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Nha Trang 芽莊

Nha Trang is one of Vietnam's most pleasant beach resorts. Just a 45-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh city, Nha Trang is renowned for its pristine palm tree-lined beachfront. The gentle waters of Nha Trang Bay make for enjoyable swimming, and numerous islands nearby are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Nha Trang has numerous other sights, not least an attractive city centre of French-colonial buildings and small shops. One of the most lasting images of Nha Trang is brilliant oranges, reds, and purples of bougainvillea flowers that seem to cover everything in this charming city.

Given its proximity to the sea, it is not surprising that Nha Trang's restaurants serve outstanding seafood. A number of restaurants along the seafront provide a pleasant outdoor setting for eating freshly caught fish, shrimp and squid.

Nha Trang is Vietnam's most famous beach town. The palm-lined beaches, gentle, warm waters, and numerous nearby islands make Nha Trang the quintessential beach destination. The clear blue waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Nha Trang is home to arguably the finest beach resorts in Vietnam, The Ana Manadara Hotel and her sister resort the Evason Hideaway. Both offer stunning stretches of sandy beach, unrivalled facilities and the highest standards in customer care.

Adventurers with some time to spare in Nha Trang may choose to explore a truly remote and exciting destination - Whale Island. With rustic, beachside accommodations of simple thatched-roof huts and crystal clear waters, Whale Island is the closest thing to being deserted on a tropical island. Whale Island is an ideal setting for a range of water sports including windsurfing, snorkelling, sailing and some of the best scuba diving in Vietnam. Mountain bikes are available for rides along the island's 16km coastline.

Getting to the island is an adventure in itself. First is an hour-long drive through ruggedly beautiful coastline north of Nha Trang, followed by an hour and a half boat cruise on the South China Sea to the island.
Whale Island Resort is cloased from October 15 to December 15 for annual maintenance.

Places of Interest

Po Nagar Temple
The Po Nagar Temple complex is a well-preserved example of Cham architecture from the 7th to 12th centuries. The largest tower is 23-metres high and was built in 817 AD. Originally consisting of eight towers, four still remain. The towers are surrounded flowers and trees and sit on a small hill overlooking the picturesque Nha Trang harbour.

Oceanographic Institue
Founded in 1923, the institute has an extensive library, some indoor and outdoor aquariums, and a huge whale skeleton. Interestingly, the world's most famous oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, started his career here in 1933 when it was known as the French Institute d'Oceanographique.

Bao Dai Villa
The complex of five villas offers a panoramic view of Nha Trang Bay and is a former residence of Vietnam's last emperor.

Pasteur Institue
The Yersin Museum, housed within the Pasteur Institute, is a tribute to Dr Alexandre Yersin. Yesin spent much of his life in Nha Trang and introduced rubber and coffee plantations to Vietnam. The Museum contains lab. equipment, a library, and slides of his visits to different regions of Vietnam in the late 19th century.

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