It's time to have a break from work, and I scouted some prime beaches in Southeast Asia to spend my holiday. Since the summer season is now hitting the waves, I decided to visit one of the best summer destinations in Southern Vietnam.
Have you ever heard of Nha Trang? This coastal city resort and the capital of Khình Hòa province in Vietnam boasts a 6km stretch beach with arrays of lively bars, dashing beach clubs, and hotels. It has a wide selection of jam-packed water activities like scuba diving, snorkeling and day tours to enjoy.
Nha Trang has its unique personality and getting around in this beach city was enjoyable and exciting.
Here's my 5D4N Itinerary and this is what I've smoked out.
From Changi Airport, I arrived at Ho Chi Minh City for about 2 hours and took the domestic flight going to Nha Trang. It 's my first time to travel all by myself, and it's quite challenging yet exciting. Flying with Vietnam Airlines gave me that ease and comfort throughout the journey.
Singapore is one-hour ahead from Vietnam. I reached Nha Trang around 7 pm ( Vietnam Time Zone) and went straight to V Hotel Nha Trang housed at 8 Hùng Vương, Lộc Thọ, Thành phố. My room on the 19th floor was sensational with panoramic city and ocean view. What I enjoyed here is they have a nice tub which was perfect after long hours of travel. It was a friendly welcome having a bottle of Vietnam's local wine while dipping into the tub. They have a vast choice of western-style and Vietnamese cuisine for breakfast, a decent-sized infinity pool at the rooftop overlooking the ocean, a mini gym, and a mini bar.
I woke up early for my day-tour, and the weather was pretty sunny. I met Henry from Vespa Tours Nha Trang, my 22-year old tour guide for the day, was very polite, and friendly. What fascinates me is his broad knowledge about the culture and history of the place, and I've learned a lot from him. He fetched me at the hotel around 9 am with a Vespa, and for our first stop, we headed to one of the famous coffee shops in the city. The Cong Caphe, owned by a Vietnamese singer who turned out to be a businesswoman. It wasn't just about a quick caffeine fix; this cafe has a lot of stories to tell with a quirky Vietnamese interior inspired by the different cities of Vietnam on each floor. According to Henry, The deco of the first floor relates to Ho Chi Minh City, the second was Nha Trang, and the third was Hanoi.
After a quick caffeine fix, we visited an embroidery art gallery. XQ arts and crafts feature astonishing embroideries depicting the Vietnamese culture. The experienced locals carefully handcrafted each masterpiece while wearing traditional Vietnamese clothes, and spend their time and effort perfecting each piece. We also managed to visit one of the handmade woodwork shops, and got a cool souvenir.
We headed up to Po Nagar Cham Towers, built 1200 years ago which stood still with an intricate architectural design and currently used for worship by Vietnamese people.
Next stop was the Long Son Pagoda, located at Trai Thuy Mountain in Nha Trang. It is famous for the big white Buddha that sits atop the mountain crest, and from here you can enjoy the bird's eye view of the city. Found also in the same place, the lying Buddha that rests under the hill. You can also see the temple grounds decorated by sculptures of mythical animals and Taoist gods.
After the long hikes, Henry introduced to me two of the popular Vietnamese cuisine, Pho and Spring rolls. He taught me how to eat the Vietnamese way.
It was a huge lunch, and I really loved the blend of Vietnamese herbs in my palate.
Then, we visited an Ancient Asian house showcasing some Vietnamese relics and artifacts. After which we went to see how the locals do the traditional mat weaving.
The tour ended at 3 pm, and my tour guide brought me back to the hotel with a lot of insights about culture and history. Uncovering every story of the places we had visited made me appreciate Art even more.
After the whole day of one-of-a-kind road trip, it was time to freshen up and head to the highest lighthouse in Vietnam. The Skylight Skydeck Rooftop Beach Club located atop the Havana Hotel blew my mind witnessing the astonishing 360-degree view of Nha Trang skyline. I made a table reservation in advance with a fascinating view of the sea and the city and they never gave me any disappointment. The spot was fantastic observing how the sun sets behind the mountains at the same time viewing the majestic crescent shape of the beach while enjoying a glass of the best-selling tiki cocktail with chill music all over the place and authentic Vietnamese food for dinner made my first day genuinely spectacular. That was indeed a pleasurable experience.
