Nha Trang, Vietnam
March 21st – 23rd 2011
(Sunrise at Nha Trang.)
I had originally wanted to go straight to Hoi An from Saigon thinking I would skip Nha Trang because I didn’t think there was much else there besides a beach but the lady at my guesthouse who helped me book my ticket told me Hoi An is WAY farther than I thought it was. I would have to take an 8 pm night-bus for 11 hours to reach Nha Trang where I would have to wait another 12 hours for the 7 pm night-bus to Hoi An (the only one), which would take me another 11 hours. So much for Saigon to Hoi An. And thank goodness because I found out Nha Trang was awesome.
(The inside of a typical sleeping bus in Vietnam. Take off shoes first.)
The moment the bus got there, I could feel that I would like the place. It had a very relaxed non-chaotic feel. I had arrived at 6 am but got accommodation secured pretty quickly and on top of that, decided to start off my day immediately with an 8:30 am boat-tour of the islands on the coast. I didn’t realize I should’ve brought my swimming trunks along because people had the opportunity to go snorkeling at some locations where the boat stopped. The trip ended with a fun performance by the boat crew members when they formed a make-shift band (with make-shift drums) and played various international songs. The tour guide would ask where everyone was from, and then invite various nationalities to come up on stage one by one where the band would play a song from their respective countries. We had a Russian, Japanese, British, and even a Polish song.
(Red Hot Chilli who?)
I spent the following day bathing in mud and relaxing at the beach. I took a motorcycle ride to the Thap Ba Hot Springs and it was an interesting experience to feel like a pig bathing in a pool of fragrant mud that’s poured in from pipes on request. After the mud bath, I headed back to the beach to enjoy the sand, views, and my book.
I did some diving the next day. Sadly, visibility was quite poor at this time, about 2-3 meters, so it wasn’t the best conditions to capture the full beauty of down under. Our dive-master did bring an underwater camera so he snagged on pictures and videos of us diving. I’ve never had a picture of myself diving so it was nice to have one.
(Nha Trang is A-ok!)
I found a good joint for “bun bo hue” so I was eating it almost each night. Sometimes I would eat at a “com” (rice) joint where you pick what you want from several home-cooked dishes laid out. I would eat a “banh mi” (Viet sandwich) for breakfast each morning.
(Bun bo hue.)
I had heard in Saigon that it was raining in Nha Trang and was lucky to enjoy 3 days of sun because on the last day I was there, it was cold, windy, and wet. The beach was near empty. I had to wait out the entire day until my 7 pm bus to Hoi An and had little choice. Would’ve been better if I had scheduled to leave the night before and saved myself a night’s stay.