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Nha Trang

Getting there and away

Air

Currently no international flights serve Nha Trang's Cam Ranh Airport, which is 35km from town, but linked with a new, good quality road.

Vietnam Airways flies the Saigon-Nha Trang-Saigon route three times a day on Sat, Mon, Wed, and Thu, with four a day on Fri, Sun and Tue. The fare costs 575,000 dong one way, 1,155,000 dong return. Times are as follows:

Saigon - Nha Trang: 06:00, 10:15, 14:10
Nha Trang - Saigon: 07:45, 16:00, 16:10 (11:10 on Fri, Sun and Tue).

From Nha Trang to Hanoi there is one flight a day, but no set schedule, leaving at either 09:20 or 13:40. Ticket prices are 1.325,000 dong one way or 2,655,000 return.

Vietnam airways also has flights to Da Nang. The office can be found at 91 Nguyen Thien Thuat, T: (058) 526 768.

    Train

    There are numerous classes of train travel between Saigon and Nha Trang, including the new '5 star' express service which only stops once between the cities (www.5starexpress.com.vn). This service boasts private departure lounges at each end, and facilities on the train include LCD TV's, several bars and airline-standard bathrooms. The train departs daily at the following times:

    Saigon - Nha Trang: 06:15 (arriving 13:33)
    Nha Trang - Saigon: 14:55 (arriving 23:18)

    Tickets prices depend on which of three classes are chosen:

    5 star: 450,000 dong (one way), 900,000 dong (return).
    Deluxe: 330,000 dong (one way), 660,000 dong (return)
    Standard: 200,000 dong (one way), 400,000 dong (return)

    Normal trains differ in journey time and number of stops, and seat prices also vary depending on the type of berth. The full national train timetable is avaliable at http://www.vr.com.vn/english/. From Nha Trang to Saigon, trains run at the following times:

    SE1 - 22:00 (arr. 05:30)
    SE3 - 21:46 (arr. 04:30)
    SE5 - 12:30 (arr. 20:00)


    Sleepers come highly recommended, anyone who has experienced a 'soft' or a 'hard' seat for any length of time will understand why. A soft sleeper on the Nha Trang to Saigon route costs US$18, a hard sleeper (not as bad as it sounds) costs $15. The price will vary again depending on the bunk (top, middle or bottom), top being the cheapest.

    Trains also leave to the North -- one for Da Nang (the jump off point for Hoi An) is the D2, 23:46 (arr. 10:30).

    Buying tickets is better left to the travel agents that litter Hung Vuong and Biet Thu St. It's recommended to book ahead, especially for sleepers on weekend trains heading to Saigon.

      Bus

      Like any other city in Vietnam, Nha Trang is well served by the'Open Tour' buses run by various travel agencies. Three options exist -- south to Mui Ne (and on to Ho Chi Minh City), north to Hoi An (on to Hue and Hanoi) or inland to Da Lat (via Phan Rang). Buses from Nha Trang to Saigon leave twice daily at 08:00 and 20:30 (10 hours, 80,000 dong), Saigon to Nha Trang departures are roughly the same times, but check with with individual travel agencies to be sure. The bus to Saigon stops in Phan Thiet allowing those wishing to jump off at Mui Ne beach the chance to do so. Leaving for other destinations:

      Nha Trang - Dalat: 08:00, 5 hours, 50,000 (Open tour stops at the Cham Tower in Phan Rang)
      Nha Trang - Hoi An: 19:30, 11 hours, $6.

      Local buses avoid the potential pitfalls of the open tour, but are often crowded and only leave when full. The open tour still wins for comfort, even if convenience is sometimes infringed. The only other reasonable alternative would be the Mai Linh Corporation, who run small but speedy minibus services. Mai Linh can be found at 98B/9 Tran Phu St, T: (058) 817 111.

        Getting Around

        Xe Om drivers are easy to find, as are cyclos, which may make for a pleasant cruise along the beachfront road, Tran Phu. Renting a personal motorbike is easy enough, ask at your hotel. A fully automatic costs around $6 a day, a semi-automatic $4. Many tourists prefer to rent bicycles to enjoy the roads around the sea front -- bicycles are available for rent from almost every hotel.

        The following taxi companies operate in Nha Trang:
        Nha Trang Taxi : (058) 824 000
        Mai Linh : (058) 817 111


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