Located at 1 Cau Da Street, about 5 km from Nha Trang City Center, at the foot of the outcrop where Bao Dai Village is constructed, is a grand French-colonial building which houses the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam.
It is an interesting aquarium in which you can gain the exact image of Nha Trang marine environment. Opened to the public on September 14th, 1922, today it is still a popular destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.
The institute also sponsors ongoing research and community projects, such as captive breeding programmes, preservation and regeneration of local coral reefs.
The National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam
The National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam offers interesting exhibits of local marine life, including over 20,000 live and preserved marine specimens.
The National Oceanographic Museum, built in 1923, may be a little run-down but you’ll find those 60,000 jars of specimens collected over its long history fascinating. Along with stuffed sea mammals, ocean related artifacts, there are also aquariums showcasing living corals, sea horses, rare colorful reef species and more.
Nowhere can people expect to see a more extensive collection of living beings from the Eastern Sea like in this museum, particularly in areas like the bays of Thailand, archipelagoes of Paracels (Hoàng Sa) and Spratlys (Truong Sa), shore regions of Vietnam and the gulf of the Vat Bô.
Price: 30,000 VND for adults, 12,000 VND for children below the age of 12. Travelling by motorbike or car is convenient.
Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 – 18:00
Address: 1 Cau Da Street, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa
Tel: +8458 359 0036
What to do here
The collection of this museum is so extensive that it spans two floors within a French colonial building.
The ground floor is home to fish tanks of varying sizes that house all manner of marine life from Khanh Hoa province such as reef sharks, turtles, scorpion fish, anemones, puffers, and lionfish as well as a whole array of colorful reef species, some of which can be found in no other place in the world and seaweed from many parts of the world. For clarification, each tank is also labelled with the name, origin, and characteristics in Vietnamese and English.
Meanwhile, the upper floor of The National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam features thousands of preserved specimens, animal skeletons, local boats, and fishing artefacts.
One of the highlights of the museum is the skeleton of a humpback whale, which was excavated in the Ha Nam Province back in 1994. The specimen measures at 18 metres in length and 18,000 kg in weight. Also on display here is the skeleton of a dugong that was excavated in Con Dao back in 1997.
Over its long history, this museum has been holding more than 20000 specimens of tropical marine creatures. Apart from the real fishes, there are also rare species’ skeletons or bodies preserved in formaldehyde solution.
There are even finds of endemic species from Kampuchean Vietnamese seas and from other nearby countries, some of which are extremely rare, like the dugong or sea cow. Kids are often very excited to visit the big tropical turtles and crocodiles.
Apart from the museum aquariums, there are also many of the theme rooms in the National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam which focus on marine science featuring the history of its research equipment and technology such as: “From Light to Life” (features algae and phytoplankton), “Life in a Drop of Water” (microscopic aquatic organisms), or rooms illustrating coastal natural disasters, sacred legends, traditions and culture of Vietnam fishing.
Why National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam is special ?
Although the name is National Oceanographic Museum of Vietnam, it is actually a combination of museums and aquariums.
The Marine Museum in the south of the city attracts tourists from home and abroad every year, especially children. Not only are there all kinds of knowledge and thematic stamps about oceanography, but also samples of large marine organisms such as manatees, whales and sharks. Tourists can watch and take photos at close range.