Gold Coast of Vietnam

Dhiram Shah | Updated on September 28, 2018

Eagle eye Amanoi’s infinity pool is perched dramatically on the hilltop   -  John W. McDermott

For snorkelling, seafood or spas, there is nothing quite like unexplored coastal town of Nha Trang

If your idyllic holiday includes relaxing on a palm-rimmed beach at noon, shimmying through a night of clubbing and soaking in the tranquility of spiritual heritage the next morning, then this Vietnamese coastal paradise should be high on your bucket list.

The coastal city of Nha Trang lies at a distance of 1,278 km from Hanoi and 448 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Rich in natural bounties, Nha Trang is surrounded by archipelagos, more than 19 islands, mountains and white sand beaches, and boasts of quiet and warm waters all year round. It is not without reason that the city is often called the Gold Coast of Vietnam. Nha Trang’s six-km long beach stretches along the South China Sea. The downtown region has a bustling city life, thus offering the best of both worlds. The city welcomes you with a fresh serving of history, luxury, accessibility and adventure for all age groups and preferences. Nha Trang is known for its good weather, particularly between January and August. This is an ideal period to go island-hopping across the five islets that dot the sea, each with its unique characteristics and attractions. Island-hopping generally takes up an entire day. We decided to stay back and enjoy live gigs and sightseeing along the way.

Taking the plunge

If you like splashing around in water, you could join diving instructional classes and/or snorkel your way through mesmerising coral reefs. Who’d imagine that you’d be headed back from your holiday with a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification? For an adrenaline rush, head for Vinpearl Land, which has Southeast Asia’s largest wave pool and waterslides. This is an amusement park spanning 2,00,000 sq.m and one of the most popular destinations here.

Vietnam is known for its admirable preservation of culture and heritage. The 1,200-year-old Po Nagar is reminiscent of neighbouring Cambodia’s more elaborate Angor Wat temple complex. Domes, stupas and towers made of red mud occupy the complex, signifying deities who represent the key virtues of life. The grounds of the temple, which overlooks the Cai River, are used for worship by Buddhists.

The place is also famous for its calming massages. The 100 Egg Mud Bath Spa in Nha Trang attracts tourists from all over. It offers many mud bath therapies, but this one’s especially popular because of the egg-shaped pods in which you can pamper yourseld with a relaxing mud bath session, or avail of their wet earth spa. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could hire a bike and make a trip to Bai Dai Beach for a relaxing evening with the choicest sea food that Nha Trang has to offer.

The shacks are comfortable and there’s a good chance that you’d be surprised by the beverages served here. The weather at Nha Trang is generally warm, so carry shorts and t-shirts, but do note that temples require you to be covered.

Arrive to luxury

The Amanoi Luxury Resort is far from the bustle of the city. It overlooks the protected waters of the Vinh Hy Bay marine reserve and is in the midst of spectacular wilderness. It’s a 75-minute drive from Cam Ranh International Airport, that serves the city of Nha Trang.

The resort offers pavilions for rooms, kitted with the best of amenities for creature comforts, including a spa house.

The central pavilion of the resort houses the main lobby, bar, restaurant, boutique shop, swimming pool and library. The upper deck of the pavilion is the ideal vantage point for catching some breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Ten minutes in a buggy ride from the central pavilion will transport you to the beach club for lunch. As the day wears on, you can take to the waters in a Hobie Cat (a small catamaran) or kayak. The beach club also has an infinity pool that overlooks the Vinh Hy Bay.

The main restaurant at the Central Pavilion offers various kinds of sea-food, and that is not surprising given that it is situated close to a fishing village. In the evenings they serve local Vietnamese delicacies. Simply put, if it’s Vietnam on your mind then it’s got to be Nha Trang.

Dhiram Shah is the Mumbai-based founder of

Published on September 27, 2018

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