Things To Do In Nha Trang Vietnam Blog

Anything and everything to do with Nha Trang Vietnam from massage, mud baths, local street food, accommodation and lots more.

Wonderful donation from friends

We are fortunate enough to have some wonderful friends who are like minded people. Chris Greenwell, Steve Gee, Malcolm and Robyn Campbell and Colleen Rendell all gave me money to spend.Pure Vietnam was going to Thanh Son Orphanage to take food so I combined our trip.

I combined this money and was able to buy:
• 180 school books
• 100pens
• 80 pencils
• 50 refillable lead packets for pencils
• 80 erasers
• 12 boxes of chalk

Thank you all so much for your very generous donations. The children are very appreciative. It helps immensely with their education to have the basic tools

Thanh Son Orphanage was founded in 1994 and has had up to 100 orphans.
Unfortunately things have been hard for them and their numbers have fluctuated. At present they have 75 children under their care. 

Continue reading
959 Hits

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for February


Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for February


This month we return to Thanh Son Orphanage at the Pagoda in Cam Lam, Kanh Hoa.

This orphanage currently has 75 children under its care and is out of town so is not as well visited as the local orphanages.

We took 100 kg of rice, 3 cartons of milk, 2kg of dried mushrooms, 50 packets of vegetarian meat and many kgs of vegetables and who can forget the lollies!! All of this loaded up in the back of a truck with staff and friends. Steven's mother was visiting with us at the time so in the back of the truck she went with us. The children are always smiling and welcoming.

We played skipping and elastic games with them until unfortunately it was time to go. It is always wonderful to spend time here.
Unfortunately it always feels so short a time.

Thank you to all staff and friends who helped organize and buy the food and those who came with us. We really appreciate your help.   

Continue reading
975 Hits

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for January

A gift of 18 new clothes and shoes for TET...
One of the local orphanages that we have visited many times has 18 children. These children range in ages from one year to 11 years old. Most of the children are over five years. TET is the time for new things to bring in the new year. bringing good luck. Just because you are an orphan does not mean that you shouldn't have new things.

Pure Vietnam bought dresses, shorts and tee shirts for all children. Then to give them the experience we took each child to a shoe shop so they could pick out their own shoes. It was priceless. To see their excitement and the joy in their faces. It was very hard for them to make the all important decision of which pair of shoes to choose! I think many were intimidated by the choice. The joy and pride on their faces when they had on their new clothes and shoes was worth any amount of money.

Thank you to our staff and friends that helped us with this. It is a big responsibility to take someone else's child on your motorbike. Without their help the children would not have had this experience.

We had a great time. I think the children were exhausted by the time we left. I know we were. Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

Continue reading
973 Hits

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for December



Off to To Bong we went. We loaded up a 15 seater bus with milk, vegetarian meat, vegetables, dried mushrooms, nappies and formula for the baby who is now three months old (give or take).
There were eight adults and two children in the bus. Time is always so short when we go to To Bong as many of our staff come with us. The trip by bus is two hours and we need to be back at the spa before 1330 so staff can start work at 1400. It is always so rushed but a great experience.


The baby seems to have grown so much. He had reflux and wasn’t keeping his food down but we found a formula that he could tolerate and he is growing at a great rate. The children were playing with a big wooden car that someone had made for them and seemed to have a lot of fun doing that. Unfortunately once we showed our staff around the grounds and orphanage and had a quick visit with the master for a lovely artichoke tea it was back on the road again.

Thank you to staff and friends who came with us. We had a great time.

It is a long day when you have to come back to work that afternoon.

We appreciate your time

Continue reading
1122 Hits

Open day at NTU (Nha Trang University)

 I was invited to go to NTU (Nha Trang University) to their open day. This is a day that the University opens its doors inviting visitors and high school students to come and look at what they have to offer.

They had a huge area with each faculty having a tent to display their achievements and entice you to learn more about them. I had a guide take me around (foreigners’ were assigned one) and explain everything to me.

There was a large emphasis on Aquiculture (as you would expect for this area) with many informative displays. I was lucky enough that when I stopped at each display someone would explain to me their display and their specialties. There were so many people. A large open air auditorium was set up with a panel of lecturers ready to answer any questions.

There was a section for entertainment (some singing, guitar playing), food stalls and a local charity group (comprising of students) had stalls with games to raise funds.

I met some amazing people, from enthusiastic lecturers who wanted to share their information and young students who for some reason wanted a photo with me. The views from the University are simply stunning and they are doing a great job at this university.

Continue reading
1251 Hits

A Foreigners’ first TET in Nha Trang, Vietnam

As the country ramps up to TET it is amazing the importance of this holiday. Officially TET is a week but it is the preparation that happens for around a month before and then during TET itself.

I thought I would start this in the lead up to TET and document the changes that I see. 

