Nha Trang: beaches are just one of its attractions

 Nha Trang is well-known as a beach destination, with its pagodas, temple towers, and marine world display also boasting charm.

Hon Chong in Nha Trang is a complex of rocks stacked together and the surrounding scenery is a tourist attraction on its own. It stands 3 km northeast of the central town's center.

The Yen Hon Noi Island is famous for its wild and tropical beauty with a sandy promenade that is a rare, gorgeous sight, especially from atop Du Ha Mountain, which takes 200 steps to climb.

The Tri Nguyen Island bustles with the activity of a thriving fishing village. The island hosts the Tri Nguyen Aquarium that is designed like a giant ship with four large tanks forming its basement.

This hosts hundreds of marine species. On the second and third floor are restaurants and souvenir shops. Visitors can also enjoy a tour to observe the daily life of a busy fishing village at close quarters.

The emerald moss carpet on Nha Trang Beach, about 50 meters from Tran Phu Bridge, is another major attraction. The best time to visit this place is between 6-9 a.m. when the tide is low.

The beautiful sight draws thousands of locals and tourists during weekends. It is a photographer’s delight and the cameras are always out.

The mystery and charm of the Ponagar Tower sparkle with more magic at night. This Cham temple tower is located on top of a hill about 10 m above sea level, at the estuary othe Cai River in Vinh Phuoc Ward.

This is one of the largest Cham cultural heritage vestiges in the country and has several architectural features to wonder at and admire

The Nha Trang Cathedral, located on Bong Mountain, is 12 meters high and is a lovely example of French architecture. It was built by Fr. Louis Vallet, with work starting in 1928 and being completed in 1933. His grave is placed at the foot of the Bong Mountain.

To create space on the top of the mountain to build the church, about 500 mines were reportedly used. The church is built with gritstone and concrete bricks. Its architecture is similar to its peers in Sa Pa and some other places in Vietnam.

The Long Son Pagoda was built in 1886 on a 3,000-square-meter plot at the foot of Trai Thuy Hill. It has a 1,500 square meter main hall.

On the Trai Thuy Hill, a giant 24 m high white statue of the Buddhabuilt in 1963, exudes peace. The Vietnam Book of Records has recognized this as the largest outdoor Buddha statue in the country.

The Institute of Oceanography is nearly 100 years old and located next to Cau Da Port, about 6 km from the town center.

This is a leading marine research facility in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Visitors can discover the sheer diversity of the ocean world as the institute has about 24,000 samples of marine life with more than 5,000 species, including many that are very beautiful, exotic and rare.

The April 2 Square in front of Tran Phu Beach hosts major cultural events, and has become a gathering place for entertainment and sporting activities. Feel the pulse of local life by hanging out here and watching the fun unfold.

Nha Trang is the capital of Khanh Hoa Province which is an economic and tourism hub of Vietnam's south-central region.

The provincial tourism industry has set a revenue target of VND17.5 trillion ($758 million) for this year, welcoming over five million visitors, predominantly domestic, given the Covid-19 situation.

Photos by Khoa Tran

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