An unexpected trip to Nha Trang…
Originally we planned on taking a bus from Ho Chi Minh City straight to Hoi An, but decided to come up with a contingency when we found out that the journey takes twenty five hours. It wasn’t a hard decision to make though – we just stopped half way to break things up a bit.
Day 300 – Saturday 18th March 2016
Our bus departed at 07:30 this morning and took ten and a half hours to reach Nha Trang, but drove along a beautiful road overlooking the South China Sea which made the journey a lot more bearable. We had a really cool sleeper style bus too, with seats that recline back into beds, though we didn’t sleep which made them a bit worthless.
We arrived at around 18:00 and walked to Min Hostel where we had two beds reserved in the six person dorm, then had a quick freshen up and headed straight to a local restaurant called Lanterns for dinner. We had to wait to be seated in the restaurant, which hasn’t happened to us in as long as I can remember, but was a sure sign of things to come. Any restaurant that’s popular enough to have a queue has to be at least half decent doesn’t it?
Usually we skip starters but made an exception this time in favour of Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, which looked rather peculiar and tasted quite unusal too. Then for our mains we shared two dishes – Abbie chose the wok tossed lemongrass and chilli pork, while I went for ginger chicken and vegetables served in a typical Vietnamese claypot. Not only was the food absolutely fantastic, but it was pretty inexpensive too, setting us back less than 300,000₫ in total (that’s less than £6 per person, for two courses and a drink).
It was back to the hostel and straight into bed from there, to catch an early night after one of those days where we didn’t really do much but somehow managed to leave ourselves shattered. Still, if our first evening was anything to go by, we definitely picked a winner by chosing to visit Nha Trang!
Day 301 – Sunday 19th March 2016
We woke up bright and early this morning, headed up to the rooftop bar at our hostel where they served free breakfast until 10:00, then took a short walk to Nha Trang Beach where we stayed for the entire day:
We paid 200,000₫ (around £4 each) for two sun loungers with an umbrella, and a fruit platter consisting of a whole watermelon, a whole dragonfruit, a whole mango and two bananas, then relaxed to our hearts content until the sun started to go down.
Back at our hostel we joined fourteen other guests for a traditional Vietnamese dinner which was cooked for us by the family who own the place. We had ricepaper pancakes to start, followed by a chicken and vegetable curry for our main, and fresh watermelon for dessert. What made the experience even more special was the fact that we had to prepare the pancakes for ourselves, which was a real ice breaker, and taught us a thing or two about Vietnamese cooking as well.
We stayed up for a couple of beers with our new friends after eating, then said goodnight and went to bed around 22:00. I’m surprised that I lasted that long actually, especially after so much amazing food, but there was a real positive vibe about our group and nobody wanted to let it go.
Funny isn’t it, how it’s always the unexpected places that you end up enjoying the most? We thought Nha Trang was going to be nothing more than a quick stopover on our way to Hoi An, but happened to absolutely love it.