Let’s talk about turquoise waters and miles of beautiful beach. The city of Nha Trang, Vietnam is the perfect destination for your next tropical getaway. A quick flight into Da Nang from Ho Chi Min City, most famous in the US for its airbase where the majority of American military members arrived, and you’ll find yourself in Nha Trang.
Nha Trang resembles more of a resort community than anywhere else I travelled in Vietnam. There are large resorts, fancy hotels and upscale restaurants. The difference is accounted for in foreign money. The city is home to the largest Russian military base outside of Russia and the majority of tourists there are Russian. To give you the full idea, everywhere else we went would have signs in three languages, Vietnamese, Chinese and English. In Nha Trang things were in Russian, Vietnamese, then English or Chinese.
While in Nha Trang we took advantage of the beautiful water of the South China Sea. Our first stop was the Funk Monkey Boat Tour. In the harbor there are a large assortment of boat tours for tourists to take advantage of and our group signed up for a party boat.
We headed out early in the morning and were brought to three different islands to swim, snorkel and jump off the second story deck of the boat. Our first stop had coral reefs for us to explore. Looking back I wish I’d had a camera that could go underwater because we saw some really cool fish. There’s something very magical about having several schools of fish swim just feet below you. Somewhat unfavorably there were tiny, clear jellyfish (or at least that’s what the captain told us they were) in the water that stung us a few times. None of the crew seemed concerned and they weren’t painful stings, more like someone poking you with a needle. It only happened a few times to me but to be honest it did freak me out a little. The captain was catching them with his bare hands and jokingly throwing them at people so they must not be too dangerous.
One of the best parts of the boat experience was lunch. There are several funky monkey boats and at lunch time they all hook up as only one boat has a kitchen. While they converted the seats to lunch tables they asked all the guests where they were from. We had people from China, Japan, Vietnam, United States, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, England, Australia, and Ireland. Quit impressively the Funk Monkey Crew also doubles as a boy band with a repertoire of several different songs. In fact, they knew a song from every country of their guests. One at a time they called each country on stage so that they could sing along with their home country’s song. It was a blast! I remember thinking that this did more for friendly country relations than any seminar or diplomatic meeting ever could.
Our first night we went to the Sailing Club for dinner. Amazing atmosphere! If you find yourself in Nha Trang the Sailing Club is a must. The restaurant is right on the beach and you eat dinner with your toes in the sand. Our fish was all caught locally that day and our drinks were served in pineapples and coconuts cut in front of us.
Best of all our dinner for two with two cocktails each brought our total to less than $30 USD. You can’t get dinner with a view like that anywhere in the US. After dinner they have bean bags set up in the sand so you can enjoy a cocktail looking out at the water. They even had fire dancers perform for the diners which was a great addition to the overall experience.
In Nha Trang we also visited the Mud Baths. There’s a ton of different mud bath spas to choose from in Nha Trang and it’s worth it for the experience. I was picturing thick mud but it’s actually more like water.
You sit in the bath with your group (they fill the bath with mud when you get there so it’s fresh which is nice) for about 15 minutes before they bring you to the next step. You go through several showers, hot tubs, mineral pools and waterfalls before the experience comes to a close. It was very relaxing! I thought it would make my skin soft and to be honest I actually felt kind of sticky after, I couldn’t wait to shower. All that being said it was a unique experience and I’m glad we did it. Have you ever been to a mud bath? I’d be curious to know if you had mud similar to mine.
Nha Trang also has some really great markets that we explored as the sun was setting. One thing I love about Vietnam is there are coconuts everywhere making fresh coconut water cheap and accessible. I bought one from a coffee shop and sat on the beach and watched the sun set.
After the go, go, go of Ho Chi Minh City it was nice to have a few days of relaxation in Nha Trang.