Nha Trang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The city of Nha Trang in Vietnam is the most popular destination with travelers and tourists in 2009 and estimated to be the top destination for 2010. Nha Trang has a population of over 400,000 people but still possess a small beach town characteristic like it southern neighbor Mui Ne. Mui Ne, the sister city to the south is a popular overnight stop from Saigon to Nha Trang. Nha Trang Bay is notably famous for its many kilometers of pristine beach and family friendly locals. The area is surrounded by myriad miles of unspoiled beaches and offshore islands. The coastal city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa province, Central Vietnam, lies on the trans-Vietnam highway, 1,275 km from Hanoi and 442km from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).

Unlike the Pacific Ocean where the water is cold, the warm year-round water of Nha Trang South China Sea is ideal for swimming, watersport and scuba diving. The average temperature in Nha Trang is about 25 + degree celsius. With the lowest level of humidity in all of Vietnam, Nha Trang is becoming South East Asia hotspot. Nha Trang is surrounded by nature with soft, quiet warm waters all year round. It is surrounded by archipelagoes, islands, mountains and sandy beaches, making it a wonderful and attractive tourist destination.

Today, Nha Trang ranks among the top of all beaches in Vietnam and top 29 most beautiful bay in the world. The city is about 1,250 kilometers to the south of Hanoi and 440 kilometers norther of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Nha Trang has 5 major islands that are home to some of the best island resort in Asia

BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to visit Nha Trang for a beach holiday is during the dry season, between January and March. Otherwise, June to early September may be also a good time. The period between April and August is the best for diving and snorkeling.

The weather in winter and spring months is cooler than in summer, and the amount of rain is the lowest in these months. Average day temperatures in Nha Trang are +24-26°C (77°F) in January, +27-29°C (82°F) in April.

GETTING THERE

It is possible to visit Nha trang by all common means: flights, bus, train..ect

By flights: Vietnam airlines operates daily flights connecting Nha trang, Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh city. The new airport is located around 20 km south of the city, and it takes about over 30 minutes to get to the downtown.

By trains: Visitors may catch trains leaving daily from Ho Chi Minh City (12 hours), Hanoi (20 hours) and Danang (12 hours) to Nha trang. (It is easy to get fares via www.vr.com.vn)

By bus: Open tour bus or public bus will be a good option if you travel on budget: it takes approximately 11-12 hours from HCMC, 4-5 hours from Dalat and 12-14 from Danang.

 

ATTRACTIONS IN NHA TRANG

 

PO NAGAR CHAM TOWER

Built in the ninth century by King Harivacman, boasts a group of Cham towers and a stunning 2.6m tall statue of Ponagar, wife of the god Shiva. Historically, Cham is an ancient civilization that was really influential in Southeast Asia, especially in Vietnam and Cambodia. The Cham ruled Vietnam for 10 centuries, their unmistakable architecture and art style had spread widely across places in the country. They are said to have their root in the India’s Buddhism. Thus, there are a great deal of similarity between Angkor Wat and the Po Nagar Towers found in Nha Trang.

Commonly known as Thap Ba, the Po Nagar Cham Towers are a complex of temples erected approximately before 781 A.D. This complicated site belonged to the medieval principality of Khauthara, a small country near modern Nha Trang. The Po Nagar Towers are now situated on a mountain called Cu Lao, in downtown Nha Trang and next to Cai River.

 

OCEANOGRAPHIC MUSEUM OF VIETNAM

Nowhere can people expect to see a more extensive collection of living beings from the Eastern Sea like in this museum, particularly in areas like the bays of Thailand, archipelagoes of Paracels (Hoàng Sa) and Spratlys (Truong Sa), shore regions of Vietnam and the gulf of the Vat Bô. Located at 1 Cau Da St., about 5km from Nha Trang City Center, at the foot of the outcrop where Bao Dai Village is constructed, is a grand French-colonial building which houses the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam. It is an interesting aquarium in which you can gain the exact image of Nha Trang marine environment. Opened to the public on September 14th, 1922, today it is still a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. 

Apart from the museum aquariums, there are also many of the theme rooms in the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam which focus on marine science featuring the history of its research equipment and technology such as: “From Light to Life” (features algae and phytoplankton), “Life in a Drop of Water” (microscopic aquatic organisms), or rooms illustrating coastal natural disasters, sacred legends, traditions and culture of Vietnam fishing.

 

LONG SON PAGODA

The most famous historical landmark in Nha Trang, Long Son Pagoda, is located at the foot of Trai Thuy mountain. The pagoda was built originally in 1886, and then restored a few years later. The enormous white Buddha statue(25 m. or 82 ft. high)  at the top of the mountain overlooking the pagoda is its most well known feature.

               

Enjoy a panoramic view of Nha Trang when you climb more than 150 steps up the hill to visit the pagoda. Lon Son Pagoda is approximately 1 km (0.6 miles) west of Nha Trang Cathedral, and 1.5 km (0.9 miles) west of Nha Trang’s city center.


ISLANDS IN NHA TRANG BAY

There are about twenty tropical islands in Nha Trang bay. Each of these islands provides numerous opportunities for beach holiday in addition to main beaches on the mainland coast of Nha Trang. These opportunities are further extended with water activities, multiple snorkeling sites, as well as some hiking and bird watching.

