Best things to experience in Nha Trang (Part 1)

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Nha Trang is a cultural city with remnants of the Champa Kingdom, Buddhist temples, and gothic-style Catholic churches while natural hot springs, salt fields, and unique waterfalls offer a myriad of sightseeing and recreational activities. Discover the places that you should not miss in Nha Trang.

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1. Po Nagar Cham Towers

The Po Nagar Cham Towers are the defining features of Nha Trang that date back to between 8th and 11th centuries. Set atop Mount Cu Lau, with views overlooking the Cai River, there were originally ten buildings dedicated to Hindu deities, but most have been destroyed over the years. The four remaining towers, built in honour of Po Nagar, Cri Cambhu, Sanhaka, and Ganeca, are still used today as places of worship for the Cham people. Found within a 10-minute stroll from Tran Phu Beach, Po Nagar Cham Towers can get pretty crowded during the annual Thap Ba festival, which falls around the end of April and the beginning of May.

Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 17:00

Address: 2/4 Street near Xom Bong Bridge, Nha Trang

Long Son Pagoda & White Buddha via City Pass Guide

2. Long Son Pagoda & White Buddha

Long Son Pagoda, founded in the late 19th century, features stunning designs of mosaic dragons made with glass and ceramic tiles while the main sanctuary is adorned with modern interpretations of traditional motifs. At the top of the hill is a massive white statue of Buddha sitting atop a lotus blossom, as well as fire-ringed relief busts of Thich Quang Duc and six Buddhist monks who died in self-immolations in 1963. There are 150 stone steps to reach the top, but around the half way point lies a 14-metre-long sleeping Buddha and an entrance to another hall of Long Son Pagoda.

Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 17:30

Address: Thai Nguyen Street, Nha Trang

3. Nha Trang Cathedral

Nha Trang Cathedral, set atop a hill that overlooks the train station, is widely known as the largest church in the city. It was constructed in provincial French Gothic style during the early 19th century, featuring beautiful stained glass windows and a square clock tower surmounted by a large crucifix. Its three cathedral bells, which were cast in France in 1789, are still in working order. There are also 4,000 tombstones mounted on the sides of the Cathedral, which were placed after the neighbouring cemetery was levelled in 1988 to extend the city train station. Na Thrang Cathedral serves the local Catholic community, with Mass being held between 05:00 and 18:30 on a daily basis.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday from 05:00 to 17:00, Sunday 04:30 – 20:00

Address: Nguyen Trai, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang

Vinpearl Amusement Park via VietTimes

4. Vinpearl Amusement Park

Vinpearl Amusement Park offers fun-filled activities for travelling families, with unique water slides, a massive aquarium, a wave pool, amphitheatre, shopping mall, and a variety of rides. Situated on Hon Tre Island, the theme park is connected to the mainland of Nha Trang via a 3,320-metre sea-crossing cable car, which offers great views of the bay along the way. Hailed as the biggest of its kind in Vietnam, Vinpearl Amusement Park’s Underwater World Aquarium houses over 300 species of marine life. The entry fee (including return fare for cable car rides) is priced at VND 600,000 for adults, VND 500,000 for children, and VND 480,000 for visitors above the age of 60.

Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 21:00, Friday – Sunday 08:00 – 22:00

Address: Vinpearl Resort Island, Nha Trang Bay

5. National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam

The National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam offers interesting exhibits of local marine life, including over 20,000 live and preserved marine specimens. Established in 1922, the institute sponsors ongoing research and community projects, such as captive breeding programmes, preservation and regeneration of local coral reefs. The ground floor houses glass tanks of various sizes filled with marine life such as reef sharks, turtles, anemones, puffers, and lionfish, while the upper floor features thousands of preserved specimens, local boats, fishing artefacts, and an 18-metre-long whale skeleton. The museum’s entrance fee is VND 30,000 for adults.

Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 18:00

Address: 1 Cau da, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa

(to be continued)

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