Karen and myself just finished our trip in Nha Trang, Vietnam. I’ve got to say that we definitely had a lot of fun in this city. If you’re going on vacation (not backpacking), then Nha Trang is a solid option as a tourist destination.
Nha Trang is a famous tourist destination for Russians and Chinese people. So if you go here, everywhere you look, there are Russians and Chinese people everywhere. There’s also a strong presence of Korean tourist so you’ll be seeing those three groups of people at any given time while travelling in Nha Trang.
8 days in Nha Trang Vietnam
Day 1 – Arrive in Nha Trang Vietnam after a long flight
After a long flight from Vancouver to Taipei to Ho Chi Minh and finally to Nha Trang, Karen and myself were dead exhausted. I used my 7-night category 4 certificate with Marriott to book a 7 night free stay at Sheraton Nha Trang.
We also paid 516,000 VND each for the airport shuttle pick us up from the airport (and later to drop us back to the airport). I think it’s a good value because the drive from the airport to the hotel was a staggering 45 minute drive.
Because I have Titanium Status with Marriott for 2019 (thanks to doing a status challenge back in 2018), we were upgraded to the executive suite. This room was awesome because we had a beautiful view of the city and beach!
Day 2 – Vinpearl
Originally, Karen and myself planned on vegging out on Day 2 because we were exhausted from all the flying the day before. But, because weather was nice, we decided to take a Grab to the Vinpearl Cable car station and check out Vinpearl.
I wrote a detailed article on Vinpearl here. Basically, we went on a lot of rides which was a ton of fun. One of the rides made me feel like throwing up so I had to chill out after doing that one. We even saw one tourist puke all over the pirate ship ride so we avoided that ride.
One bad thing about Vinpearl is the food here is overpriced and not very good. I ate this spaghetti with crocodile meat and the portion was tiny.
The 4D show was pretty bad but the aquarium was actually decent. We also checked out the arcade which we really enjoyed.
Before we left Vinpearl, a massive downpour happened causing a black out in the amusement park. Karen and myself reluctantly paid 65,000 VND to buy two ponchos so we can get out of the amusement park.
Day 3 – Ponagar Tower, Long Son Pagoda, Christ the King Cathedral, Pho Hanh Phuc (Handmade Pho)
On Day 3, we originally planned to relax since we didn’t do it on Day 2. But, we were feeling excited and decided to do a self done city tour. I wrote a detailed article here on how to do that if you’re interested in travelling to Nha Trang.
Doing your own self city tour in Nha Trang is so much cheaper than joining a tour. Joining a city tour costs at least $50 USD while doing it yourself costs under $8.50 USD.
Ponagar Tower had so many tourist but was very interesting to learn more about these ancient Hindu ruins. Our personal favourite was watching the locals performing this Cham cultural dance.
Long Son Pagoda
After Ponagar Tower, we went to Long Son Pagoda and it’s hands down our favourite part of the self administered city tour.
It’s this serene Buddhist temple within the busy city of Nha Trang. Here, we saw the local monks doing their ceremonies. The monks are also quite friendly, one of them happily posed for me when I asked him if I can take his picture.
To climb the big white Buddhist statue, we had to go up several steps and it was quite an exercise to get up there.
The big white Buddhist statue is beautiful and you can even enter the area of worship inside it and take pictures.
Finally, on the way down, we checked out this giant Buddhist statue laying on its side.
Christ the King Cathedral
After the Long Son Pagoda, we went to the last temple which is the Christ the King Cathedral. This temple was built by the French in the 1800s and the local Vietnamese people use to take wedding photos.
This church is probably the most underwhelming temple you can visit here. Especially if you’ve been to Europe and seen some beautiful cathedrals there.
Pho Hanh Phuc
After checking out all the temples, Karen and myself started walking around the roads near the hotel we were staying at. After exploring for about 30 minutes, we stumbled on Pho Hanh Phuc which became our go-to stop for Pho. Basically, they hand make the Pho noodles here and serve it to you for a reasonable price of 55,000 VND ($3.25 CAD).
Day 4 – Orchid Spa, Tháp Bà street food and mojitos
On Day 4, we decided this is the day we are going to relax. The first thing we did on this day is go to Orchid Spa which seemed to got good ratings on TripAdvisor.
