1. Nha Trang Nightlife:
The way to approach the nightlife scene in Nha Trang is to start the night early at the bars located in the center of the city and then to move out to the coastal locations as the night goes on. This is because the bars in downtown usually only stay open until about midnight, even on weekends while the coastal locations such as the Nha Trang Sailing Club stay open much later. The bars open latest are those which are located on Biet Thu Street, which makes sense since this is the location of many of the hostels where travelers stay and these are the people most likely to be found within the walls of the late night bars.
In addition to the Nha Trang Sailing Club, the bars usually favored by travelers are Crazy Kim’s, Guava, Jack’s and Why Not. Crazy Kim’s is interesting because it offers a Mexican flavor amidst the Vietnamese culture. The favorite thing to do there, besides drink, is to lie in one of the hammocks dotting the outdoor bar area. Although Kim’s also offers pool tables, pool sharks usually find that Guava is more for them. For a more laidback environment, the Coconut Tree is a good option, offering live jazz music and several drink specials.
2. Nha Trang Scuba Diving:
Nha Trang is the biggest area for diving in Viet Nam. It all started inthe mid 90’s when a certain PADI Course Director – Jeremy Stein – who took thetime to develop the diving industry in Nha Trang and opened the first PADIcentre here. He has constantly been promoting diving here and in several otherlocations around Vietnam since. Diving is available all year round, but is better during the Dry Season – April through to October. Most diving takes place around Hon Mun Island, some 45 minutes by boat. This is the local Marine Park Area.
There are now some 11 dive operators in Nha Trang and it is advisable to shop around before you choose which operator to go with. Some hotels will tryto book trips for you or tell you bad stories about some operators. Go to the dive centres and speak to them face-to-face; all are located in the centre of the tourist area. Be careful, some will operators will promise you the world, but shopping around will wean these cowboys out.
Hon Mun Island has some 9 dive sites – this has been restricted lately dueto local corruption on behalf of the Marine Park Authority and Army. There are also some deeper sites further away. Access is generally by speedboat, but the better centres will hire out larger boats for bigger or private groups.
The diving around Hon Mun Island is mainly coral-reef and muck diving, with access to some small walls if conditions are right. Diving here is mainly macro diving, don’t expect to see any big sharks, turtles, big rays. The reefs are inexcellent condition, and some of the more common marine life you can spot includes, Lion Fish, Scorpion Fish, Nudibranches, Crustaceans, Cuttle Fish, MorayEels, Frog Fish, Pipe Fish, the occasional Sea Horse and Octopus.
If you are looking for diving that is a little less crowded, then head to Van Phuong Bay. Most operators will arrange day trips there for large groups. Only Rainbow Divers can arrange accomodation on the only resort there, Whale Island. Unfortunatley the Whales are long gone, but the diving can be excellent. Rainbow runs diving and snorkelling trips from Whale Island resort every day and can also run a full range of PADI courses. You must be staying at the resort to go diving.
3. Nha Trang Weather & Time to go to Nha Trang:
Nha Trang sees beautiful weather from February through October, and the only drawback to the other months of the year is that winter is the rainy season in the area. The temperatures are moderate throughout the year, staying somewhere between an average low of sixty five degrees and an average high of eighty five degrees. It should be noted that the summer months can get quite humid, so travelers not used to humidity may want to plan on avoiding the hottest months of the year (July and August).
Visitors seeking to spend time on the beaches will find that they can do so as early as February. In fact, the best diving in the area is generally considered to be during the spring months.
For the most part, autumn travel in the area is not recommended. It doesn’t get particularly cold, but that rainy season should be taken seriously. This is because the storms can get violent and there is some risk of typhoon devastation during the heart of the rainy season. Travelers planning trips to the area from September to mid-December should be sure to stay on top of local weather information during the days leading up to their trip.
4. Nha Trang Museums & Attractions:
The most famous museum in Nha Trang is the Alexandre Yersin Museum which is located within the Pasteur Institute. This museum commemorates the life long work of one of the area’s most famous scientists who helped to cure diseases in the area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It costs less than $2 to visit, so it is worth a stop even for travelers who think they might not be terrifically interested in scientific history.
Travelers can spend less than half of this already minimal amount to get in to the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam. The big draw here is the aquarium featuring live ocean life from the surrounding area. There are also skeletal displays of local sea life and informative exhibits about the nature of the area.
Travelers who do not even want to spend a few dollars can still see some interesting attractions in Nha Trang, with the most famous of them being the Long Son Pagoda. It is open very day from eight in the morning until five at night and visitors come from all over the see the nearly eighty feet tall Buddha statute located at its main center. Visitors can also take a look at smaller statues and pictures of religious figures of importance to Nha Trang history.
5. Nha Trang Off the Beaten Path:
Yang Bay Waterfall
Are you sick of the beach or too sunburn to spend another day on the coast?
Off the beaten track is the refreshing Yang bay Waterfall. It is a relaxing day out. About 2 hour towards the mountains, this are consists of beautiful and unspoit various small water fall and natural pool with the sweetest unpolllutted water one can find in Nha Trang.
Bring a picnic as there are no restaurant there ( as at April 2007) , spend the day soaking in the cool , calm pools that are sheltered by overhanging vines and trees. This place is great for children and adult. This place was recommend by a friendly local when was asked for an quiet, unspoint place to spend the day. Secluded glens can be found as well, fabulous for couples that want to build their relationships to a better level of fullfillment.
6. Nha Trang Health & Safety:
Travelers need to be savvy if they are going to make Nha Trang their destination. This is because the area is fraught with petty crime which is frequently directed right at tourists. Part of the reason that this takes place is that there are always large crowds of people where tourists gather, making it easy for pick pockets and purse snatchers to create confusion, get their hands on the goods and get away by getting lost in the crowd. In addition to the ease of petty theft crimes, there is an underlying social perception among some thieves there that American and European tourist have plenty of money to spare and won’t be harmed by these crimes.
Travelers should not be afraid to heard to Nha Trang but should take precautions to protect themselves against theft crimes. Visitors should know that it is not safe to leave belongings on the beach while enjoying the water. They should also know that cell phone theft is an increasingly common crime in the area and should avoid cell phone use in public places when possible. Additionally, travelers should know that if they opt to rent a moped for travel during their stay, there is a good chance it may get stolen and they will be responsible for it.