A few weeks ago we explored the Southern stretch of the Ocean Road, from Vung Tau to Phan Tiet. If you keep going up, you will end up in Nha Trang, and along the way you will encounter beautiful sea sights, a lot of sand and very few big towns. The biggest one is Phan Rang 120 km south of Nha Trang, and still considered as no more than a fishermen village by many Vietnamese. However, if you look closely, you will discover all its beauty and its quiet roads, ideal for cycling, and its very rich cultural background. Here are three places you should absolutely visit if you are in the area.
1) Vin Hy Bay
It’s a lovely little bay where fishermen can protect their boats from the winds and the fury of the sea. The winding road gong there is ideal for cyclists and you can enjoy the beach, taste the local seafood and sea the real life of a fishermen village. The village is surrounded by lush nature.
2) Ca Na
If what you are looking for is an astoundingly beautiful beach in the area, go to Ca Na, south of Phan Rang. White sand beaches like this are difficult to find in Vietnam. However, it might seem boring to the most adventurous traveler, considering in this area the Cham princes used to hunt tigers, elephants and rhinoceros. Unfortunately, these animals are no longer there.
3) Cham culture
Yes, you are probably wondering who are those Cham princes who were hunting tigers in the 16th century. The kingdom of Champa occupied a big stretch of Southern Vietnam between the 7th and XVIIIth centuries. Originally a kingdom influenced by Indhuist culture, they started to convert to Islam in the 11th century. Today, there are still around 160,000 Cham people in Vietnam, mainly in Ninh Tuan province, An Giang, Phan Tiet and Saigon. Their splendorous times are over, but in Phan Rang, just near the train station, you can still admire one of the most impressive traces of their empire, the Poklong Garai. there, you will see the influence from India and you will feel like you are visiting a mini Angkor Wat.