-visit sites such as Nha Trang Cathedral, Long Son Pagoda, Po Nagar Cham Towers, followed by Chong Rock and Dam Market. Make sure you bring along sufficient cash as you need to pay entry and parking fees at popular landmarks such as Long Son Pagoda and Po Nagar Cham Towers. There are plenty bicycle tour operators in Nha Trang, though the most popular one is Vietnam Active, which also provides yoga classes, rafting and kayaking along the Cai River. If you prefer exploring Nha Trang at your own pace, there are bicycle rental shops that charge a daily rate between VND 40,000 and VND 70,000. 
 2. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is a must-do activity in Nha Trang if you’re looking to get up close and personal with colourful sea creatures and thriving coral reefs. While Nha Trang enjoys beautiful weather for most of the year, the best time to dive is between the months of April and August as visibility in the East Sea can go up to 30 metres with average mean temperatures that range between 28°C and 30°C. The majority of scuba diving excursions in Nha Trang take place within Hon Mun Marine Protected Area (MPA), which is a 40-minute boat ride from Cau Da Port. Thanks to its various water depths and swim-through tunnels, you can see a wide variety of small colourful tropical fish, moray eels, and pufferfish as well as thriving coral reefs. 
One of the most popular diving sites in the marine park is Moray Beach. With a maximum depth of 18 metres, the area is ideal for divers of any certification level. Moray Beach is also a great place to spot hard and soft coral reefs as well as numerous marine species such as clownfish, black frogfish, pipefish, razor fish, giant moray eels, flying gurnards, and seahorses. Also located in Hon Mun Marine Protected Area is Madonna Rock, which has a maximum depth of 25 metres with several caverns at varying heights. Accessible only by boat, these caverns provide shelter for the many fish species that breed here. Look out for giant morays, lionfish and scorpionfish. Due to its popularity, the marine park can get crowded during peak diving seasons. An alternative diving site is located at Whale Island, which is situated 80 kilometres north of Nha Trang. Despite its name, whales are hardly spotted in the area anymore, though there are plenty of interesting species such as trevally, groupers and snappers hidden among the soft coral reefs. With a maximum depth of 35 metres, Hon Trau Nam is one of Whale Island's most popular dive sites. Expect to spot stingrays and eagle rays cruising along the reefs, not forgetting clownfish, stonefish, and barracudas. Although there are plenty of dive shops available, some of the most highly recommended dive operators in Nha Trang include Sailing Club Divers (+84 58 352 2788), Angel Dives (+84 58 352 2461), and Rainbow Divers (+84 58 352 4351). Price-wise, a basic scuba diving trip costs approximately VND 1,250,000, which is inclusive of equipment rental, lunch, hotel transfers, and entrance fee to the marine park. For those looking for more than just a fun dive, there are a few PADI Dive Centres that offer full PADI certification courses from VND 6,000 000 onwards.
3. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Established in Hon Tam Island in 2010, the new centre for hot air balloon rides now operates from near Pham Van Dong Street. The hot air balloon has solid handrails and a protective net. The ride takes you to a height of 150 metres, and includes a 15-20 stop so you can enjoy the panoramic bird’s eye view of the city and take those hard-to-get aerial photographs of the bay and the sea beyond. Address: Pham Van Dong Street, or inquire at travel agents.
4. Golf Golfers will not feel left out in Nha Trang, where a few professionally designed 18-hold golf courses are to be found at: Vinpearl Complex, in Hon Tre Island, just across the bay of Nha Trang; Diamond Bay Golf Course, at Diamond Bay Resort, Nguyen Ta Than, Tel: +84 58 371 1666
5. Mud Baths
The mud baths at Thap Ba natural hot springs are a healthy and fun way to spend a few hours. The best time of day to go is between 12:00 and 15:00 when they are less crowded. You will be offered single or shared mud baths and obviously the single ones are more expensive yet the communal tubs are more fun. Shower off in mineral-rich water afterwards or let the mud dry on you first for additional benefits before showering. 
