Nha Trang is a beachcomber’s paradise, also the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, located on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. You can spend an entire vacation beach-hopping. You’ll find fulfillment and a new location every day. Here are a few suggestions:
Bai Doc Let, about 49 km from Nha Trang to the South, is a paradise of white sand, dunes, turquoise water and palm thatched beach umbrellas. Bai Doc Let is 8 kilometers of swimming, snorkeling, parasailing and jet skiing. Boat rentals are available for exploring the nearby fishing villages or discovering the wonders of the small islands. You can rent a tent and campout overnight or opt for the creature comforts of the numerous lodgings provided (from modest to resort).
Ninh Van Bay is an alluring little cutout about 60 km from Nha Trang by road. The quickest way to reach the bay is via speedboat from Nha Trang which takes about 20 minutes to reach the bay. The bay itself is tranquility personified—coral reefs, exotic sea life, palm trees and white sands.
A couple of fabulous spas and retreats are available to enrich the experience or you can find a simple homestay. Ninh Van Bay is a place to escape the hubbub and immerse in blissful relaxation.
Hon Tre (Bamboo Island), located 5 kilometers east of Nha Trang’s city center, is accessible by either speedboat, ferry or aerial cable car. The island juxtaposes laid back beaches with entertainment galore. Visitors can swim, snorkel, scuba dive or kayak—catch breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
There is also a world class amusement park with over 100 activities, as well as The World Garden (a collective of garden habitats from around the globe). The island’s accommodations are first rate.
Nha Trang Beach is the city’s shorefront. Buffered by parks, sculpture gardens and a well-groomed tree line, Nha Trang Beach is the perfect place for strolling or bicycling (and it’s walking distance to iconic Tran Phu Street). The beach itself is ideal for swimming, diving, snorkeling and even hot air balloon rides. There’s also a vibrant nightlife—bars, clubs, rooftop dining. Convenient and easily accessible. If digging your toes into the sand is what you seek, Nha Trang Beach is at your fingertips.
The Mekong Delta resembles a water-based Casbah bazaar. Small vessels pack the river. Your soundtrack is the hawking and bartering of buyers and sellers mixed with the ambient sound of paddles slogging the water’s surface. There are hundreds of boats, a cavalcade of oars and conical hats and myriad buying opportunities. It’s a well-managed maze, where you can marvel at generations of delta dwellers, many of whom live on the boats where they conduct their businesses.
Da Lat is known by many names: The City of Thousand Flowers, City of Eternal Spring and City of Love (to name a few). But it’s best known for its waterfalls thanks to its pleasant weather and stunning landscape.
There are no less than ten magnificent waterfalls to behold namely Datanla, Hang Cop, Cam Ly, Prenn, Bao Dai, Elephant, Dambri,… each with its own backstory. While hiking and exploring these waterfalls, it’s easy to see why visitors flock to soak themselves in the midst of mountains and falls.
Pongour Waterfall is a majestic, seven level cascade (locally known as the 7-storey waterfall). 40 meters (at its highest point), the falls pour through terraced stones and are surrounded by forest and lush vegetation. There’s a nearby lake (Dai Ninh) which is ideal for fishing. Like other waterfalls in Da Lat, Pongour is a ideal place to set up a campsite and BBQ parties on the campus area. In the first month of lunar calendar, visitors can enjoy the unique and amusing festival of the locality – a perfect opportunity to discover the local culture.
Prenn Waterfall is a modest 10 meters in height but its mystifying spray, said to resemble the hair of angels, creates a heavenly like visage. Prenn Waterfall was designated a National Scenic Monument in 1998 and has been named one of the top five waterfalls in Vietnam. The waterfall and its surroundings provide an abundance of entertaining opportunities: an aerial cable car, paddle boats, wild animals zoo. There’s a suspension bridge, stilt houses, tree houses and the Au Lac Temple complex. Visitors can immerse in native folklore and enjoy traditional music and dance performances.
The lore of Elephant Waterfall is as melancholy as the falls are mesmerizing. It involves the heart-wrenching death of a singing princess, the ensuing silence of birds, the turning to stone of a pack of loyal elephants and an earth-shattering explosion. Over 30 meters in height and a designated national landscape relic, the falls have a unique feature—145 stone steps (carved out of the mountain) which leads from the foot of the falls to the top. Other highlights of Elephant Falls include Hang Gio (Wind Cave) and Linh An pagoda. The 50-meter-deep “Wind Cave” is found beneath the falls, hidden behind vines and dense foliage. Linh An pagoda mixes astonishing architecture, giant statues, acres of flowers and trees and is an active spiritual center.
Dambri Waterfall is not only the highest of the province’s waterfalls, but it’s shrouded in a tropical forest setting with myriad unique blooms and wildlife. You can trek the 138 steps to reach the top, opt for the viewing-elevator, or take a 1,650-meter-long alpine roller coaster. There are walking bridges over the stream and you can visit the village of the Chau Ma highland people (enjoying their culture, wine, music and dance). There are also wooden treehouses available for overnight stays. Dambri Waterfall and its environs are a nature lover's dreamscape, as well as a family-friendly point of interest.