20 BEST ACTIVITIES IN NHA TRANG
20 BEST ACTIVITIES IN NHA TRANG
LEARN MORE ABOUT 20 BEST ACTIVITIES IN NHA TRANG AND DISCOVER THE BEST TOWN NHA TRANG AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO THERE IN YOUR VISIT
20 BEST ACTIVITIES IN NHA TRANG
One of the most energetic beach resort cities in Vietnam is Nha Trang. The city, which is located on Vietnam’s southeast coast, has grown immensely popular as a vacation spot for both domestic and foreign visitors. There are now a ton of upscale hotels, malls, casinos, and attractions there. A short distance from the city, Nha Trang also features breathtaking beaches and islands in addition to historical ruins and old cultural treasures.
Whether you’re flying directly to Nha Trang or have already experienced other regions of Vietnam, Nha Trang offers a perfect escape with plenty of modern amenities, high-end shopping and dining and many activities for visitors of all ages.
Its location also makes it an ideal stopping point for those travelling north to south (or vice versa) through the country, where you can kick back, swim, snorkel in the clear waters, and have a mini beach break before continuing your trip. These are the top things to do in Nha Trang.
1- BA HO WATERFALL
Vietnam is brimming with natural beauty and while the first thing you want to do in Nha Trang might not be to leave again, a day trip to Ba Ho is worth the trip.
Nha Trang is surrounded by lush, green countryside and jungle.
Ba Ho Waterfalls are about 45 minutes north of the city, and once you arrive, you’ll need to hike through the jungle and past rock formations to reach the falls.
Once you arrive, however, you’ll find the perfect place for cooling off by swimming or jumping into the pools with the waterfall cascading from above.
You can quickly get here by motorbike, taxi or on a tour, and make sure to bring some snacks for the hike.
2- HON MUN ISLAND
Nha Trang has several beautiful islands nearby and one of the most popular day trips is to the stunning Hon Mun Island.
It is classed as having some of the most diverse marine life in Vietnam, which is why many tours offer diving and snorkelling trips here.
There are a variety of caves and some beautiful beaches where you can relax and sunbathe too, plus a number of ‘floating bars’ where you can sit on a float and drink cocktails or local wine!
Other popular ways of seeing the island include glass-bottom boat cruises, parasailing adventures and sea-walking – where you’ll get to walk on the sea floor with the help of a breathing helmet, perfect for those who can’t dive.
3- PO NAGAR TOWERS
If you’re looking for a slice of history in the otherwise built-up Nha Trang, you can’t miss a visit to the beautiful 7th Century Cham towers of Po Nagar.
The three-storey towers are intricately carved and still considered a religious site, so remember you must cover your shoulders and remove your shoes before exploring.
The towers are only around a 10-minute drive from the centre of Nha Trang, although you’re better off arriving early as they can get extremely busy.
As it is still a spiritual site, you might be lucky enough to catch one of the ceremonies or celebrations that sometimes happen here.
4- THE WHITE BUDDHA
The White Buddha is at Long Son Pagoda, so you can easily combine these two experiences.
This fantastic Buddha statue measures 24m high and overlooks the entire city, so it’s worth visiting simply for the views.
There are also historic statues at the base of the Buddha, which tell visitors more about the site’s history.
Although you will need to climb almost 200 steep stairs to reach the Buddha, there’s plenty to see along the way, including Long Son Pagoda, which you can find out more about below.
5- LONG SON PAGODA
Standing in the same complex as the White Buddha, Long Son Pagoda is the oldest temple in Nha Trang.
At the foot of Trai Thuy Mountain, there are actually two pagodas you can visit here: Long Son on the lowest level, and Hai Duc Pagoda higher up.
This incredible red building is decorated with traditional artwork and carvings and features classic Vietnamese architecture.
Inside, the large hall is decorated with mosaic dragons and statues of mythical creatures.
The rest of the complex includes Hai Duc, the gorgeous Dai Hong Chung Bell Tower and the White Buddha at the top.
The pagoda is virtually in the city centre, meaning you can walk or take a Grab quickly depending on where you stay.
6- BAI DAI BEACH
Nha Trang has its own beach but being backed by a strip of hotels, shops and casinos means it can get quite crowded, especially once you add in the beach clubs and bars.
However, if you travel just a little south of the city you can find the fabulous Bai Dai Beach which is far more peaceful.