The lights are amazing. They have added to the Christmas lights and now there is “Chuc Mung Nam Moi 2015” (Happy New Year 2015) in signs everywhere. They are starting to add the yellow flowers to windows, displays and trees. This is the special color that brings good luck in the south. In the north it is pink. There are flowers everywhere! It is beautiful. They are delivering all the flowers and what they can fit on the back of the bike never ceases to amaze me.


I have been told I need to buy my new things now and not the first month after TET (bad luck apparently). I have bought some bits of furniture. Many of the Vietnamese women I know are getting their hair curled (lasts for about 6 months they tell me, we shall see) and apparently having a new outfit for TET is good. Mandatory for children from what I understand.

We have been invited to many friends home on the first day of TET and I’m not sure how we are going to manage this without offending someone.  I’ve been told that sometimes it’s not a good thing to be the first visitor because if something goes wrong during the year it can be attributed to your bringing the bad luck. We shall see what happens. Apparently we do need to take the lucky envelopes to give lucky money to the children.


It is two days before TET. Many shops are closed. I am buying my food to last me till two days after Lunar New Year as the markets are basically closed for that time. The banks are closed for nine days (the auto tellers will run out of money) and all the street food places are closing. Apparently the government decreed that if an auto tellar ran out of money the bank will be fined . I think this will be interesting to see what happens.

I think if we want to go out for food it will be the tourist area (maybe on a limited number). The streets are awash with pots of flowers large and small and cumquat trees. It is a sea of red and gold and is amazingly beautiful.

We bought a cumquat tree for our shop and decorated it with little red and gold banners. Last night we had a TET party with our staff and friends. We have been given gifts from local customers and our laundry lady gave us a gift as well.
There is a practice of praying to Buddha over food (getting rid of bad luck and bringing in good luck) which happens twice a month. Last night before the party we laid out all our food (including a whole chicken) with two glasses of water and lucky money (which you burn after the ceremony is finished) lit the incense and prayed. You wait for the incense finish burning and throw out the water and burn the lucky money and then we could eat the food. The food was delicious and there was lots of laughing and joking. Many Mot, Hai, Bai Yo (what you say when you drink alcohol, one, two, three, cheers).



The park opposite our business has been decorated. There are many flowers (red, gold and orchids) there are bridges and stairs and statues and the most amazing bonsai trees. These aren’t just trees but they are in pots that tell stories with miniature people and villages. The statues are all wood. They range for a modest up to the very large size. Very impressive!

We needed to travel to Saigon on the 22-2-2015. We couldn’t get a flight down at the time we needed and the price is very high. We have to go down the day before at 10pm, stay the night and fly back the next day all at much inflated prices. One of my friends couldn’t get a train ticket to her hometown because she didn’t book in time (can only get the ticket by going to the train station for travel during this time cant book on internet), she is going on a bus at 3am as this was the only time she could get a ticket for.

Lunar New Year Eve


Nha Trang is certainly abuzz Lunar New Years Eve. Everyone has come up from Saigon and overseas tourists have come from China, Korea and more for Lunar New Year. The streets are full of people riding around looking at the lights and going out for dinner. It is a family affair. 2-4 square had a stage with singing and performing and the night markets across the street were heaving with people. Everywhere on the beach were family and friends with drinks and food. There were blue tarps everywhere. You hire these and buy your drinks. The prices were inflated for this special occasion but the locals need to make hay while the sun shines! The weather was totally magnificent. Didn’t need a jumper but very comfortable in top and pants at midnight.
At midnight two boats were off the main beach and the fireworks started. It was a spectacular 15-20 minutes of colour exploding all around. The crowd was really receptive. Everyone was very friendly with much clapping, oohing and ahing.
At the end the crowd gave a very appreciative and well deserved round of applause. Then the journey home began! I did not realize how many people there were until we got off the beach and started to try to walk. It was quite amazing. The street was a total gridlock of scooters and people. There must have been thousands of people there. Not one horn was heard!! Everyone was patient. Then a man got in one of the many cars lining the street and beeped his horn. Everyone laughed at him and then he was quiet. It was kind of eerie. You could hear quiet talking and the sound of brooms sweeping. The cleaners were moving in to clean up the mess efficiently.
It took us two and a half hours to get home. We had many stops. We went to a night club along the way because we could. Spoke to many people of many nationalities; everyone was so happy and cheerful. We were fed dessert (for free) which was really delicious.
All in all it was a great evening with our friends and my first of many Lunar New Years in Nha Trang.

In the lead up to New Year there are many things that must be done. Homes are often cleaned and decorated before New Year's Eve. Children are in charge of sweeping and scrubbing the floor. The kitchen needs to be cleaned before the 23rd night of the last month. Usually, the head of the household cleans the dust and ashes (from incense) from the ancestral altars. It is a common belief that cleaning the house will get rid of the bad fortunes associated with the old year. Some people would paint their house and decorate with festive items. You should not clean on the first day of the year.
Many people buy new clothes. This is often the most exciting part of the Vietnamese New Year among children. Parents usually purchase new clothes and shoes for their children a month prior to the New Year. However, children cannot wear their new clothes until the first day of the New Year and onward. The best outfit is always worn on the first day of the year. Vietnamese people don’t believe in buying anything just after TET. Many new things are bought before and it is considered bad luck to buy soon after New Year.

