04.07.2011 - 11.08.2012 34 °C
From Cambodia we caught a 15 hour bus ride back to Saigon then flew to nha trang. The first couple of nights we stayed at the tide hotel which was away from the main tourist centre, nice big rooms some with balconies looking out over the sea for $14 a night, we couldn't get one with a balcony though so went ingot the tourist area to look. We tried to walk but after 2 hours in the sun a guy pulled over and drove us round the tourist area so we knew where to find it then drove us to a restaurant near the beach, I should probably point out here that this guy was on a scooter and there were now three of us on there, Josh was on the back bouncing off the end if the seat on every bump and was freaking out, this guy was driving fast and weaving in and out if traffic, when we got the restaurant we had a few margaritas to calm the nerves. There were kids throwing empty beer bottles over the balcony where they smashed into the rocks and beach. The parents and staff didn't care at all and staff laughed when we kicked up a fuss about it. One thing the vietnamese don't have an issue with is throwing rubbish everywhere. It's in the street, it's on the beach, it's in the waterways. it's in the sea where they fish and swim.
After lunch our driver was outside with some other bloke and even though we'd told him not to wait, there he was. At this point we were feeling a bit tipsy after the margaritas and the guys offered to take us on a tour round town. I said if they went slowly it would be fine, we visited a large orange pagoda where I had to wear a robe type thing to cover my shoulders and legs, then a big white Buddha where students where trying to sell us paintings and then had an angry rant at us when we didn't buy any.
The next day we found the accommodation that held us for a month, it was called ha thu and was down a little alleyway off the main street. The room was huge, took up half the top floor and had a large private balcony, top floor over looking the whole bay, you could even see vinpearl the Asian Disneyland across the bay, lit up at night. For $14 a night we took it! We stayed a month.
Pho was not as prevalent as in Saigon but there were plenty of good things to eat. The cycle cafe sold amazing vinegar boiled beef, which came out in a terra-cotta pot still boiling, the broth had vinegar, tiny pieces of lemongrass, ginger, beef, stock, shallots, onion, tomato in it and was served with rice paper rolling paper that was soft, lettuce, mint and cucumber. The idea was you put the beef and big bits from the stock into the paper with the veges and herbs. Get it from the Cyclo Cafe Tasted amazing and I had it so many times. Also there's a great texas ribs place if you're feeling like a hit of Western food.
Close to Cyclo Cafe is Lanterns Restaurant that run a great cooking class for just over $20 pp, you get to cook 3 dishes and check out the markets where they get the food from. I sampled some of the local delicacy - duck embryo too.
There are mudbaths for a short taxi ride nearby too which have mud from 100 metres under the ground and you don't need to share with others. About $45 for 2 people includes a foot rub, mineral showers and mud bath. Rainbow diving offers dive courses from those who just wanna try - it was my first time ever or those who are experienced and want to get their licence for cheap. I'd recommend these guys they were great and all spoke excellent English, we didn't even need to do pool training first. There are heaps of tours offered - we went to Monkey Island - unfortunately there were shows using baby bears that were whipped and I cried and walked off, there's also dog and monkey shows. I did however get to ride an Ostrich (I know this seems very hipper critical, but the ostriches weren't being whipped to do stupid tricks.
I mentioned we stayed here a month, Nha Trang is awesome only fall down is the litter which is abundant.