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Museum of Oceanography, Nha Trang, Vietnam

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AquariumsAsiaMuseumsNha TrangViet Nam
Article author: michael
michael
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Cover Image for Museum of Oceanography, Nha Trang, Vietnam

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Viện Hải Dương Học Nha Trang, or the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography, is primarily a research institute in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The institute was established in 1923, and is the oldest marine research institute in Vietnam. The institute is located about 6km from the city center of Nha Trang, and also houses the National Oceanographic Museum (Museum of Oceanography).

Museum of Oceanography Info

  • Address: Số 1, Cầu Đá, Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa
  • Hours: Daily 07:30 - 17:00
  • Entrance fee:
    • Adults: 40,000 VND
    • Students: 20,000 VND
    • Children under 1.2m: Free
  • Official website: vnio.org.vn
  • Official Facebook page: facebook.com/vienhaiduonghoc

The Museum

My wife and I looked up reviews of the museum before going, and saw that a lot of people mentioned how dilapidated it was. We had a dinner cruise that night that was right around the corner from the museum, and the entrance fee was cheap, so we figured “meh, what the heck?” and decided to check it out anyway.

Museum of Oceanography

As other reviewers had noted, the site certainly was looking pretty rough around the edges. The buildings were pretty old looking, with antiquated equipment and some rusty and dirty looking aquariums. The buildings could really use some fresh paint and some updating, which would go a long way to bring it back to life.

That said, there were some really interesting (and strange looking!) fish that I’d never seen before, so I really enjoyed that aspect.

Turtle and Shark Pools

When you first enter, there are a few pools with some large fish, including a few sharks, and some (sea?) turtles. Both tanks were done in a way that it was really difficult to see them though, with the dirty glass not helping, and it was even harder to get a decent shot of them.

I couldn’t get any pics of the sharks, but managed to get one of the turtles. Can you spot it in the following pic? …

Museum of Oceanography

Aquariums

After passing the turtle and shark pools, you head to a building filled with tanks of different fish and marine species.

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

Despite the general state of the museum, I thought the marine species were really quite beautiful and interesting looking, and the aquariums themselves were nicely lit and very clean.

And get a load of these two guys here …

Museum of Oceanography

Probably the oddest of all the species I saw here! I didn’t take pictures of any of the descriptions of the different species, but I believe these are stone fish. Certainly not the sexiest fish I’ve ever seen, that’s for sure!

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

Throughout the museum, there are more than 5,000 types of marine life on display, with over 20,000 specimens. There are also a number of skeletons of whales, dolphins, and other marine life.

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

Spratly and Paracel Archipelagos

After making our way through the aquariums, we headed to another indoor section of the museum.

Museum of Oceanography

This section was dedicated to the Spratly and Paracel Islands, which are two disputed islands in the South China Sea. The islands are claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Museum of Oceanography

Museum of Oceanography

When we entered this section, we were hearing a loud noise that sounded like a loud generator running. As we were getting closer to the end of this section, it absolutely reeked of gasoline exhaust, which made the section really unpleasant to stay in.

We grabbed a quick pic of a big cylindrical tank with a bunch of fish in it, and then got the heck out of there!

Museum of Oceanography

I suspect the generator that was making the noise and smell was temporary … or at least I hope it was. It’s certainly not healthy to have all of that gasoline exhaust inside an enclosed area like that, and you’d think they’d be aware of that and set up a better way to exhaust the fumes. 😑

In any case, after exiting that health hazard of a building, we headed inside the last building, which housed the more than 20,000 specimens.

Museum of Oceanography

I know specimens serve a purpose, and I mean, after all, this is a research institute as well as a museum. But I can’t say I personally found it all that interesting. Maybe it was the old medical looking jars they were in. Who knows. 🤷‍♂️

I guess if you’re really into marine life, you might find this section interesting. And considering the age of this museum (almost exactly 100 years old), there are sure to be some pretty historic finds in there.

Museum Verdict

Overall I enjoyed a lot of the species of marine life that were on display, and it’s quite cheap to enter, so I’d say it was worth the visit.

They really should consider updating the place though! It’s a shame to see such a great collection of marine life in such a run down place.

Until next time,
michael 😀

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