NHA TRANG - SOUTHERN VIETNAM

A MULTI-FACES BALNEY STATION

Nha Trang is a seaside town in Southern vietnam and the capital of Khanh Hoa province. Located on the East Sea coast, the city is 1450 km from Hanoi and 480 km from Ho Chi Minh City.

Nha Trang has a 7 km long beach and its bay, which includes 19 islands and islets covering an area of about 507 km², is part of the Club of the most beautiful bays in the world.

History of Nha Trang


Founded in 240 AD, Nha Trang was formerly part of the Kingdom of Champa and was populated by the Chams, an ethnic group of Hindu origin which later converted mainly to Islam from the 13th century onwards, under the influence of Indian merchants.

This kingdom no longer exists today. Its disappearance is linked to two attacks by other civilizations. The first one took place in 950, when the Khmers came to plunder the kingdom. The second one corresponds to the invasion of the kingdom by the Vietnamese around 1640, but many remains of the kingdom can still be found in Nha Trang.

Thereafter, and until the 19th century, Nha Trang was a wild territory. His situation changed with the decree of 30 August 1924 of the Governor General of Indochina, which made Nha Trang the capital of Khanh Hoa province. Thanks to its ideal climate and its very favourable geographical location in Southern vietnam, Nha Trang became a very popular city during French Indochina, and was even nicknamed the "Nice of the Far East".

Nowadays, Nha Trang is a seaside resort in Southern vietnam that is very popular with tourists thanks to its many assets.

What to do in Nha Trang?


The beaches of Nha Trang

The beaches of Nha Trang are obviously one of the city's main assets. All the beaches in Nha Trang are beautiful and have various assets.

Tran Phu Beach is the most popular beach in the city. Easy to access, it allows you to rest on deckchairs or to practice activities such as surfing or snorkelling. The beach also includes Tran Phu Street which offers a splendid stroll along the seafront.

North of Tran Phu Beach and five minutes from Po Nagar Towers, Hon Chong Beach includes a set of stacked rocks offering a panoramic view of the surrounding islets.

Water sports

This seaside town offers many possibilities to practice different water sports.

Scuba diving in Nha Trang is an exceptional experience. The region offers two privileged areas for diving: Nha Trang Bay (which is part of the club of the most beautiful bays in the world) and Van Phong Bay, north of Nha Trang and classified by the World Tourism Organization.

In addition to enjoying water with a pleasant temperature all year round, these two bays each have several distinct spots to enjoy different landscapes and admire different species.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of species that you may encounter while diving in Nha Trang Bay: rays, angel fish, lion fish, spirobranchs, rump fish, scorpion fish, platax, groupers, leaf fish, trumpet fish,...

And a non-exhaustive list of species that can be found in Van Phong Bay: stone fish, scorpion fish, napoleons, Spanish dancers, whales and whale sharks (at certain times of the year),...

Surfing is also very popular in Nha Trang, especially on Bai Dai (or Long Beach) beach with its 17 km of clear water. On site, it is possible to rent a board and take a course with a teacher.

Other water activities are practiced in Nha Trang: jet-ski, parasailing, sailing, snorkeling (diving with fins, mask and snorkel),...

Apart from its beaches and water sports, Nha Trang has many cultural and historical assets.

Cham Po Nagar Towers

Po Nagar Temple is a temple built during the 8th century in the principality of Kauthara (now Nha Trang). It is a Cham temple dedicated to the goddess Yan Po Nagar (the legendary founder of the Kingdom of Champa). The temple is located at the top of Mount Cù Lao.

It is a complex of which a part has been destroyed over time and attacks on the kingdom in southern Vietnam. However, several tours have resisted and are still visited today, by tourists but also by the Cham as a place of worship. Each tower is dedicated to a unique divinity. The largest tower in the complex is about 25 m high.

Cham Po Nagar Towers

Po Nagar Temple is a temple built during the 8th century in the principality of Kauthara (now Nha Trang). It is a Cham temple dedicated to the goddess Yan Po Nagar (the legendary founder of the Kingdom of Champa). The temple is located at the top of Mount Cù Lao.

It is a complex of which a part has been destroyed over time and attacks on the kingdom in southern Vietnam. However, several tours have resisted and are still visited today, by tourists but also by the Cham as a place of worship. Each tower is dedicated to a unique divinity. The largest tower in the complex is about 25 m high.

The Long Son pagoda

Long Son Pagoda is a Buddhist temple built at the end of the 19th century. It is the most famous temple in Khanh Hoa province. At the top is a 21 m statue of seated Buddha and a lotus flower. On the way to this statue is another statue of Buddha, this time asleep and 14 m long.

Nha Trang Cathedral

Nha Trang Cathedral (or Cathedral of Christ the King) was built between 1928 and 1933 by the French in a Gothic style, with stained glass windows, bronze bells and a crucifix that surmounts a square clock. The cathedral also has a curved dome facing the sky. Located on the top of a hill, this cathedral overlooks the city's train station and offers a remarkable view.

The Alexandre Yersin Museum

This museum is the former residence of Alexandre Yersin, who lived for several years in Nha Trang, where he died in 1943. He was a French-Swiss doctor, bacteriologist and explorer known in particular for having discovered the plague bacterium and for having founded the Pasteur Institute in Nha Trang.

This museum retraces his life and work, with exhibitions presenting personal objects that belonged to him, photos of his various trips to Vietnam and some of his working instruments. In addition, his room and study have been reconstructed, and visitors can also watch a short film about the doctor's life.

The museum is popular in Southern vietnam but also in the rest of the country because Alexandre Yersin was highly appreciated by the local population, for his work and contributions but also for his devotion and his tendency to help the most deprived people free of charge. Streets and buildings still bear his name.

The museum offers guided tours in Vietnamese, English and French.

Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography

This institute was founded in 1922 and works for the research and preservation of marine ecology. The institute also has a two-storey museum open to visitors. It includes various aquariums and basins that house many marine specimens, from fish to corals, turtles and sharks. Most of these specimens come from the Vietnamese and Cambodian seas, but some come from other neighbouring countries such as Thailand. You can also admire in this museum whale skeletons (including one 18 m long), fishing objects and various theme rooms.


Hon Khoi's salt fields


An hour's drive from downtown Nha Trang, Hon Khoi's salt fields offer visitors a unique experience. Indeed, salt production in Nha Trang is very high, with about 737,000 tonnes per year, favoured by the vast coastline. The fields of Hon Khoi allow to see the premises in full work (raking of salt pans, transport of baskets filled with wet salt, harvesting,...). A real immersion in the daily life of the local population, surrounded by sumptuous landscapes.

Some tips during your stay in Nha Trang 


- Feel free to move away from the centre of Nha Trang to visit various surrounding islands, such as Monkey Island, where many free monkeys live.

- Nha Trang is very lively in the evening. You will find night markets, discos, bars and restaurants, frequented by both tourists and locals. Great meetings and good times ahead!

- A visit to Nha Trang during a trip to Southern vietnam also allows you to enjoy a cuisine based on seafood, nems or different kinds of noodles: fish noodles, snail noodles, jellyfish noodles,...