Published: March 30th 2012March 11th 2012
Nha Trang to 'Jungle Beach'
The ride from Nha Trang to Jungle Beach was another really enjoyable ride, but boy was it hot. We set out north from Nha Trang a little late in the day after enjoying a nice lie in and perhaps regretting leaving such a nice place so quickly. We almost immediately lost each other on the road, George thinking Kathryn was behind him when she was actually ahead having taken a slightly different road. However the wait wasn't any hardship with such beautiful views. We continued around a hill and got our first glimpse of the many vistas of the day out over what we'd describe as a fjord (no parrots though!). Then we moved into a really wide area of rice paddies.
We eventually found ourselves riding out onto a peninsula, against a strong headwind, where we were to find 'Jungle Beach'. The first thing that struck us was the immense Hyundai international port with four huge ships docked. Surely a secluded 'Jungle Beach' resort couldn't be this way. We cycled around the perimeter of the port and continued on our way through tiny fishing villages and fields of garlic and herbs. Eventually we
arrived at the resort. It was right on the beach and many trees had been cultivated to give it a Jungle feel. We opted for the outdoor accomodation! Our opportunity to sleep beneath the stars in 'luxury'. Unfortunately we'd chosen the full moon to sleep outdoors so it was fairly bright all night. We slept ok and enjoyed the experience. The location was fantastic with some passable snorkelling (but maybe we've been spoilt) off a beautiful and quiet beach. It felt a little like Big Brother around the dinner table but we later enjoyed a game of cards with a Czech/Slovak couple. The resort was expensive but novel and as usual the staff were grumpy so and so's. Hearing how a Polish guest spoke to them we were partially sympathetic. Jungle Beach to Tuy Hoa
What a wonderful day! We headed out of Jungle Beach and retraced our steps (pedals?) to the mainland via a few detours to some secluded fishing villages, and began to work our way up the coast once more. We passed through a lovely seaside town celebrating Women's International Day. It had a great atmosphere with various locals calling us over (presumably to ply
us with some alcohol!). We stopped at a very well stocked sinh to (smoothy) shop and had some of the best, and cheapest, drinks we've had in Vietnam. As we carried on North we passed many a rice paddy being cropped in great haste as the forecast had predicted rain that evening and ripe crops would be ruined if left. At one village we were beckoned into a marquee where a derivative of Chinese Opera was being performed by a touring troupe. The whole village had turned out to watch and the two falangs that arrived seemed to add the icing on the cake for them. We were welcomed into some seats (the previous occupants having been unceremoniously booted out of them) to 'enjoy' the performance. The costumes and face painting was colourful and dramatic but the singing was painful (especially through the terribly set up PA system). Add in some random banging of large drums and the hurling of red sticks at the performers (an unusual tradition!) we certainly felt we were having an authentic cultural experience. We unfortunately had to excuse ourselves to ensure we made it to Tuy Hoa before dark.
Shortly outside Tuy Hoa we
saw lots of pigs being sold and loaded onto the backs of motorbikes. George managed to capture a video of the process.
Th rain held off until we got to Tuy Hoa and we began our search for a hotel for the night. After a few budget options were explored George was drawn to the 5 star hotel on the horizon like a moth to a flame. After much haggling with a very pleasant manager we agreed to stay for two nights at $40 a night (cheaper than many of our hotel treats). We felt a little scruffy there but thoroughly enjoyed the luxury and pleasant staff. Our sightseeing of Tuy Hoa was from the 14th
floor panoramic window. We didn't set foot outside the hotel for 36 hours. In the back of our minds we knew the next stage would take us to grotty highlands guesthouses so we enjoyed it while we could.
There are more photos below