Published: May 14th 2010May 6th 2010
So with half a tonne of red sand tucked into various items of clothing, we set off to catch another sleeper bus to Vietnam’s premier beach resort Nha Trang; which was to be a short journey further up the coast. Once we arrived we were dropped off at a Nha Trang side street in the dark and were promptly ushered into a hotel next to the bus stop, where we snapped up a lovely room for less than five pounds. After dropping of our stuff, the urge for bad food overcame us, so we took a stroll down to the beautifully illuminated beach front and treated ourselves to an extravagant meal of lamb shank and ostrich burgers in a posh restaurant, which after months of chicken, rice and noodles, was nothing short of sublime.
We spent the next couple of days eating home comfort food, reading on the beach and being slightly nervous of the humongous waves that were crashing down upon the shore. After a couple of days of the lazy life, we decided to visit Vin Pearl, an island holiday resort - slash - amusement park - come - rich man’s play ground. You could see the island
from Nha Trang, in particular, the name of the resort spelled out on its hills in not-so tasteful Hollywood style lettering. We decided we must check it out and jumped into the cable car that would cart us across the sea into a strange paradise for ‘kidults.’
When we arrived, we noticed how deserted the island seemed to be and how beautifully landscaped it was, like you would expect from a really upmarket holiday resort. What you might not expect however, was the full blown water park, amusement park, a building dedicated to arcade games, an aquarium and a beautiful but obviously man made beach. And best of all, everything in this heaven of adrenaline, bright lights and candyfloss, was completely free!
Ready to make the most of it, we changed into our swim things and spent hours in the deserted water park checking out the various slides and rides. Admittedly the slides may not have passed health and safety tests in the UK, (I think I nearly drowned once and ended the day with half of the skin missing from my back) nevertheless, it was good fun. After snacking on popcorn and wandering around all the different
parts of the island resort, we headed across to the theme park where I went on the ‘scary’ rides whilst Tom chickened out, slightly unnerved by the signs telling us that the company would take no responsibility for any deaths caused by the negligence of themselves or their employees. Reassuring! After all of the adrenaline thrills we decided to tame it down. Tom satisfied himself with; terrorising the locals on the dodgems (particularly when they got stuck whilst trying to work out how to reverse,) trying to beat me at the hundreds of free arcade games they had and attempting (unsuccessfully) to beat the bucking bronco.
After all of the fun we decided it was time to revert back to adulthood, so we headed off for the more cultured sound and light show before browsing around one of the most beautiful aquariums I have ever been to. Eventually it became too difficult to keep the inner child suppressed from all of the free fun, so we headed back to the arcade hall so that I could thrash Tom mercilessly at air hockey. Tom’s pride being bruised, made me stand next to him as he repeatedly punched a punch bag
in an attempt to get the highest score. Eventually he did achieve the highest score (hurting his wrist in the process) and now proclaims himself the strongest man in Asia.
Finally the time came to head back; we reluctantly jumped into a cable car, both a little too infatuated with the big playground. The cable car ride home was thoroughly eerie at 10 ‘o’ clock at night, it was pitch black outside and all you could hear was the howling of the wind as the cable car rocked back and forth over the sea. We tried not to imagine being plunged into the ocean, but it was inevitable really, so instead we spent our time plotting escape plans whilst Tom repeated ‘oh, my mum wouldn’t like this.’ Eventually we reached the hotel and collapsed into bed, exhausted, just like the big kids we are.
On our last day in Nha Trang we decided to check out the highly rated mud baths nearby. Once we arrived we were shown to a bath tub which was filled with cold muddy water. Lovely. After dutifully sitting in the freezing mud for twenty minutes we got out and were shown to a
heart shaped tiny tub which was filled with boiling hot water. Again, we were uncomfortably squished inside it for twenty minutes, before moving over into the heated pools for a quick swim (these were actually quite nice.) Having been successfully muddied, cleaned and exercised, we ran off to catch our third sleeper bus in Vietnam. I think it would be fair to say that the mud baths were not quite what we had expected, although to be fair, our skin did feel pretty good afterwards.
There are more photos below