6. Vinpearl Amusement Park in Nha Trang
Vinpearl Amusement Park, situated on an island across the bay from Nha Trang Beach, is a large-scale theme park featuring water slides and games, a large aquarium, a wave pool, and a variety of rides. The Park is reached by cable car that connects Nha Trang City to this island resort. The 3,320-metre long ride offers dazzling views of the bay, a promise of the fun-filled day that is to follow.
Vinpearl Amusement Park’s attractions include a variety of water slides with names like ‘space hole,’ ‘tsunami,’ ‘black hole,’ and ‘kamikaze’. The 900-metre long ‘lazy river’ features gentle floating along while wearing a swimming ring, and the ‘wave pool’ emulates different sea conditions, from choppy to very stormy. The very young have their own kids’ pool with chairs and umbrellas for supervising parents. An impressive 3,000sqm aquarium, or ‘underwater world’, has a tunnel with a motorised walkway through which visitors can admire no less than 300 species of colourful fish. This modern and beautifully-kept aquarium is claimed to be the biggest of its kind in Vietnam. The usual theme park rides are featured here too, from the speedy roller coaster to the gentle carousel rides for the young and not-so-young. Some games are housed in the artificial mountain arcade. For meals, Vinh Xanh restaurant serves a variety of fast food including fruit juices and drinks. Nearer to the beach, the Food Village offers a set menu and a-la-carte dishes from its terrace overlooking the sea. If you want to get away from the bustle, the 400-metre long sandy beach which is part of the amusement park is the place to relax and watch the sunset. There is a shopping mall with an array of boutiques selling anything from brand clothing items to jewelry and local handicrafts and souvenirs. A day pass offers unlimited entry to all rides, games and aquarium and includes a round-trip on the cable-car and the Vinpearl-owned ferry. Vinpearl Amusement Park Opening Hours: 08:00 – 21:00 Monday – Thursday, 08:00 – 22:00 Friday to Sunday Address: Vinpearl Resort Island, Nha Trang Bay Tel: +84 58 3 598 188
7.Boat Cruises Nha Trang is flanked by 71 islands, and the sea at most times of year, is crystal clear so the plethora of boat trips daily heading out plus the easy availability of booking agents is self-explanatory. Trips are not expensive and are more often than not party cruises but with a fair amount of snorkeling.
Boat Cruises Nha Trang take you to some of Nha Trang’s neighbouring islets, offering a full day of sightseeing, live entertainment, and fun-filled activities with fellow tourists. Thanks to Nha Trang’s relatively calm waters all year long, there are numerous tour operators that organise boat cruises on a daily basis.   Priced at VND 200,000 onwards, the boat cruise is inclusive of lunch, hotel transfers, and snorkelling gear rental, stopping at Mun Island, Mot Island, Tam Island, and Mieu Island for about an hour for each one. After hotel pickups, visitors are taken to the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam for a brief visit before a shuttle speedboat transfers them to Mun Island. 
After an hour of leisurely snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing at the island, the next stop is Mot Island where lunch is served with complimentary drinks and seasonal fruits. Live entertainment by local guides is also provided on the boat. During the entire island-hopping tour, you can see Nha Trang’s colourful coral reefs and various marine life through the boat’s glass flooring. At Tam Island, visitors can enjoy water sports such as jet-skiing and kayaking, relax by the beachside, or see the local fishermen at work catching cuttlefish, shrimps, and flower crabs. Before heading back to the main island, the boat stops at Hon Mieu Island, which hosts the Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Built in 1971, it resembles a massive pirate ship that’s made of concrete, housing hundreds of marine species and a manmade pond on the ground floor, souvenir shops on the second, and a restaurant on the top floor. Do note that entrance fees to Tri Nguyen Aquarium (VND 90,000), Mun Island (VND 22,000) and Tranh Mini-Beach (VND 30,000) are not inclusive in the tour package. A popular boat tour is The Funky Monkey, which offers a unique floating bar, where patrons can enjoy an array of cocktails and beers as well as live entertainment. Also known as a booze cruise amongst backpackers, it is priced at VND 200,000 per person.

 
 Tags: boat-cruises,bicycle-tour,snorkelling, scuba-diving, vinpearl, mud-baths,  hot-air-balloon-ride, nha-trang

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