Traces of human settlement in Nha Trang date back to the Cham Empire, though in times of Vietnamese rule, there wasn’t much more than small fishing villages. The French recognized that this beautiful bay, with its islands and white sand beaches, made for a perfect bathing spot, and began the transformation into a resort town. American soldiers agreed, and Nha Trang became a favorite vacation stop during the war. In these days, it is becoming a popular destination for both local and international tourists looking for a spot of relaxation or a splash of adventure.
Nha Trang, the monsoon season is from October to mid December. Sea winds can be heavy, and sometimes the weather can get pretty chilly. Summer, naturally, brings many vacation goers into town and hotel rooms get somewhat more difficult to find.
While Nha Trang is a centre for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute, it is now more known for its fun in the sun mentality. If you prefer your marine life served on a plate, it is also the best place in Vietnam to order up a couple of lobsters.
Po Nagar Cham Towers – A defining attraction of Nha Trang, these Cham ruins are the best-kept in Vietnam. Set on a hill with views overlooking the river crowded with fishing trawlers, the whole complex is quite impressive.
Long Son Pagoda – A popular tourist destination and buzzes with activity. The entrance and roofs are decorated with mosaic dragons constructed of glass and bits of ceramic tile. At the top of the hill, behind the pagoda, is a huge white Buddha seated on a lotus blossom and visible from all over the city.
Alexandre Yersin Museum – Dr. Alexandre Yersin created Nha Trang’s Pasteur Institute in 1895 to manufacture a vaccine for the bubonic plague and was well-known in the area for his work in sanitation and agriculture and his ability to predict typhoons. Yersin’s library and office are now an interesting museum.
Hon Tre (Bamboo Island) – Home to Vinpearl Land, is impossible to miss with its imposing Hollywood-like sign on the island facing the city. It is a massive entertainment, accommodation and tourism complex.