Nha Trang

Tag: Destinations, Vietnam   Type: | |
August 28, 2011   1 Comment

After visiting Mui Ne we were told not to bother with the next beach resort up the coast of Vietnam – Nha Trang, just a built-up party place and not worth it. But we’ve learned on the road that while other travellers’ recommendations are useful – they can be wrong. It’s best to see for yourself.

 Nha Trang

A scary-looking monster from the deep

We arrived after a long bus trip, tired and hungry. Yet another taxi driver made up a stupid price for a 2 minute drive and told us his taxi metre was broken. We got to a hotel for a fifth of the original quoted price, as measured by his meter – it miraculously worked as soon as we started to walk away. Joker.

Activities in Nha Trang

There’s plenty to do and see in Nha Trang other than lazing around on the miles of white sandy beach. We ended up not doing half of what’s on offer and still had a good visit, so were happy we’d made our own decision to visit the town.

Cham Towers

After Angkor Wat in Cambodia we felt pretty templed-out, but the Cham Towers, founded before 781 AD, are definitely worth a quick visit. The Cham were an aggressive people who lived in this middle part of Vietnam – they fought with everyone around them and took too much on – the Kingdom of Champa was wiped out by the Vietnamese coming from the north and the Khymer from the West. Nha Thrang was one of their last strongholds. The stubby but solid towers they left behind are equally impressive to some of the Khmers’, although over the years they have been re-built many times, and therefore seem to lack some of the ancient charm of the Cambodian temples.

 Nha Trang

Columns marking the elevated entrance to the main temple of the Cham Towers

 Nha Trang

One of the main Cham Towers - if you look closely you can see the newer-looking brickwork

Thap Ba Hot Springs & Mud Bath

We whiled away a lazy afternoon at the Thap Ba Hot Springs & Mud Bath, starting off with a huge bath filled with gloopey, thick mud enriched with lots of nutrients and minerals – supposedly very good for the skin. The best thing was having a complete feeling of weightlessness in the mud – making it hard to keep seated as we kept floating to the surface.

After the blast of a needle shower – much needed as the mud gets everywhere! – we had a hot ‘mineral’ bath, which was like a Jacuzzi filled with mineral-rich water, making our skin very supple and soft. We then had a quick dip in the outdoor mineral pool before leaving. All good. The complex is very well laid out with good facilities and the packages offered are reasonable, so we’d definitely recommend a visit.

National Oceanographic Museum

Another attraction in Nha Trang is the National Oceanographic Museum, which houses a massive variety of living and dead sea creatures. Most of the living ones, however, are in glass containers or pools that seem to be far too small to house them (see pic below) – especially sad was an enormous giant turtle living with around 10 other smaller turtles in a very shallow, cramped pool. I’d much rather save a glimpse of these majestic creatures for a snorkel or dive, when they are in their natural habitat. There is a huge hall jam-packed from floor to rafters with specimens in jars. Slightly creepy.

 Nha Trang

A living specimen at the National Oceanographic Museum

Nha Trang Beach

The beach is lovely to chill out on, with only a few hawkers hassling you. There are also plenty of water sports – jet-skis and parachutes dragged along by speedboats whizzing by every so often – as well as plenty of seafood restaurants and bars. There are huge mega-hotels and resorts with loads more under construction. Some parts of the beach have rubbish floating about but overall it’s a nice place to chill for a bit.

 Nha Trang

The miles of sandy beach...but with lots of construction happening just a few hundred metres away

Summary of Nha Trang

Overall, the chilled out Mui Ne scored highly with us, but we found not listening to other peoples’ recommendations and checking somewhere out for ourselves proved a good decision. Listen to other’s advice but go your own way.



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One Response to “Nha Trang”

Margie
September 3rd, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

Wonderful photos and a very interesting account of the place. Lots of love Margie xx

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