Cycling around Nha Trang, Vietnam

We went to Nha Trang on our way through Vietnam to just relax and laze on the beach for a few days, and that is pretty much what we did; however I did take one morning to rent a bicycle and cycle around the city to see what else it has to offer.

Beautiful beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam

The main beach in Nha Trang

My bicycle journey took me through the busy streets of Nha Trang, where at some points, particularly at the busy roundabouts, I wasn’t sure if I would get through unscathed. Traffic in Vietnam is notoriously bad, especially in the large cities of Saigon and Hanoi, and many parts of Nha Trang aren’t much better. I had to get myself through several of those insane roundabouts to get to Lon Son Pagoda.

Visiting Lon Son Pagoda is free, but you have to pay to park your bicycle (5000 Dong) or motorbike, and inside the temple you will get asked several times to buy postcards to help “students”, but you don’t have to do this. The guy who first asked me wanted 80,000 Dong ($4) for his postcards, but the price quickly dropped to 20,000 Dong ($1) as I continued walking away.

Lon Son Pagoda was apparently first established in the 19th century but most of the buildings appeared quite modern to me. The pagoda is beautifully decorated and there is a monastery here with resident monks as well. I saw quite a few of them walking around.

Lon Son Pagoda in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Lon Son Pagoda

For me, the best part of this temple was the huge white Buddha statue at the top of the hill behind the pagoda. You have to walk up a lot of stairs to get there, but the Buddha and the view from the top is certainly worth it.

Big white Buddha at Lon Son Pagoda in Nha Trang, Vietnam

The big white Buddha at the top of the hill behind Lon Son Pagoda

Getting back on my bicycle, I continued cycling through the city, this time heading north across the river to the harbour area of Nha Trang, where the Po Nagar Cham Towers sit on top of a small hill.

Boats in the harbour in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Boats in the harbour

Po Nagar is a set of beautifully preserved ancient Cham towers, built between the 7th and 12th centuries. The Cham people, whose kingdom covered all of Central Vietnam, were Hindu, and these towers were built for Linga worship. They are now used for Buddhist worship, and have therefore been kept in excellent condition over the centuries.

Entrance to Po Nagar in Nha Trang, Vietnam

View of Po Nagar from the entrance

Po Ngar Cham Towers in Nha Trang, Vietnam

One of the smaller towers at Po Nagar

Po Nagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Po Nagar Cham Towers

It costs 21,000 Dong for an entry ticket to the towers, plus 1,000 Dong to park your bicycle. Po Nagar is definitely impressive, but just as impressive is the amazing view of the harbour from the hill that the towers sit on. This is a great place to just sit for a while. You can even buy a coffee or a cold drink at the stall nearby.

Harbour view from Po Nagar in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Harbour view from Po Nagar

Panoramic view of the harbour from Po Nagar in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Panoramic view from Po Nagar

When I left Po Nagar, I decided to head back to Central Nha Trang via the coast road, and found myself pulling up at a very quiet and uncrowded beach with views to Hon Chong Promontory. I should have brought my swimmers!

Empty beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam

An empty beach in Nha Trang – perfect for a swim and a sun bake!

View of Hon Chong Promontory in Nha Trang, Vietnam

View of Hon Chong Promontory

View from Hon Chong Promontory in Nha Trang, Vietnam

View of an island from Hon Chong Promontory

I liked Nha Trang a lot more than I thought I would. It is certainly a beach bumming kind of location, but there is more to the city if you are looking to get out and explore a little. I’ve got a feeling that I’ll find myself here again one day.

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7 comments… add one
  • James Robinson Aug 8, 2013

    Whenever I look at your travel pictures, I feel like I’m there traveling too. Though I know they look a lot better in person.
    James Robinson recently posted..Hello world!My Profile

    • Dean Wickham Aug 10, 2013

      Hey James. Yes, in person is the only real way to experience the place, but my hope is that my photos might at least inspire people to go there. Glad you like them 🙂 Cheers

  • yulie May 16, 2014

    Thanks for sharing. Inspire me more to get around with push bike.
    We will be in Vietnam Early July for 29 days. I’d love to get around with push bike where ever we stay ,each places will be 4d/3n. We just hope its not gonna be so hard.
    Beautiful pictures!

    • Dean Wickham May 17, 2014

      Hi Yulie. Cycling is a great way to see Vietnam. I recommend using a bike to get around whenever you can :). Just be careful on the busy roads. The driving can be pretty crazy in Vietnam.

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