If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I previously wrote a guide to 24 hours in Shanghai and a guide to 24 hours in London. I did go to Bangkok too, but yeah… got lazy with that one. Anyway, my trip to Nha Trang really exceeded my expectations so I decided to share the details. If you’re looking for a more laid-back approach to exploring this beautiful city in Vietnam, look no further because here it is: The Lazy Person’s Guide to 24 Hours in Nha Trang.
Nha Trang may not be as well-known as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang, but it certainly does not pale in comparison. I’d even say it’s better with many spots still waiting to be discovered. And since the city is on tropical lands where relaxation is of top priority, you can’t beat a laid-back approach to exploring the sites. Trust me, there’s only one way to do it, and that’s tackling 24 hours in Nha Trang the lazy way.
10:00AM: Wakey wakey
In my guide to 24 hours in Shanghai and my guide to 24 hours in London, I suggested itineraries with wake up calls at 8:00AM and 9:00AM respectively. Thankfully, the tropical paradise of Vietnam beckons the unspoken rule of taking it slow. Feel free to hit the snooze button more than a few times before beginning your 24 hours in Nha Trang.
Liberty Central Nha Trang
You’ve had your lie in and it’s 10 o’clock now. Open your eyes, draw open the curtains and greet the new day in Nha Trang. Whether you’re staying at a 5-star resort or an affordable alternative, the bright sunshine is sure to welcome you no matter your surroundings. As I reviewed in a previous blog post, I stayed at Liberty Central Nha Trang, an intricately designed hotel in the city centre. Waking up to the stunning room sure made my mornings a lot easier!
10:30AM: Brunch in bed
An essential for any trip to Southeast Asia is to live like a king, something I’d never experienced coming from a stingy Asian family. My hotel package included a buffet breakfast every morning, but for the first time in my life, I wanted to have
breakfast brunch in bed. I highly suggest ordering room service to begin your day. You may need to spend a tad bit more, but trust me, it’s worth every dollar.
breakfast brunch in bed feels like no other. What’s on offer for your morning grub depends on where you’re staying, but at Liberty Central Nha Trang, I had a choice between a full continental breakfast and a Vietnamese breakfast. Whatever you choose, just remember to fill up that belly because you’ll be doing a lot of exploring today!
11:30AM: Morning dip
Back home, you may have to rush off to work the moment you’ve downed your breakfast smoothie, but here in Nha Trang, you’re free from your obligations. Take advantage of the early hours and head over to your hotel’s pool for a morning dip. The other guests should still be snoozing away or having breakfast, so you can enjoy the quietness of the place to yourself.
Even if you’d rather hit the beach, there’s no reason not to check out your hotel’s swimming pool. I’m glad I did, because that led to discovering the world’s most Instagram-worthy hotel pool bar at Liberty Central Nha Trang. Don’t miss out on the pool facilities if you’re staying at a 4-star or 5-star hotel. Enjoy your morning exercise before the kids get to the scene and grab a cocktail at the bar to reward yourself after!
1:00PM: See the sites
All refreshed from your morning swim? Good, then let’s move on to the next part of your 24 hours in Nha Trang. Lace up your trainers and get exploring! From the options below, pick one or two sites you like. You won’t have time to tackle all three, so choose wisely.
Long Son Pagoda
Craving culture? The Long Son Pagoda is your answer. Called the Chùa Long Son in Vietnamese, this famous Taoist architecture is easily recognisable by its large white Buddha. The stunning statue is just one part of Long Son Pagoda – the site also includes a garden and a temple, patterned with dragons and other intricate motifs. If you’re a history and religion nut, then this sacred sanctuary may just your paradise.
Xom Moi Market
Craving food? Xom Moi Market is calling you. There’s no better way of experiencing a country’s culinary history than going back to the basics, and trust me, Xom Moi Market is as local as it gets. You’ll get a peek at the daily lives of Nha Trang’s locals and where they buy fresh produce and meats every morning, but be warned if you’re wary of crowds: it’s a busy place.
Craving sun? Get your tan on at Hon Chong. The seaside bay is perfect for you if you’re seeking the heat. It’s not only for the outdoorsy, though. The unique rock formation and the striking view of South China Sea make it a great place for photographers, too. Another gem Hon Chong offers is the café just behind the bay, where you can watch a live music show and sip on a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee. Ah, bliss.
