Lauren and I first visited Nha Trang on our 2007 trip to Vietnam. We had fabulous memories of the expansive beach, and the amazing service by Vietnamese ladies that would carve up fresh fruit or cook fresh seafood right in front of our beach loungers.
On our arrival, many things were familiar, including the beach-side boardwalk and gardens, and the great lounge area near the Sailing Club. However, some things had changed. There were a few new monstrosities under construction, but our biggest shock was how many hawkers assailed us at every turn. Whereas two years ago the beach-side vendors were fairly sparse, this time there was a non-stop stream passing through the beach (and in town). They haven’t changed their sales approach — instead of describing why you might want something they would simply command “you buy!” This refrain gets quite tedious after a few days.
That said, there were definitely times that the vendors were very convenient, like when we had a hankering for grilled lobster and fresh pineapple while in the middle of a Scrabble game on the beach. And at least at the Sailing Club section of the beach, while you could hear the hawkers, they did (mostly) refrain from approaching your lounger unless invited.
The water in Nha Trang is a bit cold, and there’s a big drop off about 10 meters off shore, so swimming is mixed. It’s a great place to lounge about though, and the tropical fruit available at Nha Trang remains amazing, among the best I’ve ever had. We have spent the past five days gorging on kilos of rambutan, mangoes, dragon fruit, pineapple, passion fruit, bananas, oranges, and more. We also enjoyed some activities in town, including a fabulous cooking class and multiple trips to the local gym.
Here are some highlights, Flickr has the full Nha Trang photo set.