During my eight weeks stay in Nha Trang I checked out a couple of guesthouses and hostels and I had plenty of time to try out many different restaurants. In the google map below I marked my favorite places, which are in my opinion very good and for sure cheap and they are all located within the main tourist area! Below the map are my reviews about those places.
The best guesthouse in town is the Sen Vang Guesthouse (not to confuse with the Sen Vang Hotel!). This guesthouse is very new, it opened in 2010, and unfortunately it didn’t have any internet presence until now. This is their first review.
In January 2011 a double or twin room was only 7 USD (8 USD with balcony) per night and per room. Especially the rooms with balcony are very nice, bright and spacious and are worth the extra dollar. The rooms are cleaned every day and come with air condition (room with fan is only 6 USD), hot shower, towels, toilet kit and cable TV. You can ask for a special price if staying for a longer period of time (I stayed more than a month and paid only 7 USD per night for a room with A/C and balcony).
The owner and the stuff are very friendly and helpful.
The guesthouse is situated in a little side alley, only 5 min walk from the beach (see map). The big advantage of being in a side alley is, that it is very quiet. The problem with many of the expensive hotels is, that they are often on the main street and therefore very noisy.
The side alley is not drawn on google maps. However the Sen Vang guesthouse is right next to the Tulip hotel, the directions of which you can find when you google for it. At the Tulip Hotel I stayed my first night in Nha Trang and don’t recommend it. It’s a very shabby place!
Another descent place is the Sun & Daughter Guesthouse. They have very cheap dorm rooms. It is behind the Backpackers house. You can find their current prices on www.hostelbookers.com.
I also stayed in a dorm at the Backpackers House for two nights, but I don’t recommend it. They are more expensive and not as good as the Sun & Daughter Guesthouse. The rooms are very noisy at night (the room is vibrating until 1 a.m from the music at the bar downstairs, and the stuff is not nearly as friendly as they are the Sun & Daughter Guesthouse.
The Comn Ngon Lanh restaurant is the best Vietnamese restaurant in town (or at least in the tourist area). It is one of the cheapest places, they have a wide choice of Vietnamese cuisine and the portions are quite big. Check out their website:
Here are some of the prices I paid in January 2011:
Tomato Egg soup (big portion): 20.000 Dong
Korean flavoured meat: 40.000 Dong
Rice ball (portion of steamed rice): 4000 Dong
Beer (Saigon red): 12.000 Dong
Soft drinks: 10.000 Dong
Fruit shakes: 12.000 Dong
French fries: 15.000 Dong
The Green Apple restaurant is a nice little restaurant with garden in a side alley next to the Backpackers House (it belongs to the hostel). Its big advantage is that it is not on a noisy main street like most other bars and restaurant, and it has a very cozy and relaxing atmosphere.
The only other quiet places I found are directly on the beach, like the Sailing club for example. However there you have to pay European prices.
The drinks at the Green Apple restaurant have on the other side have decent prices:
Soft drinks: 12.000 Dong
Beer: 15.000 Dong
The food there, however, is rather expensive (but still very cheap compared to beach restaurants like the Sailing club).
There are many little supermarkets in the Nha Trang’s tourist area, and in average the prices are the same in almost all of them (some things are cheaper at one place and some are cheaper at the other place). However I found one supermarket which has always the lowest price on all products: The Good Mart in 109 Nguyen Thien Thuat (see map).
Here are some random price examples (as of Jan 2011):
Soft drinks: from 5.000 to 8.000 Dong (compared to 6000 to 10.000 at the other shops)
Rice cracker: 15.0000 Dong (compared to 18.000 at other shops)
Mentos: 3.000 Dong (compared to 4.000)
Oreos: 11.000 Dong (compared to 15.000)