4:00PM: Grab a drink
This is a lazy person’s guide to 24 hours in Nha Trang, so by now you’re probably tired, right? Wind down and feel free to have a cool drink during your downtime. You can choose to go to any café, but why settle when you can have the best? Head on over to your next destination, the Sailing Club!
Those who don’t know better may be repulsed by Sailing Club Nha Trang at first glance, as it looks like another expat-ridden nightclub from the outside. But don’t be fooled – it’s actually a welcoming beach club that opens its doors to people of all backgrounds. Tourists? Locals? Come on in and experience the club’s bar, restaurant and private beach! Sailing Club Nha Trang is the quintessential spot to chill out and have a drink, booze-infused or not. Right now, it’s the solution to your afternoon break.
5:30PM: Take a breather
After finishing your drink, go take a breather. Sailing Club Nha Trang is right next to Nha Trang Bay. In fact, the club has a private area of the beach marked for its members. If you didn’t choose Hon Chong from the list of sites to visit earlier on, then you can have your fill of the sand and sea now. It may not be as private or as Instagram-worthy, but it’s a great beach all the same.
Nha Trang Bay
At Nha Trang Bay, you’ll see people of all sorts suntanning, building sandcastles and indulging in a bit of water activity. The endless strip of sand and sea is the reason most tourists come to the city. There’s more than enough to share thanks to the length of the beach, so you can be as picky as you like and select an area that’s suitable for you – no fighting, please!
6:30PM: Breakfast for dinner
There’s a reason why the all-day breakfast is on every café menu. Breakfast, any time of the day, is a universal favourite. Plus, you didn’t even have breakfast this morning – you had brunch, remember? From my experience, the best place for affordable western food in Nha Trang is in fact not in a specialised restautant… but a little homestyle café.
Alpaca Homestyle Café
Open from morning ’till night, Alpaca Homestyle Café is one of Tripadvisor’s most positively reviewed food spots in Nha Trang. Whether you’re in search of a café with wifi during the afternoon, or a restaurant for a casual bite in the evening, Alpaca Homestyle Café can meet all your needs. Expect a variety of western favourites like the all-day breakfast, meat steaks and hot plates of spaghetti, all lovingly home cooked by a team of enthusiastic chefs. The food will not disappoint.
Read more: The One Café You Must Eat at in Nha Trang
8:30PM: Sweet ending
Now, you can’t possibly end your 24 hours in Nha Trang without a little bit of dessert. Of course, you can order a sweet treat at Alpaca Homestyle Café, but why not wander the streets and try some local Vietnamese delicacies instead? There is so much to choose from to wrap up your meal: ice cream, smoothies and my personal favourite, fresh fruits. Put your shopping cap on and pick a variety you won’t be able to find back home!
Any street stall
You may have tried the famous banh xeo or banh mi while in Nha Trang, but have you considered the fresh produce unique to this region? Don’t forget that vegetables and fruits are also part of the traditional Vietnamese diet. If you’re used to apples and oranges at home, get adventurous and try the funky-looking dragon fruit, the hairy rambutan, or even brave the pungent durian. Me? I decided to take it to the extreme with the sexual breast-milk fruit. You can read more about it here.
9:30PM: Catch some zzz’s
If you’re a partier or looking to check out the clubbing scene, the night is only starting and your 24 hours in Nha Trang is not over yet. But c’mon, this is a lazy person’s guide to Nha Trang, and lazy people like me don’t like to party… lazy people like me like to go home and sleep. It’s 9:30PM, and I say it’s officially time to embrace your bed and shuttle off to dreamland. Goodnight!
I hope you enjoyed coming along with me during your 24 hours in Nha Trang. There’s more to life than rushing around trying to check every major tourist spot off your checklist. Sometimes, you have to hold back to really enjoy your vacation. Y’know, really savour the moment. If you only have 24 hours in Nha Trang, trust me, you won’t regret spending it the lazy person’s way.
Nha Trang Series:
- 6 Things I Tried for the First Time in Nha Trang
- Forget Nha Trang’s Luxury Resorts, Try This Hotel Instead
- The World’s Most Instagram-Worthy Hotel Pool Bar
- The One Café You Must Eat at in Nha Trang
- What Makes Nha Trang’s Sailing Club Worth Visiting
- Why Hon Chong Should Be in Your Nha Trang Itinerary
- The Lazy Person’s Guide to 24 Hours in Nha Trang
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