Nha Trang - Sun City
It’s been a long time since I’ve had change to return to Nha Trang. A city rimmed with a crescent moon
of white sand that stretches for seven glorious kilometers. Thanks to its tropical climate and clear water
Nha Trang draws visitor’s years round. With the sun glinting off the blue ocean, the whole town seems to
From March 29th to April4th, Nha Trang will host a beach festival attended by participate in sand castle
contests, a flower festival, lantern displays, and courses about marine creatures.
With or without special events, Nha Trang offers everything that I want in a holiday destination:
comfortable hotels, great restaurants and interesting sites to explore. To make the most of my time here I
get up to see the sunrise. It comes early! Set on Hon Gam Peninsula, the most easterly point in Vietnam,
Nha Trang welcomes the dawn before any other place in the country.
Nobody is sure where the name Nha Trang comes from. Residents claim that, long ago, the entire house
in the village were made of earth walls and thatched roofs. One house stood out: the residence of the
French doctor Alexander Yersin (a protégé of Louis Pasteur) was built with whitewashed bricks. One day
a foreign ship captain sailing from Cu Huan Port pointed to the doctor’s house and asked what it was. He
was told “nha trang”, which means “white house”. The captain recorded the name in his logbook,
omitting the Vietnamese tones. Thereafter the place was known as Nha Trang.
I start my sightseeing with a visit to Dam Market, Nha Trang’s central market. It is bustling. With all of
the fresh seafood on offer it’s easy to see why the food is so good here. My next stop is the Oceanography
Institute, founded at Cau Da in 1922. This research station house displays relating to the area’s rich
marine life. I learn that there’s a good reason for the diversity of marine life found in this area. The waters
off Nha Trang drop off sharply. Seventy kilometers offshore, the seabed is 200 meters deep. At 100km off
shore, the seabed drops to 2,000 meters deep. Different species of flora and fauna inhabit different depths.
Having learned about what lies beneath Nha Trang’s bay I turn my thoughts to what lies in the town’s
past. Two kilometers from Dam market stand the Ba Towers, a group of brick temple towers built by the
Cham people. Raised between the 7th and 12th centuries, these crumbling towers are a legacy of the
Indianized Cham Kingdom. The four temples that remain here were devoted to Siva, the elephant god
Ganesh, the son of Siva and the goddess Uma.
Once my eyes have adjusted to the dim light inside Panagar Tower I find myself in the larges space with a
stone altar. A ten-armed statue of Panagar sits with her legs crossed, wearing a lotus-shaped hat. The
goddess is credited with having taught people how to grow rice.
As well as being a fine example of Cham architecture, this tower complex offers excellent views.
Standing with the towers at my back I can see the Bong River flowing past the base of the hill, and
offshore islands made of piles of boulders. Further off I can make out the vague outline of Hong Chong
Peninsula, which features two clumps of large boulders.
Fifty kilometers from Nha Trang on National Highway 1 turn right and drive for another 15km and you’ll
find yourself on a sloping white sandbank known as Doc Let. To reach the ocean over this sandbank is
difficult. You have to crawl on the sand. The beach itself is beautiful, with clear blue water that is usually
calm even on windy days. There’s a small resort operated by the Ninh Hoa District, and guest can swim
of lounge under the coconut palms.
Many visitors fall in love with Nha Trang. Some will want to stay here. Born in France in 1863 Alexander
Yersin established Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute in 1899. At the age of 80 de passed away and was buried
near Dau Stream, just 500 meters off Highway 1. People still come here to offer incense to the good
doctor, whose last will contained the request that he be buried in Nha Trang. Next to Yersin’s grave
stands a small altar, its roof decorated with two dragons and a ball, the symbol or eternal sunshine. It
seems like a fine symbol for this beautiful, sun drenched city.
This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel
For original article, please visit:
Vacations to Vietnam
Vietnam Package Tour
Vietnam Beach Holidays
Hotels in Nha Trang