Paddling along the Nha Trang coastline. By Garry Imranshoev
During the day, Nha Trang Beach is awash with sunbathers. A few kilometres south of the city, Long Beach is home to its own clutch of local seafood joints, as well as a couple of surfing spots which provide lessons and board rentals to visitors. If you feel like exploring farther, hire a motorbike and have a breezy ride north to Doc Let or Dai Lanh beaches.
One of Nha Trang's most unique attractions is its mudbaths and hot springs. Hidden in the hills just north of the city are a handful of spa-like facilities, which offer travellers the opportunity to sit in a pool of warm mud before rinsing off and relaxing in hot mineral water. Book a few extras such as massages and saltwater pools and make a day of it.
Daylong island excursions will show you around Nha Trang Bay, and a series of small islands nearby where you can snorkel to your heart's content. Monkey Island, Hon Mun Island, and Yen Sao Island all present beautiful, untouched shores. Closer to land, you'll have your pick of watersports, from jet skiing to para-sailing.
Long Son Pagoda and its towering, 78-foot-tall Buddha statue are a sight to behold, as are the centuries-old Po Nagar Cham Towers. Less-visited spots like the Bao Dai Villa just south of downtown Nha Trang also shed light on the area's historical importance.
Nha Trang plays hard during the day but its nighttime energy is unmatched. International acts and DJs regularly play beachfront parties at the city's Sailing Club, while dozens of other lively venues and rooftop bars around town keep the party going well into the night.
Pay a visit to Long Son Pagoda in the early morning before grabbing a bowl of bún chả cá for lunch. Spend the afternoon enjoying the beach or relaxing poolside at the waterfront Louisiane Brewhouse before stopping by Hon Chong in the late afternoon. Rally for a night out on the town.
On your second day, make the trip out to the Po Nagar Cham Towers in the early morning before heading to the mudbaths. In the afternoon, spend another afternoon putting in beach time, or if you're feeling adventurous, take the cable car across the water to Vinpearl Water Park.
To tack an extra day onto your visit, book a full-day snorkeling or diving tour for some on-the-water fun or head out to nearby Ba Ho Waterfall for a half-day hike.
Rainy season in Nha Trang takes place from April to September but the southern coast is less prone to heavy storms than its northern counterparts. Travellers can arrive in Nha Trang at any time of year and still enjoy their visit.
Travellers have the option of arriving by plane, train or bus. Flights from Vietnam's three major cities – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang – regularly arrive in Nha Trang, while trains travel the coast from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and vice versa. Sleeper buses also reach the city from many southern destinations.