Vietnam – Nah Trang
19th Monday October
Set off from Ho Chi Minh City at 8am on the sleeper bus, our first experience on a long bus journey. We were advised to take the sleeper bus as it’s more comfortable. Instead of a seated coach the sleeper buses have 3 rows of beds, a little like sun beds!!! Pretty comfortable anyway. Not so great for Ryan with his long legs though. On the way we saw loads of different scenery, many farming lands, remote villages, sand dunes. For lunch we stopped in a town called Muine, a beach resort. Looked lovely but not much to see or do, apart from sunbath of course!
After a long 10 hours we reached our destination….Nah Trang at 6.30pm! Found our hostel, called backpackers house!!! First impression of the place was very nice. The hostel was great, within the grounds they had a restaurant and a bar. On arrival we were given a discount card to use 10% of all food and drink. We were also given a free drink voucher each to use in the bar. Once settled in our room we headed down to the restaurant to grab some dinner. Thought it would be rude not to use our free drinks voucher so off we trotted to the ‘Big Apple’ bar. A few drinks and cocktails later we met some guys from England, played some pool and went to another bar with them.
20th Tuesday October
Not such a fab day, this is when Kimmy got sick!!! We have put it down to the ice that I had in some of the drinks the night before. All the bars say the ice is made from bottled water, but I think not!!! Seeing as I spent the day in bed and the loo. The hostel was very nice though, as we were meant to change rooms by 11am but I couldn’t even get out of bed so they let us stay longer until our next room was ready. By the evening I was feeling a bit better so did venture down for some food. Then spent the evening watching films in our room on cable HBO channel!!!!
21st Wednesday October
Felt a little better toady so we decided to head out to look around. Weather was very good here, pure blue sky and very hot, had to be about 33 degrees!! Couldn’t not spend some time on the beach could we…what a lovely beach it was!! Apart from getting hassled from the locals it was nice, the sea was clear once you got pass the layer of rubbish (a little disappointing). Layered up the factor 30 cream and chilled out for a good 3 hours…the sun was way too hot to spend any longer. We could also feel ourselves frying so decided to find somewhere for lunch. After lunch we decided to have a stroll around the town, not too much to see here, we strolled along the beach front before heading back to the hostel. Chilled out for a few hours in the bar playing pool. We decided to book in for another night as we had lost a day when I was ill!!! Still wasn’t feeling 100% so we had a fairly quiet evening, found somewhere for dinner before calling it a night!!
22nd Thursday October
Today we were up early, had booked onto a boat trip!!! Picked up from the hostel where we were taken to the harbor. Here we boarded our boat for the day and headed out to sea. Our first stop was Mun Island, here we had the chance to visit the local aquarium. For 35,000 dong each the aquarium took us 20 mins to get around…over all not the best place in the world!!! However we did see some pretty tropical fish and some HUGE cat fish (Zoe you would have freaked out) also in tanks were some little sharkies!!!! Once back on the boat we were taken to an area where we had the chance to snorkel and swim over some coral and tropical fish….ummm this was a lie!!! The water was misty so you couldn’t see anything, also the water was full of rubbish!! Instead we swam around for a bit, avoiding rubbish on the way!! Did get chatting to some old Aussie couple who were pretty funny. Had been travelling around for 5 years. Had rented there house out back in Oz and brought a camper van to travel around in.
By now it was about midday so we were expecting to pull up on land for some lunch. The tour said that lunch would be included at some floating restaurant followed by time on a floating bar!!!! Well this was an understatement…..instead we stayed on the boat!!!! Where they had cooked the meal on the back of the boat, the seats were turned into tables!!! The food wasn’t too bad, but had to be cautious!!! By this point we had decided the tour was more like an 18-30’s party boat tour …not a nice boat tour of the islands!!! We felt sorry for the lad that had taken his mum on holiday and for the Vietnam couple on their honeymoon!! Also we learnt how much the Aussie’s can drink….beer after beer after beer!
Once lunch was served on came the ‘Funky Monkey’ band….consisted of the tour guide singing, a man on drums made out of pots and pans and 2 guys on their guitars. They played for about an hour while forcing people to go up and sing karaoke!!! We luckily got out of this….apart from being made to dance on deck!!! Now it was time for the floating bar…again the boat didn’t move. Instead the bar consisted of a giant rubber ring with the other tour guide, which had been nicknamed ‘Lady Boy’ during the day…every now and then kept shouting out ‘Up your Bum’ when having to drink! He also randomly was wearing a bike helmet…all very amusing!! The drinks on the floating bar were free….however this was only one type of drink. A homemade cocktail made up of rice wine, white wine, orange and vodka….it was horrid!!! Me and Ryan we very sneaky and floated on our rings at the back avoiding drinking the cocktail, lady boy was also catching people out who said NO to more drink, making them down a cup full of the lovely stuff!!!
When we finally set off…we were looking forward to visiting another island where there was a private beach called Trang beach. Here we had been promised some free time, sunbathing etc. Another con….20,000 dong each we had to pay for what was not even a nice beach. Was crowded with locals and not clean. Instead we spent an hour on the most uncomfy beach chairs luckily were free, while the tour guys enjoyed playing cards with their other boat friends! We could smell something fishy going on…more likes we had been conned big time!
Back on the boat we were greeted with fresh fruit to munch on, this was probably the best bit of the day! While heading back to the harbor we were meant to visit a floating fishing village, this didn’t happen. So back to the hostel we went, an hour earlier than we were told. Overall you could say we was a little disappointed to say the least, what started off to be a cheap tour actually cost us a fair bit!
23rd Friday October
Our last day in Nah Trang, a nice chilled out day! We had been told by the Aussies that there was a nice pool along the beach where you can spend the day. So off we went to find it, was a very nice pool area set just of the beach. All we had to do was buy a drink….so we were able to chill out on nice comfortable sun loungers. Had some lunch here as well, a lovely meal. I had a rich dish served and cooked in a clay pot…Ryan had beef with lemongrass and chili!! Headed back to the hostel where we showered and cleaned up ready for our night journey to Hoi An. Got picked up about 6.30pm on the sleeper bus ready for the 10 hour trip to Hoi An. We finally left Nah Trang at 8pm after the bus drivers had picked up the remaining part of their families, a motorbike and an engine. So by now we were pretty pissed off, defiantly some people trafficking going on hehe!! Wouldn’t have been so bad if the local people didn’t smell the bus out so much. During the night we stopped off at various petrol stations, all with disgusting toilets…the traditional Vietnam squat loos…YUK!!!! Both managed to get some sleep though, once you got used to the bumpy ride is wasn’t too bad.