(#wanderlusttips #nhatrang #traveltips) If you are wondering where to spend time in Nha Trang – the beautiful coastal city in the south of Vietnam, 8 recommended places from Wanderlust Tips Magazine will be helpful.
1. Hon Mieu Island – a living maritime museum
Hon Mieu Island is closer to shore than most other islands in Nha Trang Bay. The aquarium on the island is a popular destination; built to resemble a sunken ship, and showcases live sea creatures. After a visit there, head to Tri Nguyen aquarium, which was built in 1971 thanks to a unique initiative of the local people. It is considered a living maritime museum. The aquarium is home to hundreds of valuable sea creatures including rare fish and sea turtles. If you have time, you can cross the island from the aquarium to reach Gravel Beach (Bai Soi Beach), which is only a few hundred meters away. Gravel Beach faces Hon Tam Island and you can dive or snorkel along the cliffs near the beach to admire coral reefs and sea urchins.
Top Tips: Take a boat from Cau Da Port (near the Institute of Oceanography). From it takes only 10 minutes to reach Hon Mieu Island.
Food: You can buy fresh seafood from the nearby fishing villages and hire locals to prepare it for you. Do not miss out on the lobsters!
2. Hon Tam Island – for sport and ecotourism lovers
Hon Tam Island impresses visitors with its lush tropical forest, home to thousands species of sea birds, and skinny beaches nestled under the cooling shades of green. Hon Tam Island is the ideal destination for lovers of ecotourism. Hon Tam Island is being turned into a tourism destination featuring Hon Tam Resort, Sparkling Waves Adventure Sports, and Sunset Villas built to preserve the eco-green environment. Sparkling Waves offers many activities such as kayaking, beach volleyball and at the Floating Park adventure games await including flyboard, jet skiing and parachuting. You can also explore the underwater world while snorkelling or seawalking.
Top tips: You can reach the island from Hon Tam Port, a canoe ride takes about 10 minutes, and a boat takes only 5 minutes.
Food: Garden View Restaurant located inside Hon Tam Resort serves Asian and European dishes, while Ocean View Restaurant located inside Sparkling Waves serves seafood dishes.
3. Hon Mun Island – home to the best marine biodiversity in Vietnam
Hon Mun Island is one of the most romantic Islands in Nha Trang. The island is called Hon Mun because raised cliffs and dangerous precipice and cave formations form the area southeast of the island. The stones here have the black colour of ebony wood, rarely seen anywhere else. WWF has rated Hon Mun Island an areas with one of the best marine biodiversity ecosystems in Vietnam. It is especially rich in corals. The island is not only attractive because of its clear blue sea, long white sand beaches, pristine rugged cliffs home to many swift nests, but it is also famous for its floating bar, tours to explore the underwater world on glass bottom boats, and diving and snorkelling to explore stunning coral reefs.
Top tips: To reach Hon Mun Island, you will need to take a 45-minute boat ride from Cau Da Port.
Food: The floating bar is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Hon Mun Island, serving a variety of unique drinks.
4. Nha Phu Lagoon – Immerse yourself in nature
Visitors to Nha Phu Lagoon can be fully immersed in wonderful nature, amidst the mountains, forests, waterfalls and the ocean of three romantic and peaceful oases: Hon Thi, Hon Heo and Hon Lao Islands. Here, you must take a dip in the clear blue sea, witness the wildlife on Hon Thi Island, visit Suoi Hoa Lan Ecological Tourism Resort in Hon Heo and visit the mischievous monkeys on Hon Lao Island. You can also participate in some exciting sports including parachuting, jet skiing and kayaking. You can try seawalking with professional guides to explore the ocean floor filled with colourful coral reefs and exotic and mesmerising marine animals.
Top tips: From Da Chong Port, it only takes 30-minute by boat to get to Hon Thi Island. From here, you can start exploring Nha Phu Lagoon.
Food: In addition to seafood, you should try local specialties only available in Nha Trang like Ninh Hoa rolls, Lac Canh grilled beef, jellyfishball noodles, fishball noodles and mini pancakes (banh can) on Hon Heo Island.
5. Yang Bay Waterfall – Unusual experiences and unique services
After a visit to the ocean and touring famous sights in Nha Trang city, it might be time to conquer and explore the beauty of the surrounding mountainous region, with its green and fresh atmosphere. Yang Bay Waterfall is one such exciting destination, about 45 kilometres from Nha Trang city. Here, you can enjoy unique tourist attractions including pig racing, crocodiles fishing, touring a bear farm, riding an ostrich or take a bath in a hot spring. If time allows, you can learn about the local culture through exhibitions of unique instruments and household items or watch traditional musical performances with lithopone, flute, or t’rung by the Raglai tribe.
Top tips: You can travel by motorbike or taxi to the waterfall.
Food: Outdoor dining area serving specialty dishes from ostrich to crocodile.
6. Ninh Van Bay – Get lost in a fairytale oasis
When you step foot in the bay, the first impression will be of its pristine, tranquil beauty. Let yourself get lost in this fairytale oasis, with endless green forests, pristine white sand beaches, surrounded by the clear turquoise sea. Here, you can participate in leisure activities like walking along the beach to enjoy the cooling sensation of seawater on your feet, boating, fishing, or following local fishermen to the ocean to watch the sunset. If you enjoy adventures and wish to explore the ocean, you can go diving to visit beautiful coral reefs, surfing, windsurfing or kayaking.
Top tips: The only way to get to Ninh Van is across the ocean via an 18-minute speedboat ride from Nha Trang.
Food: There are many choices of food, from budget to luxury restaurants located inside the resorts around the bay.
7. Van Phong Bay – Pristine and charming
This is truly a natural wonder with a mild climate, beautiful beaches filled with fine sand, surrounded by majestic mountains and pristine tropical forests. Van Phong Bay is not only beautifully poetic, but also suites the more adventurous travellers. Visitors to Van Phong can go swimming, snorkelling, and sightseeing or visit villages including Dam Mon, Ninh Dao, Khai Luong, Vinh Yen and Diep Son. The most stunning is Dam Mon Village, with over 30 pristine beaches including Son Dung, Bai Tay, Bai Bua, Bai Nhau and Bai Lach. Beaches in Van Phong can satisfy even those who cannot swim. You only need to wear a life jacket and goggles, and swim along with a guide to enjoy the delight of seeing colourful coral reefs.
Top tips: You can travel by car or motorbike from Nha Trang to Dam Mon Port, and then take a boat to Van Phong Bay.
Food: Enjoy the seafood and local specialties at Dam Mon Fishing Village.
8. Bai Dai Beach (Long Beach) – Cinderella is about to become a princess
The untouched, idyllic scenery is what makes Bai Dai Beach charming. The long, sandy and flat beach makes Bai Dai Beach the ideal location for picnics or sports. The ocean is quite shallow, which makes it safe for those who cannot swim. Oceanic sports parks are in operation here, offering sports such as parasailing, snorkelling, diving and windsurfing. In addition to swimming or walking along the beach to enjoy the fresh air, the most attractive thing about Bai Dai Beach is its seafood. There are a number of resorts currently being built here. So this Cinderella is about to turn into a princess and you should visit Bai Dai Beach to enjoy the blue sea and white sand.
Top tips: From Nha Trang, you can follow Nguyen Tat Thanh Road to Cu Hin Pass. On your left, there will be numerous paths leading to Bai Dai Beach.
Food: Any restaurant along Bai Dai Beach offers seafood and hospitable service at reasonable prices.
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