Pulsing with world-class hotels, sizzling nightlife and a plethora of water sports, much of the action revolves around the six-kilometre stretch of sand along Tran Phu Street.
There's no denying the sun-kissed shores are really what lure visitors to Nha Trang. The beach stretch is a lively hub of activity, from the fishing boats setting off each morning to the sun seekers basking beneath the rays. If you can pull yourself away from the sand, Nha Trang's stunning architectural wonders await. On the banks of the Cai River stand the Po Nagar Cham Towers. This 7th century feat of architecture serves as a reminder of Cham life and provides a tranquil escape away from the beachside buzz. Another must-see sight for cultural buffs is Long Son Pagoda. Still a place of worship for Buddhists today, the pagoda is renowned for its grand Buddha statue and beautiful views over the city and surrounds.
The flavours of Nha Trang call to the sea and we guarantee that some of the best fare you'll have will be right on the sand. Never mind the fancy hotel restaurants; simply beckon one of the many seafood peddlers who stroll the sand for a fantastical feast of succulent seafood plucked straight from the ocean and grilled before your every eyes on a portable brazier – all for a fraction of the cost of what you'd pay at home. Beyond the beach, your tastebuds will be tantalised with a veritable medley of Vietnamese food, from family run establishments to sizzling quick bites sold off street carts. Don't leave without trying nem nuong, a grilled fermented pork best devoured alongside crisp veggies and herbs in a rice paper roll.
If you find the hustle and bustle of shopping in Ho Chi Minh City overwhelming, Nha Trang is the perfect place to enjoy a more relaxed style of retail therapy. There is no shortage of knick-knacks, curios and mementoes to pick up from a medley of marketplaces and galleries. Vinh Luong and Dam are excellent spots to combine souvenir shopping with people watching, but for a more immersive experience, Xom Moi Market, considered the hub of downtown Nha Trang, is a popular local marketplace selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to handmade crafts. To escape the scorching summer heat, head to Nha Trang Centre for an indoor experience home to brand name fashions and accessories.
Aside from making a splash in the sea, there's another type of bathing for which Nha Trang is renowned: mud! The Thap Ba Hot Spring is the region's original spa centre and offers visitors a chance to make a muddy mess while reaping its restorative benefits. The method is simple: sink into a communal or private mud bath and let the gooey, mineral-rich mud work its magic on your skin as you relax. Entry to the mud bath also grants you access to the centre's therapeutic hot (and cold) spring pools and waterfalls.
Nha Trang has its own microclimate and monsoon season typically runs between October and December. If you're seeking a dose of sun, surf and sand, best avoid this period due to choppy seas and cool, even chilly weather.