The introduction in May 2017 of new direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City has further fuelled a huge increase in the amount of Australians visiting this fantastic country. Whilst the many treasures of Vietnam will be discussed in future blogs, in this particular blog we’re just looking for a great place to chill out, relax, grab a drink (or two) and enjoy the sunset over a glistening South China Sea. So where do we have in mind? It’s Nha Trang of course, Vietnams favourite beachside resort city.
Vietnams Favourite Beachside City


Nha Trang is the capital city of the Khanh Hoa Province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. The Bay on which the city resides has regularly been voted as one of the most beautiful in the World (Travel + Leisure Magazine), so its no surprise visitor numbers, both domestically and internationally, have been increasing rapidly over recent years.

The greater Nha Trang district has a resident population in excess of 550,000 and the city is about 450kms north of Ho Chi Minh and 1,200 kms south of Hanoi. With close to 6 kms of pristine beaches, Nha Trang Bay covers an area of some 405 square kms including 19 islands, both large and small. Viewed from above the location is utterly breathtaking. 

What Climate to Expect

The city enjoys a tropical ‘savanna’ style climate with a long dry season that stretches from January to August, followed by a shorter wet season from September to December. Whilst relatively short, the wet season can be quite intense, with very heavy rain from typhoons not uncommon. Needless to say the dry season is the time to go!
Vietnams Favourite Beachside City

Things to do

As you’d expect, Nha Trang is a water lovers heaven, with Vietnams best scuba diving sites, and every water sport you can imagine. There are numerous island tours available but the most famous (and popular) is Hon Tre Island (also known as Bamboo Island). It’s here where you’ll find the World Class Vinpearl Land Resort. The complex has the Worlds longest over sea cable car system, which is 3,320 meters long. Once on the island you’ll find a Water Park (with some huge slides), Under Water World, Amphitheatre, Shopping Mall and a Food Village (in addition to great accommodation).

Another favourite hang out is the Hon Tam Resort, which offers a wonderful blend of Tropical forest, ‘wild’ beaches, modern restaurants and relaxing pools and spas.

The nightlife is a little more robust than in other beach locations in Vietnam (although not in the same category as Thailand or Bali) and tends to centre in and around Biet Thou tourist district. 

Vietnams Favourite Beachside City

Zen Tourism

If you’re looking for inner peace, and a more soul enriching experience, Nha Trang has a range of zen inspired locations (Hon Ba, Suoi Do, Ba Ho and VanPhong Bay), where nature remains untouched and visitors can enjoy practicing yoga, meditation and being as one with the World.

Food and culture

The local cuisine is dominated by fresh seafood, but also check out the delicious barbecued pork rolled in rice paper, and the area’s Birds Nest Soup is regarded as the one of the best in all of Vietnam. 

Aside from the natural beauty of the area, there are also a number of interesting cultural sites, such as the Palace of Emperor Bao Dai, Alexandre Yersin Museum, Champa Tower, and the Dragon Mountain Pagoda.

Vietnams Favourite Beachside City


The vast majority of international tourists will arrive by Air. Cam Rah International Airport, which services the City, is about 30kms from downtown Nha Trang. The airport handles about 5 million passengers a year and is the country’s fourth largest. There are no direct flights between Australia and Nha Trang, so visitors will usually go through either Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi. The airport has very regular flights to these two cities through either Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar or Viet Jet Air.

Once at the airport, there are plenty of buses and taxis available. Buses cost a little over A$2.00 and taxis range from about A$20.00.

If travelling over land, Nha Trang sits upon National Route 1A, the backbone of the North-South freeway system, and it is also a main station on the Reunification Railway which runs between HCMC and Hanoi.

Visa’s and other miscellaneous items

Australians require a visa to visit Vietnam. This can either be arranged before travel or upon arrival. We would suggest visiting the website or the Vietnamese Consulate directly for more information.

Vietnam currently offers no Retirement Visa, so whilst there is an ex-pat community in the country, generally, many of our clients (long-stay visitors and retirees) tend to reside in other South East Asian locations, and make Vietnam a holiday from their new ‘home away from home’.

Healthcare in the major cities has improved significantly over recent years, but would still be considered below that available in Australia, and other key South-East Asian countries, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Health insurance would therefore be highly recommended.

On the cash front, the Australian Dollar will currently buy you around VND 17,000 (Vietnamese Dong). Whilst this is down from the heady days of 2013 when you could get close to VND 22,000, it is up from last year’s low of about VND 15,500. 

Vietnam is really grabbing the imagination of Australians and becoming a must-see destination. Whether you already reside in the region or are making the trip from Down Under, it’s a fabulous place to explore and enjoy, and who knows maybe if they change the visa requirements, it could become a place to stay long term and retire.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson
Principal of Retire to Asia

Andrew has over 20 years experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

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