Skeleton of a humpback whale

Skeleton of a humpback whale

Visit the National Oceanographic Museum to experience the variety of Vietnam’s marine life and learn how the Vietnamese have interacted with the sea for hundreds of years.

What to experience ?

Nha Trang’s National Oceanographic Museum showcases a marine collection of over 10,000 species gathered since the museum opened in 1922. You can explore themed rooms dedicated to various aspects of ocean life, from traditional Vietnamese fishing techniques to the life of sea turtles.

Many of the themes focus on marine science including the history of its technology and research equipment. ‘From Light to Life’ introduces phytoplankton and the harmful algae that cause red tide. ‘Life in a Drop of Water’ takes a microscopic look at aquatic organisms. For the less biologically minded, ‘Coastal Natural Disasters’ teaches about devastating meteorological phenomena such as hurricanes, monsoons and tsunamis. Other theme rooms place the spotlight on the sacred legends, culture and traditions of Vietnam’s fishing communities.

Vietnam’s marine biodiversity can also be found in the museum’s aquariums. Black tip reef, leopard and ray sharks all ply the museum’s waters, as do sea anemone, clown fish and sea horses. Less lively are the invaluable research specimens on exhibition, with the skeleton of a centuries old humpback whale as the star attraction. Guides are also on hand to better explain the marine life on display.

Themed room,thousands of samples

Themed room, thousands of samples

How does it help ?

By exhibiting and teaching about the culture, traditions and activities of fishing communities, along with the history of marine science and research in Vietnam, the National Oceanographic Museum keeps the country’s natural and cultural sea heritage alive.

Of the 300.000 visitors entering the museum each year, about 10% are university students and school children. The museum offers them free organised, in-depth lessons in the theme rooms. Community education is another social component of the museum. It aims to raise the public’s knowledge and awareness through the guidance of the staff.

All visitors can learn about Vietnam’s marine life and its diversity along with environmentally related issues such as pollution and ecosystem degradation. The museum’s showrooms point to the need for protecting threatened marine species such as turtles and dugong,

The museum posts warnings about harmful algae causing red tide in Vietnam, and displays a collection of poisonous puffers – a fish that has killed several locals who ate them.

Some 25 local residents are fulltime employees of the museum. Others work on a part-time basis as guides and aquaculture technicians.

Contact details

National Oceanographic Museum
Institute of Oceanography
Dr. Bui Hong Long, Director
01 Cau Da, Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa, Vietnam
Tel: (+84) [0] 5859 0036
Fax: (+84) [0] 5859 0034

Location Map

Marker indicates Nha Trang …


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