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Thap Ba Ponagar, also known as Po Nagar Cham Towers, is one of the most significant historical and cultural landmarks in Nha Trang, Vietnam. This ancient temple complex, dedicated to the goddess Po Nagar, offers visitors a unique glimpse into the Cham civilization that once thrived in the region. Here’s an in-depth look at what makes Thap Ba Ponagar a must-visit destination:

1. Historical Significance

  • Ancient Heritage: Thap Ba Ponagar was built between the 7th and 12th centuries by the Cham people, an indigenous group that once ruled central and southern Vietnam.
  • Goddess Po Nagar: The complex is dedicated to Po Nagar, the goddess of the country, who is believed to have created the earth, eaglewood, and rice.

2. Architectural Marvel

  • Cham Architecture: The temple complex showcases the distinctive architectural style of the Cham civilization, characterized by its intricate brickwork and sandstone sculptures.
  • Main Tower: The main tower, or kalan, stands at about 23 meters high and is the largest structure in the complex, housing a statue of the goddess Po Nagar.
  • Other Towers: The site originally had eight towers, but only four remain today, each dedicated to different deities.

3. Cultural Experience

  • Rituals and Ceremonies: Thap Ba Ponagar is still an active place of worship, where local Cham and Vietnamese people come to perform rituals and ceremonies, especially during the annual Thap Ba Festival in April.
  • Traditional Music and Dance: Visitors can often witness traditional Cham music and dance performances, adding to the cultural richness of the visit.

4. Scenic Views

  • Panoramic Views: Situated on Mount Cu Lau, Thap Ba Ponagar offers stunning views of the Cai River and Nha Trang Bay, providing excellent photo opportunities.
  • Lush Gardens: The complex is surrounded by well-maintained gardens, offering a serene and peaceful environment for visitors.

5. Visitor Information

  • Opening Hours: Thap Ba Ponagar is open daily from early morning until late afternoon, making it convenient for tourists to visit.
  • Entrance Fee: There is a small entrance fee to access the site, which contributes to the maintenance and preservation of this historical landmark.
  • Guided Tours: To enhance the experience, visitors can opt for guided tours that provide detailed insights into the history, architecture, and cultural significance of the complex.

6. Nearby Attractions

  • Hot Springs and Mud Baths: Close to Thap Ba Ponagar, visitors can relax at the Thap Ba Hot Springs, known for its therapeutic mineral waters and mud baths.
  • Long Son Pagoda: Another important cultural site, the Long Son Pagoda, with its giant white Buddha statue, is a short drive away.
  • Nha Trang City Center: The city center, with its bustling markets, restaurants, and beaches, is also easily accessible from Thap Ba Ponagar.

Tips for Visiting Thap Ba Ponagar:

  • Dress Respectfully: As a place of worship, it is important to dress modestly. Shoulders and knees should be covered.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon visits are recommended to avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Photography: Photography is allowed, but visitors should be respectful of worshippers and avoid using flash inside the towers.
  • Hydration and Comfort: Bring water and wear comfortable shoes as the site involves some walking and stairs.


Thap Ba Ponagar is not just a historical site; it is a living testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Cham people and their lasting influence on Vietnam. A visit to this ancient temple complex offers a unique blend of history, culture, and scenic beauty, making it an essential stop for anyone traveling to Nha Trang. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a culture seeker, or simply a curious traveler, Thap Ba Ponagar promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.