Welcome to Nha Trang!
Nha Trang is the country’s most popular beach destination. This is a huge city and it’s not quiet at all! Sun, beach, party, beer. And some great sites, amazing food, loads of tours and even more tourists. Yeah, you might feel like in some European city because of those people you will see on the streets. All tourists! But the good thing about it – where is the tourist, there so different opportunities appear. So go ahead and take a look at our TOP 5 MUST-SEE in NHA TRANG! These will help you to get some diversity in your tour to this bright city!
1. Get amazed by the impressive religious buildings like Ponagar Temple, Long Son Pagoda and Nha Trang Cathedral
Ponagar Temple complex is something spectacular! When we reached it, we couldn’t believe how beautiful the place really is! This temple was built between 8th and 11th centuries by the Cham people, who were Hindu in origin. But the temple resembles some of those we had seen also in Thailand and Cambodia, and India, of course. It’s considered that the temple complex was built in honour of the goddess Po Nagar who have taught agricultural skills to the Cham people, but there are some other versions that lead also to Shiva’s wife and other gods. There were once ten towers, each dedicated to a different deity, but now only four remain. You can enter the worshipping areas, just remember to take the free coat and remove your shoes, also leave your camera aside. Another impressive room is the Showroom that is actually a small exhibition hall where pictures of temple from 1930ies and from these days are displayed, showing what kind of restoration works have been done. The park where the temple is located is just amazing – great views to the city from above, snacks, market and some quiet places just for yourself. This is definitely a place to visit in the city!
Entrance Fee: 22.000 VND
Long Son Pagoda is another temple, famous for 24-metre high Buddha image on a top of the mountain, reachable by small trail from the temple. There are no signs that will show you which path to take, but once you have reached this pagoda, just ask the locals and they will point you to the right direction. From the hill of the Buddha statue the whole city can be seen, but sometimes it gets a bit busy up there! Long Son Pagoda itself has been home to many Buddhist monks and the Vietnam Buddhist Studies Foundation. Here you will be able to see unique Taoist architecture – mythical animals and sculptures of Taoist gods.
Entrance fee: Free
Nha Trang Cathedral is the largest its kind in the city. This cathedral is made entirely of stone and its actually located on the rock cliff, so all the site is truly impressive. Outside the site is decorated with statues of saints and here you will find also tombstones. This cathedral is the best piece of French architecture in the city. Though during some Catholic celebrations cathedral is not available for visitors.
Entrance Fee: Free (tourists are asked to pay 20.000 VND or more, depending on the country one is coming from – security guards are earning on this)
2. Enjoy the Nha Trang Beach!
If you have reached the beach destination of Vietnam, again we have to say – then enjoy that beach! Yeah, it might be a bit crowded, but there will be a sunbed for you, too. Remember that there are locals that rent sunbed for 100.000 VND and some that offer the bed for half of that price. And the cheapest sunbeds are usually in the middle of the crowded places, near by the restaurants. But these places offer shower and toilet as well.
By the Nha Trang Beach you will also find a beautiful promenade that brings trough adorable parks and you won’t be able to stop taking pictures. Yes, another one, please! There is a Tram Huong Tower or pink tower besides which you can enjoy the food in seaside restaurants that will cook for you the creature you will choose right there from the bowl of water.
3. Be with the nature and visit Hon Chong!
This special place at the coast a bit North of the city is large rock formations. The unique thing is that there are this unity of the sea, rocks and the mountain. Just sit here, relax and watch those many islands floating in the sea.
And once you are on the way from the city to the rocky viewpoint, it`s useful to stop at the Cai River side (on the opposite side of the river than the Ponagar temple) – there you will see many fishermen and their daily activities, as well as waterfront bars that are not that popular among Westerners, but more among the locals and Chinese. Here you will be able to experience a totally different atmosphere!
