Morning campers! So Vietnam was turning out to be one of the best places we’d been to on our trip so far. We were having such a good time, it felt like we were on holiday! I was super sad to be leaving Hoi An, I’d found it to be fun, beautiful and chilled out all at the same time. We’d eaten some amazing food there and also found the cheapest Bia Hoi too!
After getting a taxi back to good old Da Nang, we jumped onto a train that would take 10 hours to get to Nha Trang – our next stop south. Another sleeper carriage job but this time Andy and I had the whole room to ourselves for the entire journey. It was great! I’m also pleased to tell you that I didn’t fall over in the toilet again. Happy days 🙂 Once the sun set though the cockroaches came out which wasn’t ideal, so I spent the last 3 hours of the journey fidgeting around on my dirty mattress, trying to scare them off. Gross!!! We rocked up in Na Trang at around 8.30pm and jumped into a taxi to our guesthouse. Passing the busy sea front full of restaurants and bars, and the giant ‘Vinpearl Land’ sign lit up like Hollywood in the distance (a water/theme park on its own island!), it was clear to see that this place was a holiday destination and was going to be wicked!
During our first nights sleep at the guesthouse, our neighbours returned drunk and loud (by the sounds of it there were a few guys and one laughing girl). Then, at around 6am, we woke to the sound of someone coughing and throwing his guts up next door. In between the chunder sessions, the Vietnamese guy would go outside to the balcony next to our window for a fag and a chat on his mobile. After about 10 mins all his friends joined him, so we gave up trying to sleep and decided to go and get some breakfast. When we left the room we bumped into five young lads all dressed in floor length gold tunics and sparkling hats. The smoker was being sick again and it was clear to see they’d all had a heavy night but were supposed to be going somewhere special. The lady I’d heard was nowhere to be seen. Hmmmmm? It turns out that the guy throwing up was getting married and they’d all been out the night before on the stag party! ‘The Hangover part III – Revenge of the Bia Hoi’. Ha ha!
After breakfast we jumped onto a local bus (aircon and leather seats – very sexy for 12p each!) to the cable cart park, where you take a 10-15 mins ride over the sea to Vinpearl Land. We met up with our Australian friends Lisa and Harry, and couldn’t wait to get on those water slides. First we visited the aquarium then spent the next four hours throwing ourselves down some crazy slides (some were so badly welded together, they took your back off when you went down) and laughing our heads off to the craziness and danger of it all. One of the slides we named ‘re-birth’ – a pitch black slide that hurt like hell going down, making you scream at the top of your lungs before hurtling you into a big red circular tub (like a money donation box) before popping you out through a tiny hole at the bottom into a pool of bubbling water. I didn’t do that one again.
After lunch we went to the other side of the island to the theme park and amusement arcade. The Vietnamese were making a massive fuss of one particular roller coaster (one I wouldn’t have bothered wetting myself over when I was 10). People were crying and laughing when getting off. Most people could barely walk and some looked like they were going to be sick. Us four got on, whizzed round and walked off unfazed by the whole thing, much to the astonishment of the Vietnamese queueing up. I guess our rides back home are slightly more hardcore. We then went to the amusement arcade where everything was free! Yes FREE! Our inner child was set loose and we spent the next hour bashing moles, riding horses, hitting punch bags and playing basketball. It was ace!
Later that night, the four of us ate at a local sea food restaurant surrounded by people sat on tiny plastic chairs and making huge piles of shells next to their tables. The boys went up to the water tanks to choose our dinner and watched the waiter net out the fresh produce. We ate peanuts and quail eggs as a snack (we didn’t order these, they were just thrown down onto the table when we arrived), clams and fresh prawns to start and then a whole grilled fish with rice and kale as a main. It was so so yummy!!! With a few beers too, the whole meal for the four of us came to just £15. Now that’s a bargain!
The next day we met up again for a snorkelling trip. We got onto a boat with about 15 other people and headed off to the first of four dive sights. The sea here was so clear, we saw tons of fish and other sea creatures including starfish, seahorses and an octopus. Back on board when traveling between sights, Lisa and I felt sick as dogs, so laid down the whole time snoozing while the boys joked around with our snorkelling tour guide who had named himself ‘Happy Buddha’ due to his pot belly. Harry had been laughing about Andys groin grope back in Laos by a little gay fella (see our Vang Vieng blog post) when Happy Buddha placed his hands on Harry’s leg, a little too high and for a little too long. The boys were laughing about it when Happy Buddha questioned them about what was so funny. Harry landed Andy in it by saying Andy had told a funny joke. The guide, keen to learn more English and impress his tours, wanted to know this funny joke. Shit! Now Andy had to come up with a joke that was not only funny but easy for the Vietnamese guy to understand. Nice one Harry ha ha! So Andy quickly replied ‘what’s brown and sticky? A stick!’. And so spent the next 20 mins explaining what a stick was and why it was brown. Not very funny 🙂
After saying our goodbyes to Lisa and Harry who were catching an early bus the next morning to Da Lat, we went back to our room to shower and bare witness to our bright red burnt skin (and in my case, a very burnt ass). Damn, we’d done it again. We’d burnt ourselves raw! Not a good look, especially when you’re just getting over the last peeling session. That night was a hot uncomfortable night I can tell thee.
The next day we woke up without an alarm – looooovely, and sat in the local cafe after breakfast, cruising the free wifi looking at Mui Ne, our possible next destination. Turns out we were seriously running out of time and had to be out the country sooner than we thought, so we scrapped the idea of going to Mui Ne and decided to visit the mountain village of Da Lat instead before moving onto our last stop – Saigon. We spent the rest of the day chillin by the beach, in a brew house called the Louisiane Brewery, sampling all their home made beers and getting quite jolly at the same time 🙂 I really didn’t want to leave Nha Trang, a bit like how I didn’t want to leave Hoi An. They were both so much fun, I’d love to return one day on holiday. I would recommend them both to anyone. That night, instead of going to bed early because of the coach ride to Da Lat the next day, we stayed up and watched the bloody Euros (football) – England vs Italy. What a waste of time that was! After a shite game, extra time and then penalties, it was all over at around 4am with England losing. We had to be up for the coach two hours later! And people wonder why I’m not getting excited about the Olympics! Ha!