Published: July 29th 2012July 29th 2012
So following our epic bus journey we arrived at Nha Trang somewhat later than expected, around 8.30pm, with nowhere booked to stay. However, we had done some research and found a few hotels to try, so we head off into the darkness to find them, and what we found was that they were all full! So we had to start again, just trying places and hoping for the best. Its difficult hunting for accomodation in the dark with your bag, it makes you a target for every tout and driver on the streets! We quite quickly found a quiet guesthouse with a nice sized clean room for only $15 dollars a night, so we took it and thought we can always move tomorrow if its no good.
Headed out into the night and had some food in the busy market place, it was nice until the girl sat next to me shouted she just saw a rat behind me, so we finished up and headed quickly for a bar! After the busy bar strip and cheap beers of Saigon we had high expectaions of cheap beer in Vietnam, but we walked around unsuccessfuly for around 30 minutes thinking, this is
a holiday resort, there must be bars!
Now one thing we as a couple are really good at, its stepping out of the hotel and turning left and later discovering that everything we wanted was right. This was another example of this, walking round in circles we stumbled cross a really busy bar with drinks offers and music going on quite late night. We stayed late and slowly it dawned on us that the hotel was straight across the road from the bar, very convenient, but not so much when we got home at 1ish and found our room faced the bar and had no double glazing and it closes at 4am! So the next day we checked out and headed for another hotel, felt a bit bad about this as judging from the faces of the staff its not the first time this has happened!
Nha trang is basically a beach resort, so we spent most of our stay chilling on the 6KM long sandy beach. It is however quite the people watching spot. The locals all head down from about 4pm and play in the water, or set up seafood picnics on the beach with box's
full of beer, women bring down their cooking things in baskets on their shoulders and sell food on the beach. Lots of people are selling things, cold drinks, jewellery, fruit, massages (and other beauty treatments, such as the girl who came over and pointed at my legs and asked if i wanted hair removing! - Rach not James!) We even saw a group of about 20 kids performing a dance routine on the beach to be recorded!
The first part of this trip has been fantastic - but hot! Feels like we haven't stopped sweating since we got here, us English are not used to walking around busy city centre's in temps in the high 30's and high humidity, so to be honest this little beach stop has come at just the right time!
On the second day in Nha trang we tried to reserve our seat on the bus tour for 2 days later (we were told to do this 24 hours before we wished to travel) but were told it was full and we had to wait one more day, and that we had the last 2 sets, on the bottom deck at the back. I
will explain a bit more bout the seating later! But never mind, one extra day at the beach after all this hot stuffy city dwelling is not the worst thing to happen!
Standardly due to our pastiness, we did a bit of burning on the first day and so had to be mostly in the shade after that, but there were big palm trees by the beach for natural shade, and at least now we look slightly more like we have been in a tropical climate for nearly 3 weeks! All this city time has left us remaining quite pasty!
On top of all our beach time, we decided to take a walk down the other end of town where a huge cable car crosses the sea to an island where there is an exclusive resort, theme park and water park. It is claimed to be the longest over water cable car in the world. We were not actully that interested in spending the day at the water park but the lonely planet guide had said that the cable car was worth it and didn't cost much to just go and come back. After a 30 minute walk
in the heat to the cable car, we discovered that not only was this not true, but the cost of the theme park had doubled and so you had to pay $22 each regardless of if you wanted to go in the park or not, so annoyingly we just had to give up and head back to the beach for a drink!
The next day we had a walk to see the Cham towers, these were previously a large collection of towers built in the 7th - 12th centruries for use in Hindu worship, but only one main tower still remains. It was very peaceful and picturesque. We also walked to the Long Son Pagoda, which was a nice small temple with a huge buddha on the hill behind. A few little scammers there but we resisted! Apparently it was a major religious day and the temple was full of people who had come to pray.
On our last evening we stumbled apon a wine cellar just near the hotel, it was tiny and run by a frenchman with really friendly Vietnamese staff. There was a birthday party going on, so we just sat at the bar and
had a nice (expensive for vietnam!) bottle of wine. (oh how I have missed wine, its far to expensive or horrible, depending on the location!-Rach)
We were on the night bus leaving Nha Trang, and so after another chilled out day headed for the bus stop with our bags. As I said we had been put on the bottom level at the back. Sleeper buses tend to have all seperate bunk beds up the bus, 3 cross the bus with aisles between them all. However the back row is a straight 5 beds cross with no gaps. The bottom bunks are generally just slightly raised from the floor. The back ones however are about 2 feet off the floor, leaving you without enough space to even sit up on the bed. For Rach it was more comfortable than the last becuse I had no box to put my feet inside, just a nice long bed with the window on one side and James on the other. For James he had a random girl lying on his other side and he couldn't sit up. Every time we went past a petrol station the bus slowed down to see who he
could pick up, and we ended up with people sleeping in the aisles. Standard. But suprisingly, we were on time arriving at Hoi An...wonders never cease!
There are more photos below