Lunar New Year Morning

The early morning the city is like a ghost town. The traffic is not there and most of the shops are shut. Very few vendors are open. We were lucky enough to be invited to spend the day with one of our friends and his family. We arrived a t 11 am, everyone had been to the temple for the morning and having a ceremony for their ancestors. This ceremony is held on the first day of the New Year before noontime. The head of the household should perform the proper ritual (offering food, wine, cakes, fruits, and burn incense) to invite the souls of the ancestors to join the celebration with the family. This is the time families honor the souls of their ancestors and present the welfare of the family. The offerings normally include a plate filled with five types of fruits that sits on the ancestor’s altar in every Vietnamese home during the New Year. The fruits are colorful and meaningful. They make New Year more lively and sacred. In Asian mythology, the world is made of five basic elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The plate of fruits on the family altar at New Year is one of several ways to represent this concept. The plate of fruits also represents the desire for good crops and prosperity.

Giao Thua is the most sacred time of the year. Therefore, the first houseguest to offer the first greeting is very important. If that particular guest has a good aura (well respected, well educated, successful, famous, etc.), then the family believes that they will receive luck and good fortune throughout the year. The belief of "Xong Dat" still remains nowadays, especially among families with businesses. We were privileged to be considered these lucky guests.

Lunch started around 1130. There were so many different dishes. The whole family sat together and had an enormous feast. One of the most traditional special foods for New Year (Tet)of Vietnamese is Banh Chung or sticky rice cake. Banh Chung is a must among other foods to be placed on the ancestors’ altars during Tet holiday. In the old time, one or two days before Tet, every family prepares and cooks the Banh Chung around the warm fire. It is also the time for parents to tell their children folklore stories. Nowadays, families which live in villages still maintain making Banh Chung before New Years but the people in the city do not. They don't have time and prefer to go to the shops to buy it. Above is a picture of this cake. It is made from glutinous rice, pork and various other bits and pieces (maybe not for foreigners).

After much toasting and eating and laughing and joking the lucky envelopes started to come out. Children got given lucky envelopes from all adults with some going to the adults as well. We received some lucky envelopes and 2 lotto tickets. We were honored to receive American two dollar bills which are especially lucky. According to some beliefs “ the 2 USD notes printed in 1976, the note is believed all over the world to bring good luck because of an incident in which the US President survived an assault that year thanks to a wad of 2 USD notes in his pocket”. The 50 000vnd is also believed to be very lucky because of the red tones. After an exchanging of the money we went next door to the Aunties house and more drinking, eating but with karaoke. This went on for some time and was lots of fun.

The first few days of TET are quiet with people visiting and most shops shut (everyone has gone home for TET). Nha Trang is much busier with many tourists. We flew down to Saigon for a night and Saigon is the quietest that I have ever seen. I would comfortably ride a bike in Saigon. It is deserted. I guess they are all in Nha Trang. There are not many decorations and about 1 in 4 shops are open.



Continue reading
2205 Hits

Living in Nha Trang

So we have sold everything and moved to Nha Trang with a fraction of our worldly goods. It is quite empowering to divest yourself of most of your possessions. We aren’t doing it hard being in a furnished apartment but some things are not what we are used to. Having said that it is amazing that people keep wanting to give us things! Now if I want something I think about it for a while before I buy. Do I REALLY want it. We still have stuff but not as much.

The furnished apartment is great but comfortable western furniture is probably one of the things that we have changed a bit. I waited 6 months before I bought anything major to make sure I really needed it. I decided we needed new mattresses and pillows and our lounge wasn’t very comfortable so after a lot of investigation we have just purchased a new lounge. The mattresses and pillows were purchased earlier owing to lack of sleep. Yes we are soft and old. The lounge took a long time to find. I went up and down the streets that sold furniture and after sitting on all lounges (some were very hard) we have ended up with a very comfortable one from Le Hong Phong Street.

 I paid western prices I felt (20 000 000VND approx $1 000). I was a bit shocked at this but it was the price of the western furniture. This is a little more than what I paid for a good reasonably new motorbike. At the end of the day we are very happy with our new lounge and it fits well in the apartment. Unfortunately it can be a little too comfortable and we fall asleep on it if we watch late night movies.

