Most people think that Vietnam is only good for beaches and beautiful villages, but that’s far from the truth. Today, we want to talk about the National Oceanographic Museum that you can find in Nha Trang. As one of the biggest attractions in the city, it’s a popular tourist destination.
The locals also love to pay it a visit, and that’s why it’s almost always full of people. Get this: in this museum, you’ll find as much as 20K live marine specimen! Yes, it’s one of the greatest exhibits of marine life in the vicinity and the scale is quite impressive. The place has been open for regular folks for almost 100 years – since 1922, to be exact.
Along with being a great museum, this institute is also a big sponsor of important projects and research, such as the preservation of local marine life, corals, and more. The building used to belong to the French invaders, but these days, it serves a completely different purpose.
The collection is very large and takes up two gigantic floors. According to the locals, this museum is a wonderful example of the Vietnamese will and the ability of its people to fight back the invaders. We can definitely agree that they did a great job of turning a grey building into a colorful tourist spot.
The Impressive Collection Of The National Oceanographic Museum
Alright, let’s take a quick tour through the floors and see what this place has to offer. The first floor is home to huge glass tanks. Inside, you’ll find thousands of underwater creatures, including turtles, lionfish, scorpion fish, reef sharks, and more. Now, while the marine life is mostly from Vietnam, the coral reefs and seaweed are from all over the globe.
Don’t worry: every single tank comes with a short description in English, which means people from every corner of the planet will be able to understand exactly what they’re looking at. Ok, now let us learn about the second floor and what it’s got in stores for us.
The upper floor could be even more interesting, as it’s some sort of a “historical map” of Vietnam. There, you’ll find preserved specimen, skeletons, bones, and even boats slash fishing artifacts. According to the workers of the museum, both floors are very popular, but the foreigners like the first floor more – they find it very exciting.
A quick fact: if you’re looking for the highlights of the National Oceanographic Museum, make sure to check out the skeleton of a gigantic humpback whale. They caught it back in 1994, and it’s still one of the biggest “stars” of the museum. It weighs 18K (!) kilograms and is 18 meters in length. There’s also an old dugong sitting next to it.
What Else Is There To See?
The museum is pretty huge, and it will take you a very long time to see everything that it has to offer. And, it can be tiresome to walk around the floors and look at fish and old skeletons.
If that’s the case for you, then we highly recommend taking a look at the famed themed exhibitions. There, you’ll be able to take a look at the institute’s ongoing research, development, and technology. There are also several rooms where you can learn more about natural disasters, Vietnamese traditions, centuries-old legends, and, of course, real-world facts about the fishing masters of this beautiful country.
All in all, the National Oceanographic Museum is a must-see spot, especially if you’ve got teenage kids that love thrilling exhibitions. The grown-ups will also get to enjoy it, as the museum is, indeed, one of a kind. The bottom line is – tourists that are interested in the marine life, history, traditions, and legends of Vietnam, will find this place to be amazing.
How To Find The National Oceanographic Museum
The NOM is located in Cau Da. The exact address is 14 Tran Phu, Vinh Hoa, Thanh Pho Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa. Our destination is only a couple of kilometers away from the city’s center. If you’re at the Tran Phu Beach, the drive will take you less than 10 minutes. And, since this is a very popular and famous spot in the city, every single taxi driver will know where to take you.
There are also some regular bus rides in that direction, but it would be best to hire a taxi unless you want to get that “full experience” in Nha Trang and ride in a bus full of locals and Chinese guests.
The entry fee changes all the time, so, don’t take our word for it. Still, the average price is 25-35K VND (Vietnamese Dongo), which equals 1/1.5 US dollars. Yes, the local prices are nothing compared to what we’re used to in Europe and the US, and that’s a huge plus for all those travelers on a budget. They charge the kids even less – 12K VND (this discount applies to children below the age of 12). The place is open during the 06:00 AM – 18:00 PM period.