Does anyone have good experiences of day trips to the islands around Nha Trang? I'm here (Nha Trang) and have collected a pile of (near-identical) itineries (see below) from various travel desks. Are these as bad as they sound? Has anyone been on this and loved it, or found a less tacky version.
0830 Pick up from your hotel
0915 The exciting boat trip starts
1000-11h30 AT MUN ISLAND
Snorkelling on the extraordinary coral reefs which are covered with the multicoloured fishes
11h45-13h45 AT MOT ISLAND
Have lunch with many excellent dishes: fried salt shrimp, fried fish in sour and sweet source, suated cuttlefish, grilled rib, spring rolls, softly suateed noodles rice, soup
Entertainment program: Music and singing
Floating bar option: A cup of grape wine with a piece of pineapple, you will be able to raise a cheer to your friends even in the water
1400-1530 AT CON SE TRE - BAI TRANH ISLAND
Relax at the famous resort
Fruit party. You enjoy eating many kinds of fruits from Nha Trang
1545-1615 AT MIEU ISLAND- TRI NGUYEN AQUARIUM
Visit the biggest Aquarium in Vietnam specially in Nha Trang
Watch the fish farm
Rent bamboo basket for going around on the water
1630 Return to harbour/hotel
Price (around $10-12, depending where you ask) includes: minibus pickup, boat, lunch, fruit, grape-wine, lifebuoy, mask& snorkel
Price excludes: entrance to Con se Tre - Bai tranh Island 30, 000, entrance to Aquarium 35,000, Bamboo basket 10,000, Preserved fee for Mun Island 40,000
Also underwater visibility is apparently only about 4 metres at the moment, so diving/dive boats doesn't sound to appealing either :(
Any ideas welcome, TIA
I went on a near-identical day trip - not the kind of thing I'd have normally organised, but my girlfriend had booked it so I went along with an open mind. I have to say, I liked it more than I expected. The highlights were the swimming and snorkelling - visibility wasn't amazing but it's always good to jump off a boat in the middle of the sea on a nice day.
Floating bar was fun for similar reasons, and I really enjoyed the stop at the island to relax and drink coconuts. The aquarium was ok and the low point for me was probably the food (not great) and the singalong after the meal - we just skulked at the back of the boat to avoid joining in *too* much :)
Overall, yes it's pretty touristy, but actually not a bad way to get out, see some of the sights and enjoy a swim in the ocean.
As a side point, my favourite thing by far in Nah Trang is the mud baths which were a HOOT.
hope this helps!
#2 Prestwich has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 4
We were looking for a non party / booze fuelled trip and booked a Mama Hahn trip (2c Biet Thu Rd).
They offered a "party" trip which is pretty much as u describe (approx $7 ?) and a quieter non party alternative differentiated pretty much by the "floating bar" option and restricted numbers (10 ppl max ?)
(approx $13 ?)
The trip is actually run by Nga Trang Tour (#1/24 Tran Quang Khai St - near to the corner of Hung Vuong and Quang Khai) so should get best prices there.
We went for the quieter version:
We ended up with 6 on our trip of which 3 got off at lunch !
We hooked onto the party boat which was the kitchen for lunch - don't expect mainland quality food. But we had plenty. Most didn't want to eat after a couple hours on water anyway.
The party boat(s) that we had lunch attached to wasn't our cup of tea. About 30 20-30yr olds, live band, guides leading the singing activities ...
We had a lot of flexibility on our trip. They asked at the beginning whether we wanted the aquarium option or to visit another island and do some more swimming / snorkelling. We chose the more snorkelling. In hindsight possibly not the best choice as the 2nd snorkelling site wasn't anywhere near as good as the Mun Isl reserve which was very good.
I think there is also an option to visit another island where u can rent parasailing and / or jetskis if u are into that.
Cost: great value for money. Not sure about the "Preserved fee for Mun Island 40,000" u talk about tho. Sounds dodgy as there should be no extras on Mun Isl.
we broke up the Mun Isl Snorkelling with a short visit ashore as there is a small visitor centre with a few exhibits...
Be sure of what is NOT covered by the fee. For us it was Beer & Fizzy drink (@ 10-15k vnd /can)
The equipment is pretty good. I was ok with size 10.5 feet but I would flag it with them earlier if u have big feet (over size 12 ?)
Our guide was good - bald guy who provided a heap of interesting information and answers to our questions - a definite plus from my point of view.
Remember sun safety, shorts and t shirt while snorkelling etc. We got pretty sun burnt after on the places which hadn't seen lots of sun before.
#3 nzlup has been a member since 1/2/2010. Posts: 22
I booked one that was supposed to be quiet and for sightseeing.
Well we saw nothing really except a fairly awful island where we were stuck for a couple of hours. A few people did a very expensive hang glider flight, but most were just stuck having a swim at a not very good and very crowded beach. Lots of people seemed to enjoy it. I did my best to make the most of it, but it was not something I would have chosen to do.
#4 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151
I did one recently (January 2010) and it was nothing special and identical to the one my friend had been on maybe a year or so previously. For AU$7 you get picked up from the hotel, get aboard a boat with the friendly crew. You get taken to an island with an aquarium where you pay something like 20 000d entry (too many turtles in one tank!), a spot to swim, but with not much to see under the water, a floating bar, pretty average lunch (vegetarian option is the noodles which is pretty standard for most of these tours the Halong Bay one I was on included), the entertainment, another island where you pay a small ammount to get in and sit on the beach or swim and can also pay to parasail, which was fun to even watch (especially the two girls who creamed the entire time they were in the air and then floundered around in the water when they came down). All in all it'd be a prety sad trip if you counted this as a highlight, but sometimes it is nice just to relax and do something really touristy and easy and chat to other backpackers. The boat I was on had some really lovely people, but there was an odd mix of sea-sick Vietnamese honeymooners aswell. I heard from another girl that she went on the 'less party oriented tour' and went in those small fishing boats that look like baskets, which my trip didn't include at all. To be honest, I'm not sure I'd spend a day doing it again though... i did, however, really enjoy the Easyriders tour from Nha trang to Dalat, but even my rider said to beware of a rider named Nam if you're a solo female traveller.
#5 AlyssaAnne has been a member since 9/8/2009. Posts: 20
thumbs up for the mud baths.
#6 foieslinger has been a member since 11/11/2009. Posts: 36
thumbs up for the mud baths.
#7 foieslinger has been a member since 11/11/2009. Posts: 36