Continue reading
996 Hits

Customers wanting to do Charity whilst on Holiday In Nha Trang

Jacob and Kim Chi Tran, customers of Pure Vietnam who are on holiday from Singapore, read about Pure Vietnam on Facebook and wanted to do some charity with us whilst they were in Nha Trang on holidays.
We decided to go to Lôc Tho Pagoda which has 140 children some of whom are locals that go to school there but many are orphans that live there.  
Milk, cake, Chuppa Chups, tofu, mushrooms fresh and dried, vegetarian meat substitute in pork, chicken and beef were all bought at the local markets yesterday and this morning to take with us to the Pagoda.
We were also accompanied by Hanh(from Lanterns). Each child was given milk, a cake and of course a Chuppa chup. The rest was taken to the kitchen for many more meals. It was amazing that every child went straight for the Chuppa Chup! The children sang twinkle twinkle little star for us as well as Vietnamese songs. Some of the children were able to say hello, thank you and goodbye in English.
They are all so well behaved and polite. We spent a little extra time helping the younger children eat their lunch. It was fascinating to watch the older children chant in their thanks for the lunch they were about to receive.  
Thank you so much Jacob and Kim Chee it was wonderful to meet you and it is a great thing you do in helping the children.  
Continue reading
1016 Hits

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for November at Than Son Pagoda

November Charity for Pure Vietnam
Than Son is where Pure Vietnam has decided to do charity for this month. Off we went in the truck loaded with food, with several of our staff and friend Lanh.
10 boxes of noodles, 100kg of rice, many boxes of milk, clothing for the children and sweet treats as well (of course).

I went shopping for all of this with one of our staff. It was a great deal of fun to select the different chips, cakes etc that we would take. Being a temple meat, eggs and cheese were out however we certainly had many other choices.

It was wonderful to spend time with the children and get to know them a little. Initially the children were very shy but gradually they started to talk and laugh. Some of them spoke a little english and we had a bit of a discussion about different subjects. I was discussing school studies and they were learning history and maths on this day.

One of the staff discovered a three month old baby and everyone fell in love.

We would like to thank all of our great staff who prepared the bundles of goodies the night before as well as the staff who came on their day off and those who came in the morning who were going to work that afternoon (a long day for them).

On the way home we stopped and had Banh Canh (fish soup) which was absolutely delicious.

All in all a great day with excellent company.

Always very hard to leave.

Continue reading
1460 Hits

Christmas in Nha Trang

Whilst Vietnam is a predominately Buddhist country the next most practiced religion is Christianity. Nha Trang is obviously a tourist town so Christmas is celebrated but mainly in the tourist areas.

There are amazing light displays in a lot of the bigger parks and the lights down 2-4 Street, Le Thanh Ton Street and Tran Phu Street are really spectacular. Theses lights start appearing mid December and will come down in mid January or maybe latter this year as TET is in late February.

Some of the larger hotels will put up Christmas trees and displays at the front of the hotels and in their foyer. Yasaka Hotel did an amazing Christmas tree from empty Vikoda water bottles and lights last year that when lit up was spectacular. Many smaller shops will also put up Christmas decorations.

There will be Christmas lunch or dinners offered in all of the major hotels and the restaurants as well. Seafood of course is fresh and plentiful in Nha Trang and what better lunch or dinner than to have a seafood feast.

Vietnamese love cakes and so they have many "Yule Logs" for sale. These are not fruit cakes rather they are sponge cakes that are very well decorated with a heavy mock cream. Very ornate and elaborate in design.

Some of the options that we have been able to get information on are:

Special events for Christmas and New Year at Nha Trang

Intercontinental Hotel:

CHRISTMAS HIGH TEA - From 05 December 2014 to 03 January 2015 at Lobby Bar, Price is at 300,000 VND per person. Every Friday and Saturday  3:00pm – 5:00pm

CHRISTMAS EVE BUFFET DINNER - Celebrate Christmas Eve with family and friends and festive dinner buffet inside Grand Ballroom. Dinner in special Christmas favorites, including freshly salads, cold cuts and cheeses, fresh seafood, BBQ specialties and Christmas desserts.

-          Price is at 1,900,000VND per person and 950,000 VND per child from 3 to 12 years old

Include in:

-          Free beer and soft drinks

-          Kids corner with nanny

-          Santa Claus apparition

-          Live music performance

Only on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 at Grand Ballroom

7:00pm – 11:00pm

CHRISTMAS EVE SET DINNER - Celebrate Christmas Eve in style with a lavish six-course set menu at Cookbook Café. The dinner features Nha Trang’s freshest ingredients prepared to perfection with a complimentary glass of wine. The evening with a live jazz performance and a special appearance of Santa Claus.

-          Price is at 1,900,000 VND per person

To further enhance your dining experience, choose either free wine or 3 glasses of their finest wine for an additional 500,000 VND per person.

Only on Wednesday, 24 December 2014 at Cookbook Cafe

6:00pm – Midnight

CHRISTMAS DAY BUFFET BRUNCH - On Christmas Day, they will serve a Christmas-themed holiday menu featuring traditional classic cold cuts, an artisan carving station, Japanese Kushi Katsu, Peking duck, grilled favorites and much more. The afternoon's family-friendly selection also include in free beer, soft drinks, and unique Bloody Mary cocktails.

-          Price is at 1,375,000 VND per person and 688,000 VND per child from 3 to 12 years old

-          Free Champagne for an additional 1,000,000 VND per person

-          Only on Thursday, 25 December 2014 at pool deck

-          11:30am - 3:30pm

NEW YEAR'S EVE SET DINNER - Chef Dennis Barton will take you on a global culinary journey with a sumptuous six-course menu that is guaranteed to delight all your senses.

