Asia > Southeast Asia > Vietnam > Southern Vietnam > Phan Rang–Tháp Chàm
Phan Rang - Thap Cham is a former capital of the Cham Empire and lies along the 1A National Highway between Nha Trang and Phan Thiet with many Cham people still living in the area. It has a domestic resort town nearby in the form of Ninh Chu beach, 8 km to the east. There are also restored and still in use Cham relics. It is a quieter alternative to Nha Trang to the north, Dalat to the west and Phan Thiet to the south with few foreign travelers stopping. Sometimes tour buses on the way to Dalat will make a lunch and Cham tower stop here.
A cog railway that ran to Dalat has been damaged since the war. A 7-km (4.3-mi) section of the line between Da Lat Railway Station and the nearby village of Trại Mát was restored and returned to active use as a tourist attraction. Restored railway cars carry the name "Dalat Plateau Rail Road", although this name was not used when the entire line was in use. A plan was announced in 2019 to restore the remainder of the line.
This is a populated capital and motorcycle taxis (Vietnamese: xe ôm) can usually be found.
Po Kluang Garai Cham Tower 8 km west of the town on the road to Dalat near the Thap Cham train station. This is the last capital of the Cham empire before the Vietnamese took over. The location has been restored and has an interesting photography gallery in their otherwise tchotchke filled souvenir area.
Po Rame is a harder to find tower 9 km south on Highway 1A and off the highway a bit in a village. The temple is still in use although the people tending to it will usually open it up to let you in.
Relax on the sandy beaches when it is empty on the weekdays.
The stretch of Ninh Chu beach next to the Sai Gon - Ninh Chu Hotel has a bunch of local restaurants with live seafood in bowls and tanks for reasonable prices (50,000 - 150,000 dong).
Various roadside stalls serve up pho, bun, and com tam (broken rice with grilled pork chop) for 15,000 - 25,000 dong.
The hoards of goats you see wandering roads are served in the restaurants.
These prices are accurate as of June 2012.
- Huong Bien Guesthouse & Hotel, clean guesthouse further along the road once it has turned to dirt past the Sai Gon - Ninh Chu Hotel in Ninh Chu. As of June 2012 the owners were building a brand new extension next door with some rooms available. Single rooms are 150,000 dong.
- Sai Gon - Ninh Chu Hotel, a 4-star Ninh Chu beach branch of the Sai Gon hotel chain with rooms from USD50-200.