Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a coastal city and capital of Khánh Hòa Province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is bounded on the north by Ninh Hoà district, on the south by Cam Ranh town and on the west by Diên Khánh District.

If you plan to visit this city, it is not necessary to be more than 3 or 4 days unless your purpose of the trip is scuba diving or just enjoy all day at the beach

What to see here?

1. Cathedral of Christ the King

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/XufeEH5ZNX1iJZQ58

Visit this church founded in 1886 by French missionaries. The best way to get there is by taxi. Highly recommended to download Grab app to move around. Taxi costs in Nha Trang is quite affordable.

Entry fees is about 20.000VND. Women can’t wear “too short” clothes

Opened every day from 7.30am to 11.30am & 2pm to 5pm

2. Long Son Pagoda

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/PNAAFpwRpabNCVDv7

Near the cathedral is Long Son Pagoda. From the top there are views of the city but not so spectacular!

Opened Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 11.30am & 2pm to 5pm.

3. Alexandre Yersin Museum

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/xonYhbBa7mDZjarR6

Museum not very spectacular. For the price of the ticket doesn’t worth at all unless you have no other plans to do

Entry fees: 20.000VND

Opened every day from 7.30am to 11.30am & 2pm to 5pm

4. Ponagar Tower

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aAsCYvY6yy3Hh59E9

One of the most popular and highly recommended sites. As I mentioned earlier, the best way to get here and by taxi or Grab

Entry fees: 22.000VND

Opened every day from 8am to 6pm

5. Hike up to Ba Ho Waterfalls

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Location: https://goo.gl/maps/273VdEavCCKBu95X7

One of the most recommended activities and the one I really enjoyed. To get here you can hire a driver through your hotel since is a bit remote. Normally hotels have this kind of services. The price varies depending on the hotel. In my case it was 600,000VND per person. The driver waits for you until the time you negotiate with him previously

The hike can last depending on how far you want to go. There are 3 waterfalls in total, and the last one has a medium-high level of risk, since the path of this hike is basically climbing rocks. It is recommended to wear good shoes if you want to reach the third waterfall. Some rocks may be slippery!

Once you get to the waterfalls by taxi, you have to cross a resort and follow the indications. The rocks have signals to follow so be aware for those dangerous paths not suggested to take by the signs

Opened every day from 8am to 4.30pm

6. Snorkel in Nhat Trang Bay

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Another recommended activity even if the seabed is not the most optimal in Nha Trang, or at least in tourist areas. You can hire this tour through your hotel
Normally there are 3 islands open for tourists, although depending on the hotel or services you can choose among them

7. Relax at the beach or enjoy the night life

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Relax on the immense beach of the city or simply enjoy the nightlife. The atmosphere is not spectacular but it is worth visiting!

My personal vision of Nha Trang is that it is not very spectacular. For 3 or 4 days it is enough as long as good weather accompanies you. There are more activities on the outskirts of the city, but for this you have to hire taxis or drive and mainly these places are a bit neglected and do not attract too much the attention if you have already visited similar places in Thailand!

Phuket: An expected Journey

Phuket is the most popular island located in the Southern of Thailand, one of the main tourist spots which offers a large diversity of activities, such a diving, snorkeling, sailing, yachting, swimming, sun bathing, surfing…

To get around the island most likely you’d need to rent a motorbike or car. Alternatively the public transport is not a bad option whether you just want to sit and rest and keep yourself safe from the hilly roads and its poor vision.

Rent a motorbike may cost about 150-200 bahts/day, slightly cheaper if you rent by weeks instead. For your info, both drivers and pillion passengers are required to wear helmets, this rule is sometimes ignored by locals, and tourists riding around without one are more likely to be taxed 300-500 baht by the police if caught. You must carry a valid driving licence with you, or you’ll be slapped with a 500 baht fine.

Rent a car may cost 1000-1200 bahts, and may be arrange through your hotel for both motorbike and car rentals.

