Nha Trang,Vietnam

Area Code 058, $1=16,400D, July 9, 2007

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Many Thanks to Tom McClive
for up-dating and re-writing this section for us.

m Cho Dam (market): North of the town center. Round shaped market selling mainly daily goods. Souvenirs can be found on the second floor. Bargain hard.
S2 Nha Trang Cathedral (Nha tho Nha Trang): Thai Nguyen Street, on the hilltop. Big stone cathedral, Gothic style with stained glass windows. Usually closed, but it may be possible to enter when services are held - early morning or evening(M-Sa4:45-17:00, Su5:00,7:00,16:30). Free
S3 Long Son Pagoda: 500 m W from the train station on Thai Nguyen St, 10 minutes from the center by bicycle. Try to get a monk to show you around. Check out the main hall, then climb the 152 stairs to the top of the hill and the 14m-high white Buddha statue. Go inside the statue, light some incense, then go down the hill using the trail to the rear of the statue in order to see more buildings and more monks. Free, but you may be asked for a donation by a monk. Don't give money to the many kids hanging around.
S4 Po Nagar Cham towers: 7-12th century ruin of the Cham people. 2km north from town on 2 Thang 4 Street; you'll see them on the left just across the bridges. Contains an altar for Goddess Po Nagar. Currently has scaffolding around some towers. Excellent views from the back and from the bridge, featured on many postcards. Bargain hard for motorbike parking fee. Many beggars. Entry 15,000D
S5 Hon Chong Cape: 3.5km N from town. From the Cham towers, walk N.500m on 2 Thang 4 St. then turn right onto Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, walk another 7-800m. Many fishing villages around here.  Check out the many boulders stacked on top of each other.
Scenic views, particularly on a fine day when the sea becomes emerald green. 6:30-17:00
Entry 50,000D
S5 Bao Dai Villas: 6km S of town. Built in the 1920s for the last emperor of Vietnam. Five buildings with impressive landscape and mostly original furnishings. Stay here, if you like, or just visit. Great views.
S6 Thap Ba Hot Spring Center: Son Thuy street, out side of town.Take Quang Trung street and cross bridges and turn left on Son Thuy street. T835335, hotbath 50,000D, swimming pool 20,000VD Tours available by travel agents.

The Beach
Pick your spot, and hang out.  People will come by to sell you drinks, food, massages, and other pleasures of life. Any chairs and umbrellas laying around are not free; they are for rent. Go south of the main drag area for less crowds.

The Islands boat Trips:
Can be booked through hotels/travel agents. Prices are standard. Only the tourists do these.
100,000VD includes a massive, tasty lunch and (usually) transport from/to your hotel. Entrance fees(15000VD) to the islands may be extra.
You will stop by three or four islands. Most boats have cheap but usable snorkeling equipment.  Lots of swimming, sunbathing (bring lots of lotion or you're toast).   Fruit time and floating bar time. Beer and soda for sale on board,
10,000 dong each.

The most popular trip is run by "Mama Hanh", but it is an all-day-long floating party. The emphasis is on relaxing in the sun, swimming, and drinking beer, not visiting the islands. You won't see much besides the shoreline.

If you want a better, longer, or classier boat trip, check with your hotel or a travel agency. The options change rapidly.  You can also do some of the islands yourself by checking out the local ferries.  Other local people may ferry you between islands for a price.

Scuba Diving and Surfing: Almost any hotel can help you find rental equipment or boat arrangements. You can shop around, but there are not yet many choices.

City Tours by travel agents: $15, dep 9:00 return 14:00. Visiting 5 places, Cham Temple, Long Son Pagoda, Oceanographic Institute, King Bao Dai Villa and Dam Market.

Dive Shop
dv Diving shops: Blue Diving Club: 40 Tran Phu Blvd., parallel to the beach along the coast. T825390 F816088Brit/French run. US$300+ for 4 dives (plus written portion of the course US$ ?), meal included. "Try A Dive" option, around $50
dv Octpus Diving Club: 62 Tran Phu, T810629, Open water $220, $40 for 2 dives. Snokelling $10 including lunch and drink
dv Rainbow Divers: 72 Tran Phu T813788, Many agents in town.
dv Angel Dive: 1/33 Tran Quang Khai Street, Just W from Sakura Hotel, T09-8234-0322, open water $280

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