So after our very adventourous day in Da Lat it was time for some proper R&R. The place to do that in Vietnam is Nha Trang. We said our tearful goodbyes to the great family in the hostel and got going in the minibus. The minibus turned out to be our bumpy mode of transport for the entire journey.
To make the journey down from the mountains we had to take some seriously winding roads through some amazing countryside. The roads here are so mixed – sometimes you have like top quality motorways and then there are parts of the road with potholes like craters on the moon. I have to say I’ve never before seen so many waterfalls in my life. There were waterfalls dropping out of the mountains at incredible heights. Thank God my stomach was in good shape again, because the roads were frightfully windy. It was really worth doing this trip during daylight, just to see the spectacular views. It would have been nice to stop off for a bit, but alas there were no stops on this tour.
Once we got to Nha Trang we dropped our bags off at the hotel and went out and about to check out the city. I was a bit worried it would be a trashy city as I had heard some mixed reports. In reality the city is what you make of it yourself. Yeah sure it’s crammed full of Russians and the City caters mainly to tourists, but if you move away from the centre it is actually quite nice. We took a look at the beach, but the waves and wind didn’t really make a day on the beach that appealing. We decided to check out the shopping centre and it was a real goldmine. Sure it’s a bit westernised but it is a great opportunity to stock up on some things you can’t find anywhere else, like peanut butter, shampoo, toiletries are some home comforts. You pay through the teeth, but that’s life!
Nha Trang is the perfect place to charge up the battery and the following days were filled with easygoing and relaxing moments. We spent two days on the beach, one of them was new years day! For new years eve we were already in bed by 10 pm! That’s the great part about being so flexible, you can do as you please without feeling tied down to a schedule.
A highlight of the trip so far has been the friendliness of the people. The absolute top of the list was the owners of the hotel we stayed at, the Binh An hotel. The lady of the house gave us fresh fruit every day and even cooked us a meal of spring rolls from her own kitchen. Such kindness! We had asked about a nice place to grab a snack and a drink and then she told us to wait five minutes. Then she whipped us up a snack and gave us two beers to wash down the yummy Vietnamese spring rolls. Before we left we gave her a little present of a potted plant and she was really blown away by the gift. We really enjoyed the stay at the hotel.
Before we left Nha Trang we visited the hot mud baths for a day of pampering. I wasn’t so impressed, but it was a relaxing day to unwind before the 11 hour overnight bus ride to Hoi An. The trip turned out to be 13 hours, but that’s a story for a different day!