Nha Trang Travel Guide

Nha Trang © Aleksandr Zykov

The capital of Khanh Hoa province, and located on Vietnam's southeastern coastline, Nha Trang is a popular tourist destination and agreat stop on any backpacking trail. With a reputation as a glamorous 'party city' - it has hosted the Miss Universe pageant in 2008, the Miss World pageant in 2010, and is due to host the 2016 Asian Beach Games - Nha Trang boasts fabulous, pristine white-sand beaches, and awesome scuba-diving and snorkelling.

The beautiful bay on the shores of the South China Sea is dotted with islands you can access and explore, and is home to the five-star Vinpearl holiday resort, an opulent, Disneyworld-like structure that caters for the well-heeled. One of those wonderful coastal destinations that is as popular with locals as with foreigners, and as popular with backpackers as with more affluent travellers, Nha Trang also features some interesting cultural fare that the more discerning traveller will enjoy seeking out.

Must-see tourist attractions include the Po Ngar Cham Towers (a beautiful collection of ruins dating from the 9th century); the Long Son Pagoda; the Alexander Yersin Museum (constructed in honour of the French-Swiss bacteriologist who spent 50 years living in Nha Trang); Nui Hon Chong beach; and the Lanterns Cooking Class, offered by one of the best restaurants in downtown Nha Trang.

While in Nha Trang, be sure to try the local specialities, which include fresh seafood and barbecued pork rolled in rice paper. The best time to visit the area is between March and June, when daytime temperatures are bearable, and it is not as windy. However, Nha Trang is fortunate in that it is spared the worst effects of monsoon season, meaning one could visit it all year round.

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