Featuring the same soft golden sand and crystal clear water, there are fewer tourists here, although there are plenty of sun loungers, water sports rentals and places to grab a snack.
Some great sit-down restaurants also serve the fresh seafood Nha Trang is famous for, making it the ideal place to head for total relaxation, catching a sunset and an evening meal.
7- NHA TRANG NIGHT MARKET
There’s simply no Vietnam without night markets and each city has its own take.
Nha Trang’s night market is a fun place to visit after the sun goes down; as you would expect if you’ve seen a market elsewhere in the country, it’s overflowing with stalls selling crafts, souvenirs, fresh produce and all manner of unusual items.
More importantly, there are many street food stalls where you can get a quick snack or a full meal for an affordable price.
Make sure to try local seafood delicacies and wash it down with an ultra-cheap can of beer, before heading off the haggle for some gifts.
8- VINPEARL AMUSEMENT PARK
Also known as Vinpearl Island or Vin Wonders, you can’t fail to spot this amusement park from Nha Trang Beach.
Reached by cable car which you’ll ride all the way over the water to the island, the theme park is so much fun for both kids and adults.
Not only does it have picturesque views, but a range of attractions and rides such as water slides, rollercoasters, live performances and of course, a lovely sandy beach for relaxing.
There’s also a Ferris wheel, zipline, underwater aquarium, dolphin show, safari park, flower dome, and more.
It’s sometimes called the Disneyland of Vietnam and once you visit, you’ll soon see why!
9- NATIONAL OCEANOGRAPHIC MUSEUM
If you really want to get immersed in the ocean, then along with the excellent snorkelling and diving, make sure to stop at the National Oceanographic Museum.
It makes learning about the ocean both educational and fun, with a variety of displays using marine skeletons, rare corals and preserved species, which inform visitors about the diverse marine life found in Vietnam’s waters.
There’s also an emphasis on protecting the ocean, as many of Nha Trang’s surroundings are protected areas, and the large aquarium will be fun for younger children to get a glimpse at the tropical fish.
Some of the species in the aquarium include colourful anemones, pufferfish and lionfish.
10- YANG BAY ECO PARK
Yang Bay is a super cool place to visit as it perfectly mixes activities for adventure lovers and those looking to get away from the city.
Home to both stunning, tumbling waterfalls perfect for swimming and relaxing, as well as rainforest walking trails, natural hot springs and lots of unique wildlife, visitors of all ages can find something to enjoy.
There’s also a crocodile feeding area, ostrich riding and the chance to catch sight of bears.
Adults may prefer to take a dip and enjoy a meal in the lakeside cafe.
Make sure to also visit the fairy garden and pearl island on the lake, and catch a traditional Raglai musical show performed by a local ethnic minority.
11- TRI NGUYEN AQUARIUM
Yes, Nha Trang certainly has more aquariums than most places, but that’s because it has such incredible marine life!
Tri Nguyen is a unique aquarium perfect for families, as it has loads of beautiful displays and tanks of tropical fish, sea turtles and coral reef systems just like those you’ll see out under the waves.
The aquarium is also a breeding centre for more than 40 species of tropical fish, turtles and crustaceans.
The best part about the aquarium is that it’s on Hon Mieu Island, meaning you can do a fun island day trip here, chill out at the beach, visit the complex and grab some food before heading back.
12- FISHING VILLAGES
Just outside the chaos of Nha Trang, you’ll find traditional working fishing villages that maintain their fascinating way of life.
You can easily do a tour or self-guide to one of the villages south of Nha Trang, where the floating villages are home to locals who catch and sell fish for a living.
Some of the villages visited on a tour are more organised, as you will be taken around them by boat, allowing you to see daily life.
However, it’s also easy to drive yourself to one of the many villages sitting along the coastline, where on any given day you can spot fishermen reeling in a catch or women in conical hats sorting through their day’s catch.
13- THAP TRAM HUNG
One of the most iconic sights in Nha Trang is Thap Tram Hung, also known as Agarwood Tower.
This salmon-pink tower stands right on the beachfront and is one of the first things you’ll notice in Nha Trang.
The unique shape of the building is designed like a lotus flower, with leaves going all the way up.
Inside, the building is dedicated to promoting the beauty of the local area and the people of Khanh Hoa, while visitors can also go up to the first floor for better views.
On the higher floors, you’ll find beautiful artwork, exhibitions, and traditional agarwood products.
Being such a famous Nha Trang attraction, it’s unmissable and perfect for learning more about the local area.