Time to hit the beach clubs, but first, coffee. I left the hotel around 9 am and had a good cuppa at the Rainforest, located at 146 Vo Tru; it has a unique style and interior design - Think of a 4-storey birdhouse, inspired by a tropical jungle paradise gave me that satisfaction whilst sipping a cup of latte macchiato.
After which, I went to Story Beach Club for lunch. I spent my time enjoying good music, good cocktails and dipping into the huge pool with fancy floaters scattered all over which made the vibe more enjoyable and dynamic. Upbeat music was a plus point.
During the night, I visited one of the exquisite, high-end dining lounge and bars in Nha Trang. Known for their top-notch cocktails and long island bar, The Qui Cuisine Mixology housed at the ground floor of one of the five-star hotels in the city, The Citadines. The place was very intimate which made me do a wine pairing for my dinner.
As the night lights became flashier, I ended up at Altitude, a rooftop lounge bar located on the 28th level of Sheraton Hotel. Sitting on a high chair with a glass of Manhattan overlooking the bustling Tran Phuh Street was a perfect moment to appreciate the nightlife of Nha Trang. I didn't realize I finished three rounds of Manhattan relishing the bird's eye view of Tran Phuh Street by night. (lol)
Sensing some local shops is one of my goal in this travel, and I found a perfect shop at 77 Bạch Đằng, Tân Lập, Thành phố. Visiting Livin Collective, I can say, it is a must to drop by when you are exploring the beach city. This two-storey shop has a restaurant and a retail store on the first floor, where you can find a wide variety of Vietnamese products like coffee and chocolates. They also showcase local talents in the field of design, fashion and handicrafts selling handmade metal accessories, bags, wallets, and apparels. I got a piece of a copper bracelet as a souvenir. Knowing the story behind each piece excites me to own one of them. They offer American BBQ with a perfect match of Vietnamese craft beer and a whole lot more. The second floor was a Co-working / Creative space for the people who need an ideal spot to get their things done.
Next stop is the Louisiane Brewhouse; this place offers a broad selection of Japanese food which I enjoyed during lunchtime, some western dishes, and local cuisines. They brew their beer and what else? The location was superb. Well-positioned on the beachfront of Nha Trang, Louisiane Brewhouse also has its pool where guests can enjoy until 5 pm, and they have sun loungers perfect for people who want some good vibes by the sea.
Another breathtaking beachfront day club, located just a few steps from Louisiane Brewhouse, the Sailing Club Nha Trang is also one of the spots that is worth to visit. Offering not just a fascinating view of the sea, they are known for their good food and a good selection of cocktails. I enjoyed sipping a spicy negroni which was perfect while lounging and soaking up under the sun.
Nestled also in the famous boardwalk is where you can find an interesting spot. The Happy Beach offers the right place for the travelers to take one of a kind photos in a unique setting. Colorful surfboards, vintage cars, and bicycles that splendidly scattered on the beachside were terrific, and I went here to take some cool clips. The majority of the videos from what I made on my latest blog post was filmed here, and I enjoyed shooting and taking photos because of its radiant vibes.
That day was filled with so much fun, and it's time for self-pampering at one of the best spa hotels in town. In Balance by Novotel has an excellent spa service which was perfect after a day of recreation and amusement. I felt lucky to get a promotional package which consists of a body scrub, a traditional Vietnamese massage, and a facial treatment. That moment calmed all my senses and was able to experience a soothing steam bath after. Plus, the staff were very professional and friendly.
The saddest part of my trip - It was time to pack my bag and leave paradise, but before that, I had my huge breakfast at the hotel with traditional Vietnamese cuisine and the famous local coffee. I didn't waste any remaining time. I was able to visit the local market to shop for some souvenirs before I left.
Nha Trang, Vietnam is definitely a perfect place for a refreshing summer beach holiday. Leaving Nha Trang had taught me a lot of things. Those realizations, fun moments, and excitement made me discover myself even further, to become more independent and to love different cultures. Blending with the locals and tourists, since it was my first time to travel alone, was a pleasant experience to treasure. Spending my five days in Nha Trang was very spectacular, and I never had any dull moments in this beach city.
Planning to hit the waves this summer? Consider Vietnam in your bucket list and discover Nha Trang 360.