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Top Hotels
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Hung Thang Tourism Area, Bai Chay Ward, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
Price from: 640.000 VND ~ $32.00
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Tuan Chau Island, Halong, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
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Saigon Halong Hotel
Ha Long city, Halong Road, Bai Chay, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
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No 22D Tuan Chau Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
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Tuan Chau, Halong City, Quang Ninh, Vietnam
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Vietnam Classic Tours 9 days
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Around Nha Trang


The Islands & Boat Tours

Khanh Hoa province’s 71 offchore inlands are renowned for the remarkably clear water surrounding them. A trip to these island is one of the best reasons for visiting Nha Trang, so try to schedule at least one day for a boat journey. If you’re interested in voernighting offshore, consider Whale Island or Hon Tre.

In the interests of environmental preservation, when booking a boat tour you might consider asking if the captain anchors his boat to buoy, as opposed to dropping anchor directly on the coral. Of course, when booking a tour through a hotel or tourist operator it’s hard to know if you’ll get truthful or informe answer to this question. If you do take a tour and it looks as though the captain is about to drop anchor on the coral, then very politely suggest he attaches the boat to a buoy instead. You can also take it up with the actual boat operators.

Mama Linh’s boat trip are now the hottest ticket for inland hopping, guzzling fruit wine at the impromptu “floating bar” and deck side dancing. Of course all of this fun in the sun, let’s just say, might not be the best environment for families with children. If the cultural fanfare of the Mama Linh experience does not sound up your alley, there are other more orthodox boat tours around.

Virtually every hotel in town books inland boat tours. You can also  pay more for a less crowded and more luxurious boat that takes you to more islands. Indeed, you’ll have to do this if you want to get in much snorkelling. The place to charter boats is at Cau Da dock, south of Nha Trang. If you’re not with an organised group, you’d better book the day before or go to Cau Da dock early in the morning – by 10am all the boats are gone. One attractive alternative is joining up with one of the local dive boats, most will take nondivers along for a discounted rate.

At some of the fishing villages on the island, shallow water prevents the boat from reaching shore. In this case, you must walk perhaps several hundred metres across floats – a careful balancing act. The floats were designed for Vietnamese and weightier Westerners might get wet – take care with your camera. Nevertheless, it’s all good fun and a visit to these fidhing villages is highly recommended.

Hon Mieu Also called Tri Nguyen Island, Hon Mieu is touted in all the tourist literature as the site of an outdoor aquarium (Ho Ca Tri nguyen). In fact, the “aquarium” is an important fish-breeding farm, where over 40 species of fish, crustacean and othe marine creatures are raised in three separate compartments. There is also a cafe built on stilts over the water. Ask around for canoe rentals.

The main village on Hon Mieu is Tri Nguyen. Bai Soai is a gravel beach on the far side of Hon Mieu from Cau Da. There are a few rustic bungalows on the island which you can rent for US$6.

Most people will take some sort of boat tour booked through a hotel, cafe or Khanh Hoa tourist. Improverished and less-hurried travellers might catch one of the regular ferries that go to Tri Nguyen village from Cau Da dock.

Bamboo Island (Hon Tre) Several kilometres from the southern part of Nha Trang Beach is Bamboo Island, the largest island in the Nha Trang area. Tru Beach (Bai Tru) is at the northern end of the island. Boats can be hires to take you there, and we can also recommend the day and overnight trips offered by Con Se Tre.

Hon Mun Also called Ebony Island, Hon Mun is just southeast of Bamboo Island and is known for its snorkelling. To get here, you’ll probably have to hire a boat.

Hon Tam Southwest of Bamboo Island, this island is close to shore and cost just 2000d to get to, but the beach is dirty and there’s not much else to see.

Hon Mot This tiny island is sanwiched neatly between Ebony island and Hon Tam. This is another great place for snorkelling.

Monkey Island Called Hon Lao in Vietnamese, Monkey Island is named after its large contigent of resident monkeys, and has become a big hit with tourists. Most of the monket have grown quite accustomed to receiving food handouts from the tourists, providing ample opportinity to take a mamorable photo. However, these are wild monkeys, not zoo animals – you should not make any attempt to pet them, shake hand or pick themup. Some travellers have been  scratched and bitten, while attempting to embrace their new found friend; monkey bites are a fairly reliable source of rabies.

Aside from being unwilling to cuddle, the monkeys are materialistic. They will grab the sunglasses off your face or snatch a pen from your shirt pocket and rung off. So far, we haven’t heard of monkeys slitting open from your shirt pocket and run off. So far, we haven’t heard of monkeys slitting open travellers’ handbegs with a razor blade, but you do need to be almost as careful with your caluables here as you do on the streets of HCM!

Monkey Island is 12km north of Bamboo Island, and one-day boat tours can easily be arranged in Nha Trang, A faster way to get here is to take a motorbike or can 15km north of Nha Trang on National Hwy 1-near a pagoda and the pleasant Nha Trang Restaurant, from where boats will ferry you to the island in fifteen minutes for 50,000d Other destinations from here include Hoa Lan springs on Hon Heo ( 40.000d, 45minutes), and Hon Thi ( 20.000d, 20minutes).

