I left Mui Ne on the back of a motor bike with a local driver and my backpack strapped to the front. Took about seven hours with stops for coffee, water, lunch, beer and photos It was very hot so a long shelve shirt and sunglasses are a must along with a helmet. I see many folks with face masks and I found the basic cowboy bandana works best as it gives good protection from the sun and wind. The total cost was about $55.00 US and this covered the driver, lunches, water/beer/coffee, gasoline, a bus ticket back to Nha Trang for the driver (he was going to put his motor on the roof of the bus) and a substantial tip. Good bargain, but a long ways in the heat and lots of rough road. My language skills are about 6th grade level, but I've never had any problems communicating. Certainly a lot more interesting than riding the bus or train and it gives you total control. Of course there are obvious drawbacks.
WEATHER--I was there in May 2008 and the weather was clear and hot, not nearly as bad as Saigon. One morning it rained and thundered for about ten minutes and then cleared up the rest of the time.
HOTELS--I stayed at the Green Hotel and found it quite nice. I took a deluxe room which is like a large suite with sofas and chairs. Didn't have to put my backpack on the bed all the time. The rooms run from $31.00 to $76.00 depending on the quality of the room you want. The hotel was very clean and quiet and the staff was very helpful and friendly. There was not odd smells as describe in other postings on TA about the hotel. I though the location was great, well withing walking distance of cafes and about one block from the beach.
DINING--Breakfast is included at the hotel. The breakfast is fairly large combination of Western and Asia and different fruits. Several mornings tour groups sort of took over the dining room around seven. So, I walked a block over to some of the outdoor vendors and had a bowl of pho, a bagette with fried egg, shreaded pork and chile sauce, and coffee for about $3.33 US. Very nice place to have breakfast and sit with the locals. I checked some of the places described in the Lonely Planet and on TA. The Lousiana Brewhouse seemed very nice, but it was entirely Westerners sitting, sunning, drinking, talking, eating, and swimming. I can see that in Southern California so I had one rather high priced beer and wandered off. I was not really impressed with Crazy Kim Bar. Too many ants on the tables and bar. The Rainbow Bar/Divers is quite nice and the pizza is supposed to be good. The Tiger Draft Beer is very cold and about $1.00 US. Just down the street is a very nice restaurant that has very good grilled seafood. I didn't write down the name, but it is on Hung Vuong Street and is the only place with a large grill in front. The grilled clams, Tiger prawns and fish are superb. Close by is the Cheers Cafe. The Sup Tom (Shrimp and crab soup) and springs rolls are exceptional. Also they have a foo-foo drink called a Nha Trang Lady (Vodka Lime/Orange Juice Grenadine) quite heavy on the vodka for $1.00 US. Nice way to finish up the evening. The prices are very low and the food is very good.
TOURING--I hooked up with an Easy Rider who I met two years ago and did the longer rides on the motor. (I have his new phone number if anyone is interested in an Easy Rider in Nha Trang. Very nice guy who knows his way around and can set up anything you might be interested in.) I also bicycled and walked (Nha Trang is very walkable). The Mud Baths are well worth visiting. Figure on half a day and be sure to bring flip-flops as the walkways and stairs are really slick. There are temples, pagodas and Cham towers along with fishing villages close by.
Overall, I found Nha Trang to be very pleasant. The traffic is not bad and everyone is very friendly. Lots of places to get laundry done for $1.00 a kilo. The exhange rate was posted at 15,700 in the hotel, but my Easy Rider driver took me to a money exchange where it was 16,600, much better deal. I left Nha Trang for Danang with a taxi from the hotel (actually turned out to be a hotel employee with a car) for $10.00 to the airport. Takes about 30 to 45 minutes to Cam Ranh. I flew out on Vietnam Airlines for $65.00. Their sechedule had changed so now the flight to Danang leaves at 0745 on an Airbus rather that the later flight on an ATR (The Airbus is a much better airplane). Hope this is helpful.