4. Go shopping in Dam Market
Well, let’s be honest – this market is just like any other Asian market – noisy, busy, bright and interesting. Even if it’s said that looking from above, the market can remind a blossoming lotus flower, it is not there to admire with its architecture for sure. There is a main building with souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, electronics and so many more! And this main place is surrounded by street-sellers who are offering fruits, veggies, different snacks and the same handicrafts. And locals will definitely fight for the costumer! Important thing to remember – do not forget to bargain! The prices drop enormously just when one starts to walk away. If at the beginning something is offered for 300.000 VND then later the price drops to 100.000 VND and even less. But there is a thin line between healthy bargaining and rude-talking. Locals may also get offended if you mark at some flaws in the clothing or other goods. And then the drama starts. So be wise and this will be a great shopping experience!
5. Go for tours to Suoi Do Pagoda, Mud Baths, Ba Ho Waterfalls, Salt Fields and Vinpearl Land Amusement Park
Suoi Do Pagoda is a Buddhist temple, located outside the city and reachable by your own vehicle – in this case the locals can help you with directions. And the other option is to take a tour or a bus in one of many bus companies in the city.
This temple was built to honour the Chinese Goddess of Mercy – Quan Am. The legend says that there was a young girl that actually saw the goddess while playing with her friends at a stream running down the mountain. Therefore the Suoi Do Pagoda was built nearby the stream. The temple itself is located on the hill, so get ready for some stairs! But at the end you will see panoramic views on hills and banana plantations. Wow!
Entrance Fee: Free
Mud Baths is another popular thing you can find in Nha Trang. Those are located in different places, the best is to take a taxi or join a tour. There are also buses available at the bus companies. This is one effective therapeutic cleansing and day of fun after all! There are several places around the city where to enjoy the mud fun like Thap Ba Spa, 100 Eggs Mud Baths, Galina Mud Bath & Spa (located in the Nha Trang itself) and I-Resort Spa. There are common baths and private mud baths, a bit more expensive.
Entrance Fee: The fees differ, usually starting from 180.000 VND. But besides the mud baths in the mud complexes you will also find swimming pools, jacuzzis, massage opportunities and other activities on the spot.
Ba Ho Waterfalls are located around 30 km away from the city. “Ba Bo” actually means “three pools” and it is possible to swim in those waterfall pools. There is quite a challenging hike up the waterfall. In one and a half km you should reach the first pool. And then around half an hour hike will follow to reach the other pools. Waterfalls are reachable from the city by your own personal vehicle or taxi. It is also possible to take a local bus of blue, white or yellow colours and pay 24.000 VND per ride.
Entrance Fee: 15.000 VND
You will find Hon Khoi Salt Fields if you take a tour or drive an hour away from the city. This place is special because here it is possible to experience how mounds of natural salt are manually harvested from fields along the Doc Let Beach. The salt is directed from the East Sea to the fields and then left there to evaporate for about 10 days before it is collected in wicker baskets. Though the best time to visit Hon Khoi Salt Fields are between January and June, in other months nobody will be working there.
Entrance Fee: Free (as it`s an industrial area). But you need to talk to the employer of the salt field workers to get inside the area and also the security guy can ask you for a certain fee.
Vinpearl Land Amusement Park is located on an island across the bay from Nha Trang Beach and is reachable by 3.320-metre long cable-car that will bring you from the city to the island.
This is one super-huge amusement park with water slides, aquarium, a variety of rides and roller-coasters. Food, sunbathing and fun all day long!
Entrance Fee: Two-way cable car 880.000 VND. One-way cable car 800.000 VND
The city is huge and rich with activities you can do here. No doubts you won’t get bored! And besides the sites we mentioned above, you can try one of the SPA’s that offer Vietnamese massage for feet, back and body (one hour will cost you around 8-10 €). Go to the restaurants that offer delicious seafood and other treasures from Vietnamese cuisine. Or just stroll around the streets in the evening – they become alive! Take a beer and enjoy! This is a place to be happy and relaxed!