Nha Trang is the beach capital of Vietnam. It is full of places to eat, drink and party. It is exactly the kind of destination that my Dad would hate – one of those places crammed full of tourists. That however doesn’t detract from the magnificent beach on offer. Maybe it’s a younger person thing, but if anything the liveliness of Nha Trang added to the experience for me. We’d had enough ‘tranquillity’ during the couple of days we’d spent in the mostly empty beach town, Mui Ne.
Wanting to socialize with other travellers more, on this leg of the trip (nights out aren’t quite the same as just a couple) we opted to stay a dorm room. As usual we just picked the highest recommended hostel, on either http://www.hostelworld.com or http://www.hostelbookers.com, which fitted our specifications. This time Mojzo Inn came up – voted the best hostel in Vietnam and the 3rd best in Asia. I think they truly deserved it; as well as the dorm rooms being really nice, with a great breakfast included, the staff were some of the most friendly and helpful I have ever met. They knew absolutely everyone by name and would even insist on offering you aloe vera when you inevitably came back in with severe sun burn.
The beach is stunning, though theft is a bit of an issue, hence the lack of photos (we were scared of losing our cameras whilst we swam). The mountains and islands reminded me of being back in Hong Kong, though obviously the beach was bigger in Nha Trang and the water quality far superior. In fact the water was crystal clear, which perhaps made the odd bit of litter floating about even more infuriating, just preventing it from being perfect. We didn’t actually spend as much time on the beach as anticipated; with the sun being far to hot and poor Matt burning like a lobster. I too ended up a bit pink to say the least.
We booked one day with Amazing Snorkelling tour. This included snorkelling around a couple of the islands and lunch on the boat. The reefs weren’t that colourful but there were plenty of fish to see. I got a bit freaked out on the last dive by these tiny jellyfish (being stung by a big one in Malaysia left me with a bit of a phobia) but overall it was a great trip and good value for money. Oddly enough we were surprised to see a big American navel ship in Vietnamese waters – perhaps a sign of their not so friendly current relations with China.
Another fun day was spent at Vinpearl Land; a waterpark/ theme park. Matt wasn’t keen on the idea but he’d said no to waterparks in pervious cities and I was finally going to get my way. Needless to say it turns out to be another brilliant one of Emma’s ideas. We both had a brilliant time.
To get to Vinpearl you have to take a cable car that crosses the sea to an island. The rides are pretty small (more fairground than theme park) but we were there for the water park in any case as it was HOT. There is also a beach on Vinpearl. The joins on some of the waterslides actually made them a little painful to ride, but the ones where you slide on inflatables were great fun. We also spent a great deal of time playing games inside the air conditioned arcade. All games were free to play, from air hockey to shooting and racing computer games. It was basically a day spent acting like big kids.
The final tourist attraction we headed to in Nha Trang was the mud baths. Bathing in mud is supposed to be great for your skin. Try it; it’s weird and slimy! We were crammed into a tub with a few other westerners – a great conversation starter. After you’ve bathed in the mud, you then sit in the sunshine until the mud has dried. Once dried you then shower off and head to the thermal pools. There were also thermally heated big swimming pools. Very relaxing, but I think we would’ve liked something slightly cooler in the heat.