Things you need to know before travelling to Nha Trang

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         Nha Trang is a coastal city on the South Central Coast of Vietnam and the capital of Khanh Hoa Province. The city is home to the famous Po Nagar Tower built by the Champa. Nha Trang is a centre for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institutue. The Hon Mun area was one of the first four marine protected areas in the world endorsed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Bài viết tại: Khách sạn sân bay Nội Bài VATC

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Topography and Geography

         Nha Trang city has a population of nearly 600,000, which is projected to rise considerably further. The town is located on the beautiful Nha Trang Bay and surrounded by mountains. The islands in the bay shield the city from the worst of any potentially damaging storms. It is bounded on the north by Ninh Hoa district, on the south by Cam Ranh town and on the west by Dien Khanh.

        The city has a plenty of rivers and canals. The two main river systems are the Cai River and Quan Truong River. The downstream segment of Cai River flows through Nha Trang having a length of 10 km. The river is the main source providing water for manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, service, and daily activities. The Cai River flows out to sea at Cua Lon. The Quan Truong River has a short length of just 15 km. The river flows through three districts Phuoc Long, Phuoc Hai, Vinh Truong and then flows out to sea at Cua Be.

Climate

        Nha Trang has a tropical savanna climate with a dry season from January to August and a short wet season from September to December, when 1,029 millimetres (41 in) of the city's total annual rainfall of 1,361 millimetres (54 in) is received from the northeast monsoon. Nha Trang benefits from a favourable climate for the most of the year with only the period from mid-October to mid-December presenting weather conditions that might be considered restricting to tourist activities. During this short period heavy rainfall from typhoons is not uncommon.

Tourism/Attractions

      Nha Trang is well known for its marvellous beaches, lush mountains and it is also a favourite location for scuba diving. The city has developed into a highly popular destination for domestic and international tourists, attracting backpackers, as well as more affluent travellers. Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as being one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

      Nha Trang benefits from a 6km stretch of picturesque coastline which together with the surrounding countryside is great to explore on foot, bicycle or motorbike. Catering to a wide range of budget levels and preference, activities include island hopping by boat, visiting historical sites, scuba diving, swimming, taking a spa, or simply relaxing and taking in the gorgeous sunset views.

      Nha Trang also offers many shopping, dining and nightlife opportunities.

Attractions in Nha Trang include:

     The Po Nagar Cham Towers dedicated to Hindu deities date back to between 8th and 11th centuries. The four remaining towers sit on the summit of Mount Cu Lau, with views overlooking the surrounding landscape and the Cai River. The four towers, built in honour of Po Nagar, Cri Cambhu, Sanhaka, and Ganeca, are still in use for worship by the Cham people.

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         Long Son Pagoda, built in the 19th century, features glass and ceramic designs of mosaic dragons, while the main sanctuary is decorated with modern interpretations of traditional motifs. A huge white Buddha statue sits on top of the mount. Stone steps lead to the summit, at the half way point there is a large sleeping Buddha and an entrance to a hall of the Long Son Pagoda.

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         Nha Trang Cathedral, is widely acknowledged as the largest church in the city. It was constructed in the 19th Century in a Gothic style. The Cathedral features some beautiful stained glass windows and a clock tower. The cathedral bells are still in working order. There are thousands of tombstones mounted at the sides of the Cathedral, which were placed there after the neighbouring cemetery was emptied in the 1980s to extend the city train station. Nha Trang Cathedral serves the local Catholic community with daily Masses
         Vinpearl Amusement Park offers fun-filled activities for visitors of all ages, with water slides, a massive aquarium, wave pool, amphitheatre, shopping mall, and a variety of other rides. Situated on Hon Tre Island, the theme park is connected to the mainland via a long cable car, which offers great views of the bay, alternatively ferry boats are available.

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       The National Oceanographic Museum provides examples of local marine life, with over 20,000 examples of living and preserved marine specimens. The Museum initiates research and biological projects, such as captive breeding programmes, preservation and regeneration of local coral reefs. The ground floor houses aquariums of various sizes filled with a variety of marine life, while the upper floor features thousands of preserved specimens, including an 18-metre-long whale skeleton.
       Ba Ho Waterfalls comprises of three natural waterfalls that cascade into a clear lake surrounded by a dense rainforest, offering a some respite for swimming, picnics, and fishing. The waterfalls retain their natural beauty. They are a 40-minute scenic coastal drive from Nha Trang City.