Price is at 2,540,000 VND per person and 1,270,000 VND per child from 3 to 12 years old.

-          To further enhance your dining experience, we offer additional beverage choices:

-          Free Champagne for an additional 1,000,000 VND per person

-          Free wine for an additional 1,000,000 VND per person

-          3 glasses of our finest wine for an additional 500,000 VND per person

-          Entertainment includes a jazz performance and a complimentary glass of Champagne

Only on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 at Cookbook Café

6:30pm – 10:30pm

NEW YEAR'S EVE COUNT DOWN PARTY - Kick start the New Year InterContinental style. At midnight, the Grand Ballroom turns into a wonderland for a magical evening of dining and celebrating. Created by talented team of chefs, our gourmet dinner buffet expertly marries the best in Vietnamese cuisine with popular international favorites. Then rock the night away with fabulous live music performances while a DJ spins into the New Year.

-          Price is at 2,540,000 VND per person and 1,270,000 VND per child from 3 to 12 years old. Include in our gala buffet and the consumption beers and soft drinks.


-          Live performance with Filipino Band and electrifying DJ show

-          Lucky draws

-          New Year Eve firecrackers

-          Kid’s corner

-          Balloon drop

Only on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 at Grand Ballroom

6:00pm – Midnight

More detail please go to the website


Yasaka Nha Trang Hotel - Dec 24th, 2014

Venue: Abalone Restaurant - Buffet and Santa Clause will visit.

Yasaka coffee & bar:

- Enjoy special Combo ( 1 serving of Food and 1 serving or Drink)

- Exciting music show congratulates Christmas.

- Quizzes on Christmas and Santa Clause ( 2 performances)

- Liveshow of Hoang Sa Band. - Lucky Draw

*Russia Christmas: Jan 6th, 2015. 2nd terrace - buffet

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner 2015

-          Time: Dec 31st 2014.

-          Venue: 2nd terrace

-          Contents of the program:

Open music

Enjoy Gala Dinner Buffet.

Tiger dance

Music show.

Bartender performance.

Lucky draw

Live show of Hoang Sa Music Band.

Glitter shooting to congratulate New Year Eve.

Open music and invite guest to dance.


Sheraton Hotel

Christmas Eve Gala Dinner: 2,150,000 VND/person

(Include in 4 hours selected beverages)

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner: 2,800,000VND/person

(Include in 5 hours selected beverages)

For bookings and more information: (84) 58 388 0000

Web:  or

Sailing club

For Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve offer a festive 3- course set menu from their Sandals kitchen or à la carte from Vietnamese and Indian. 2 seating times available for these evening 6:30pm – 8:30pm or 9 pm onwards. Pleases note for the 9 pm sitting you will be able to keep your table for the rest of the evening to enjoy the celebrations.

Christmas Set menu


Pumpkin, coconut and chili soup or Salmon with lemon vinaigrette, caper.

Main course:

Roasted turkey with roasted potatoes and red wine or roasted pumpkin and pea.


Traditional Christmas pudding or sticky date pudding and ice cream.

-          Price:
* On Christmas Eve:
6.30pm sitting: 850 000 VND
9 pm sitting :1 000 000 VND
* On New year Eve:
6.30pm sitting: 955 000 VND
9 pm sitting :1 167 000 VND

Sunrise Hotel


A Christmas Dinner featuring Asian-Western. Santa Claus appearance with pretty gifts for children, Christmas songs performed by children choir, amazing circus show, live music …makes your day memorable. Ticket is priced at 1,575,000 VND per guest and discount 50% for children from 6 to 12 years old. The party is at 6.30pm to 11pm, 24th Dec 2014.

Western Premiere Havana Nha Trang - Xmas Party - 24th Dec

6 pm: Welcome cocktail party with cocktail, mock tail, beer and soft drink

 6:30pm -10:00 pm: Special Christmas buffet (Spices Restaurant - 2nd floor) with music performance

New Year Party: 31 Dec 2014

 6pm: Welcome cocktail party with cocktail, mock tail, beer and soft drink

 6:30pm – 9:30pm: New year Eve buffet (Spices Restaurant - 2nd Floor)

Special buffet with music performance

 9:30 pm - 12:30 am: Countdown party (Sky Bar - 41st Floor)

Free white wine, red wine, cocktail, mock tail, beer, soft drink. Lucky draw, music performance, a glass of sparkling for count down.


Novetel Nha Trang

-          Christmas Eve Buffet dinner.

From 5pm to 10pm : Happy hour at Lobby Bar, Buffet dinner at Square restaurant and Bellevue, Santa Claus appearance with pretty gifts for children, Christmas music performance and lucky draw in dinner time

-          New year Eve buffet dinner

From 6pm to 0:30am: Pre dinner cocktail party at Lobby Bar, Buffet dinner at Square restaurant and Bellevue, live music performance and customer can play game to win prizes

There are many Christian churches in Nha Trang so going to mass at this special time is not a problem. Try celebrating a mass in the Nha Tho Nui Church, in the city center. This is the cathedral and is a magical place to have a mass with likeminded people.

