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Nha Trang

Orientation

Nha Trang has a train station, bus station and it’s a major stop on the “open-bus” lines. It is serviced by Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR), 30 km south of the city, 50 minutes by taxi. The old Nha Trang airport in the middle of the city is no longer in use, but from there you can take the 65,000 VND airport shuttle to CXR.

Wide and busy Tran Phu Blvd stretches along the entire 6 km coast, dividing the downtown core from the ocean. The tourist centre is concentrated in the middle of the strip (look for the pink Lotus Tower, public square and night market here), with the hotels, restaurants, agencies and nightlife clustered along Nguyen Thien Thuat, Hung Vuong and Biet Thu.

Nha Trang does have a rainy season with risk of typhoon from October until January. Though it doesn’t get cold, if the sole reason of your vacation is beach, you’re better off going elsewhere. Runoff from the rains turns the typically blue waters murky, it’s not ideal conditions for scuba diving and life at a resort can be very boring during heavy rainstorms. February to September is dry season. July and August is school holidays and peak season, with many Vietnamese families exploring their own country. Accommodations and sights are brimming during this time.

ATMs are plentiful but finding one that works with your card, even if the machine has a sign with your network, could take a few tries. We’ve always had success with Sacombank. For most ATMs the limit per withdrawal for foreign cards is still a frustratingly low 4,000,000 VND, with a fee per transaction.

The Tourism Information Centre is in a small booth on the beach road across from Novotel. There are a few brochures but nothing that you couldn’t find at any agency or guesthouse in town. But the staff speak English. Open daily 08:00-11:00, 14:00-17:00 & 19:00-21:00.

Shops sell all things beachy – swimsuits, boardies, souvenir t-shirts and cover-ups. Convenience stores and minimarts sell everything a burnt tourist needs (check out the aisle devoted to aloe gel) at slightly inflated prices. If you’re doing a significant amount of grocery shopping, buy fresh fruit at local cho Xom Moi market or head to the Big C supermarket on 23 Thang 10, west of Long Son Pagoda. Nha Trang Center Shopping Mall, at Tran Phu Blvd and Ly Tu Trong in the north end of the downtown core, also has a well-stocked grocery store, some branded stores and a boring food court with an awesome view of the ocean. Around town you’ll find numerous shops selling pearls.

The immigration office is located on Ly Tu Trong, 600 m west of Nha Trang Center Shopping Mall on Tran Phu Blvd, just 100 m east of the big roundabout. The building is marked as both 5 and 47 Ly Tu Trong. The Nha Trang immigration office processes visa extensions but in terms of wait times and cost, we couldn’t get a firm answer as were told it depended on individual circumstances and nationality. Office hours are Monday-Friday 07:30-11:00 & 13:30-16:00, Saturday 07:30-10:30, closed Sundays. T: (058) 691 249

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