Thursday, 10 October 2013

Nha Trang

From Saigon/HCMC we travelled to Nha Trang, a highly recommended stop off for backpackers - right on the beach, lively nightlife and cheap cheap cheap!

As I told you in my orevious post, the sleeper bus was pretty horrendous and when we arrived in Nha Trang at 7.30am we were all more than thrilled to be off that bus.

We got a taxi to our hostel (VERY expensive for the way we were taken so try and find out where your hostel is!) We had booked into True Friends hostel, a recommendation from one of Nadia's friends, and I can see why we were told to go there. Straight away the staff were so welcoming and friendly and I felt like we had been there for a few days already! We checked in and were shown to our room, which even had its own balcony! The hostel cost us $10 each for two nights in a six bed dorm with an ensuite. You get your own lockable cupboard (bigger than a 65 litre rucksack) to lock your things away so it's incredibly safe.

We had already we were going to check out the Thap Ba mud baths and hot spring centre - so many good reviews on trip advisor and I can completely see why after a trip there!

We got a reasonable priced taxi and arrived at the spa, thankfully 5 minutes before a huge bus trip! It only cost us around $4 or $5 for a 20 minute mud bath, mineral shower, half an hour hot spring bath and access to a huge swimming pool and mineral pool. I've been to a lot of spas but this one was very relaxing and incredible for the amount we paid. Unfortunately, it started raining quite heavily so we couldn't take full advantage of the swimming pool.

We went back to our hostel, via the Lil Shack - you must go if you can, they do the best fish tacos I've ever had and they're just over a dollar! The rain persisted so we headed back to the room for a nap before having food and a night out once the others had arrived that evening.

We got ready and the others arrived, all of us hungry, we headed to Oasis and had our meals on the roof to seating. The cocktails were all half price so we managed to make our way through several buckets each. We also went to Why Not? Bar, quite nearby, which was definitely one of the stranger experiences we've had so far during our travels. It was packed full of locals, who dance very...erm...passionately? Very weird and amusing but we had a good time! We decided to head down to the beach, with every intention of watching the sunrise but with two hours to wait, we all flakes and headed to bed.

The next day, we were all feeling a little worse for wear so stayed in bed late and had an afternoon on the beach. It didn't stay sunny for long but after a smoothie from the mini mart (mango madness is a must!) and a breakfast burrito from the Lil Shack, our hangovers seemed to disappear!

That evening we went out, in search for the night market...but got a little lost and ended up finding an Indian, called Omar's, which had a deal on - 150,000 dong (20,000 dong to 1 dollar) for a starter, poppadom and chutney, a curry main, rice, a naan and a drink. Could we refuse that? No, we couldn't.  As expected, far too much food but excellent value for money. Yet again, the rain reared it's ugly head! Luckily the hostel was literally next door so we ran back and chilled in the room. 

The next day was check out day *sad face*. I really liked Nha Trang and although the weather let us down, I would definitely come back here (obviously during a season with more sunshine!) and take advantage of the beach and trips on offer here. Not only does Nha Trang have a lovely beach, there is also a waterpark (Vin Pearl) and trips to do white water rafting, elephant trekking, easy rider bike tours and numerous other things, including the mud baths and hot springs (that I 100% urge you to go to!)

Our final day in Nha Trang consisted of taking advantage of the air conditioning in Iced Coffee after a hot and sweaty trip to the day market (which, unfortunately, isn't worth venturing to - very small, very smelly and nothing worth buying unless you're in search of fruit). We found a great bar called Tarantino, which was showing Pulp Fiction (what a coincidence!) in the afternoon which was a nice way to relax before getting our 8pm sleeper bus to Hoi An! I've now been shown how to download tv series to my iPad now so am armed with Breaking Bad, New Girl and Homeland for the bus. Hooray! 


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