Away from the beach, Nha Trang offers curious newlyweds a choice of sights including ancient monuments, temples and relaxing natural springs to visit, including…
Inhale the sweet smell of smoking incense as you stroll around the surviving temples of this dramatic hilltop complex.
Built by the Cham civilisation between the 7th and 12th century, the temples are still used today by Buddhists devotees.
The Chams, an early Hindu empire in central Vietnam, built the Po Nagar Cham temple complex to honour Yan Po Nagar, the goddess of the country, who later came to be identified with the Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and Mahishasuramardini.
The complex was built on the site of a previous wooden temple destroyed by the Japanese in 774 AD. Of the original 10 structures, only three remain.
Stroll past pillars of carved epitaphs to Cham kings, view the original carved doors in the main sanctuary and ponder the 28m-high main tower, Po Nagar Kalan, one of the tallest Cham structures in the world.
Following the theft of statues and destruction of the original temples, the temple was rebuilt in 781 AD. With its terraced pyramidal roof, vaulted interior masonry and vestibule, Po Nagar is a superb example of Cham architecture.
The sandstone doorposts are covered with inscriptions, as are parts of the walls of the vestibule. On the pediment above the entrance to the temple stands a dancing four-armed Durga goddess with one foot on a buffalo and flanked by musicians.
Inside, sits the 1.2m-high black stone statue of the goddess Yan Po Nagar, sitting cross-legged on a lotus throne, which dates to 965 AD.
Po Ngar Cham stands on a granite rise overlooking the Cai River as it flows into the sea, a 20-minute stroll from the main beach strip, about 2km north of Nha Trang city centre.
Founded in the late 19th century, Long Son Pagoda has been rebuilt several times over the years.
The entrance and roofs are decorated with dragon mosaics constructed of glass and ceramic tile.
Inside, the main ceremonial hall is adorned with modern interpretations of traditional motifs. Don’t miss the ferocious nose hairs of the dragons that encircle the pillars on either side of the main altar.
For many visitors the main attraction of Long Son Pagoda is the huge white 24m-high Buddha, which sits on the hilltop site of the original temple that was built in 1886, but then destroyed by a cyclone in 1900.
Around the statue’s base are carved relief portraits (framed in flames) of Thich Quang Duc and six other Buddhist monks who died in self-immolations in 1963 to protest against the corrupt Diem regime of (the former) South Vietnam.
The Buddha can be seen from all over Nha Trang and is easily reached after climbing 152 stone steps from the pagoda to the top of the hill; the effort is rewarded by the panoramic views over Nha Trang.
Latest update: Nha Trang Attractions: 8 February, 2019
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