Nha Trang 'guide'.

Discussion in 'Vietnam - General Discussion Forum' started by Iwantablackrz, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Iwantablackrz

    Iwantablackrz Ol'Timer

    I’ve been meaning to post this for a little while. I’ve currently ‘stuck’ in Nha Trang and I’ve been here for close to two months now. Having been here for a while I’ve eaten/drunk/stayed at a mix of places and thought I’d share some of my discoveries.

    First up most people come to Nha Trang for 2-4 days and not much more. What those travellers would see is a very different Nha Trang than I think you’d experience if you spent quite a bit of time here. I suppose this could be said about a few places but I suppose what I’m trying to do is justify my stay here when a lot of people who have swung by in just a few days question my mentality.
    Ok, moving along.

    Places to see:
    Nha Trang is all about its beach. There are a few other sights and I’ll update this shortly.

    Places to eat:
    Mecca 16D Tran Quang Khai. This place has a few set breakfast options for a very reasonable price. $1.50 will get you a humble omellete, baguette and either a coffee of fresh fruit juice. They also have a killer seafood basket which although unusually served in stages (rather than all in one… basket!) would probably be one of the best I’m yet to have in Vietnam.

    Ciao Vietnam 74 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street. The best value ‘english/american’ breakfast I’ve discovered and if your wanting the eggs, baguette, beans, bacon and REAL sausage without a bucket load of oil then this is the place to go.

    Andys Chopsticks 1G Hung Vuong St. Not sure why this gem isn’t in any guidebooks. No doubt it will be in the newest rendition of Lonely Planet and it seems to have glowing reviews if you have a flick though the back of the menu. Hey, you might even find my review scrawled into the back one day. Try the hotpot as I really enjoyed it and have gone back more than twice for the same dish!

    The Grill House 1/18 Tran Quang Khai St. The place for a steak if you are in Nha Trang. Never attempted the 500g T-bone on my dwindling travelling budget but if it’s anything like the beef burger I keep going back for I’m sure it’s utterly fantastic. They seem to take great pride in their steak and watching the cooks at the open grill it does appear they know what they are doing.

    Salut (right across the road from The Grill House) serves a good mix of both Vietnamese, western and fusion food at a reasonable price.

    Texas BBQ and Steaks 26A Tran Quan Khai St. The title says it all really but if you like Mexican I found the taco’s exceptionally delicious. They also do a really nice breakfast spread.

    Le Petit Bistro is a few doors down from the Texas BBQ and Steaks. 26D Tran Quan Khai St. Coming from the coffee capital of the world I’m the first to admit I’m a coffee snob. If you need a ‘real’ coffee without the condensed milk then this is the place to go. Sure, it’s not the world’s greatest but so far after asking for a cappuccino, expresso or latte everywhere in Nha Trang that seems to offer it this is the only place that hasn’t burnt the milk, cooked the beans or both. Not only that they are consistent. It’s quite drinkable. They also have a nice little courtyard out the back in which to enjoy your caffeine fix and they also serve overpriced cheese platters, have an adjoining wine shop and serve a mix of Frenchy style food.

    La Taverna 115 Nguyen Thien Thuat. An Italian restaurant by name and nature. I’m half Italian and it was relieving to find a place in asia that served gnocchi like nonna’s. The pesto sauce wasn’t what I had imagined but I’d still recommend it… although perhaps with a bolognaise sauce. Lasagna also wasn’t too bad… albeit a little undersized.

    Un-named street stall which should be a MUST for those visiting Nha Trang. A short walk from the main tourist district it’s at the entrance of an alley that leads to the Khanh Hotel (17/2 Hung Vuong St). They do a ‘beef steak’ for 30 Dong and ‘Bo Ne’ for 25 Dong (a little over a dollar). The Bo Ne has become one of my favourite dishes in Nha Trang and represents awesome value for money. Basically it’s a thin steak served on a hot place with egg, mayonnaise, onion and a tomato sauce. It also comes with a baguette but if you're ravenous I'd suggest ordering two Bo Ne's. It only sets up for dinner and is not there during the day.

    Café 101. Located off Hung Vuong St across the road from the Mai Huy Hotel which I’ve recommended below. They only really do Pho here but surprisingly for the tourist area the Pho is sold at 20 Dong… which is local price and what you’d expect to pay outside of the tourist area. Infact, I’ve paid more in the local area WITH local Vietnamese friends ordering on my behalf. Not a bad Pho either.

    Truc Linh 2. 21 Biet Thu St. This place has three different restaurants and they all share an identical menu and the food in each restaurant is the same standard. A mix of Vietnamese, western and fusion. Try the honey glazed ostrich.

