Guidebook Beautiful, but verrrry busy


Beautiful, but verrrry busy

“Nha Trang is where the mass beach tourism juggernaut has landed most heavily in Vietnam,” says Rusty Compass. “It’s a beautiful place, but it’s struggling under the strain of concrete, high-rise and high-impact package tourists,” but the “good news is that there are still reasons to come here -- especially if you’re heading overland up the coast and you don't mind doing a little exporation.”

“White, sandy beaches stretch into a dramatic backdrop of mountains,” notes Nomadic Matt, and with 19 islands to choose from “it’s no wonder that this is a popular place for tourists.” It’s the “perfect spot to learn how to dive while still keeping your budget in check,” but remember, “this place is very, very popular and can sometimes be a bit of a hassle, overpriced, or full of drunk tourists.” So try to come “slightly off season or mid-week to avoid the crowds.”

Nha Trang is generally recognised as “Vietnam’s premier beach destination,” explains Rough Guides. “Six kilometres of sand joins the sea to the city; rolling waves are on one side, the others is fringed by cafes, restaurants and some unusual modern sculptures. Watersports, day trips by boat and, of course, fresh pineapple are all readily available -- but bear in mind that the more choppy waters of November and December mean the beach loses much of its appeal.”

I was told by pretty much everyone that I could just skip Nha Trang, writes Restless Designer -- “it is said to be full of Russian tourists, tacky bars, and mediocre food.” But I was “pleasantly surprised … probably because I only spent a day and a half there and spent most of it in and around the water.” And be prepared for the Russians -- “menus in Russian, signs in windows in Russian, even entire shopfronts printed in Russian,” observes Time Travel Turtle. “There are now more than 700 direct flights each year … when the snow covers the motherland, they can escape to the sun and surf of an Asian playground.” Last year, it reports, there were 200,000 visitors to Vietnam from Russia.

  • Guidebook