INTRODUCTION TO NHATRANG , SMILE VIETNAM
How to get here: Nha Trang is 445km from Ho Chi Minh City,
1299km from Hanoi.
Air - Vietnam Airlines offers daily connections with Ho Chi
Minh City and Hanoi, and four connections a week with Danang.
Train - Regular connections between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
all stop in Nha Trang, daily train between Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang.
Bus - There are connections with Dalat, Danang, Ho Chi Minh
Nestled below the bottom lip of the Cai River, some 260km north of Phan Thiet,
NHA TRANG has earned its place on Vietnam's tourist mainline partly on
merit and partly owing to its location. By the time the Nguyen lords wrested
this patch of the country from Champa in the mid-seventeenth century, the
intriguing Po Nagar Cham towers had already stood, stacked impressively
on a hillside above the Cai, for over seven hundred years. They remain Nha
Trang's most famous image, yet it's the coastline that brings tourists flocking:
the town boasts the finest municipal beach in Vietnam, scuba-diving courses are
available here, and there are plenty of day-trips to outlying islands too. It's
worth bearing in mind, however, that the Nha Trang region has a rainy season
lasting from November through to early January.
Most new arrivals in the city make a beeline for the municipal beach,
a grand six-kilometre scythe of soft yellow sand that's only five minutes'
stroll east of Cho Dam market. The Pasteur Institute at the top of Tran Phu, the
main drag running parallel to the beach, houses the Alexandre Yersin Museum
(Mon–Sat 8–11am & 2–4.30pm; $1.80), which profiles the life of the Swiss-French
scientist who settled in Nha Trang in 1893 and became a local hero, thanks not
to his greatest achievement – the discovery of a plague bacillus – but rather
because of his educational work in sanitation and agriculture, and his ability
to predict typhoons and thus save the lives of fishermen. Yersin's desk is here,
with his own French translations of Horace still slotted under its glass top;
so, too, are the barometers and telescope he used to forecast the weather, and
his phenomenal library. The huge White Buddha seated on a hillside above
Long Son Pagoda in the northwest of town is Nha Trang's major landmark. It was
crafted in 1963 to symbolize the Buddhist struggle against the repressive Diem
regime, and around its lotus-shaped pedestal are carved images of the monks and
nuns that set fire to themselves in protest.
Nha Trang City Beach
Upon arriving to Nha Trang, most tourists will
pass through downtown. Beyond the rows of businesses and homes will be Nha Trang
beach. Tran Phu Boulevard is Nha Trang most famous thoroughfare. It runs the
length of the beach with several major hotels located within a few steps from
the beach. Unlike most major city in Vietnam where the primary mode of
transportation is the motorbike, many people of Nha Trang still walk or use the
bicycle as their means of getting around. This adds to the tranquillity of the
town. There is very little pollution or noise from motor vehicles.
Chong has two meanings in the Vietnamese
language. The first is to stack. The second is husband. Hon Chong is located on
a stretch of rocky mass of land famous for the thousands of smooth rocks
stacking on one another. There are two clusters of such rocks in the area called
Hon Chong. The first is further out in the ocean and the second is located near
an islet called Sat Thon. The cluster in the ocean is most impressive since
there are large boulders stacking on one another seemingly out-of-balance, yet
There is a boulder as large as a small hill
supporting another boulder as large as a small house at its peak. On the side
facing the shore, there is an imprint of a large hand with five fingers clearly
outlined. The locals call this rock Hon Chong or the Husband.The
cluster with the name Hon Vo or the Wife is not far away. The rocks in Hon Vo
cluster are as large as those in Hon Chong, but the they are closer together. A
somewhat romantic person explained that this name came about because the rocks
here snuggle against one another
Thap Ba (Po Nagar Cham Towers)
The Po Nagar towers once stood at the entrance of
Cai river, where the river meets the ocean. The towers stood in isolation on a
rock foundation, but over many years the towers and the land it stands on became
part of the land mass as the river changed its flows. Today,
the tower is north of the river and the rock formation it stood on became known
as nui Cu Lao or Mount Cu Lao. The town of Vinh Phuoc at the base of the
mountain was once a fishing village, known as Xom Chai and Xom Bong.
Po Nagar towers complex was built between the 7th
and 12th century. The most beautiful towers were built in the year 813 and 817.
Most were destroyed and only four towers are still standing. Each tower is a
shrine to a different deity.
Vietnam's first active Oceanographic Institute
was built in 1922 at Cau Da (Rock Bridge). The ocean in Nha Trang is quite deep.
Here the water is approximately 200 m deep. Beyond 100 km, the depth drops to
2000 m. The Oceanographic Institute was built to study the diverse marine life
in this area.The Institute still has samples of sea
creatures of this area. Although the institute does not have the modern
equipments and facilities to be considered in the same caliber as most western
aquariums, it still maintains a fair sample in smaller aquariums. In all, 23
good size aquariums are on display. The institute also has a vast collection of
dead samples on display.
Hon Yen is most famous for Yen Sao which is the name of the nest of Salangane
or swifts. The locals harvest the bird nests (considered a delicacy) used in
soups. These nests are processed and exported to Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The birds build their nest high on the walls of the cave on the islands. To
access the nests, harvesters must climb on ladders fashioned from bamboo.
Because the caves must remain dark lest the birds are scared off, many climbers
fall to their death every year trying to harvest the nests.
The bird nest comes in two types, white and red nests. The nest are fashioned by
the Salangane that make their homes in caves. The nest are made out of the birds
saliva. Usually, a typical bird creates one nest a year during springtime using
both parents saliva. Because there is such a demand for their nest (thought to
have medicinal qualities), the locals began to remove the nest several times a
year causing the birds to have to continue producing the nests.
The red variety of nests are a result of the birds having to create so much
saliva for the new nests that they cough up blood along with their saliva
causing the nest to take on the red color of their blood. This variety of nest
costs their weight in gold or more in the retail market of Hong Kong or Taiwan.
How To Get to Nha Trang
from others City
||Camranh airport is 40km far from Nhatrang city to
the South. Daily flights to Hanoi, Hochiminh city, Danang.
||The station is on Thai Nguyen St. Booking Office: 17
Thai Nguyen St. - Tel: 822113
||Long-distance Bus Station: 23 Thang Muoi Rd.