Nha Trang, Vietnam
One of Vietnam's most popular seaside resorts, Nha Trang offers white-sand beaches, azure waters and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Gaily painted fishing boats line the harbors. Small farm villages nestle in the countryside's lush valleys. Yet this relaxed city of some 300,000 souls boasts a long and storied past.
Nha Trang was the capital of the Champa Kingdom, which dominated this corner of Southeast Asia for 13 centuries. North of the city, the great Cham Tower complex overlooks the Cai River and offers mute testimony to the kingdom's glory. Today, the towers attract locals and visitors alike, many of whom come to meditate while contemplating superb views of the river and the bay.
Nha Trang's tourist district consists of a scattering of colonial-era beachfront hotels and sidewalk cafes. The city was a popular spot for U.S. servicemen during the Vietnam War.