National Oceanographic Museum - A must-see place in Nha Trang

National Oceanographic Museum - A must-see place in Nha Trang

A Worth-seeing Attraction in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Jane Pham Jane Pham | Published Feb 05, 2020

Nha Trang is well known as one of the most peaceful coastal cities in Vietnam. If you are a marine biologist or just a lover of science, there would be a miss if you leave without visiting the National Oceanographic Museum. Let this guide give you comprehensive information on this museum.

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Why is It Special?

The National Oceanographic Museum was built in 1922. Though it is now a little run-down, this is the place where you can find a lot of interesting things and items to enrich your knowledge about marine life. Over its long history, the museum has collected up to 60.000 jars of specimens.

Apart from the aquariums with a lot of living sea animals like seahorses and colorful reef species, you also can see stuffed sea mammals and ocean related artifacts. These displays mainly focus on providing environmental education with good English descriptions. Besides, there are quite a few sharks living in the cement pond in the middle.

Officially opened to the public for almost 100 years, the museum is still a popular destination attracting a large number of domestic and international tourists who are fans of the underwater world and want to get an exact image of the marine environment in Nha Trang.

What to Explore in National Oceanographic Museum?

1. Discover More Than 2 Thousands of Living Ocean Creatures

There is nowhere else in Vietnam that you can find such a huge collection of living beings from the Eastern Sea as this museum. It exactly looks like a miniature ocean with more than 20.000 living specimens. Coming here, you can see many marine creatures such as turtles, coral reef, sharks, lionfish, puffer fish, anemones, scorpion fish,…

The vivid picture of living creatures is created by different species, from marine algae like diatoms, red algae, and blue-green algae,… to higher plants to organisms. There are also 1600 species of crustaceans like lobster, Quan Cong and Huynh De crabs. 

With 2 hot and cold ocean currents, the sea area of Khanh Hoa province gathers a lot of sea creatures. Fishes are diverse in colors and shape sizes, coral reefs are also colorful and plentiful. Discovering the National Oceanographic Museum gives the visitors the feeling of swimming and immersing in the sea. 

These varying species can be found on the ground floor. Each of the species are labeled with their name, origin, and characteristics both in Vietnamese and English. Visit the museum today to get discover the life under the ocean.

2. See Rare Fossils 

Apart from the diversity of living creatures, the museum also offers you an opportunity to see valuable fossil specimens which receive the interest of many scientists and visitors. One of the most interesting masterpieces preserved here is the huge skeleton of a humpback whale. It is almost completely unearthed with all the parts in Ha Nam province 15 years ago. There are even some fossils of rare endemic species from other nearby countries and the Kampuchean Vietnamese seas. Among them, there is the skeleton of Dugong fish (also called the sea cow) which is extremely rare. Kids are always excited and surprised when visiting the big tropical crocodiles and turtles. You can find these specimens on the upstairs floor. 

Besides, there are also some theme rooms in the museum that focus on different underwater science such as: “Life in a Drop of Water” featuring microscopic aquatic organisms and “From Light to Life” featuring phytoplankton and algae. You also can find some rooms illustrating Vietnam’s coastal nature disasters, history, traditions and cultures of fishing in Vietnam, and sacred legends in Nha Trang.

How to Get There

Located in Cau Da street, the National Oceanographic Museum is just about 5 kilometers from Nha Trang city. You can find it just inside a grand French-colonial building near Bao Dai Village. So, if you are in Nha Trang city, the best options to travel here is by motorbike or taxi. We highly recommend traveling by motorbike, which gives you the chance to admire the beauty of the Golden Road – Tran Phu street, and enjoy the freshest air.

For those who are traveling from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cities, you can book a flight to Cam Ranh Airport in Nha Trang before renting a motorbike or calling a taxi to get there.

Tips on Visiting the Museum

  • It is better to visit the National Oceanographic Museum early to fully explore it. The place is quite wide with a lot of different areas of discovery. So if you don’t have enough time, “just go and run” may make you regret many things.
  • Don’t miss your chance to buy some special souvenirs which can only be found in the oceanographic institute.
  • Make your itinerary carefully and don’t put the Vinpearl Land and National Oceanographic Museum on the same day because you will be tired and unable to explore the best of these places.

Now are you ready for the trip to the National Oceanographic Museum? We wish you the most exciting time there. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at any time. 


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