Monday, October 23, 2017

A guide for Nha Trang, Vietnam.


About 9 hours away from Ho Chih Minh, lies a beautiful coastal city, named Nha Trang.
Lets be honest,when we think about Vietnam, we usually only think of a few places : Ho Chih Minh, Da Nang, Sapa, and Hoi An. When I first heard that I was going on a vacation to Nha Trang, I was really wondering where on earth is this? Besides Da Nang, I've never heard of any other places in Vietnam that's great for a beach vacation, but thanks to Air Asia flying there directly now, I got to discover this beautiful place!

Nha Trang reminded me a lot of Penang island, as it has both beautiful beaches and also a beautiful city! I did a lot of research on Nha Trang before heading there, but not many were found as it is


 is not really popular amongst Malaysians yet ( according to the locals there). One of the tour guides we met joked and told us that Nha Trang is basically like a mini China as the whole place is filled with people from China. There are many Russian tourists there as well. Therefore, keep in mind that the locals there wouldn't know how to speak English much, but they speak really good Mandarin and Russian. Do download the Google Translate app before you head there, it really helped me a lot.with

Without further ado, here are some tips and places that I've visited in Nha Trang!


Warning : This post is really fucking long because I've got too many photos to post.

1. Visit Christ the King Cathedral 

I've never been to any European countries before, therefore, I've never really visited a cathedral as beautiful as this! This catholic cathedral was founded over 200 years ago by the French and its built in a very Gothic Revival style. Church services are also still up and running!


 As you walk through the pathway to the cathedral, there are statues of many saints, which were pretty interesting!





 TIP: Dress appropriately! It totally slipped my mind that I was supposed to dress appropriately, therefore i wasn't allowed to enter until i bought something to cover up. Haha! 

Entrance Fee : Free 

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 5am to 5pm, Sunday 4.30am to 8pm

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2. Visit the Po Nagar Cham Towers

Po Nagar Cham Towers is one of the popular historical Cham temple in Nha Trang. It is said to be founded in year 78. These Cham towers are still used for worship by Buddhists and when you visit, you can do your prayers here as well. This place is not only a great historical building, but it's also a great place for photos!



 





 





Entrance fee : 22,000 VND (RM4.10)
Opening Hours : 6 am to 5:30 pm
Tip : This would be a great place to hire an English speaking guide, as there weren't any handbooks that were given to us. We didn't really know what this place was about until we Googled it. 

3. Go for the Island Hopping Tour. 

This Island hopping tour is extremely popular amongst tourists. It brings you first to the Tri Nguyen Aquarium,  followed by Mun Island, then Mot Island, and lastly, Tranh Beach. The whole tour costed us about 180,000 VND (RM33.45) per person, which wasn't bad at all. Do keep in mind that the payment for the tour is EXCLUDING entrance fees for all the islands. There were tour agencies that costed more, but we were lucky to find one that gave the cheapest price. Tour agency details will be provided down below. 

My family and I did not visit Tri Nguyen Aquarium, as we've read many reviews on how the fishes there are mistreated with very small tanks and dirty water. Therefore, we just waited outside and took some photos. There's also an entrance fee of 120,000 VND ( RM 22.30) for the aquarium.



The next Island we visited was called Mun Island. This is where my family and I went snorkelling. The water here was soooo beautiful and clear. The snorkelling equipments were provided by the tour agency but honestly, it didn't look that hygienic. There was also an entrance fee of 20,000 (RM3.80) per person and you also have to pay to rent out the beach chairs. The snorkelling here wasn't great, but it was the best out of the four places in the tour. 




No filter for this! The water was really this clear.

 There weren't any sand in this beach, only rocks. It was quite tough for us to snorkel as well because the waves kept pushing us back and we'd hit huge rocks on the shore easily. My brother also got cut pretty badly by the rocks. So, please be mindful about this!



Next, we visited an island called Mot Island. I was the most excited for this island as i saw photos of the famous floating bar in the middle of the sea. Sounds exciting, right ? But we didn't get to visit it because apparently there were too many kids on board and they assumed that no one will be interested. Dissapointing. Nevertheless, we still got to have some local cuisines and cocktails on the boat, which, I'm not sure if I enjoyed or not. There were also some live shows on the boat for laughs.




Lastly, we visited Tranh beach. I wasn't really interested in this beach at all as it looked so damn crowded that I couldn't be bothered. My family and i just sat on the beach chairs and waited to go home.


Overall, this island hopping trip was alright. If you wanted to just fill up your day and explore the beaches, then this would be great. But if you're looking for great snorkelling, and really fun island hopping, this wont be right for you. I wouldn't say that this tour was completely shit, but i wouldn't say it was amazing either. The best Island hopping trip I've ever been to was still in Phi Phi Island, Krabi.

Tip : The toilets provided on the islands are extremely dirty, some has no doors as well, do prepare yourself for this. Everyone's usually advised to use the toilets in their own tour boat, but yeah, still pretty nasty.

Tour agency contact details : Yellow Bee Travel, 85, Nguyen Thien Thuat street. 
Email : ongvang88.co@gmail.com

4. Visit Dam Market for shopping

There aren't many places to shop in Nha Trang, and their night markets are usually quite small, therefore, this is the best and most popular place you can shop. Dam market consists of two sections, one for food & groceries, the other for souvenir's, accessories & clothes shopping. I'd say that the things in Nha trang aren't as cheap as places like Cambodia or Thailand, so don't expect the items to be cheap. The clothing items here are also pretty repetitive, nothing special.
If you're not interested in shopping, i'd still recommend this place as you can check our local fruits and food.
Here are a few random shots that i took on my stroll around Dam Market.



Yes, those are puffer fishes! 

Tip : Sellers here can be quite unfriendly and rude when bargaining. So, don't ask if you're not interested at all.

Opening hours : 6am to 6pm 

5. Visit Nha Trang beach

Nha Trang beach is just down the road from the apartment that we stayed in, which was called Sunrise Ocean View Apartments. This beach reminded me a lot of Cenang beach in Langkawi as it is the main beach of Nha Trang. There are beach chairs there were you could rent out for RM10 and also, coconuts for about RM5. If you're just looking for a beach to relax or tan, this is the place for you. The sea water here is a bit polluted and not as blue as the ones in island hopping, but, a great place to relax and enjoy the sea breeze.





That's all for the places I've visited! There were more that I wanted to write about, but I'm afraid that this post would be way too long! 
Overall, I thought Nha Trang was alright. It really wasn't the best beach vacation I've had, but am thankful for the opportunity to explore it. 


Overall tip for Nha Trang : If you really want to go around easily, get an English speaking guide.
We didn't have much help from the locals because of language barrier and that caused us to visit places without knowing the history behind it. 


Hope you've enjoyed this long overdue post.
Love,
Esther

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