At 8:30am in the morning, the minibus came to pick us up to Sinh Cafe Office to the boat terminal. We had around 15-20 people from different countries in a boat heading to our first island, Mun Island. In the island, we had an option as weather we want pay extra to enter the Marine wildlife. We did not do that. We took pictures, and enjoyed the island scenery. After we left Mun island, the boat was cruising around many islands, and stopped nearby Mot Island to have lunch on the boat. Lunch included meat, fish, vegetable, and fruits. They were in small portion on each dish. It was a simple lunch. After lunch, the D.J started to entertained us with local jokes, and invited each guests to sing for the crowd. I was invited to sing too, but I was shy and not able to sing well. They danced and played on the boat, later people jumped into the water and had drink wine and ate fruits in the ocean with floating bar. I did not prepare to swim as I did not expect this in Vietnam. After the party, the boat was sailing to a resort island named Tam Island. People could swim, jet ski, sun bath in this island. It was such a beautiful island with blue sky. The boat sailed back to Nha Trang Island and ended our island trip for the day.
It was such a bargain island trip. Everyone should try it ... very fun...
Long Son Pagoda was first erected on Mount Trai Thuy in 1886. In 1900, there was a large cyclone and the Pagoda was destroyed so was rebuilt at the foot of Mount Trai.
The main attraction here, is the 24 metre high Big White Buddha sitting atop of the hill. I don't know how many steps I climbed, but I can tell you, it was quite a few to reach the Buddha. From the top, there are views overlooking Nha Trang. I went inside and found it to be beautiful! Outside, around the edge of the Buddha, is portraits of monks, who died protesting against the US supported Diem regime.
Open 8 - 5pm
In the area around Nha Trang there are several floating villages.
These places have mainly been populated by the poorest people over the years who could not afford a real house on land and they mostly make a living out of fishing and fish farming.
These days they also have an extra income from tourism in places like Nha Trang as many tourists like to pop by and see this unique way of life, so they can make a bit of money now by taking people around the village in their small boats.
It is really photogenic there and well worth seeing.
The easiest way to see it is by taking one of the organised boat tours out of Nha Trang and then making sure that the boats passes by the floating villages.
In Nha Trang you have a cable car going over the ocean to an island called Hon Tre, where you have a big luxurious resort called Vinpearl.
That place has an amusement park connected to it and if you take the cable car then the entry to the amusement park is included.
The going fee at the moment is around 20 dollars for the ride and the entry.
Thap Ba Hot Springs provided us a relaxing and healthy aftenoon for us... For 300'000 dongs (less than 20 dollars) we could have a private mud bath, private soaking tub in hot mineral watr, as well as free use of the hot swimming-pool, the hot waterfall and more. All very hot... which was both a pleasure and a torture: outside air temperature: 38 degrees C, hot water swimming-pool: 38 degrees C.
Thhe hot springs are located in a beautiful garden with flowers and an artificial lake... theo nly drawback are the chaging-rooms; basically pieces of plastic on concrete... not levelled... and quite small.. Changing into a swimsuit is not that comfortable, so wear yours before going there.
I only managed to make 3 dives because of our tight schedule and they turned out to be great! I enjoyed the muck dives very much. I got to see sea horse, pipefish, flounder, scorpionfish, lionfish, eels, grouper, shrimps, sweetlips, butterflyfish, clownfish (nemos) and many others. Do check out my travelogues for more underwater photographs.
The underwater visibility averages 15m but can be as much as 30m, depending on the season (late October to early January) is the worst time of year). There are around 25 dive sites in the area, both shallow and deep. There are no wrecks to dive on but some sites have good drop-offs and there are a few small underwater variety of soft and hard corals and a reasonable number of small reef fish.
There are many dive shops or centres in Nha Trang. Do check out my Sports Travel tips.
If you have not been to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, this is a little similar but it cannot be compared with Angkor Wat because it is one of the world seven wonders.
The Cham towers of Po Nagar has a continuing religious significance, locals come to pray and make offerings, according to their respective traditions, so do remember to remove your shoes before entering.
