Saturday, 9 August 2014

Vietnam - Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a little seaside town on the south east coast of Vietnam.  We decided this would be our next stop for the following reasons in order of importance:

1) it had a water park/theme park
2) it only had a 2 month rainy season of which we weren't in it
3) it was easy to get to on the train
4) we were citied out and wanted some relaxation time

Happy beach selfie

The train was a bit scabby and dirty but it was a nice enough way to pass the time, I spent a lot of it asleep or blog writing.  The staff walk up and down selling snacks and hot food, I bought some spring rolls that tasted how I imagine dog to taste like.  At each stop fruit sellers get on and frantically try and sell you whatever is in their bag before they hop off as the train leaves. 

We arrived mid afternoon and spent it on the beach reading our books till after sunset.  It's very pretty, the bay is surrounded by mountains and distant islands, though the town itself could have been any sea side resort.  Oddly the place is very popular with Russians and every sign was in Vietnamese, Russian and English.  You can spot the Russians a mile off, they look exactly how you imagine them to look (skinny, tattooed, either dark hair or blonde hair and fierce looking). I also spoke to a Russian and it was exactly how I imagined him to sound, he said "ezzxcuse me, where iz thing?" and I felt like I was talking to a Bond villain.  I guess I am massively stereotyping but they do fit theirs.  Moving on...

The following morning we headed back to the beach for some vitamin D before indulging ourselves in one of the few mud bath spas nearby.  For the grand total of about a fiver, we got transport to and from the spa along with a 20 min dip in a mud bath (awkwardly shared with a large hairy male in his 50s), a 30 min dip in a warm mineral bath (awkwardly but slightly less than before shared with a couple who took their photo with us), a walk through a horizontal jet stream shower and then unlimited use of their hot (37°) swimming pool and their cool one and their jacuzzi.  We spent about 3 hours here so it was a good time killer and about a million times cheaper than anything like that would be in the UK!!

The following day was spent exploring every nook and cranny that Vinpearl island had to offer.  This was the water/theme park that tempted us into Nha Trang in the first place so it would be rude not to visit!  You pay a one off fee of 550,000 dong (£13 and "dong" still makes me laugh, I really need to grow up) which gives you unlimited access to everything the island has to offer including the cable car ride cross (longest across a sea in the world apparently).  

I've not been on a cable car before so was excited then actually a bit uncomfortable as it wobbles each time you move and I imagined it dropping into the sea if I moved too much, but the views were awesome.  

We started with the water park, I don't know how I have managed in life with never going to one but this was my first ever and to be honest I was being a bit of a wimp about some of the rides.  But not wanting to lose face in front if Amy we gave nearly everything a go.  My favourites were the tube slides that you went down in a rubber ring with (but not the enclosed tube, it made me feel claustrophobic) and the good old fashioned wave pool.   The scariest was the "tsunami" where we sat in a double tube and went down a ridiculously steep slope and up again.  We thought we were going to shoot off the edge!  Water tides also have a habit of wedgying you.  We spent a lot of time fighting with Russian and Vietnamese who all seemed intent on pushing in front of us and not giving up their tubes for others.  At one point I loudly exclaimed the one bit of Vietnamese I have managed to keep in my head, "jai ai" which means "oh my God" and the kid pushing in front did a double take but then carried on ahead.  I made a mental note to learn some more ferocious cusswords.

Photo stolen from another persons blog place to

Water park conquered, we then went to their aquarium.  Small but perfectly formed, it finished with a really cool moving platform that took you through an underwater tunnel where we saw some pretty amazing fish.  I took a rubbish video on my Instagram.

Next out of morbid curiosity we watched the animal circus, we hadn't intended to but it was starting as we walked past and they had monkeys and I can't resist a started off really quite good and the dogs did some cool stuff and looked fairly happy and well looked after (one of the dogs rode a bike and its balls were dangling on the bike seat which didn't look too comfy but I didn't know if dogs are sensitive like men I wonder if google knows).  The monkeys came on and did some really cool acrobatic stuff and they'd been taught to put their arm up when they'd finished their act which was amusing.  But then one monkey was doing push ups and then stopped and the lady grabbed its legs and forced it to do more and the monkey didn't want to so started to bare its teeth and the lady carried on making it do them so we walked away in disgust at that point. I hope the monkey bit the lady.

We then attacked the (small) theme park, going on the very short roller coaster, pirate ship, spinning chair wheel thing and finishing with what could have been the most amazing thing if it hadn't been for other people, the Alpine Toboggan.  This was a single track toboggan that you could control the speed of, it dragged you to the top of the mountain and then you went down the track.  You can brake when you want to but that's only really for emergencies or if you don't want to tear round the bends.  I did but there was annoying people in front of us stopping at ridiculous points to take selfies so we would be going full speed and then having to stop suddenly so we didn't crash.  The girls behind Amy (Russian) got aggressive at her and threatened to shoot her if she didn't carry on. I feel like I am talking a lot about Russians, I will stop now.

Going up the toboggan - another stolen PIC from the web

Finally we ended up in the huge arcade room, filled with racing games (including fake horses that I nearly fell off), shooting games, dance mat games etc etc all for free!! I think we spent an hour in this bit alone....

We went home happy and tired, feeling like kids who had spent the day at a birthday party.

Our final day was spent making the most of the beach as it's the last time I will see one in a while.   I had to finish the book I had borrowed from the guest house before we left, it was called Catfish and Mandela by Andrew Pham and it is really good.  It's (very appropriately) a real story about a guy who escaped Vietnam when Saigon fell and grew up in America and decided to cycle round Vietnam and revisit places of his youth in an attempt to find himself.  It is very interesting and I highly recommend.

1 comment:

  1. You did visit a small water park in Wales when you were about 5 ;)


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