14- NHA TRANG CATHEDRAL
Vietnam has some spectacular churches, and Nha Trang’s Cathedral is easily up there with the best of them.
This stunning church dates back to 1928 and stands on a hilltop, designed in classic French Gothic style with exquisite stained-glass windows and stone arches.
It’s a short walk up to the church, and you’ll have incredible views over the city from the outside courtyard.
It’s one of the largest churches in the country and also features a vast stone clock tower.
It may be surprising to find a cathedral like this in the middle of Nha Trang, but it serves as the main Catholic church in the area and is a very popular tourist spot.
15- MONKEY ISLAND
As the name might suggest, Monkey Island is home to about 1,500 of these friendly local creatures who run around with almost free reign on the island.
Easily reached by boat or ferry, the island is fun for all ages, where you can interact with the curious monkeys and watch them in their natural habitat.
There are also frequent monkey feeding shows, along some excellent, peaceful beaches where you can rent a small hut or loungers to relax for a few hours.
Naturally, you can also do water sports such as snorkelling and kayaking, and many boat tours combine the island with other activities.
16- SNORKELLING AND SCUBA DIVING
You’ve already read how great the water-based activities are on Hon Mun and Monkey Island, but it’s worth reiterating how great Nha Trang is overall for both snorkelling and diving.
With loads of offshore islands, protected marine areas and sparkling blue water, there’s unique marine life to be found and colourful coral reefs.
Multiple diving schools are along the main beach, meaning you can fun dive or get certified.
Snorkelling trips are also frequent and affordable, usually including a huge lunch at a deserted beach cove, and a half day of snorkelling in various beautiful spots around Nha Trang.
17- SOAK IN THAP BA HOT SPRINGS
For a modern spa day, Nha Trang has plenty of hotel pools, spas and massage parlours, but that’s not the way to experience relaxation the Vietnamese way.
Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths are the ideal place to head for half a day to get away from the heat of the city and unwind.
Here, you’ll find a series of both hot and cold natural pools for bathing and swimming, along with multiple mud baths.
The mud here is said to have healing properties and is great for the skin – don’t worry, you can wash it off afterwards.
There’s also a waterfall, mineral baths and a sauna, and you can pick and choose what you want to do so you only pay for what you use.
18- GO SHOPPING
Considering Nha Trang is the perfect mix of modern city and traditional culture, the city is a hub for shopping and a great place for retail therapy.
Whether you want to browse a local market for food, handicrafts, clothing or souvenirs, or hit a shopping centre for designer goods, new shoes or a home comfort meal at a fast food chain, Nha Trang has it all.
For local stalls, try Nha Trang Market, where crafts and souvenirs are abundant, while at the shopping mall Lotte Nha Trang, you’ll find proper shops but owned by locals.
Need to stock up on snacks? Try Maximark Supermarket which sells both Vietnamese and Western food, in case you need some chocolate or soft drinks for a long bus journey.
High street and designer shops, as well as Western food courts can also be found in the glossy Vincom Plaza and the Nha Trang Centre, where brands like Adidas, Nike and H&M can be found.
19- EXCURSION TO DALAT
Dalat is a destination all in itself and many people include it on their Vietnam itinerary.
However, if you’re tight on time and are keen to see the beautiful central highlands, doing a day trip to Dalat is a great idea.
While there, you can see the incredible rolling hills where the local coffee plantations are , and visit waterfalls such as Datanla.
Also check out Bao Dai King Palace, and ride the city’s famous cable car which has spectacular views of Vietnam’s largest monastery.
There are also intricately carved pagodas, a beautiful local village covered in thousands of flowers and French-influenced architecture, not to mention fantastic restaurants and cafes, where you can sample the coffee that the region is so famous for.
20- NHA TRANG SNAKE FARM
A bit of an unusual excursion and certainly not for those with a fear of snakes, Nha Trang Snake Farm is a common site on many Vietnam tours and worth visiting yourself, if you dare.
At the farm, you can watch the popular snake shows, where locals charm and play with the snakes, such as cobras or pythons, which terrifyingly, haven’t been milked for poison.
After the show, you can learn about the uses of snake venom in pharmaceutical medicine and herbal remedies.
You can also opt to drink rice wine with a snake heart in it – which, no pun intended, is not for the faint of heart.
Other items such as cosmetics and even snake leather can be bought as souvenirs, making it one of the most unusual experiences in Nha Trang.