NHA TRANG is a coastal city in southern Vietnam filled with remains of Hindu and Buddhist temples dating back centuries.
While still holding on to its rich historical past, this city has managed to secure a reputation as one of the region’s best seaside resort destinations.
It continues to attract visitors with a mix of the old and the new. So while visitors enjoy themselves in its miles of sandy white beaches, natural hot springs, beautiful waterfalls and untouched islands, they can also immerse themselves in its many ancient ruins or more newer marvels.
Here are some must-visit places and things to do when in Nha Trang.d
Visit the sacred Cham temple ruins
The Po Nagar Cham Towers were built between the 7th to 12th century on the banks of River Cai, back when the area was under the rule of the Kingdom of Champa.
Once a massive Hindu temple complex, all that remains today are four east-facing towers. The temple was built to honour the goddess Po Nagar (‘The Mother of the Country’), who is said to have taught weaving and agricultural skills to the Cham people.
Even today, you can see locals praying here, especially during the annual Thap Ba festival, which falls between end April and start of May.
Hike to beautiful waterfalls
Some 25km north of Nha Trang, you will find Ba Ho Falls which comprise three waterfalls surrounded by lush greenery.
You’ll have to hike some distance to reach them, but it’s worth it when you get to cool off in the pool at the base of the waterfalls.
Aside from sunbathing and swimming, brave adventurers might want to try jumping off the falls. Just make sure to pick a safe spot to land!
Go for snorkelling or diving
The Hon Mun Marine Protected Area is an assortment of islands in Nha Trang Bay, said by many to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world with its cobalt-blue waters.
The marine park spans 12,000 hectares of ocean, covering exquisite coral reefs, and is home to many tropical fishes. It is known as one of the most important spots for marine conservation.
The shallow waters of the bay makes it a great place for snorkelling and diving for beginners.
For seasoned divers, they can check out the underwater cave and swim-through tunnels at Octopus Rock off Hon Mun.
Explore the Disneyland of Vietnam
The Vinpearl Land amusement park was built on Hòn Tre island by a Vietnamese property billionaire, and is a popular resort for the whole family, with plenty of thrill rides and a water park.
To get to the park, visitors can ride the Vinpearl Land cable car, which at 3.3km was once the world’s longest over-sea cable car and offers amazing views of Nha Trang Bay.
Take comfort food to the next level
Many of us are familiar with the Vietnamese chicken rice (com ga), but the locals in Nha Trang take this simple dish to a whole new level.
The rice is sauteed with garlic and shallots before being cooked in chicken stock and fat. This gives the rice an awesome aroma and taste.
Boiled chicken slices are then topped with a spoonful of homemade mayonnaise, adding a new burst of flavour to the whole dish.