TOP ATTRACTIONS IN NHA TRANG
1. Po Nagar Cham Towers
The Po Nagar Temple complex, also known as Thap Ba, was built to venerate the goddess Yang Ino Po Nagar the Mother of the kingdom. The temple was built during the Hindu period of Champa, hence the image of the goddess represents the form of Uma the wife of Shiva. The original temple buildings were built of wood around 770 A.D and destroyed by Javanese raiders, about ten years later the first brick structures were built however they no longer exist. The earliest surviving structures were built around 810 A.D and the main tower around the 11th Century.
The main tower named Po Nagar Kalan represents Mount Meru and at 23 meters is one of the tallest Cham structures anywhere, it is constructed from clay bricks and molasses mortar and consists of a square tower with a three step pyramidal tower its and three-story cone roof are outstanding examples of Cham style. The statue of the goddess Po Nagar has ten arms and the original statue was made out of hard incense wood but was removed by the French in 1946 and replaced with a 2.6 m sandstone statue sitting cross-legged and has ten hands, each holding a specific object representing the intellect and power of Buddha. Each year the Cham people celebrate the Thap Ba festival which takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of the third month of the Luna calendar.
2. Long Son Pagoda
The 24meter-high white Buddha statue is the main attraction at this pagoda and is an important symbol of Nha Trang. The seated Buddha statue was built to honour the monks and nuns who died protesting against the corrupt Diem regime, around the base of the Buddha are their portraits carved in relief and surrounded by carved flames of the monks who set fire to themselves (self- immolation). From the top of the hill you'll be rewarded with a panoramic bird's-eye view of Nha Trang and its surroundings.
Address: Long Son Pagoda is at the foot of Mount Trai Thuy about 2km from the town’s center just past the train station on Thai Nguyen St.
3. Alexandre Yersin Museum
Alexandre Yersin was the French medical pioneer who co-discovered a vital bacterium responsible for causing bubonic plague. Yersin arrived in Nha Trang in 1891 and in 1895 founded the medical research institute where he dedicated the rest of his life to scientific discovery until his death in 1943. He is well remembered in Vietnam where he is affectionately called Ông Năm and is highly respected for his contributions to Vietnamese society and is also credited for discovering the city of Da Lat. Yersin died in Nha Trang on March 1st, 1943and was buried according to the instructions he left in his will, with his face touching the ground and facing the sea so that he could forever embrace his second homeland. His grave is located on top of a hill at Suoi Dau area in Dien Khanh District. His house in Nha Trang is now the Yersin Museum which has his desk and scientific instruments on display and his library. Also many city streets throughout Vietnam are named in his honour and kept their designation following the country's independence.
4. Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography
The Institute of Oceanography was founded on September 14th, 1922 under the title Service des Pêche de l'Indochine next to Cau Da Wharf, it was one of the earliest centers for scientific research in Vietnam and remains an important location for tropical oceanographic research. Since its inception almost 90 years ago the Institute has conducted numerous research programs regarding oceanographic processes and the natural and biological conditions of the sea, sustainable management and utilization of marine resources, and the protection and security of the marine environment. The Institute has also made important contributions to oceanographic research, national economic development and maritime security as well as sponsors ongoing research and community projects that include developing captive breeding programs and encouraging the preservation and regeneration of local coral reefs.
The institute has indoor and outdoor aquariums which display about 20,000 living marine creatures that include reef sharks, clownfish, lionfish, turtles, puffers, sea horses, crabs, living coral, anemones, and many species of reef fish. And a museum houses 40,000 marine specimens some of which are skeletal remains, in particular a 26m long and 3m high skeleton of a humpbacked whale with 48 vertebra, while whole specimens are preserved in formaldehyde solution. The museum also includes an extensive library with a section for old books about sea, research devices and fishing tools. In 1933 the world's most well known oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, began his successful career here when it was officially named the Institut Océanographique de l'Indochine.
5. Tri Nguyen Aquarium
Situated 5km south of Nha Trang on Hon Mieu Island in Nha Trang Bay and just 1km from Cau Da Warf is Tri Nguyen Water Palace; here visitors can see an abundance of diverse marine creatures collected from the coastal waters around the country.
The aquarium has been a popular tourist destination since it was built in 1971 by Mr. Le Can, a local fisherman and consists of a man-made lagoon created by constructing a stone wall 130m in length across the bay. This lagoon is subdivided into tanks for housing and breeding the many varied species of local marine life that includes different species of sharks, sea turtles, shrimp, lobster, stingrays, carp, bass, Japanese butterfish, Picasso triggerfish, grouper, snapper, eel, seahorses and a brilliant array of coral.
The main aquarium is part of a larger three-story complex shaped like a sailing ship raised from the depths all covered in coral, it is 60m long and 30m high. The first floor houses large aquariums, the second floor area is a retail of souvenirs and handicrafts and on the top floor is a restaurant. A 600m walk through forested land brings you to Bai Soi Beach; this secluded beach is covered in small smooth pebbles and has clear waters.
6. Thap Ba Hot Mineral Spring
The Thap Ba Hot Springs and its Mud Baths has become a very popular site in the region. On offer at the centre are diverse spa services including flower and medicinal herb treatments, mud baths, VIP spa, sauna, warm mineral water swimming pool, Tien Sa mud bath and a range of therapeutic massages all taking place in a natural and tranquil atmosphere. The process begins with soaking in the warm mineral water baths which reach temperatures of around 40oC then immersing in the hot silica mud bath which is warmed to 37-39oC, after soaking take a long sunbath to bake the mud which stretches the skin, finally head to the high-pressure sprays for cleansing and a light massage.
7. The Therapeutic Benefits Of Hot Mineral Water
Soaking in the hot spring water (around 40oC) at Thap Ba can be very therapeutic and relaxing. The thermal effects of hot springs minerals on the skin’s glands and blood vessels has numerous subtle benefits due to increased hydrostatic pressure on the body, thus increasing oxygen-rich blood circulation and cell oxygenation. The increase in blood flow helps dissolve and eliminate toxins from the body bringing improved nourishment to vital organs and tissues. The mineral content of the spring water is the result of eroding and dissolving underground layers of rocks leaving trace amounts of minerals such as sodium silicate chloride, carbon, sulfur, dioxide, magnesium, calcium, and lithium which are absorbed by the body and provide healing effects to various organs. The healing effects of bathing in these hot mineral waters helps the body heal itself from many different diseases, including psoriasis, insomnia, sciatica, dermatitis, fungal infections, wounds, PMS, gynecological problems, fatigue, respiratory problems, arthritis, joint pain, skin injuries as well as beautifying and rejuvenating the skin.
8. The Therapeutic Benefits Of Hot Mud Baths
Mud baths are ancient treatments that are not just fun and relaxing but have been used for centuries to treat arthritis, sciatica, muscle fatigue, nervous diseases, joint pain, bone tuberculosis, kidney diseases, urinary and gynecological problems and as treatments for various skin ailments such as fungal infections, dermatitis and psoriasis. The Thap Ba hot mineral mud is an inorganic mud rich in mineral content which is absorbed into the skin replenishing it with minerals that relieve muscular aches and pains while also drawing toxins out of the body. The fine mud exfoliates the skin removing dead cells and leaving your skin feeling smoother.
9. Islands in Nha Trang
There are many Islands in Nha Trang Bay as Hon Lao Island, Hon Thi Island , Hon Tre Island with the Vinpearl Resort 5*, Hon Tam Island with nice beach and further is Hon Yen, Hon Mun..Nha Trang provides a rich variety of tourist activities for visitors. Island hopping, scuba diving, water sports and other sporting activities can be enjoyed in the city.