The largest island is Hon Tre, or Bamboo Island, while other islands are usually very small in comparison. Best diving and snorkeling in Nha Trang bay can be found around Hon Mun island. All islands are easily accessible from Nha Trang by boat, while Vin Pearl resort on the western tip of Hon Tre island is also connected to the mainland by the cable car. Read More…

 

VIN PEARL RESORT AND AMUSEMENT PARK

Located on one of the world’s most famous bays Is Vin Pearl Resort. You can get to Vin Pearl by a cable car ride on one of the world’s longest cable systems, starting in the southern part of Nha Trang beach and getting to the Vin Pearl Resort on the island. The island’s most visible feature, in addition to a cable car, is a huge sign on the hill that resembles a famous Hollywood sign. Vin Pearl has a luxury resort, an amusement park with roller coaster rides and water activities, aquariums with tropical fish, and even shopping malls.

The resort and amusement park are located on the western tip of Hon Tre (Bamboo Island), the largest island in the Nha Trang Bay. The alternative option to reach Vin Pearl is to take a short, 10 minute ride on a ferry from Nha Trang.

 

NHA TRANG CATHEDRAL

Nha Trang’s Cathedral, towering over the town from its hilltop location, is the centre of a large Catholic Archdiocese. It’s an impressive gothic structure and is easily visited during a walk or cycle around the city. The cathedral is close by both the railway station and the Long Son Pagoda.

The path to the Cathedral is lined with memorial plaques from remains relocated in the 1980s from a nearby old cemetery that was disinterred  to make way for new railway buildings.

 

ACTIVITIES IN NHA TRANG

 

RELAXING ON THE BEACHES OF NHA TRANG

Beautiful sandy beaches are perhaps the most attractive part of Nha Trang for any visitor. Swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing on the beach are popular activities for anyone on a leisure holiday in Nha Trang. Beaches next to the city center tend to be more crowded, while many deserted but by no means less attractive beaches, are only a few minutes drive to the north and south of Nha Trang city.

Nha Trang’s beaches are not only the main travel attraction of South Central Coast of Vietnam, but they are also among the finest in the country. The most popular and usually the most crowded, due to its central location, is a Tran Phu beach. The beach is close to numerous bars, restaurants and shopping facilities. Other beaches on the coast of Nha Trang Bay, to the north and south of Tran Phu, are considerably less crowded, and they also have a variety of restaurants and accommodation options nearby.

               

ISLAND HOPPING

Visit many tropical islands in Nha Trang bay can be visited on a boat or a speedboat in just one day trip. Lunch, typically a choice of fresh local seafood, plus fruits and snacks, is usually included in the tour.Many islands around Nha Trang provide good snorkeling options in addition to nice swimming beaches.

DIVING

Nha Trang is Vietnam’s premier diving destination in Vietnam, and the city does not have a shortage of reputable diving operators. You can see coral reefs and colourful marine life, including angelfish, clownfish among hundreds of other species. Most diving locations are close to Hon Mum Marine Park, in the southern part of Nha Trang bay. The Marine Park is no longer than 1 hour regular boat ride, or a few minutes on a speedboat, from Nha Trang. Best season for diving is between April and early September.

Diving is a really good value in Nha Trang, as both the organized diving tours and the certified training are considerably cheaper than in other popular diving spots in the South-East Asia.        

               

SNORKELLING

Visitors to Nha Trang do not need to have a diving experience to explore the colorful reefs in the Nha Trang bay. Snorkeling sites are plentiful on the nearby islands and most of these islands are only a few minutes away from Nha Trang by boat. The bay is usually not very deep, therefore giving snorkelers more chances to spot various species of reef inhabitants.

               

WATER ACTIVITIES

Nha Trang offers visitors many opportunities for water activities, such as parasailing, windsurfing and jet skiing. Most of the activities are available on resort beaches in Nha Trang, as well as tropical islands.

               

COOKING CLASS

Go on a guided tour to the local market to see the colourful introduction to the ingredients used in Vietnamese cuisine. After that you will learn to cook several popular, or even exotic, Vietnamese dishes of your choice under the guidance of the experienced chef.

 

THAP BA HOT SPRING & MUD BATH

A very popular soaking site in Southeast Asia, the Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths is one of the major attractions in Nha Trang, which is frequented by a multitude of tourists and travelers visiting each year. There’s nothing more relaxing than bathing in warm mineral water and soaking in therapeutic mud baths under a tranquil and natural atmosphere, heavily scented with medicinal herbs and flowers.

Located four kilometers north of the city center, just behind the age-old Ponagar Cham Towers, the Thap Ba Hot Springs and Mud Baths is an extremely attractive destination for people who want to experience more than the white sand beaches of Nha Trang Bay. Indeed, nature has blessed this place with a salty mineral-rich spring coming from 100-meter underground water. The spring is rich in natri clorua silica and various other natural minerals, which are not only hygienic but are also great for a bather’s health.

       

BOAT TRIP TO CAI RIVER

Taking a boat tour on Cai River, west of Nha Trang, gives visitors the opportunity to see the everyday life of local Vietnamese people, as well to see the beautiful scenery of South Central Coast of Vietnam

 

VISIT DAM MARKET FOR SOUVENIRS

Located in the heart of Nha Trang City, Dam Market is not only the main Trade Centre with various merchandises which was originally a 7 hectare pond before the market was built around 1908. Be damaged by war, it was reconstructed after the Vietnam War into the 5,270 m² market that can hold up to 3,000 people at a time.

This circular three-story building consists of many local souvenir shops in the front and middle area as well as fresh meat and fish stalls at the back. To the right of the market is where the dry sea food, the typical and well-known products, is sold. Once entering this area, visitors will be absorbed in the tidy and eye-catching arrangement of different kinds of dried fish, cuttle-fish, shrimp, seaweed and so on. Coming alive in the early morning at about 4 am each day, this vibrant market is an interesting place to wander and explore the daily life of Nha Trang inhabitants.