Considered to be the ‘Beach Capital of  South Vietnam’, Nha Trang is famed for its sweeping stretch of gorgeous beach with offshore islands adding to its appeal. The turquoise water offers fantastic snorkelling & diving opportunities while the beachfront provides plenty to keep the visitors entertained with parks, gardens, stylish taverns, hip nightclubs and sophisticated bars.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang


  • BEACH, BEACH, BEACH – spend a few days on the beaches of Nha Trang, e.g. the tranquil Doc Let Beach, the scenic Bai Dai Beach and the azure shallows Bai Duong Beach great for swimming
  • If you manage to tear yourself away from the beach pool try some snorkelling or scuba diving – Nha Trang has got the best diving spots in Vietnam
  • Take a cruise to the nearby offshore islandsDiep Son is remarkable for its 3 islands are connected by sandbars and you can walk through them (it is locally called a “Sea Road)
  • Waterfalls – the hinterland of Nha Trang is known for marvellous landscapes with tropical waterfalls, for instance, find the jungle-hidden Ba Ho falls, take a dip in the Fairy Spring waterhole and have a picnic at the Yang Bay waterfall
  • Sightseeing – visit the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, Alexandre Yersin Museum, Long Son Pagoda, Nha Trang Cathedral, Po Nagar Cham Towers and Thanh Dien Khanh Fortress (perfect on a rainy day)
  • Cho Dam Market –  a typical Vietnamese market venue with all you would imagine to find, it is a popular tourist attraction
  • Vinpearl Land Amusement Aquapark –  have some fun at this Western-style theme park
  • After a busy day exploring the area, chill out by having a hot thermal mud bath at Thap Ba hot springs
  • Walk down the main seaside promenade and have a supreme sunset seafood feast on the beach – as fresh as can be!
  • Dress up and spend a night out at one of the glamorous rooftop bars!

Nha Trang beach dining, seafood is Southern Vietnam`s speciality

Find out more at: travelmarbles.com/australia/#1465102454522-e3765fbd-1d07


With elegant colonial villas, a spring-like climate and verdant scenery, Da Lat is Vietnam`s premier hill station. The town was originally established by the French as a cool retreat from Saigon`s stifling tropical heat. Da Lat`s bohemian vibe and alpine landscape of pine forests, rolling hills and tranquil lakes make it the sort of place best enjoyed at a gentle pace. Da Lat also lends itself perfectly to outdoor activities like camping, trekking, mountain biking and kayaking.

Ecotourism in Da Lat, Elephant Camp

Ecotourism in Da Lat, Elephant Camp


  • Rent a scooter and go on a countryside tour to bump into flower fields, coffee plantations, cricket farms, silk factories, rice wine distilleries and other interesting sights typical for this region
  • Take a trip to the popular Elephant Falls, Pongour Waterfall, Prenn Falls or Datanla Falls and dip into their refreshing waters
  • Pop into the Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the Crazy House. This quite particularly unique architectonic piece was designed and constructed by the Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga and it is a real feast for eyes!

Hang Nga Guesthouse (The Crazy House)


Built around a charming fishing village, the beautiful beach of Mui Ne has a reputation as the adrenaline capital of Southern Vietnam, popular with surfers (August-December) and wind and kite surfers (October-April), when the gales hit the place. That is also a time when the changing winds sculpt the vivid sands into the giant sand dunes and tourists can have endless fun sand-sledging.

Besides, there is a good deal of luxury as the place is popular with the Russian holidaymakers. Resorts, restaurants, and casino are found in Rang Beach. Ganh Beach & Suoi Nuoc Beach have some good shopping options and all beaches are ideal for water activities.

The Red Sand Dunes, Phan Tiet

The Red Sand Dunes, Phan Tiet


  • Water activities – kite-surfing, surfing, sailing, swimming are the most popular
  • Red Sand Dunes –  go quad biking, sand-boarding or sand sledging and enjoy the spectacular views from the top of the reddish-coloured dunes
  • White Sand Dunes – try the dune buggies and ostrich rides
  • Visit the early morning fish market in Mui Ne and become a part of the everyday life of the local fishermen, have a stroll around the harbour with the camera – good for taking photographs
  • Taku Mountain – take a tram to the largest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia (fabulous  views) 
  • Suoi Tien – take a walk to the Fairy Stream, it is a river in bamboo forests with amazing boulders and sand dunes where the landscapes resemble the Grand Canyon, climb up the red sand hills to get nice views of the river valley

Suoi Tien, Fairy Stream


Splendid deserted beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and lush rainforest are typical of  Con Dao. The islands are also home to the wonderful Con Dao National Park that protects sea turtle nesting grounds. Con Son is the largest and has so far avoided mass tourism which makes it be a pristine spot with some idyllic beaches.