December in Nha Trang is cooler than normal but with many sunny days you only need a light jumper at night. This makes for celebrating Christmas very comfortably in a more moderate climate than normal.

Recent comment in this post
Super User
Christmas appears to be celebrated mainly on Christmas Eve with the most of the big dinners on that evening. Locals drive around a... Read More
Sunday, 28 December 2014 04:39
Continue reading
4847 Hits
1 Comment

A day in the life of a University Student

The following will give you an insight into the day in the life of an younger person in Vietnam. They work long hours every day. The person who wrote this also works with me on this website writing content (in her spare time of course).

Every morning, I get up at 6 o’clock. However, at weekends I would like to roll around until 8 am. Normally, after brushing my teeth, I often have breakfast at home. Sometimes I go out with my family for breakfast. After breakfast I go to the local market which is near my house at 6:30 am. My family like fresh food, so every day, I have to go to the market to buy fresh food for my family. Many housewives in Vietnam, who are busy working, buy the food once a week. They go to the market on Sunday and buy everything they need for a week, and put it into the fridge.

 I often don’t have to bargain when I go to the market, because I am a frequent customer and they know me so well. At 7:30 am, I am in hurry to go to school. I have to go to the university every single day except Sunday. In the morning, my class begins at 7:30 am to 11:10 am. Then I go back home and cook for lunch. Sometimes, I just have 2 periods, so I finish studying at 9:10 am. When I have to go to the university for longer times, my father will be the chef at home (my mother died when I was younger). My family usually has lunch at 11:00 am. After that, everybody will take a rest from 12:00 am to 2:00 pm. I have to come back to school at 1:30 in the afternoon and finish at 5:10 pm. Then, I come back home to prepare for dinner.

In the evening, my family has dinner at 7:30 pm. I my home I live with my father, sister, uncle, cousin and grandmother. However, I sometimes go out for dinner with my best friend on some special occasion or on the weekend. We will go to the restaurant or the coffee shop to have a drink and chat with each other about our daily life. If I have dinner at home, then my family always watches TV together or plays poker. On the normal day, I do my homework and prepare for the next day’s lessons. I always go to bed at 11:30 pm every night. That is my daily routine.

Continue reading
1178 Hits

Pure Vietnam Beauty and Spa Charity for October and the water reservoir


On Sunday we had our October charity for Pure Vietnam Beauty & Spa. Each month we pick an orphanage or school that needs assistance with food, books or clothing. This month we went to Tu Bong to Tinh Xa Ngoc Van.
They have 7 children in their brand new orphanage. This orphanage has the capacity to house 200 orphans and is newly opened.
Some of our lovely staff donated money from their tips so we combined all our funds and bought 100kg rice, 10 boxes of noodles, 3 containers of baby formula, 3 large pkts of nappies, toothbrushes, fresh and dried mushrooms, lots of fruit and vegetables and of course some
cake, lollies, balls and books. We hired a bus to fit in 9 of us (Steven,I, 6 staff and a friend) with the driver and another friend of his with all the food. Another friend who was meant to come gave us things to take as well to take up which we picked up along the way. Thank you Lanh!

A 20 day old baby had all our hearts melting (the recipient of the baby formula, nappies, bottle) and we played ball with the other children. A good time was had by all. Very hard to leave! BUT we will be back. A big thank you to all our beautiful staff for organising everything.

The staff worked hard with a late dinner the night before and then with the early start some were a little more tired than others coming home.

While we were there we looked at the progress on the water reservoir that the Rotary Club of Thuringowa Central are funding. Through contacts in Australia we have been able to liaise with this fabulous Rotary Club and they are funding the building of a large water reservoir so that fresh water for the children of this orphanage is guaranteed. We are privileged to be able to hand over the funding for the next phase of construction on their behalf. (this was stage 2)
They have been working very hard and despite the rain they are doing an amazing job. They have built a road to enable them to get heavy equipment to the site and completed the base and started on the sides.
It will be very impressive when it is finished. It will also have million dollar views from the top of it when finished.

Continue reading
1250 Hits


I went for a walk this morning as it was gloriously cool and I was feeling energetic.

There are so many people out exercising, swimming, walking, running, exercising or bicycling early in the morning so much so that it is a real hive of activity. Vietnam has a real exercise culture. Many groups of people play soccer, badminton, beach volley ball or some just have a group exercise routine. Scattered along the beach front in the park is some exercise stations for anyone to use and they have similar structures in a lot of the local parks for people to exercise on.

Vietnamese people like to exercise either first thing in the morning before the sun is too hot and they have to go to work or in the late afternoon when work is finished and they can get outdoors without the risk of sunburn. With this is mind there is quite a growth of gyms in Nha Trang but mainly weight machines aimed at men. Aerobics and Zumba is becoming more popular however Yoga is the old favorite. You do see a lot of younger people kicking a feathered shuttlecock in pairs or groups. It can be very entertaining to watch and they can be very good.

