(No.9, Vol.6,Nov-Dec 2016 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)
Nha Trang Bay. Photo: Vu Ngoc Hoang
A harmonious merge between natural landscapes and good climate, Khanh Hoa Province, Central Vietnam, has become an ideal destination for local and international tourists. In 2015, the province welcomed 4.1 million tourists. And when someone talks about the province, he or she will think of the coastal Nha Trang City, famous for white sandy beaches and surrounded with a number of island, splendid coral reefs, ancient relics, delicious fresh seafood and extreme sports.
Whatever your vacation needs, Nha Trang has got you covered
One of the most beautiful beaches in the world
The city is located on Nha Trang Bay, one the most beautiful bays in the world, which became the 29th member of the â€˜Club of the Most Beautiful in the Worldâ€™ in 2003 and was recognized as a national scenery relic by Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture in 2005. Nha Trang Bay has a total of 507km² including 19 small and large islands.
It is great to swim in the clear blue sea, lie lazily on the beach, letting sunlight lick your skin and enjoy breathtaking scenery.
Discover culture and history
It is very interesting to find out the history of this land. Many found relics prove that iron civilization existed in Khanh Hoa Province nearly 4,000 years ago. In the old times, Khanh Hoa Province belonged to the Champa Kingdom. It is the reason why many Cham relics are scattered throughout the country. In Nha Trang, you will be admired by the beauty of Cham architecture at the Po Nagar built in 813-817. The shrine is located on the top of the small hill with a height of 12m and overlooking the serene bay. If you are lucky, you will have a chance to watch the Cham dance performance with the fascinating sound of ghinang and paranung drums. The Po Nagar Festival, from 21 to 23 of the third lunar month every year, is named in the list of national intangible cultural heritages.
Long Son Pagoda, built more than 100 years ago, is the most popular in Khanh Hoa Province. The pagoda is located below the Trai Thuy Hill, Nha Trang. The top is the 24m-statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The statue was built in 1963 and was listed in Vietnam Guinness as the biggest outdoor statue in Vietnam at that time. After conquering the hill with its 153 steps, you should take a rest at some cafÃ©s to quench your thirst with coconut or a black coffee in the Nha Trang style to get more energy for your next stop.
Book a tour to visit the islands and you will not be disappointed. You will a have good time on a boat with unfamiliar friends from around the world and a fun guide who can speak many languages. The boat brings you to islands with picturesque landscapes such as Mun Island, Tre Island, Mieu Island and Tam Island. The boat will be anchored at some nice places on the sea where you can swim, dive and watch fish and corals, and play sports on the water.
To know more information about salanganes nets in Vietnam, make a journey to kingdom of salanganes on Noi Island. The business of producing salanganes nets originated in Khanh Hoa Province and has existed for a long time. After a two-hour cruise, you will see a majority of seagulls and swifts swinging their wings in the sky and steep cliffs. Tourists will learn about the history of the trade and how to collect the salanganes nests like the local people.
Po Nagar Cham Towers. Photo: Van Thanh Chau
Diving to collect pearl oysters. Photo: Internet
In Nha Trang, there are a variety of tours bringing an interesting experience for tourists, including a coral-watching tour, fish shooting tour, sailing with a glass-bottom boat at night, diving to catch pearl oysters and sea-walking tour. If you are one of those who loves extreme sports, you can challenge yourself on jet ski, parasailing, paragliding, water skiing and fly board.
Mud bath and hot springs
Nha Trang has not only the advantages of breath-taking sea, islands and a good climate, but also has a valuable resource â€“ mineral mud and hot springs, which are believed to be an effective cure in treatment of diseases involving bone, joint and skin.
To prepare for a night hanging out with friends, you should take a mud bath and soak your body in warm mineral water or the Jacuzzi. These will refresh your muscles and give you smooth skin. Mud bath and hot spring services are available at 100 Egg Mud Bath, Thap Ba Hot Springs, I-Resort Hot Mineral Springs and Galina Mud & Spa
Music, bars and cocktails
The coastal Nha Trang City bustles all day and night. Tran Phu Street is always crowded with tourists. Bars, hotels and restaurants mushroom in the street and always are filled. It is a good idea to spend a night with friends in a warm atmosphere of a bar on the beach. Music, candle-lights, cocktails and bare feet on the soft sand inspire you to move your body with the melody. It will be an unforgettable memory to share with friends when all of you are old.
Nha Trang has many interesting things waiting you to discover. Pack your luggage and coming here by coach, train or flight to enjoy your trip this weekend. Why read books to learn about history and culture while you can to go there to find out for yourself?
Seagulls on Noi Island
Photo: Huynh Van Nam