    Places to drink:
    I haven’t really hit up the partying and drinking scene. I do recommend The Sailing Club (72-74 Tran Phu) which has a great location on the beach and is awesome to sit back and relax during the day or kick up the heels and dance the night away come late. The tunes are pumping well before 9pm but the dance floor doesn’t start to get moving till close to 10pm and it really kicks up a notch at 12’ish which is when most bars close and everyone migrates to The Sailing Club to take advantage of the 2 am closing time. A good mix of travellers and locals but don’t get sucked into the Jam Jars. The locals drink them because they are cheap but they are a lethal mix of rice wine and juice. I was advised by an ex-pat that in the past (not necessarily now) it was local knowledge that they were laced with something funky to get the party moving and drinks flowing. The beer is overpriced but you’ll be better for it in the morning.

    Louisiane Brewhouse 29 Tran Phu. A short walk up the beach from The Sailing Club you’ll find this chilled micro-brewery. They have a decent spread of Vietnamese and western food although I recommend ordering from the separate Japanese menu if you like Japanese food. The standard was quite high and back in Melbourne I’d expect to pay well over double for the same standard of food. In terms of the beer I strongly recommend the Whitbier. Personal preference of course but I preferred it over the other three brews.

    WARNING: Take care on the walk back to your hotel from the Sailing Club/Brewhouse (and along the beach) after dark. If you’re walking back alone I guarantee you will be approached by a group of women who under the guise of feeling you up will promptly rid you of any possessions. I was sober and knew what was happening and kept my hands deep into my own pockets. A lot wouldn’t be so lucky. I had to be quite aggressive before they took my protests seriously and backed away. Don’t take anything of value to the beach after dark. I was warned by many concerned locals during the dwindling hours of light to get off the beach with my friends valuable acoustic guitar and to keep my camera, phone and wallet well out of sight.

    Places to stay:
    I’ve stayed at a few places (I keep moving around until I find somewhere that I consider to be the best value) and have concluded that these two would be the ones I would recommend.

    Phuy Quy 2 Hotel 1 Tue Tinh St. I was paying $29 for a very nice room which would by far be the nicest I have stayed in…. although also the most expensive. The room was clean, the doona was thick, the aircon worked, I had a ‘brand name’ flat screen TV, a marbled bathroom and it was super clean. It also included a ‘ok’ breakfast at the buffet downstairs.

    Mai Huy 7H Hung Vuong. This is the place I’ve been staying at for excess of 6 weeks. I have a very nice room for $9 with a nice big bed, flat screen TV, pay TV channels, AC, fan, fridge and all the trimmings. Have a look at some of the rooms if you so desire as the rooms on the lower rooms have ‘old’ bathrooms at the same price whereas other rooms have bathrooms that have been recently renovated. The rooms at the front of the building are much bigger (with two beds and nicer bathrooms) but obviously more expensive. Request a room ending in ‘5’ AFTER level 3 (Ie. 405, 505 etc) as these rooms are at the back of the building and subsequently at the end of the hallway so you have no hallway traffic noise and the best window views. The Wi-Fi is also quite good and if it fails you can pinch it from three other surrounding hotels.

    77 Nguyen Thien Thuat. I am unsure how this guy is with bigger bikes but he was my ‘go to’ man when my Honda Win continued to fail. He speaks excellent English and I never got the impression he was ripping me off. I got the engine of my Honda Win rebuilt (piston, rings, seals, oil) and a few other misc little repairs done for $20 which I considered to be very reasonable considering I was charged well over a $60 by a mechanic in Hoi An just to swap over a cracked sump. My only criticism was that he easily forgot at times the things I had requested to have fixed but then I usually had a long list!

    Big Bikes CAN be purchased in Nha Trang. I have ridden past a relatively large dealership outside of the tourist area and in the main ‘city’ part of town that does stock big bikes. I’ve been meaning to grab the address and if I’m in the area before I leave here I’ll be sure to update. I’ve also seen a few cashed up locals screaming around on Ducati Monsters.

    This is by nowhere means a comprehensive list of places. Nha Trang is a big city with lots to discover but if you’re only staying for a day or two hopefully I’ve saved you some time finding a place to feed, stay or visit.

    I will update this thread with photo's once I find a faster internet connection
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  3. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    Invaluable post.
    Exactly what people touring VN require.
    Greatly appreciate your efforts to eat, drink, "bed down" & almost be robbed for the benefit of us all.
  4. Iwantablackrz

    Iwantablackrz Ol'Timer

    Cheers Rod. I have a few more places to add so I'll be sure to get around to adding them in the next day or two. This should do well for starters.

    Hope your travels are going well. Love the Phu Quoc thread and I wish I had the time to get down there before my Christmas eve flight home out of HCMC. Keep it coming. :)

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