During our recent visit to Vietnam we had a free day and were looking for fun things to do in Nha Trang so we decided to take the kids to see some Cham Towers. We had visited some other Cham Towers last time we were there but I had seen Po Nagar Cham Towers from the road on the way in to Nha Trang after our wonderful stay at An Lam Resort at Ninh Van Bay. Po Nagar is a Hindu temple dating back to 781.
It was very hot while we were in Nha Trang and as September has the highest rainfall it meant that it was also very humid. The kids were struggling coming straight out of Melbourne’s coldest winter in 20 odd years. This unfortunately meant that the kids were a bit cranky and tired so I wanted to stay close to Nha Trang.
We had spent the day before swimming and enjoying lunch at the Evason Ana Mandara Resort, the only beach front resort in Nha Trang.
I decided on the day I would try and get a guided tour to take us to Po Nagar Temple. I Googled a couple and sent them a last minute email, they were quoting between $20 and $30AUD per person and there was no mention of a reduced rate for kids. This would have cost us between $100 and $150AUD for all 5 of us.
Fortunately we were unable to secure a tour a such short notice and Craig and I decided we would wing it and go it alone and see how we went! Following is a break down of how that panned out for us.
Taxi (there and back) $6AUD (50,000 Dong each way)
Entrance Fee $3AUD (22,000 Dong per adult, kids were free)
English speaking guide $6AUD (50,000 Dong)
Ice cream by 5 $1.50AUD (5,000 Dong each)
Grand Total: $16.50AUD
Bargain! Now I would happily have paid for a private tour but I have to admit I’m kind of glad it didn’t work out as it saved us a truck load! Our english speaking guide was great, her english was good and her knowledge fantastic and if we hadn’t have paid for the guide there were plenty of things we wouldn’t have learnt.
The Po Nagar Cham Towers are on the outskirts of Nha Trang, about 3kms from the train station and are easily visible from the road on your way into town. We would have happily walked but the kids would have struggled in the heat. Also the taxi was only $3AUD each way so it made sense to get the taxi.
The map below shows the location of the Po Nagar Cham Towers. As you can see they are in easy walking distance if you are that way inclined!
The kids were grumpy this day and were not at all interested in listening to the guide. Luckily she could see that the kids were a bit feral and she would explain the main points of the tour to either Craig and I while the other dealt with the kids and she was happy enough to repeat it again when we swapped over. Her english was great and once we entered the temples the kids started to engage a little better. Once they had an ice cream at the end there was a huge improvement in their behaviour, maybe we should have started with that!
I knew the kids were going to struggle with this type of holiday especially after we visited Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park last year, but also believe that we can’t always cater holidays to suit them. This was a holiday of many cultural experiences and they soon came to enjoy and appreciate this less child focussed holiday and I believe they got a lot out of it.
Po Nagar Temple is one of many scattered around the countryside in Vietnam. We found Vietnam very easy to get around. You are able to get trains from HCMC in the south all the to Hanoi and even Sapa in the very north. Its a great way to see the country if you have the time.
We flew from Nha Trang to HCMC with VietJet Airlines and we did a lot of other family friendly activities such as, Vietnamese Water Puppet Show which provides a little history of Vietnam through traditional puppetry, Mekong Delta Tour which provided them with experiencing life on the river, Cu Chi Tunnels Tour explains the tunnelling system used by the VietCon during the Vietnam War and a Walking Saigon Tour around District 1 taking in many of the main tours. We didn’t visit the North of Vietnam on this trip, but we are keen to return and take the kids to other parts of the country that we also loved.
Sal & Co.