Apart from being a marine reserve, the island has become a very important historical place and home to the Cemetery of National Heroes (more than 20 000 Vietnamese legends are buried here).  Prisons, cemeteries & tombs are some of the major attractions; Con Dao used to be a prison island for political prisoners during the French colonial era as well as the communist regime.

Con Son


  • Remote but very scenic An Hai Beach, white Lo Voi Beach,  Dat Doc BeachOng Dung Beach with monkeys (small entrance fee), and the gorgeous Dam Trau Beach
  • Scuba diving is a must but also snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters of  South China Sea is worthy
  • Sea Turtle Tour – see the turtles laying eggs on the beach (June-August)
  • Pay a visit to the Phu Hai prison and take a look at the “tiger cages” on the Con Son Island – more than a hundred very tight chambers with ceiling bars, where the French guards could poke at the Vietnamese prisoners like tigers in a zoo, during the French occupation of Vietnam
  • Book one of the private pool villas  at the Six Senses Eco-Resort in Con Dao if your budget allows (USD700+ per night)
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Six Senses Eco-Resort, Con Dao


Known as the “Rice Bowl of Vietnam”, the legendary Mekong Delta teems with verdant rice fields, fruit orchards, vibrant villages and bustling floating markets. Maintaining the ancestral way of life, the locals have adapted well to life on the water. Fishing and river trading is all that matters, and many residents have moved to their boats.

The city of Can Tho is Mekong`s epi-centre and the largest city in the region. The town of  Vinh Long serves as the gateway to the rural islands, dotting the mighty Mekong River. Cai Be is lesser visited floating market with great, original value, where wholesalers sell their wares from large boats while customers cruise the market in smaller boats haggling for their purchases.

For more information about Mekong Delta, useful travel tips and things to do, go to MEKONG DELTA.

Mekong Delta, Cat Tien, harvesting lotus flowers


No visit of Southern Vietnam would be complete without seeing Ho Chi Minh. At times overwhelming at times fascinating – the former Saigon is a megalopolis that boasts arresting images.

Gleaming skyscrapers, immaculate hotels, expensive restaurants, glitzy bars and designer shops stand in stark contrast to the ancient pagodas, colonial-era landmarks, Soviet-style housing blocks, ramshackle markets and wandering monks whilst the key historical sites provide a fascinating inside into the Vietnam War.

The network of secret underground tunnels of Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh


If you have a couple of extra days and fancy island seclusions you should definitely book a flight to Phu Quoc – the best-kept secret of Southern Vietnam.  Situated off the Cambodian coastline, the island features balmy temperatures all year round and some of the best snorkelling and diving locations in Vietnam. There is a good choice of accommodation available, ranging from mid-budget hotels to expensive eco-resorts.

The island was rated as the “Cleanest and Most Beautiful Beach-Location on Earth” by ABC News. It is largely untouched and a perfect spot for a beach vacation.

Phu Quoc is an ultimate tropical gem


Suggested time to explore Southern Vietnam is 7-9 days (excluded the Saigon city)

If you wish to add Ho Chi Minh and surrounds into your itinerary, count on 3-4 extra days

Optionally, you might also want to include the Mekong Delta if desirable – 2-3 extra days


The best time to visit the south of Vietnam is between November and April, however, it gets extremely hot at this time of year. During the winter months, October-January, the rainfall increases and it is also the typhoon season.


NHA TRANG: Fly To Ho Chi Minh and take a bus or a train to Nha Trang (7-9 hour trip). You can also fly to Nha Trang but it is quite expensive and not very popular since travelling by overland will give you the chance to see the gorgeous landscape and save you money

MUI NE: Fly To Ho Chi Minh and take a bus or a train to Mui Ne (4-hour trip)

CON DAO: Fly to Ho Chi Minh and take a 45 min flight to Con Dao Islands

MEKONG DELTA: Fly To Ho Chi Minh. You can either book a package tour from Saigon (typically a 2-3 day trip, all-inclusive) or take a bus from Saigon to Can Tho which takes 3-4 hours.

For all international flights check out www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com

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Eva Bodova

Wednesday 13 June 2018

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