The ocean is already full of swimmers at sunrise. I went for a swim myself and found
the water plenty warm. There's a fairly steep dropoff -- the water gets deep fast.
We walked to the far end of the beach until the sand ended at a jumble of rocks
Where We Be
Nha Trang, Vietnam
This is a beautiful beach, with 6 km of golden sand to walk along --
or a paved promenade if you want something less sandy
From the north end of the beach we took a short taxi ride ($2) to Po Nagar -- the temple
tower seen in the distance. It was built by the Cham people way back in the mid 700s.
Po Nagar is Nha Trang's key site (other than the beach) and is worth a quick visit.
The main tower is about 25 meters (75 ft) high. Admission is less than $1 each.
Above the entrance to the temple is this sculpture of the
four-armed Hindu goddess Durga (slayer of the buffalo-demon)
We walked home from Po Nagar -- perhaps about 2 miles one way.
We took this picture from a bridge looking back at the city center.
We returned by way of the beach promenade, looking for
whatever bits of shade we could find. Even by 8 am it was hot!
This distinctive "Lotus Flower" building is visible
both from the beach and from the promenade
And this government building shows a lot of French colonial influence
Almost home! This is the stretch of promenade
closest to our Golden Sea Hotel (Hoang Hai).
We ate twice at Lanterns, an atmospheric
Vietnamese restaurant with excellent food
Our favorite entrees included fish cooked in a claypot with carmelized onions and sauce, and
“shaking beef” -- cubes of beef stir-fried with tomatoes, peppers, and onions in a savory sauce
Lots of Russians come to Nha Trang, so there are many signs in Russian. The local Vietnamese have to be able
to speak English, Russian, French, and their own language to keep up with all the different people visiting here.
You never know what you're gonna find on a Vietnamese menu. Blood cockle sounds awful but is
actually a type of clam. Hedgehog and civet, though... There's very little the Vietnamese won't eat!
The sun rises directly over the ocean at Nah Trang, so many of the locals take
advantage of the pleasant lighting and cooler temps by swimming at 5 or 6 am
Our overnight sleeper bus arrived in Nah Trang
around 5:30 am -- and we were surprised to see
the beach already abuzz with people. Most were
local Vietnamese enjoying the sunrise over the
ocean as they swam, jogged, or walked along
the promenade. Next morning we decided to
join them. We awoke at 5:30 am and went for a
long sunrise walk along the entire length of the
beach, heading north until the sand ended at a
jumble of rocks and a hotel set on the water.
Hundreds of locals were already up and about
swimming in the ocean, playing badminton, and
jogging along an oceanfront path. We’ve never
seen a beach so well used so early in the day!
But then, this is one of Vietnam’s premier
municipal beaches, stretching for over 6 km (3½
mi) and offering fine views of distant mountains.