Nha Trang, Vietnam, credit Tran Huy on Unsplash
Known for its beautiful white sand beaches and clear waters, Nha Trang attracts a diverse crowd of foreign and Vietnamese tourists with a mix of high class resorts and backpacker friendly hostels.
Nha Trang Bay is often described as one of the world’s most beautiful bays, reason enough to make the stop.
Formerly known as Kauthara under rule of the Kingdom of Champa, the area was largely deserted from the mid 17th century to the 19th century. The citygrew substantially during the 20th century.
Nha Trang’s main beach, a 7km stretch of beautiful sand, crystal clear water and beachside bars and restaurants poking through the tropical palm trees.
For those looking for a quieter beach, Long Beach is just outside of town and is no less beautiful.
Vietnam has a number of excellent dive sites and Nha Trang has some of the best of them.
Most diving will take place in Hon Mun Marine Protected Area around 40 minutes from Cau Da Port although Whale Island is a quieter option.
There are a range of dive sites suitable for all standards and experience of divers from complete beginners to experts.
Best water temperatures and visibility are generally between April and August although conditions can be excellent all year round.
Po Nagar Cham Temple
Built by the Cham people between the 8th and 11th centuries and sitting on top of Mount Cu Lau, the views over the Cai River are worth the trip.
The Cham people still used the remaining four towers as places of worship so bear this in mind when exploring. Built to honour Po Nagar “the mother of the country”, the four remaining towers honour Po Nagar, Cri Cambhu, Sanhaka and Ganeca.
Nha Trang Cathedral
Built in the early 19th century in a French Gothic style, the cathedral continues to serve the local Catholic community.
A beautiful cathedral both inside and out which has plenty of excellent photo opportunities. It features wonderful stained glass windows, a square clock tower and around 4,000 tombstones mounted to the side which were placed after a nearby cemetery was utilised for the city train station.
National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
Housing over 20,000 live and preserved mainly local marine life. The institute is not just an aquarium but sponsors ongoing research, breeding programmes and preservation and regeneration of the local coral reefs.
The aquarium include sharks, turtles, scorpion fish, lion fish and much more, including an 18 metre whale skeleton.
Long Son Pagoda
Also known as Chua Long Son, the temple is best known for the white Buddha, perched on a lotus blossom, which sits on top of the mountain and is visible for miles around.
Built in 1886, much of the original temple was destroyed by a cyclone in 1990 and was completely rebuilt. The white Buddha was built in 1964.
Beware of the steps to the top and don’t miss the sleeping Buddha and additional hall on the way to the top.
Known as the seafood capital of Thailand, the locally caught fish and shellfish appear on the menus of establishments from high-class restaurants to beach and street side stalls.
You really can taste the difference of freshly caught seafood.
Hon Tre Island
The “Island of Bamboo” lies in the bay and can be reached via numerous daily ferries or, if you are visiting the amusement park, the longest sea-crossing cable car ride in the world.
The island is dominated by the Vinpearl Resort Nha Trang, the 5 star resort which features an incredible beach, stunning swimming pool and wellness facilities and everything else you would expect from a hotel of this quality.
The Vinpearl Amusement Park features an aquarium, water slides, wave pool, rollercoaster rides, family attractions and a shopping mall.
The island is far more than the Vinpearl however. Bay Lagoon is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving. Bai Tru Beach is one of the best beaches in the area, some achievement.
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