Visiting Nha Trang, Vietnam

When planning a trip to visit Vietnam, Nha Trang is usually not at the top of the list as compared to Saigon, Ha Long Bay, etc. As one of the more underrated cities, I did not know what to expect when I flew from Ho Chi Minh city to Nha Trang. Upon arriving to the city, I immediately noticed the vast difference between the two; Ho Chi Minh embodies city life while Nha Trang is a definite beach town with a very laid back vibe. 

All photos by @xjenn3 (https://www.xjenn3photography.com/)

All photos by @xjenn3 (https://www.xjenn3photography.com/)

For the duration of my visit, I stayed at the Sheraton Nha Trang. This was easily one of my favorite rooms throughout my Asia trip as you get a beautiful view of the ocean (including the restroom where you can sit and enjoy the view while... using the restroom haha.) There is also an infinity pool, a rooftop bar with an amazing view of the ocean and island, as well as a breakfast buffet with continental and traditional Vietnamese dishes! The location is very central next to many hot spots, and Uber in Vietnam are very cheap (around $1-$2 per ride). 

In terms of things to do, one of the most popular destinations is Skylight in Nha Trang. Not only does the observatory deck double as a restaurant and bar, they also have an outdoor club with live DJs spinning at night. Super unique and fun concept on the rooftop of Habana Hotel. The food and cocktails were top notch, too! 

For daytime activities, we went on a Vespa Tour around Nha Trang. We started out at Cong Caphe, which is one of Vietnam's most popular coffee shops with a very traditional atmosphere. They're known for their iced coconut milk with coffee- and it was a very refreshing and delicious slushie! From there, we visited temples, the big white Buddha, had lunch by the river, saw the lotus flower fields, and more. There was so much to see in Nha Trang, I feel like we couldn't fit it all in one day (but we tried to). 

The highlight of the day was a personal tour we had at night with a mutual friend we met up with in the city, TK. He showed us all of the local food spots and cafes around town. We had the BEST pho with egg and these little Egg McMuffin type things (not sure what it's called). 

Since we were headed back to Saigon the next day, we woke up early in the morning to treat ourselves! We got to experience iResort's mud baths, which are popular in Nha Trang, as well as a massage, which was so cheap compared to the states! 

I wish our trip to Nha Trang was much longer as I felt like there was still so much to do, but I'm glad I got to stop by during my Asia trip! I definitely want to return again soon to explore more, as there's so much going on! Until next time~

Macao: Places to Visit

When one thinks of Macao, gambling is the first word that seems to be associated with the province. However, after spending five days in Macao, that was not the case at all. I left Macao feeling like I haven't seen enough, and was already thinking of future plans to return! After the trip, I decided to compile photos and dedicate this post to some of my favorite spots I visited in Macao (in no particular order). 

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1. Studio City Macao

Not only do they host the highest ferris wheel in the world, it's also in the shape of an 8. This hotel is based out of, you guessed it, Studio City in Southern California. That's where the big names in entertainment are, and the whole hotel is themed to the Hollywood scene with Celebrity and Star suites (all gold everything, of course). Oh, and let's not forget their 4D Batman Ride, shopping area that is very similar to Hollywood, high tea, and more. 

2. Taipa Village

Taipa Village is filled with Portuguese influence from when the Portuguese came over and started integrating their history in Macau. There are many alleyways to wander through and colorful historic buildings that are gorgeous. Not only that, Cunha Street is filled with snacks and treats- it's basically a night market with everything that is offered! Bonus: Lord Stow's, the famous Portuguese egg tart bakery, has a location here.

3. Parisian Hotel

While Vegas is not family friendly at all,  the Parisian is the perfect spot for families and kids alike. With multiple pools including water slides, spa treatments, a huge shopping area similar to the Venetian in Vegas with numerous restaurants, and a mini Eiffel Tower with an observatory deck, you can spend hours getting lost here. They even have a day care for kids and family rooms with bunk beds... way too cute to handle. Their views from the rooms are amazing as well. 

4. Senado Square

The first time I visited Macao years ago, this was the most memorable to me. Senado Square is perfect for all things sightseeing, shopping, and dining. There are Portuguese influences scattered all in the surrounding area, and the alleyways are full of hidden gems you don't want to miss. Spend a couple hours here exploring, eating, and shopping! This spot is a MUST visit when going to Macao. 

5. Walking Tour Through Historic Centre of Macau, St Paul's Cathedral, Nacha Temple, and more

Macao has history dating back to the 1500s, so of course visiting their historic sites and temples is a must. St Paul's Cathedral is impressive, but be sure to walk around to find other cool spots and areas! There's scenic areas and food stalls everywhere.

6. Giant Panda Pavilion

Pandas? So un-bear-ably cute! We got to visit mama and papa panda with their two kids, and it was the cutest thing ever. They were housed in a huge dome, and there were also ostrichs, birds, and other animals in this park-like area. Great place to stroll and look at nature, or just check out the pandas, who are the stars of the show!

7. Wynn Palace

Who gets to enter a hotel through a gondola that goes through a giant gold dragon while watching a water show at the same time? Only at Wynn Palace can you have such a grand entrance. What's even better is that it's free to go in (pay to leave, best marketing strategy ever)! After entering, you'll be greeted with hundreds of fresh flowers going up the escalator. If flowers are your thing, this is the place for you. 

8. A Ma Temple

There are many stories behind this temple, including a recent one when the temple was burned in some areas. Apparently, the building burned down, but the wooden statue of A Ma herself that was inside the building was untouched.  The temple was built in the 1500s, so there is a ton of history here. There's a small hike that leads to the top, and you can buy incense and other trinkets to offer to the Gods. I would recommend visiting this spot in the morning to start off your day!

Although I had five full days in Macao, I felt like there was so much more to discover. This trip has really changed my perspective on Macao, and I can't wait to return and explore some more!

Other notable places worth mentioning:

Happiness Street (this used to be the Red Light District)

Pacha (Ibiza club that is in Macao)

Macao Tower (great views of Macao and China, and you can run and bungee jump off the tower)

MGM Macao & Mandarin Oriental (connected hotels, great shopping and leisure area)