In the last decade, a lot has changed in our little seaside city of Nha Trang. Formerly known as a beachside backpacker destination, the city has come on in leaps and bounds, and is now evolving into a truly high-end destination that caters for the discerning traveler.
The main thoroughfare, Tran Phu Street, was once a sleepy coastal strip that has morphed steadily into a bustling metropolis, home to internationally branded 5-Star hotels, fine dining restaurants, modern rooftop bars and chic retail outlets. Where the city was once considered ‘off the beaten track’, it is now a traveler’s hub on the Central Coast that is welcoming a great number of international visitors each year.
Not resting on its laurels, there are many world class developments afoot which will raise the cities profile and reputation. Cam Ranh Airport has, in recent years, struggled to accommodate the increasing passenger numbers that descend upon the region. As a result, the authorities have been pro-active, and a second, longer runway and new terminal are currently under construction. This will enable the airport to handle bigger planes and a markedly increased number of passengers.
The first phase is scheduled for completion in September 2018 and aims to increase capacity by over 60%, to 6.5 million passengers per year. The international terminal will allow the airport to cater to larger aircraft and business class travelers, which should result in many more direct flights from neighbouring cities such as Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, and Tokyo. Already, there are bi-weekly, direct connections from Seoul and Hong Kong, along with numerous charter operations coming from China and Russia.
As a direct result of increasing visitor numbers, Nha Trang, and the surrounding region is becoming a highly attractive destination for international brands to create luxury resorts and beachside accommodation. The wild and beautiful coastline between the airport and city center is undergoing a huge transformation, and there are currently a wealth of resorts that have just opened or are under construction – each offering its own special blend of luxurious service and facilities.
Similarly, the province’s 3rd international golf course (designed by Greg Norman), is being created close to the airport, adding to the two stunning courses already in operation at Diamond Bay Golf & Villas and VinPearl Island. Within the city center, a host of new luxury accommodation is on the way, gradually bringing Nha Trang on par with larger cities such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Over the next few years, these developments will add to the already plentiful selection, offering a level of choice that is unrivaled in Vietnam. The supply of high-end apartments and condos is also rapidly improving as more expatriates decide to make Nha Trang their long-term base.
To the north of the city, Vietnam’s first Marina is in the latter stages of development and will cater to the international yachting community. The first phase is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2017, and upon completion, will contain berths for over two hundred yachts and pleasure boats.The significance of such a project cannot be underestimated as there are myriad benefits it will provide to the reputation of Nha Trang, whilst generating revenue, training, and employment into the local economy.
Vietnam is in relative proximity to neighboring sailing hubs such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and the marina will help promote Nha Trang as a world-class sailing and yachting destination. It will contain its own yacht club and training center, state of the art marina facilities, luxury accommodation, a watersports center, dining and retail outlets.
General Manager of the project, Ruurd Van Putten, gave us his insight. “It’s a unique project in Vietnam that will ignite a whole new industry. Yachting is generally known for its high standard, quality and innovation. Marinas have proven to be a catalyst for economic growth, development of tourism and overall improvement of leisure services and facilities.
With environmental concerns a high priority in coastal developments, AnaMarina is heavily focused on the key concepts of Sustainability, Durability and Responsibility. “A marina means less pollution, cleaner water, and protection to vulnerable marine life. It will have special systems to prevent spillage of oil, fuel and waste of boats. This will result in better water quality allowing plants, coral and fish to grow unthreatened, and also a safe and clean area to swim and play. We are dedicated to raising awareness that the sea is the beating heart and lifeline of Nha Trang, and must be preserved and protected at all costs”, Ruurd concluded.
With such excellent progress in both infrastructure and development, it is an exciting time to be in Nha Trang. It is a city firmly on the rise, and the next decade will see it further entrench itself as the premier beach destination in Vietnam, and perhaps Southeast Asia.