HOW TO GET FROM AIRPORT TO PHUKET TOWN

At the airport you may grab a bus from the old terminal to Phuket Town. The bus stops in Ranong Road, since in this road there’s a mini bus station. The journey takes about 1 hour and the costs is about 100 bahts. From this bus station you also can get to all beaches by taking a local bus

For more info about the bus schedule, click here

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EXPLORING AROUND

During my visit, we rented a motorbike the first day to make a tour around the island to check the main spots. It was a really nice experience to explore the island by motorbike and see which of all spots are really worthy to visit any other day during holidays

The first stop was Rawai Beach in the South of the island. The journey from Phuket town takes about 40 minutes generously.

Unfortunately the high tide covered the beach and the views were not as beautiful as show in the photos

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Leaving Rawai beach we reached to the next spot, Promthep Cape. The journey from Rawai to here took about 10-15 minutes

Promthep Cape is a frequented tourist spot but worth to have a look. Its sea views are well enough to spend 30 minutes. There is a parking where to keep your car or motorbike and many shops and stalls right in front of the parking

Once the motor has started, we headed to the next destination: Yanui Beach

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This beach was freaking crowded and really tiny. We didn’t spend much time on this place due to the inconvenient location and because it was not as nice as I read previously. The engine was not stopped for this place, so we run away as quick as possible to continue our tour

The road around Yanui Beach is a bit dangerous and with a poor visibility due to its curves and slopes, besides there are many buses on this area. So better be careful if you are renting a motorbike

Continuing the tour, we skipped Nai Harn beach and Ao Sane beach due to our tight time. Was getting dark and we were in the middle of nowhere amidst these crazy roads.

Decided to skip these beaches, the next destination was a bar near Karon View Point. A break after a long day journey has to be compensated with a soft drink with sea views (no alcohol while driving!)

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Finished the short break, we decided put end to this tour and back to Phuket town to visit the night market. Roads are dangerous during day time, I can’t imagine how is gonna be at night. From Karon View Point we headed to Phuket town coasting the island. The journey took about 1h 30 min but can be shorter if you go through the island instead

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NIGHT MARKETS

Phuket has several night markets. We only had enough time to visit 2 of them. On this markets you may find all kind of food and snacks, from bugs to delicious BBQ seafood

Phuket Walking street market

This market is located in  Phuket Town at few minutes walking distances from the Ranong Road (Bus station road)

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Malin Plaza in Patong Beach

This is one of the most frequented markets in Phuket and worth to have a look at least once. It’s a bit far away from Phuket town but if you are renting a motorbike won’t be a problem. Otherwise, there are buses passing by there and taxis are easily to spot

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For the rest of my days in Phuket, we visited the most recommended beaches within the island: Surin beach and Bang Tao beach

BEACHES

Surin Beach

This beach was really beautiful and white, far away from the town and with clean waters. We grabbed a bus from Ranong Road to this beach and the journey took about one hour. You may find frequent traffic jams which may delay your journey. Very common in Phuket, so get use to it!

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Bang Tao Beach

Personally this was definitely the best beach ever seen in Phuket so far. Its remote place makes it very quiet and not overcrowded. This beach is next to several resorts and is easily to find restaurants around.

We grabbed a bus from Ranong road to Bangtao beach. The bus dropped us near Mcdonald’s next to the main road. From the main road we had to walk to the beach. May it take about 20 minutes walk but it worth! To come back to the main road, better grab a taxi, easy to hire in one of the resorts next to the beach

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Our last day was spent strolling around Phuket Town, shopping and trying some local food within the area. The stroll was really pleasant and we could discover some spots that we missed during my planning

So in short, Phuket is not a bad place for 4-5 days if you really like to explore around and make tours driving. I guess there are much better places in Thailand if what you are looking for is relax and peace. These 2 words cannot be find in Phuket. Since is one of the most visited places in Thailand, wherever you are, you will be amidst the crowds most of the time.

Another thing is that if you are not keen to rent a motorbike, its remote places will be Phuket really tiring. Moving around takes hours and the traffic jam make it unbearable.

Between Phuket and Krabi, definitely I’d prefer Krabi. Best connected and easy to get everywhere

Hope this brief guide has been helpful and you may enjoy a trip in Phuket!