The admission fee is 4500d and the opening hours are from 6am to 6pm.
There are coconut palms providing shelter for both bathers and strollers along most of Nha Trang's 6km of beachfront.
Beach chairs are available for rent - you can just sit and enjoy the drinks and light food that the beach vendors have on offer.
The only time you need to move is to use the toilet or when the tide comes up.
New travel agency in Nha Trang, offering great range of boat trips, city tours, transport tickets (bus and train and plane). Just pop along and speak to the very friendly staff (ask for Vy, she speaks good English!)
The old french cathedral is located quite central on s amll hill in Nha Trang.
It was build in 1928 in granite and is called the stone church among the locals.
It´s open to the public and tourists do not need to pay any entrance fee.
The Long Son pagoda is a little over a hundred years old, but mostly known for the huge white Buddha statue that resides above the pagoda.
That was build in honor of the buddihst monk Quang Duc who burned himself to death on a busy street in Saigon in 1963 as a protest over the way the south vietnamese goverment treated the buddihst monks.
On his way from Hue to Saigon he stopped for the night at this pagoda and because of that they honor him there today with this huge statue.
There is also a small statue of him by the entrance of the pagoda.
If you want to walk up to the Buddha statue then you have 150 steps to climb and on the way up you should make a stop at the statue of the reclining Buddha which is a rather new statue which is about a third of the way up the hill.
Po Nagar is a very impressive cham temple from the 8th century that is located on a hill in Nha Trang.
Unlike many other Cham temples this is not a musem, but still an active temple as there are many cham people in the area still.
In front of the towers you have many pillars that used to be part of the meditation room where people prepared themselves for prayer.
Po Nagar, who was the female partner of Shiva is still the patron saint of Nha Trang and the temple is visit not just by tourists but also by many locals.
Mama Hahns boat trips are world famous.
Mostly because they used to include free marihuana.
The police have stopped that now, but it's still a very nice boat trip along a very scenic coastline and very beautiful islands.
The trip includes free food and snorkelling aswell.
Vietnamse redwine is free too, but tastes absolutly awful.
You might wanna invest in some cheap vietnamese beer that tastes great.
The price for the trip is around 8 US dollars for the day, including food and wine.
Skating in southeast asia can be tough but at Anchor Skate shop in Nha Trang Vietnam , they make it easy. For one they give free tour guides and help keep you safe. They are true skater and surfers. The surfing and skating is top notch in Nha Trang. Far easier than in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, where traffic and the distance of spots are unbearable. Plus these guys show you a good time on and off the board!
The third day in Nha Trang, we decided to rent a taxi for all day. It took from us 800,000 vnd for 4 seats cab. There are some taxi vendors in Nha Trang but on my opinion Mai Linh taxi is the best; their staff’s English skill is quite good, easy going and honest.
The day trip started with Ponagar temper.
The Po Nagar Cham temper is one of the many relics of the Champa Kingdom, which was the most significant power in South Vietnam from 200 - 1720 AD. Despite being a major trading civilization, it never weilded a great deal of power, and so never really competed with the Khmers in the south or Viets in the North.
The Cham civilization had spread from Ancient India, and it is interesting to see some similarities between the design of Cham monuments and some others within India.
In Nha Trang the Cham Ponagar temple complex (locally refered to as Thap Ba) is situated on a hill just outside the city, and is reached by crossing the Cai River from the main tourist stretch.
At the complex there are four tempers remaining from an original eight, each
of which shows differences in style, indicated they were built over an extended period between the seventh and 12th centuries AD. The largest, which stands at 23m high, was built in 817 AD and contains a lingham and a statue dedicated to Ponagar, or Lady Thien Y-ana, the beautiful wife of Prince Bac Hai.
It is said that Lady Thien Y-ana taught new agricultural and weaving techniques to people of the area, and in gratitude they built the temper to honour her.
Entrance to the tempers costs 50,000 vnd and opening hours are from 6 AM - 6 PM. Late afternoon is a good time to visit