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Nha Trang, a coastal city in south-central Vietnam and the capital of Khanh Hoa Province, is fast becoming a popular international tourist destination with its pristine beaches and excellent diving conditions. Nha Trang is located at the easternmost point of Vietnam's southern coastline.
The climate in Nha Trang is pleasant, divided into a dry season and a rainy season. From February to June the temperature is moderate, sunny and clear. The average temperature in January is 24°C. From March to April the average temperature rises to 35°C before the dry season, and from November to January the rainy season is characterised by frequent rain, mostly heavy and torrential, high temperatures and high humidity.
Nha Trang's Cam Ranh Airport is located 40km south of Nha Trang and offers several daily flights between Hanoi (around VND2.5 million) and Ho Chi Minh City (around VND1.5 million), generally without discounts.
Transportation from the airport to the city: as there are not many flights, there is a shuttle bus to the airport from Nha Trang 2 hours before each flight, which costs VND40,000 and takes about 45 minutes to arrive. A taxi to the airport costs approximately US$20.
The Southern Bus Station is the Khanh Hoa Provincial Bus Station in Nha Trang, where regular buses depart for the city, including Ho Chi Minh City. Nha Trang is also on the Vietnam Open Tour bus line, which is easily accessible and Open Tour buses can be booked at hotels and tourist information centres to various destinations. The approximate distances and times of Open Tour buses from Nha Trang are as follows.
Nha Trang - Dalat: 210 km, about 4 hours.
Nha Trang - Hoi An: 530 kilometres, around 9 hours.
Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh: 450 kilometres, around 8 hours
Nha Trang-Hue: 690 kilometres, around 16 hours
Nha Trang - Hanoi: 1350 km, around 24 hours.
Nha Trang is the preferred diving destination in Vietnam and there are 25 dive sites in this area. Visibility in the water averages 15 metres, with the best reaching 30 metres, depending on the season (the end of October to the beginning of January is the worst time). There are some steep slopes and underwater caves on the sea floor to explore and an extremely rich variety of corals. Amongst the richly coloured reef fish, rays can sometimes be seen.
A full day trip, including two dives and a lunch, costs between US$40 and US$60. Dive operators also offer a range of courses, including discover diving, which is designed for beginners who are not certified in diving.
Mana Mana Beach Club rents out windsurfing, wake boarding and sea kayaking equipment and also offers courses on how to use them.
If you don't fancy the salty waters, head to the seaside Phu Dong Water Park (admission 20,000d; 9am-5pm) with water slides, shallow pools and fountains.
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