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Nha Trang/Dalat vs Ho Chi Minh/Mekong Delta?

Nha Trang/Dalat vs Ho Chi Minh/Mekong Delta?

Feb 12th, 2013, 08:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Nha Trang/Dalat vs Ho Chi Minh/Mekong Delta?

Hi everyone- I know it's tough to get answers for questions like this because travel is so subjective but I thought if I got an overwhelming opinion one way or the other it might help with this decision. A friend and I have about 4 days to play with at the back end of our Vietnam trip and are debating spending them at either of the above areas. A little background about us and our interests: single gals in our 30s, fun-loving but not looking to "party", outdoorsy (plan to do quite a bit of hiking) but also love cities (live in NYC) and appreciate some good beach time as well. Prior to arriving in either of these destinations we will have already covered Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An with a possible side trip to Cham Islands, weather permitting. We will be there end of Feb thru March 12.

What appeals to us about Nha Trang/Dalat area: another opportunity for beach time incase our attempt at Cham Islands is a bust (although it seems like the beach is kinda trashy - literally) as well as tackle another hike (or two) in Dalat which sounds quite lovely, assuming the trails take us away from the honeymooning crowds.

What appeals to us about HCMC/Mekong: we are always up for meandering around a city, checking out historical sites and just seems a shame to miss Saigon. Mekong also sounds like a unique experience that some people seem to rave about.

Would appreciate any thoughts/opinions on the subject. Thanks to anyone who has read this far!
babykaroo is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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That's a really hard decision. I've been to all of the places you mentioned and very much enjoyed all of them. You can't go wrong either way. You need to decide what is your priority-hiking in the mountains at Dalat or spending time at a beach in Nha Trong. I, unlike many on this board, loved HCMC. If it were me, and it's not, I'd go to HCMC and the Mekong Delta because I think those areas are most interesting. Of all the places you mentioned, I liked Nha Trong the least. I am not a beach person, and Nha Trang is essentially a beach town.
shelleyk is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I agree -- two good choices. I liked Dalat a lot. It's in a beautiful area, the climate is cooler than every place I visited except Sapa, and it's more off the beaten track than HCMC and the Mekong Delta, which seem to be on everyone's trip list--though I enjoyed both of those as well. Nha Trang has some points of interest beside just the beach (which had a strong surf when I was there), but I suggest combining Dalat with Miu Ne, near Phan Thiet, instead. It's 4 hours by car from Dalat to Miu Ne. Great kite surfing, and a pretty nice beach with good resort accommodations. Plus there are sand dunes in the area that I think you can explore, though I didn't have time.

Either choice will be worthwhile.
aprillilacs is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Another vote for Mui Ne over Nha Trang - less touristy and a better (i.e. cleaner) beach.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 13th, 2013, 11:52 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I would choose Saigon over Nha Trang/ Dalat every time. There is a lot to see and do In the city with some great places to eat from street stalls and markets to upmarket restaurants include a day trip out into the delta and you will have more than enough to hold your interest for 4 days.

Nha Trang is great if you are into diving but it is very busy these days and the beach is ok but there are much better in Vietnam. Each afternoon a strong offshore wind blows which make sitting on the beach uncomfortable. There are some good trips out into the countryside around NT including a trip by boat up the local river to nearby villages but not enough to make the trip there worthwhile given the other places you are visiting. Dalat just did not appeal to me and there are other places in the central highlands I would choose before Dalat.

IMO It would be a real shame to visit Vietnam and not see Saigon. It is a dynamic place, has a fascinating, if troubled history and makes for a nice contrast with Hanoi.
crellston is offline  
Feb 14th, 2013, 04:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Loved Saigon!
Marija is offline  
Feb 14th, 2013, 08:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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If you have any interest in Cham sights, then Po Nagar is pretty good and right in Nha Trang. Po Klong Garai is excellent and near Phan Rang on the indirect route between Nha Trang and Dalat. Both these are better than My Son near Hoi An--just Google for images.
someotherguy is offline  
Feb 16th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
Nha Trang has more to do than any other city in Vietnam. Not only cabn you find tours and attractions such as scuba and snorkel, white water rafting, waterfalls, mountain biking, motorcycle country tours, VinPearl land, Monkey island, mud barhs and spa's but it also has a vibrant night life, excellent restaraunts and a mean temperature similar to hawaii. Best of all.... If you want to see more of real Vietnam away from the tourist areas, you only need travel a few kilometers to the north end of town and enjou the beaches filled with university students. Why would a person not want to visit Nha Trang?

Owee58 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2013, 09:52 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,505
There is certainly a lot to do around Nha Trang particularly id you get outside the citybinto the countryside but - "Nha Trang has more to do than any other city in Vietnam." I really do not think so!
crellston is offline  
Feb 16th, 2013, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,142
"Nha Trang has more to do than any other city in Vietnam."

Special pleading from a resident, I think. Maybe he hasn't visited other areas.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 16th, 2013, 10:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9
Haha, thanks everyone. This is pretty much the response I anticipated but it's nice to see that there's strong positive responses for each area.

Some more specific questions now. Mui Ne is definitely sounding more appealing than Nha Trang (the sand dunes sound great), however, I think our logistical concern is that we would most likely fly into Nha Trang from Danang. So with limited time (and no car) would it be too complicated to try to do both Mui Ne and Dalat, having to then get back to Nha Trang for the flight out?

Crellston (if you see this), what was it about Dalat that didn't appeal to you? Too touristy? Cheesy?

One option we're looking at is a flight out of Nha Trang with a super long layover in Saigon. It might be our only chance to do it all!
babykaroo is offline  
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