17.10.2011 – 20.10.2011 Rainy 28 °C
We booked to leave Ho Chi Minh at 9pm on a sleeper bus for $10 with an ETA of 7am for Nha Trang. And blow me down, we left at 9pm on a sleeper bus, one bus – we didn’t have to change and arrived at 7am. Blimey. Good night sleep too, a little cramped as the beds are definitely made for the Vietnamese but compared to some of the journeys we’ve had it was good. Found a nice hotel for £4.50 a night which was a bargain, although we did have to change rooms because of no hot water and then there was a power cut all night and the following day.
Moped Ride. We went to visit a travel rep to ask what there was to do and she recommended hiring a bike to visit a church, a big Buddha, a Pagoda and some mud baths. None of that sounded appealing to me but we grabbed the bike anyway and I’m glad we did. Although, the church was a joke – a tiny building with a steeple which was good enough to cross off as done by driving past it, the big Buddha was in front of what look like someones house and in a run down condition and we couldn’t be bothered to go to the Pagoda, so we set off down the coastal road towards to mud baths. It was baking hot, the road was perfect and the scenery was amazing, mountains on one side and the sea on the other. We got so lost enjoying our view we ended up in the next town 40kms down the coast, 35kms past the mud baths. Who wants to be covered in mud anyway? Verdict: Definitely recommend. Get a bike and go for a ride.
Our four remaining days in Nha Trang were a bit boring, mostly spent sleeping and eating. It was quite rainy so that cancelled the beach plans twice and island hopping once. Onwards and upwards… We did find flights from HCMC to Manila for £85 each for three weeks time which we snapped up. Probably could get them cheaper by turning up at the airport in Hanoi but these were too cheap to turn down. Of course it did mean we had to make our way back down to HCMC from Hanoi again to catch them but I’d been hearing good things about the trains…
Booked the train from Hanoi to HCMC three days before our Manila flight for £50 each. 35 hours, one way with one train. Two soft sleeper beds in a four berth compartment on the best train available – SE7. The travel rep was over the moon when she took the money off us, not being able to contain her glee by smiling at everything we said. But for £50 each we were happy to have it booked as they get booked up well in advance, so even though we were probably stung, good luck to you bird.
The restaurants and bars are a bit tacky, they love a neon light and the food has been hit and miss. If you have nice weather Nha Trang could be a nice place to spend a few days.
We are aware we have missed an island that is highly recommended called Mui Ne. The travel books rave about it but we have only heard average comments. Once you have seen one island…