An update to this post.
It is rainy season at the moment and because I am unable to walk every day (I know don't like getting wet) I have joined a local gym. There are quite a few option around Nha Trang. They range from the new and sometimes expensive to the cheaper option. I was was going to Zumba classes which were excellent and even though it wasn't that expensive at 300 000 for as many classes as I wanted in a month I had a problem getting there (it was costing a fortune in taxi's).
I ended up joining a local gym. They have upstairs and downstairs and you can use both 300 000 a month or only one 150 000 a month. Upstairs is where I go with treadmills, light weights, bike and cross trainer. There are some older machines as well. This is mainly where the ladies go. Not air conditioned and a little old but everyone is very friendly and I can do my exercising in peace without loud music thumping in my ears

Continue reading
1099 Hits

Monday, soup kitchen day


Monday is soup kitchen day! Lanterns Restaurant, in the tourist district, is not only a great place to eat but each Monday they run a soup kitchen. The staff cook rice, veges, meat and omlette and they then package it in meals and give to people who would not normally be able to eat a decent meal at lunch for economical or travelling reasons (live too far from home to go home for lunch). They would like people to give a little time and help them package the food and hand it out. On average we do 120-150 meals. Doesn’t take much of your time either.

They don’t want money they want your time so you invest something of yourself and give back. It is an amazing feeling to give something to others.

Robert and Hien (owners of Lanterns) run an amazing business. Through their profits they sponsor children to continue schooling, feed the locals and support quite a few orphanages through food donations. 10 years ago when Steven and I first came to Vietnam we stumbled across this when we were having lunch there.

These amazing people and what they do inspired Steven and I to move here and try to give something back. Through Pure Vietnam we plan to do charity (visit a temple/orphanage/school) with books and or food, whatever they need the most.

I would highly recommend it if you have the time.

Continue reading
1132 Hits

Halloween in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Whilst Halloween is not a Vietnamese tradition it is something that is celebrated in the tourist area. (A good marketing ploy) With this is mind we decided to go out with friends and some of our staff to Patricks wine bar.

Unfortunately when we were looking at various pieces of costumes Steven's back spasmed (never happened like that before) and he ended up in on his hands and knees struggling to breath. Luckily one of our massage therapist staff were able to come and release some of the spasm and we were able to get him back to our shop where the staff worked brilliantly on him and were able to get him mobile. The next day he decided we were still going out so back to the shops I went. We needed costumes (not normally catering to our western sizes) we found a few shops in Nguyen Trai street and were able to purchase various bits and pieces. We bought extra for the staff.

A very good time was had by all. Lots of good music and dancing (not Steven). One or two drinks and a late night. Some of the costumes were excellent with people going to a lot of trouble.

Needless to say today has been a little slower.

Continue reading
1200 Hits

I have been a bad blogger :(

I have been a very bad blogger.

The latest updates are:

We completed the toilet project with 6 toilets built in a block. We went back and visited and took some food with us for the kids. The toilets look great! They did a great job.

Went back on September 5th. The director had contacted us with a request for school books for the children. We did a run up with 1000 books. The children were very happy! They had a parade and sang showing us what they could do.

Steven and I have moved over here now. We have opened a day spa, PureVietnam

We have a group of amazing staff working with and for us. We hope that every month we will do a charity trip and involve any of our staff who would like to participate. At the present Steven’s and my tips plus extra from us is what funds these charity events.

Eventually we are hoping that the profits from Pure Vietnam will pay for our charity work. We would like our staff to help us find places of need.

We are hoping that anyone who visits Nha Trang and is like minded can contact us and we can arrange a visit to an orphanage or a school where you can spend some time with the children. Yes money is needed but if you don’t wish to buy things your time is so valued. The children blossom with a little individual love and attention. So much can be achieved with so little.

Continue reading
1073 Hits

A day in Nha Trang

We went  to our favorite breakfast place and had breakfast. I had Bo Kho (pronounced Ba Ka) (beef stew) delicious with a baguette and Steven had Pho Bo (pronounced far ba) which is a noodle soup with beef strips that you can add chilli and extra's to. Both of these are 20 000VND each (set price at this restaurant) I will get the name of it tomorrow. It is presided over by a lovely lady who has these big pots simmering all day. it is a breakfast place so not around later on in the day. There is another lady who helps out and she also sells drinks. (Some kind of milk drinks (soy I think) and another drink called Sentellia (I think) i tried it and it is very good for your skin but maybe my taste buds need adjusting a bit more (it is made of vegetables but i think they add seaweed as it has that vague slimy taste).


After breakfast we went and had coffee outside our hotel (cold coffee(cafe sui) for Steve, they don't do hot coffee on the street and hot tea (pronounced jair num) for me) the tea is free and the coffee my coffee loving husband assures me is excellent. 8 000vnd. the lady who runs  the coffee business actually speaks a little English and she likes to practice and she is assisted by an older lady who speaks very good English. They are friendly and welcome you and seem to remember you all the time.