Bird’s Nest Island Salangane Island (Hon Yen or Dao Yen) is the name applied to two lump-shaped islands visible from Nha Trang Beach. These and other islands off Khanh Hoa province are the source of Vietnam’s finest swiftlet ( Salangane) nests. The nests are used in bird’s nest soup as well as in traditional medicine, and are considered an aphrodisiac. It is said that the extraordinary virility of Emperor Minh Mang, who ruled Vietnam from 1820 to 1840, was derived from the consumption of swiftlet nests.

The nests, which the swiflets build out of their silklike salivary secretions, are semioval and about 5cm to 8cm in diameter. They are usually harvested twice a year. Red nests are the most hightly prized. Annual production in Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces is about 1000kg. At present, swiftlet nests fetch US$2000 per kilogram in the international marketplace!

There is a small, secluded beach at Sanangane Island. The 17km trip out to the islands takes three to four hours by small boat from Nha Trang.

Dien Khanh Citadel

The citadel dates from the 17th century Trinh dynasty. It was rebuilt by Prince Nguyen Anh (Later Emperor Gia Long) in 1793 During his successful offensive against the Tay Son Rebels. Only afew sections of the walls and gates are extant. Dien hanh Citadel is 11km west of Nha Trang near the Villages of Dien Toan and Dien Khanh.

Ba Ho Falls

Ba Ho Falls ( Suoi Ba Ho), with its three waterfalls and pools, is in a forested area about 20km north of Nha Trang and about 2km west of Phu Huu Village. Turn off National Hwy 1 just north of Quyen Restaurant.

Fairy Spring

The enchanting little Fairy Spring (Suoi Tien) seems to pop out of nowhere as you approach it. Like a small oasis, the Spring is decorated with its own natural garden of tropical vegetation and smooth boulders.

You’ll need to rent a motorbike or car to rach the spring. Driving south on National Hwy 1, you come to a spot 17km from Nha Trang, where there is a signpost to your left ( the east side of the highway). Turn off the highway here and go through the village.

The road twists and winds its way for through the hills until it raches a valley just as the road starts to get bad, you  come upon the spring. You’ll probably see some spot with locals.

Cam Ranh Bay

Cam ranh bay is a gorgeous natural harbour 56km north of Phan Rang and Thap Cham, in Khanh Hoa Province. The strategic naval base here has long been considered one of Asia’s prime deep water anchorages.

The Russian fleet of Admiral Rodjestvenski used it in 1905 at the end of the Russo – japanese War, a did the Japanese during WWII, when the area was still considered an excellent place for tiger hunting. In the mid-1960s, the Americans constructed a vast base here, including an extensive port ship – repair facilities and an airtrip.

After reunification, the Russians and their fleet came back, enjoying far better facilities than they had found seven decated before. For a while this became the largest Soviet naval installation outside the USSR.

Despite repeated requests from the Russians, the Vietnamese refused to grant them permanent rights to the base. Then in 1988 Mikhail Gorvachev offered to abandon the installation if the Americans promised to do the same with their six bases acroos the South China Sea in the Philippines. The  Soviet Presence at Cam Ranh Bay was significantly reduced in 1990 as part of the Kremlin’s cost-cutting meansures.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the en of the Cold War, the USA did close its bases in the Philippines in 1991 (Or, more accurately, the Filipino senate unceremoniously told the Americans to leave). Subsequent economic problems forced the Russians to vastly cut back on their overseas military facilities, including one of their chief Cold War bases in Cuba. Although the initial contract on Cam Ranh Bay was due to expire in 2004, the Russian military agreed to vacate the position, a last hurrah for the Russian navy in Asia, by the end of 2002.

As for the future of Cam Ranh Bay, just because the USA and former USSR no longer compete for turf does not mean that there is no need for a military base at Cam Ran Bay. The Vietnames are growing increasingly nervous about China’s intentions. The Chinese have been radidly and relentlessly building up their naval facilities in the South China Sea –in 1988, and again in 1992, China seized several inslands clairmed by Vietnam. In 1995 the Chinese navy seized some more islands claimed  by the Philippines.

Although the Vietnames will likely want the facilities at Cam Ranh Bay for their own military use there has been recent talk of the bay being earmarked for tourism. There are beautiful beaches around Cam Ranh Bay – indeed, Americans stationed here during the War sometimes call this gorgeous harbour Vietnam’s Hawaii. Meanwhile, the United States propeosed an open port arrangement after the Ruassians leave. while Vietnam Airline, the United States proposed an open port arrangement after the Russians leave, while Vietnam Airlines has expressed interest in developing an international airport at Cam Ranh bay to help serve the beach resort town of Nha Trang. Only time will reveal the ultimate fate of Cam Ranh Bay.

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