Three Days in Nha Trang
Nha Trang Travel Blog› entry 18 of 18 › view all entries
Decided to get the night bus up to Nha Trang as we didn't fancy wasting an entire day sweating our arses in a packed out bus. Took 20mg of Valium each to help us along too! And it paid off; we slept through pretty much the entire journey :) We rolled up in Nha Trang in the early hours of the morning and hit the streets looking for a place to stay. We really should have booked beforehand as it was the Tet weekend. This meant a shortage of choices and hugely hiked up prices. After an hour and a half we had found three rooms; one at $50 per night and two at $30. Normally these rooms would be going for $10-12 but hey, it's Tet man! A good excuse to squeeze money out of people, especially foreigners.
First stop, the beach! Nha Trang is basically a few kms of beach lined with seafood joints and hotels. There is actually more to Nha Trang than this, but that's all we were there for and so we didn't bother making our way to the rest of the city. When you spend most of your time in Saigon, you get used to the constant intense heat, and come to expect it so we had negated the fact that further north, they do actually experience variations in weather. It was still pretty hot but with a chilly breeze blowing in off the mountains. We played through our set (which is now just over an hour long - almost ready to get a gig in Saigon), and ten headed back to our room for some rest.
When Keishia was in Vietnam earlier on in the year, she had been scuba diving up in Hoi An and was eager to go once again. I'd never tried it before but it sounded like fun, so we hit the streets again to enquire about our options and prices etc. with some of the local dive companies. Diving is pretty big in Nha Trang and there are a lot of companies to choose from. Eventually we found the Vietnam Blue Dive company and they seemed to have friendly staff a fairly professional operation. It was 9:30pm and they were about to close for business until the morning. Luckily for us, tomorrows boat was pretty much empty with just two people signed up for snorkeling. This was good news for us as it meant we would be the only two divers on the boat.
The morning of the dive had us up for an early start with our alarms set for 6:00am. After a quick 'banh mi' and coffee on the way to the pick up point we were soon on our way. We jumped on a small boat and headed out to Mun Island, which has about 15-20 dive sites dotted around it's coast. It's a marine protected area which meant there would be a lot of corral and plenty of things to see. It took about 40 minutes to reach the island, during which time we were given the lowdown on the equipment, hand signals and the general procedure. We both slipped on our wetsuits and fins and got prepared. Keishia would take the first dive, just her and the instructor; A very friendly Frenchman with over 20 years diving experience under his belt. They weighted her down, strapped an air canister onto her back, inflated her BCD and then she was set to go.
I jumped in the water with a snorkel on whilst Keishia was down in the depths but it wasn't long before my turn. It was great! A little scary at first, especially when my mouth piece started filling up with salt water, but a quick press of the button on the front of the regulator soon sorted that out. It's a strange feeling when your underwater breathing through the regulator. I almost felt like Darth Vader with the strange restriction it placed on my breathing! We got down to about 8 meters on that first dive and managed to stay there for about 28 minutes during which time I saw (and touched) loads of brightly colorful fish and correl. The second dive was the best tho because Keishia and I both went down at the same time (with the dive master).
Later on in the day we met up with Billy (one of our housemates) and two of is Vietnamese girlfriends (in his dreams!!)for drinks. For some reason they had decided to head a few kms out of town to get food. We showed our cyclo drivers the address and they claimed they knew where it was but half way there they decided that actually they didn't have a clue! typical! The next day consisted of more chillin on the beach and playing guitar. We caught the sun a little. Ah, check this tho... we found, wait for it... REAL fish and chips!!! You just can't get it here in Saigon and it's been a while. We were lovin' it! We got chatting to the manager and suggested that he open up another one in the Pham in Saigon but he was more interested in targeting other tourist spots first. He did, however, also own a hotel in Nha Trang which he claimed was a very good standard and rooms were let out for a fixed $12 per night - even during Tet! We quickly got him on the phone to his hotel managers and got ourselves a room booked for our final night. Sorted! With the money we saved, we splashed out for a fantastic meal in the hotels roof top bar!
And that's about the sum of our three days in Nha Trang. Got up early the next day to catch the bus and sat there bored our of our minds for the 10 hour ride back home.
So Tet is finally coming to an end and life should start to settle down a little for a while again. School opens on Friday and it will be back to the whiteboard as usual!