Photo: Looking for an express service?

Over 400 kilometres away from Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s famous beach city of Nha Trang. Though Vung Tau and Mui Ne are closer, Nha Trang’s white sand, blue waters, plethora of hotel and restaurant options is a beach holiday experience designed to please the masses. Here are all the ways to get from Saigon to Nha Trang.

By far the easiest and most time efficient way is to fly. There are more than a dozen flights a day from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Cam Ranh International Airport, 30 kilometres south of the city. The route is serviced by Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Jetstar. Promo fares with Vietnam Airlines can be as inexpensive as 500,000 dong one-way, including taxes and fees. The flight takes just over an hour.

The best reason for heading to Nha Trang.

The best reason for heading to Nha Trang. Photo: Cindy Fan

In addition to taxis, there’s an airport minibus shuttle between Cam Ranh International Airport and Nha Trang for 65,000 dong per person. It drops passengers at the southern end of the tourist centre. From there you’ll have to take a taxi to your hotel.

Train is another way of getting from HCMC to Nha Trang as the city is on the Reunification Express line to Hanoi. The train will takes up to eight hours, with departures throughout the day. A soft berth, air-con (4 beds per berth) costs 444,000 dong. More economic options include hard berth air-con for 327,000 dong, soft seat air-con for 287,000 dong, hard seat 205,000 dong. Purchase tickets in advance, well in advance for weekends and holidays.

The least expensive way to get to Nha Trang is by taking the bus. Options abound as north-south arterial Highway QL1A runs past west of the city. The most convenient option for travellers is to use one of the bus companies such as Hanh Cafe, The Sinh Tourist and Tam Hanh that depart directly from the backpacker hub Pham Ngu Lao, in District 1/Saigon’s city centre. This saves travellers from having to make their own way to the bus station, which is located far out in the outskirts of the city.

The Sinh Tourist open bus tour company has two buses per day departing from their office in Pham Ngu Lao to their office in Nha Trang’s city centre at 130 Hung Vuong St. The bus does not stop at the public bus station. Sleeping bus departs at 07:00 and 20:00, costs 188,000-199,000 and takes 10-11.5 hours.

The surrounding beaches are not half bad either.

The surrounding beaches are not half bad either. Photo: Cindy Fan

Otherwise, buses to Nha Trang depart from Ho Chi Minh City’s Mien Dong bus station. Ben Xe Mien Dong or the East bus station is located in Binh Thanh District, about 8 km northeast of Ben Thanh Market and backpacker street Pham Ngu Lao. Mien Dong is the largest and busiest station in Vietnam. Several companies operate service to Nha Trang, and many more buses headed northbound to a destination on QL1A can drop you off on the highway en route. However, it does pay to be discriminating in which bus company you choose.

Phuong Trang has a dozen departures a day between 08:00-22:30 for Nha Trang which costs 210,000 dong and takes 12 hours.

The Sinh Tourist: 246-248 De Tham St, District 1; T: (028) 3838 9597;
Phuong Trang: 272 De Tham St, District 1;


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