We left Da Lat after 4 days of very wet weather, it felt very much like Bonfire Night in England, where you know its going to rain and be miserable even though you want to go out. Because of this we decided to head to Nha Trang for a few days before heading up the coast to Hoi An. From Da Lat we took a 4 hour bus to Nha Trang costing 120000 Dong (£4) using the Viet Nhat Bus Company. This was still a small bus but so much nicer than the An Phu Bus Company I mentioned in my previous post. Again we had a choice of times to leave, 07:30 or 12:30 and this time we chose the earlier option. This was because our hostel agreed to still provide our free breakfast, just wrapped up to take with us! The scenery on the journey was stunning, a sweeping, looping mountain road running to the coast. It would have been perfect to ride a motorbike through, if only it wasn’t so wet. I don’t feel confident on a motorbike yet, especially with the sideways rain and windy roads, so I’m saving that for a bit later in my trip. We arrived in Nha Trang at 11:30 and made our way to the hostel, iHome backpackers. Jesper and Naomi had booked a private room and me and Holly were in a 6 bed dorm. The good thing about this hostel was that every night between 6 and 7 they provide unlimited free beer, literally as much as you can drink, on the rooftop terrace overlooking Nha Trang. There is a problem with this however, in these kind of hostels you get people coming into your room at 04:30 in the morning, others passed out on their backs snoring at 21:00 and others coming back and squeezing 2 people onto the top bunk of the bed. This wasn’t too much of a problem for me but just a heads up if you’re a light sleeper or don’t want to party too hard. Naomi and Jesper paid £2 more then me and Holly for their private room and they obviously didn’t get any of these late night disturbances.
The beach at Nha Trang is a 12km stretch of yellow sand with sunbeds available for 35000 Dong (£1.10) for the day. This is perfect if you haven’t had a great nights sleep the night before. The beach is quite windy so you don’t particularly feel the heat, so be careful you don’t burn. There are watersports available such as paddle boarding and kite surfing if you wish to give this a go. On our first day we had lunch in the Sailing Club Restaurant, located on the beach front. It is a lovely restaurant with great food, just expect to pay more here for the convenience of the location. When I say a little more, main course are between £5-£10.
On the 1st October it was Hollys 27th birthday and she wanted to do something a bit different so she decided on a mud bath/spa. There are 4 different options in Nha Trang and she decided on the 100 egg park. I found this really weird, they had essentially built an egg themed theme park, with eggs everywhere, a zoo, a spa, a mud bath, swimming pools and more eggs. However it was like something from a weird fairytale land, just deserted. The mud baths were kind of busy but there was nobody anywhere else. This isn’t something I would normally do but I thought as it’s her birthday I couldn’t let her go on her own. In the end Naomi came with us as well and we split the 170000 Dong taxi between the 3 of us. Upon arrival we selected option number 3 and paid 250000 Dong (£8.30) each to share a mud bath between the 3 of us. You could get your own private egg filled with mud for 350000 Dong (£11.60) but we decided to share a bigger bath. They provide you with a locker key and there are towels available to rent, then you go off to have a shower before wallowing in some mud. I thought it would be really unhygienic but luckily they provide each bath with fresh mud before you enter. You get 25 minutes minutes sitting in the mud before getting out to shower again and head off to the swimming pools to relax. Your skin feels beautifully silky smooth. However after getting out of the mud bath I felt that my sugar level had run really so I headed out to buy myself a Fanta, while the girls went for a quick dunk in the pool. I have since read online that mud baths can reduce your blood sugar level, something I would never have believed, but there was no reason for my sugar level to be that low, so maybe it’s true. I’m not too sure about that though!!
From Nha Trang we wanted to head to Hoi An. We had a few options here:
- 14 hour bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An.
- 10 hour day train to Da Nang, stay the night then a local bus to Hoi An.
- 10 hour night train to Da Nang, then the local bus straight to Hoi An.
The train for some reason doesn’t go to Hoi An, it goes past up to Da Nang. We chose the second option, the day train, in order to see some of the scenery along the way. If I was on my own I would have chosen the night train, but as Jesper is 6ft 7 he struggles to fit in the beds on public transport. We decided to catch the train from Nha Trang Station at 13:27, costing 399000 Dong (£13.30) for the soft seat class. The hard seats were available for a cheaper price but they are just wooden benches, not very comfortable for the long period of time. I took a walk up and down the train, even played a game of Yahtzee in the hard seat class but it was very damp and uncomfortable. There are food carts that walk up and down regularly and at around 17:30 there is dinner served for 30000 Dong, a simple meal of rice, eggs, soup and soy sauce. We arrived in Da Nang at 23:00 and caught a taxi to our hostel. The train was very comfortable, with a TV, spacious seats and friendly locals and its 4 hours quicker than the bus. The next morning we took advantage of our free breakfast, before catching the local bus to Hoi An costing 30000 Dong (£1). On the side of the bus it said the price was 18000, but the guy collecting the money claimed it was 12000 Dong for our bags. I don’t know how true this was or if it was a scam, if it was I hope my extra £0.34 helped him out!! We are now in Hoi An and I plan to spend a fair few days here, maybe getting a suit made for myself. The girls want to get loads of clothes made so me and Jesper are planning a fishing trip, I’ve never been fishing before but I can’t imagine it will be too stressful. I plan to put my feet up on the side of the river, sipping ice cold beer and enjoying the 30 degree heat, I’ll let you know how that goes!