Walking away from the popular street of Tran Phu, passing by the new bridge towards the residential area of Cho Dam is where I headed to start my discovery.
With line of fishing boats steadily floating across the muddy waters, the fishing village in the middle of the new and the old bridge, both bridges somehow signifying the two contrasting world of this town and not to mention, the infectious laughter of the children enjoying this cold and windy day playing a game using their slippers and a can with a string, the view at Cho Dam will remain to be one of my favorite scene.
Upon crossing the old bridge, it is not hard to spot a dominating red brick towers of Po Nagar.
Located at a small hill with a commanding view of the fishing village across, Po Nagar Cham Towers was built by Cham civilization between the 7th and 12th century in honor of Yang Ino Po Nagar (Mother of Kingdom).
It remains to be an important religious site for locals and to enter inside one of the tower any visitor wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts are required to wear an ao dai which can be borrow for free.
From Po Nagar passing by the old bridge and into the dense residential area, walking around this so called “real Nha Trang” can be shocking view for some visitors as it is fully contradictory to the quiet and touristy ambiance of the beach side area.
Nonetheless, not to see this part of town is similar to not fully knowing what Nha Trang is all about. After all, you have to admit there is a certain charm associated with simply strolling along the unknown streets of a new town, passing by schools, small grocery stores and even a vulcanizing shop.
After successfully crossing the street against these zooming motorcycles, I finally arrived at Thai Nguyen Street to visit Chua Long Son (Long Son Pagoda) and its 79 ft tall white Buddha.
Built in 1963 to honor the monks and nuns who died on a demonstration against the Diem government, the white Buddha, both sitting and sleeping are simply remarkable. They are huge, particularly the sleeping one and to capture in one frame is an impossible task for my Olympus Pen standard lens.
The Long Son temple compound is big, with many steps leading to different parts including the bell tower, a small cemetery and the location of both Buddha, whereby the sitting Buddha can be found at the topmost part.
The final religious site which is also free to explore is Nha Trang Cathedral (Nha Tho Nui).