While Nha Trang,s main beach is perhaps not as radiant as it once was, there are a number of sandy areas nearby that are still exceedingly beautiful, including the secluded, quiet Doc Let beach. Most visitors to the area frequent Nha Trang,s luxury resorts, the best of which is the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, which features quiet, secluded villas with panoramic views of the nearby South China Sea. Additionally, another famous sight is the Po Nagar Towers, a series of monuments dating back to the Cham Empire, a Hindu civilization that once ruled much of southern Vietnam.
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Housed in the former residence of the Swiss-French bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin, best-known for isolating the bacterium that caused bubonic plague, the museum contains several of Yersin’s historical artifacts and possessions. Yersin, who was born in Switzerland, spent his final years in Nha Trang, where his good works, including the establishment of a medical school in Hanoi and his efforts against malaria, brought him wide acclaim and respect from the Vietnamese people.
Native to the area, basket boats are small, shell-like craft woven from strips of bamboo and waterproofed with a coating of pitch. Similar to western coracles, basket boats can seat approximately five people, though their shallow draft and light weight often means that they can be easily tipped over.
Home to a tribe of monkeys who have long been accustomed to interaction with humans, Monkey Island is an easy day trip to Nha Trang. While the simians are undoubtedly cute, they are still wild animals – and cunning creatures who live to snatch food and possessions off unwary tourists.
A quick day trip from Nha Trang, Doc Let is a quiet, beautiful beach that lacks the crowds and pollution found throughout Nha Trang. Dine on freshly caught seafood, prepared beachside by local fishermen, lay on the sand, or go for a ride in a locally-made basket boat.
Built in the early twentieth century, the beautiful Nha Trang Cathedral is situated atop a hill that overlooks the city. The interior of the cathedral is a bright, airy, well-lit place, replete with colorful stained glass windows, high, vaulted arches, and a domed ceiling.
Built by the Champa kingdom, a Hindu realm which ruled much of central and southern Vietnam for almost a millennia, the Po Nagar Towers were named after Devi, the fierce, many-armed Hindu goddess. Consisting of a series of engraved steles commemorating events from various Cham kings, the Po Nagar Towers serve as a repository of historical events and knowledge of a bygone kingdom. The towers comprise four structures that ring Cu Lao Mountain, and provide visitors sweeping views of the beach and sea.
Given its location near the bountiful, clear waters of the South China Sea, Nha Trang is Vietnam’s premier scuba diving and snorkeling site. The area is home to a number of dive sites that feature soft and hard corals, polychrome tropical fish, manta rays, and a variety of species of sharks.
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