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        The Alexandre Yersin Museum commemorates the French bacteriologist who discovered an important plague based bacterium, as well as undertaking agricultural research and meteorological forecasting. The exhibits some of his personal belongings and laboratory equipment, as well as original letters and photographs from his travels around Vietnam.
        Suoi Do Pagoda is a 50-year-old temple set on top of a mountain that was built in honour of Quan Am, the Goddess of Mercy. Some 200 steps lead to the Pagoda where there are panoramic views of paddy fields, banana plantations, and neighbouring hills. The pagoda is a roughly a 30-minute drive from Nha Trang.

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         The Hon Khoi Salt Fields are one of the more unusual tourist destinations in Nha Trang. where female workers harvest the natural salt from shallow fields between the months of January and June. Due to the extensive coastline, salt production is a thriving industry in Nha Trang. Hòn Khói Salt Fields are a popular spot for photography, where visitors can capture great views of the salt mountains and locals carrying traditional salt baskets across the fields. The Fields are approximately an hour’s drive from Nha Trang city centre.

Cuisine

        Being a coastal resort as expected the most popular cuisine in Nha Trang is seafood. The seafood comes in many forms and combinations so there is a large variety to savour and sample.

        As a developed tourist destination this means that the range of cuisine varies from upmarket five-star hotel dining to the usual local street food options. Overall Nha Trang has many restaurants with good food, professional service and reasonable prices. The culinary expertise is in itself becoming one of the major attractions of the city. Travellers especially appreciate the traditional dishes such as rice spaghetti (Bánh canh), fish noodles (bún cá), baked spring rolls (nem nướng), seafood pancakes (bánh xèo hải sản), noodles, and the fresh warm bread. 

A dish well worth sampling is:

       Rice vermicelli with grilled fish and jellyfish (Bun cha ca): has become one of the “don’t miss” dishes for a traveller visiting Nha Trang. The city’s popular and tasty dish can have several variations but all remain famous for the mix of flavours and taste.  Grilled fish is the main ingredient of this dish.  When enjoying this delicacy, diners will experience the aromatic and sweet taste of the broth which is made from simmered fish bones, pumpkin, cabbage, pineapple, tomato and dried bamboo shoots. This speciality food can be served with raw vegetables, thinly-sliced lemons and chillies, and a spoonful of (optional) “mam tom” (shrimp paste). A bowl of Nha Trang “bun cha ca” containes jellyfish and steamed or grilled fish added to the broth and vermicelli.

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Transportation

        Air: Cam Ranh Airport (CXR), is located 30km from the city and serves domestic destinations as well as limited international flights. Taxi’s are available at the airport to city centre locations at a fixed rate, though many of the hotels have their own buses.

        A cheaper option is to take the airport bus to the old Nha Trang Airport which is now closed but close to the centre of Nha Trang. The tickets for this mini bus are sold at the desk just outside the baggage claim.

       Train: Nha Trang is a stop on the main railway-line connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The journey to Nha Trang from Ho Chi Minh City takes between 6-8 hours on the SE trains (but are often delayed), The train station is about 1 km away from the city centre, so you can easily walk.

      Bus: Lien Tinh is Nha Trang’s main intercity bus terminal, 500m west of the train station. Most tour buses arrive from Ho Chi Minh City to the south (10-12 hours) or Hoi An to the north (16 hours). The public bus station is at 58, 23 Thang 10, about a 10 minute walk west of the centre.

      Car: Private car rental with a driver is possible. The cars are usually modern air-con cars and can be rented per day. Car rental prices vary and usually increase during holiday seasons especially around Tet (Vietnamese’s New Year).

Accommodation

      Nha Trang is a favourite tourist destination and the level of accommodation reflects this long tradition. From lavish beachfront hotels to cheerful budget backpacker hostels, all is available.

      Internet: Free WiFi is available across Nha Trang via hotels and cafes and restaurants. Passwords for connections are readily provided by staff.

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