I ended up getting a one hour foot massage and a one hour Vietnamese massage. Karen opted for the one hour foot massage and the one hour head, neck, and shoulder massage.
We both agreed that the foot massage was quite good and we felt relaxed. However, the Vietnamese massage and head, neck, and shoulder massage was just average.
After the massage, we checked out this road that’s popular among the locals for street food. The street food looked a bit dirty but it was very tasty. Maybe it’s tasty because it’s dirty, who knows.
Karen got this weird shrimp salad dish and I got this shrimp noodle soup. Both were good and we went home happy.
We ended the day by getting some mojitos from the hotel lounge.
Day 5 – National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, Hải Sản Ty Rô (Local restaurant), Tower Incense
National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
Our original plan was to go island hopping on Day 5. But, the prices were quite expensive to rent a boat to take us to the four islands in Nha Trang. We were also not feeling particularly excited about doing the island hopping. Yes, joining a tour would have been the cheaper option and we could have done that. But deep down inside, we just didn’t feel like it so we opted against it.
Instead, we checked out the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam. It was just average to be honest. I guess you get spoiled seeing awesome aquariums if you live in North America.
After checking out the museum, we started walking around the area to see if we can find some good street food to eat.
Hải Sản Ty Rô restaurant
We ended up stumbling on Hải Sản Ty Rô which is this local Vietnamese eatery. Karen and myself noticed they have some really fresh seafood here so we ordered steamed fish, a plate of vegetables, along with rice and some 7-up. We paid 405,000 VND for all the fresh food ($24 CAD).
MAN, I can’t tell you how good this eatery was. Karen and myself happily ate our meal. We were so glad to have stumbled upon this hidden gem. I highly recommend this restaurant if you go to Nha Trang.
Day 6 – Nha Trang Center (Shopping Mall), Pho Hanh Phuc (Handmade Pho), Nhà hàng hải sản Tám Mẹo (Local restaurant)
On Day 6, I decided to take Karen to the local shopping mall to see if she wanted to get some Vietnamese snacks. We also ate lunch at Pho Hanh Phuc again because this place is so good.
But the highlight of Day 6 is our meal at Tám Mẹo restaurant. We stumbled upon this restaurant on trip advisor and it’s basically another Vietnamese local eatery. Apparently, it’s mostly locals that eat here and they have the best prices for fresh seafood.
Karen and myself went here and ordered 1/2 kg of oysters, prawns, and clams. Altogether, we paid 428,000 VND (a little over $25 CAD) for all our food and drinks.
The seafood here was so good, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Nha Trang again but if I do, I would eat seafood here again.
Day 7 – Wash & Go Nha Trang Laundromat, Sen Spa, Nha Trang Center (Shopping Mall), Pho Hanh Phuc (Handmade Pho)
Day 7 was our last night in Nha Trang before we move on to our next destination in our Aeroplan mini-RTW trip.
We decided to get our laundry done at Wash & Go. This turned out to be a good value at 50,000 VND ($3 CAD) to get our clothes washed, dried, and pressed.
Of course, before leaving Vietnam, we went to another Spa. This time, we went to Sen Spa which is the most popular Spa in Nha Trang. Their prices were higher than other places but they have better trained therapists.
I got the deep tissue massage. Honestly, I felt so beaten up after but the lady massaging me definitely released some of the knots on my back.
Karen got an awesome foot massage that she wanted to book another Spa the next day before we leave.
We ended Day 7 by getting Karen some snacks from the mall and by eating at Pho Hanh Phuc one more time before we leave Nha Trang.
Day 8 – Sen Spa, fly out of Nha Trang
On our last day in Nha Trang, we went to Sen Spa one last time. I wasn’t as satisfied with my foot massage on this day. Karen got a facial and she was ecstatic about it.
We packed up and got shuttled to the Nha Trang airport as we got ready to leave Vietnam to go to Africa next.
Final thoughts on Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang was a surprisingly fun as a tourist travel destination. I mostly went here because I wanted to redeem my 7-night category 4 Marriott certificate on a beach front destination. This turned out to be a great decision because Karen and myself had so much fun exploring the city and eating street food.
If you want to eat street food, get pampered by going to spas, and doing fun local sight seeing. I would say that Nha Trang, Vietnam is a solid choice.
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