Nha Trang Beach Life
Nha Trang, with its magnificent bay, beaches and weather has deservedly become Vietnam’s seaside holiday Mecca. The magnificent coastline stretches the entire province and is welcomes million of tourists to its sandy shores each year. Nha Trang has twice been voted one of the world’s most beautiful bays and the city prides itself on its beaches, and indeed, it has built its culture, lifestyle, and infrastructure around its myriad beach locations where you can relax and while the day away with family and friends.
The beauty of Nha Trang Beach is its central location, proximity to hotels and its many quality restaurants. Sculpted gardens adorn the beachfront along Tran Phu St, the city’s Esplanade, in a proud display of Vietnamese culture. The view is simply stunning, with the bay dotted with many islands, protected by a hinterland of ancient volcanic mountains. There are many boat tours to the islands, and scuba diving is highly recommended, being the dive capital of Vietnam. On a still morning or evening, be sure to witness the sunrise or set over the bay, one of the most beautiful sights in all Vietnam.
However, there is more to Nha Trang than its central beach, with many alternative options to suit everyone’s particular needs and desires. Stretching from Bai Dai in the south to Doc Let in the north, whatever your tastes, there’s bound to be a beach to suit your style and mood.
A half-hour motorbike, bus or taxi trip southbound along a spectacular coastal road, lies Bai Dai (or Long Beach). Nestled at the foot of the sprawling hills, it is just 10 minutes from the airport. It is a haven for watersports, sun lounging, traditional seafood barbecues, and a perfect location for a couple of ice-cold beers. The long stretch of sand has a multitude of rickety beach shacks where one can pull up a lounge chair, cook a traditional Vietnamese BBQ at your table and soak up the peaceful beach surrounds. This time of year, it is an ideal location for surfing as the waves are in the form of long rolling breaks, and the water is relatively shallow and swim-friendly.
Other watersports such as a floating inflatable castle, jet skiing and scuba training can all be done here. The beauty of this beach is its clean, reasonably safe water and the natural surrounds, coupled with usually small crowds enjoying a peaceful beach vibe. It’s a perfect spot for a family day-trip as the kids will enjoy paddling in the shallow breaks, and there is plenty of food on offer to keep them energized throughout the day. Expats will be present most weekends at “The Shack”, a longstanding beach bar that offers western food, music and watersport activities.
For those who wish to look outside Nha Trang for a tranquil, more private alternative, but are not inclined to venture as far as Long Beach, a hidden gem awaits you inside the Diamond Bay Resort. Here, the VND80,000 entry fee proves to be a bargain as one gets to enjoy a secluded and delightful little bay that is perfect for tanning, swimming or just hanging out with family and friends. The beach is clean and safe, and there are a variety of beach huts free of charge. Relax under the sun, indulge in a Vietnamese massage or grab some food from the restaurant at very reasonable prices. The surrounding jungle is home to some local colorful birds and other wildlife – perfect for nature lovers.
Located just a few kilometers north of central Nha Trang, is the highly underrated Hong Chong Bay, a favorite with locals. Sheltered by the Hong Chong Rocks, this bay tends to be calmer than Nha Trang’s main beach, and is perfect for young children and families. Being north of the Cai River, it tends to avoid the sediment that flows out into the ocean after monsoonal rains, thus keeping the water crystal clean. In early morning and evening, hundreds of locals flock to have a dip before the glaring sun dares darken their skin.
Often overlooked by visitors to Nha Trang is the beautiful white sandy beach of Doc Let. Less than an hour north of central Nha Trang, Doc Let is home to the famed Jungle Beach – a near untouched intersection of jungle and sand with quaint little bamboo huts for overnight guests. Stretching for some 18 kilometers, the seclusion and turquoise waters offer a perfect retreat for couples and families, or those wishing to while away the time reading a good book and soaking up the quiet, postcard-like surroundings. The northern end of the beach offers a variety of accommodation, while the southern end is where jungle meets the sea, hence the name Jungle Beach. Doc Let can be accessed via a local bus for less than VND30,000 and by taxi, motorbike or private mini-bus. Ask at your hotel for travel information.
Vietnam is a country rich in stunning landscapes, and with a coastline stretching more than 3000 kilometers, there are many coastal wonders to explore and enjoy. Nha Trang is arguably the jewel in Vietnam’s coastal crown. Whatever your tastes, fantasies and desires when visiting Nha Trang and its surrounding beaches, there’s bound to be a place for you and your loved ones.