Nha Trang Beach Resort, Vietnam
The city of Nha Trang is located on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. The city has a population of just 300,000 people, but it is growing quickly. New hotels and resorts are under construction everywhere in Nha Trang. The beach has been a long time tourist destination for local Vietnamese tourists, and is now becoming more and more popular with foreign tourists. Nha Trang was the host of the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant on July 14, 2008 and Miss Earth 2010 held December 4, 2010. With beautiful beaches and low cost of food and accommodation, Nha Trang is an up and coming destination that soon may rival places like Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi.
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When travelling to Nha Trang, there is no need to book accommodation in advance, unless you are arriving during the Tet festival. There are plenty of hotels available for rates as low as 10USD per night. If you are willing to pay as much as 20USD per night, you can expect a beautiful room with a balcony and an ocean view, satellite television, and free wireless Internet. It certainly pays to have a look around the town before committing to a long stay at any hotel. Many hotels seem to negotiate price, and you can potentially get them to offer you a better rate if you are staying for more than a few days. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of accommodation available for such a low cost in Nha Trang.
As is the case in Ho Chi Minh City, taxis are very affordable as long as you choose the right company. The most reputable companies are "Mai Linh" and "Vina Sun", as long as you use these companies you should have no troubles. Remember that taxi drivers in Vietnam do not usually speak any English, so you need to know exactly where you are going, and you should have the address written down. I would not recommend using motorbike taxi drivers, they are cheap enough, but they seem to be more interested in hassling you and trying to get you to go somewhere where they will get commission. With the low cost of taxis, there is no need to mess around with the motorcycle drivers.
I found the restaurants in Nha Trang to be quite good, but not quite as good as Ho Chi Minh City. Most of the restaurants are very reasonably priced, with dishes for just a few dollars. The area just a few blocks back from the beach seemed to have more restaurants catering to foreigners. Choices for western food are not as plentiful as Ho Chi Minh City, however there is an American Texas style bar and grill that offers typical American food like ribs, steaks and burgers. This place is worth visiting, however it will cost a little more than most other places.
The Sailing Club
The Sailing Club is a high end bar and restaurant located right on the beach just meters from the ocean. It has a fantastic atmosphere especially while having a drink in the evenings when the waves are crashing in just a few meters away. The cost of food an drink at the Sailing Club is significantly higher than most other places in town, but still affordable by western standards. I was very impressed with the Sailing Club, and I find it well worth spending an extra few dollars to sit and enjoy a drink in such a luxurious atmosphere.
Vinpearl Amusement Park
The Vinpearl Resort, as well as the amusement park, is located on an Island just across the bay from Nha Trang Beach. The most convenient way to get there is by cable car from Nha Trang. I did not get a chance to see the resort, as it is off limits to visitors to the amusement park, however I have heard that is fantastic. The amusement park is absolutely unbelievable, and incredible value. For only 16USD you get a full days access to the entire amusement park, including return trip on the cable car, access to the water park and water slides, the aquarium and all the rides. I would compare this to a smaller version of Disneyland, and in some ways even better. When I was there, there were no crowds, no lines, and the cost was more than affordable.
While the beaches and the other attractions in Nha Trang rival other world famous destination in Asia, the nightlife has a long way to go. There is no comparison to the nightlife of beach resort locations in Thailand and other surrounding countries. That being said, there are still several places to go out for a drink in Nha Trang, and many of them stay open quite late. It seems that many of the scuba diving shops also run restaurants and bars, some examples of this are Rainbow Divers and the Booze Cruise Bar & Grill. There are a few nightclubs located in some of the larger resort hotels that mostly cater to a local clientele. The nightclub scene was a little different than I am used to, it seems that the waitresses are not employed to simply serve drinks, they are also supposed to help you drink them. I noticed several tables of local men that would purchase a bottle, then a flock of sexy waitresses would gather around their table and help them drink it.