We went to one of the Orphanages around Nha Trang. We were introduced to this orphanage by Lanterns (A restaurant that is run by locals that are trying to put back profits into the community). This particular orphanage has 0-5 yrs old children and has about 20 children. We go weekly if we can whilst we are here. Sometimes we stay and play with the children. they love to be touched and cuddled and some attention spent on them and sometimes we just drop off stuff for them. We were talking to one of the girls who help out (she speaks excellent English) Tran is her name and we arranged that she would take us to the markets and we could buy stuff but she would bargain for it for us. This was excellent as we new that we were going to get things they needed. 

We ended up buying 4 packets of nappies, socks for the babies as well as the older children and noodles (2 boxes). Tran wanted to buy shoes for the girls going to school but she felt they were too expensive (a little over 100 000vnd each) we had set a budget of $40, and the noodles finished off the budget nicely.

We have set a budget and need to stick within it each month. When we go back next month(and we will) we can buy the shoes then.

Next week Tran is planning on taking us to some other places associated with the Orphanage so we shall see where she takes us. Her Uncle owns the orphanage and she is there several times a week and she is taking on the role with us as an advocate for the Orphanage. What an excellent advocate she is, softly spoken with a beautiful soul.

We went to lunch on Dung tut street (Chicken and veges for two) with many locals. Steven had a Sting (A drink that has sooo much caffeine and sugar that I could smell it next to him). We paid the princely sum of 76 000vnd for a great meal.

Came home for a brief rest and out we went for my second lesson in scooter riding(we went up the coast, I actually rode from our apartment this time, and went to the local fishing village) we bought some sentinel crab to cook for our dinner tonight. Came back to the apartment to put the still alive crabs in the sink, and drop off my bike (I was not going to ride in peak hour traffic and we wanted to go to Thap Ba street to buy some dessert a very busy street).

Off to Thap Ba street we went. We have ended up with some waffles (2000 vnd each delicious) and i thought I had seen Creme Caramel when I walked through there the previous day. We did find the Creme caramel but they served it with a coffee syrup and more condensed milk. They placed it all in a plastic bag with some crushed ice. Steven got to eat it as I don't do coffee (next time no coffee syrup) they were 5 000vnd each. We bought some veges and 2 eggs for me to make an omelet and veges to go along with our crab that my lovely husband is preparing for me as I do this blog.

I am looking forward to my lovely dinner!

We have just received a text from Tran saying the children are wearing the socks we bought them today and they are very happy. What a lovely person she is!


Continue reading
1492 Hits

Pure Vietnam beauty & Spa - School Toilet Project

Pure Vietnam beauty & Spa - School Toilet Project

As part of our effort to employ and help the local people we recently visited a school near Nha Trang (Truong Tieu Hoc Lien Sang) that we we informed about through a Monk that we do charity work with.

The school has 250 students and is in a very poor farming area. The children are often left to fend for themselves in the mornings as when they wake up their parents have usually already gone to work. The Director of the school has done a lot of great work and implemented some great projects over the 2 years he has been their. One of which is providing lunch for the children so that they do not need to walk all the way home and then often not return in the afternoon. Now the children eat lunch and have a sleep in their class room and then continue on class in the afternoon. This means they get to eat a good meal as well as learn a lot more.

There is still much work needed to be done, but with limited funds it is difficult for the director and teachers to do everything they want to do.

One of the main problems we saw while we were there is the lack of toilets for the teachers and students. The toilet block that is there is 20 years old and is in a very very bad state.

So we have donated some money to get the project stated to build new toilets for the children. We will be back there in December to see how work is progressing and to donate some more money to get the project finished.

The local people will provide the labor, we just need to buy the material. We have donated $300.00 so far and expect to need $2000.00 to finish the project to a high standard.

If you wish to help you can donate at this page CLICK HERE





Continue reading
1505 Hits

Welcome to our new website about Nha Trang Vietnam

Welcome to our new website. This website aims to give you as much information as possible on where to eat, where to stay and what to do in Nha Trang Vietnam. The main emphasis though will be to inform you and help you do some volunteer work in and around Nha Trang while you are here.

We employ local people to help you help at the orphanages, temples and villages.

All profits from this website are channeled to the people of Nha Chang and surrounding villages.

If you would like to do some volunteer work please feel free to contact us and give us your available times and dates and an idea of your skill set. We will endeavor to match you up with an orphanage or village that requires your assistance.


There is no cost to you. We simply encourage you to buy some goods, food or clothing, and give that to the orphanage or village you visit.


I will be in Nha Trang for another 5 weeks starting in September 28th and will post some of the work we do while there.




Steve Brown


Recent comment in this post
weddings in Vietnam
Good to know Steve. Will pass the word around the local ex-pat community.
Monday, 14 October 2013 00:09
Continue reading
1541 Hits
1 Comment