Just over 400 kilometres away from Ho Chi Minh City, the beach town of Nha Trang makes for a great spot to grab a beach chair and soak up some sun. If you’re looking for a Saigon getaway here are your best ways to get there.
If you’re in a time crunch, or you’re off put by long bus rides, the easiest way to get to Nha Trang is by plane. From Saigon you will fly directly to Cam Ranh International Airport, which was upgraded to handle international traffic in 2009. Currently, Nha Trang can only be reached on Vietnam Airlines, but JetStar and new budget carrier VietJetAir are hoping to add themselves into the mix in the near future.
Even with the lack of competition booking is still easy and relatively inexpensive. Prices for the 55-minute flight start at around 1,150,000 VND each way, however during holidays like Tet or Reunification Day the prices can quadruple.
Once you get to the airport you still have almost 40 kilometres to get to the centre of town. The airport is serviced by plenty of taxis offering fixed price trips to town starting at 180,000 VND; don’t take a metered taxi — there are some of these around as well — as the price will be considerably higher. A more affordable option is to take the 40,000 VND airport minibus, which you can purchase tickets for at a booth near the exit. The bus drops you off at the old Nha Trang airport and from here your hotel should be a short taxi ride away.
Another way of getting to Nha Trang is by train as the city is a stop on the main rail line that connects HCMC to Hanoi. The train will take longer than the plane — between six and eight hours. Several leave the city from the District 3 train station at various times during the day, including an overnight train.
On the train you will have several seat options, from sleepers to regular seats, the most comfortable of which are the 400,000 VND soft sleepers. In the soft sleeper you will have one of four beds in a room; on the bed you will have plenty of room to comfortably stretch out or have room to sit up. As sleepers go you may regret going cheaper; for example, a hard sleeper will be 100,000 VND cheaper but your room of four turns into a room of six, taking away your headroom. If you really need to save money, go for one of the cushioned seats in an air-con car, which run around 200,000 VND.
If you’re looking for the least expensive way to get Nha Trang you’ll be taking the bus. Your options for buses are the same as if you’re travelling from Saigon to Da Lat, as you will be passing through Da Lat on your way to the beach. Expect the ride to be longer though, at the very least between 10 and 12 hours each way. Luckily, the extra distance doesn’t add much in price; a sleeper bus will run around 140,000 VND and a standard bus will start around 120,000 VND.
After your journey you will be treated with plenty of things to do besides just hanging out at the beach; for starters, head over to the water park at Vinpearl Land or visit the Thap Ba Hot Springs and enjoy the mud.
By Angela Schonberg
Last updated on 25th June, 2012.